This is, in general, all you need to start off. I usually go with two sets of runes, the axe and a few minor totems:+1luck:.
The mana battery, a very powerful item which is never completely wrong. Can always be bought but is especially important if you expect to face ability spammers(
The Iron buckler, get this if you fear harrasment from ranged characters or if you expect to jungle early due to unfarmable lanes. I don't usually get this as it doesn't lead to anything useful, yet it is a useful early item.
These are the items you want to have in your inventory after the first 20-30 minutes of the game, 20 being optimistic and 30 being the latest point.
______________-4350 VS 5025
65 Damage __________________________
150% Mana Regen___________________
30 Attack Speed
225% Mana Regeneration
Effect: 5 second duration, Silenced, Perplexed, +20% Damage Taken.
Both of these bring you things you want, maybe most importantly they bring mana regenereration. These are the items you want in order to make it possible for you to farm the rest of your inventory, as such whichever of these you chose should be completed as your first item, in my opinion with higher priority than boots or extra stats. To decide which one to use we can look at a few different factors.
The main benefits of Runed Axe is that it's cheaper, brings a cleave which makes it incredibly easy to farm with it, it also has a good gold-to-damage ratio and finally it has some added HP regen, getting an early lifetube simplifies laning enormously for anyone as it makes you much more resiliant to minor harassment.
Hellflower on the other hand adds a lot to your mana pool and gives you much higher mana regeneration. While it's more expensive the parts are cheap, making it quite simple to get. The added mana will allow much more liberal use of your active abilities, making you more useful in early clashes, especially before the item is actually completed as the individual pieces bring plenty of int and mana regeneration. Compared to Runed Axe it does however lack in pure offensive power, it brings less pure damage and instead adds attackspeed which is a less useful stat as Berserk will give you all the attackspeed you need.
To actually decide on which item you should get it's important to look on how the game as a whole looks. Do your team already contain plentiful disables? In that case you should probably go for the :RunedAxe: as it won't be relevant to spam your stun or Hellflowers silence. If your team gets raped by your oponents casters :Hellflower: will be more relevant as the silence and the possibility of stunning more often will help you out a lot.
Personally I have often favored Runed Axe, lately however Hellflower is more and more appealing as more often than not the added early game utility is necessary.
Whichever you chose, the next stop on the list is boots, there's really only one kind which is relevant and that is:
, which should be kept on strength mode at all times.
While i sometimes get post haste in exceptionally easy games it is not recomended. You want these for the extra HP to counter your fragility and for the DPS boost from the attackspeed.
Disclaimer; why the other boots suck:
:EnhancedMarchers:: Costs more, Stalk already covers the active and you need strength more than damage at this point.
:PostHaste:: Way too expensive, adds no stats. While useful they are not really relevant.
:PlatedGreaves:: While small overall stats and five armour isn't bad the active buff shouldn't be your job to get and generally you will prefer the ten strength you get from steamboots.
If we assume you are going for the Runed Axe this means your item progression should look somewhat like this for the first 25-30 minutes of the game.
:LoggersHatchet::RunesOfTheBlight::RunesOfTheBligh t::Lifetube::Manatube::BastardSword::Broadsword::M archers::BolsteringArmband::GlovesOfTheSwift:.
Should be noted that if you deem it necessary a few bracers or soulscream rings don't hurt much, yet i tend to avoid them as they delay more important items.
Once you have your core it's time to move on to your morph and combative items, while you don't really need this to be dangerous you are a Hard Carry, the longer the game goes on the more dangerous you will be.
1.3 Post Core
These are items that you should aspire to get before winning the game, if you win before you get these that's good but generally these will be applicable in all games you play. They are however optional as opposed to the core items.1.3: Luxuary.
Total Cost: 1950
Whispering helm, gives you lifesteal, armor, hp regen and damage in addition to the ability to mind controll a creep for ancient stacking. It's a cheap item which adds to your survivability and offensive power. It makes farming a breeze as the lifesteal and hp reg will make creep damage negligable and counters splashdamage in clashes. It synergizes well with your high attackspeed for survivability and can later be upgraded to symbol of rage, making you very hard to kill. Situations where you may want to avoid this item are those where your main enemy is nukes and disables, in which case your lifesteal amounts to very little. For those sitiations we have the following item.
Total Cost: 3900
You are the carry, as such every disable and stun there is will be directed at you. Getting a shrunken head is thusly never a bad idea as it gives you some time to spread carnage without having to worry about disables. It is not core because there are a few situations where it's not applicable, yet those are far between. I would say that you will need this item in 95% of all games you play. It's not very expensive, it adds damage and well needed strength on top of magic immunity, get it often and get it early.
When core and post core is completed you will hopefully have won the game, yet sometimes there is pesky enemies who are not discouraged by your obvious power and inane laughter. As the game goes on you will most likely amass more gold than what is needed for the items already described. What you buy after that is the so-called luxuare items, there is no set rule which dictates which ones you should get as it differs from situation to situation.
The Wingbow, Cost: 6000.
A standard carry item which is exceptionally useful when faced with oposing carries such as
and so on. For pure damage it is however worth less than other luxuary items and should as such be avoided unless you need the evasion. If the enemy uses :SavageMace: it should obviously not be bought as the evasion will be meaningless.
Savage Mace, cost: 5400.
If you do not need extra survivability this is one of the most cost efficient DPS items you can get. The damage is high and the proc solves the issue of your enemies using pesky channels (FU
). Finally it adds true strike, making it all-important to counter heroes with either built in evasion (
) or those who buy Wingbow to counter you.
Symbol of Rage, total cost: 6150.
While this is the most expensive item on the list you probably got one of the parts, whispering helm anyway, somewhat dampening the cost. You will want to get this if you need even more survivability, the lifesteal and active makes it ideal to counter the steady damage you certainly will take during a fight. Generally I recomend buying this when you take lots of damage and shrunken head and wingbow just isn't enough or are unapplicable. It's not an item you should usually aim for however as it lacks a lot when it comes to pure output, get it if you need extra survival.
Shieldbreaker, Total Cost: 4400.
By far the most efficeint item when it comes to gold-to-damage, the downside is that it can't be gotten in conjunction with Whispering Helm and in extension symbol of rage. Get this if you do not need the survivability offered by Whispering Helm/symbol of rage. As stated tho, it has the potential to add more damage than any other of your luxuary items. Do not get this if someone else on your team has it, as the effect does not stack with itself from multiple users.
1.4 Optional Items.
Items which may be useful in certain circumstances but are generally not recomended. These are:
Abyssal Skull, total cost: 2050.
It shouldn't be your job to get this item, it's awesome when someone else has it but subpar for you. Yet in some games you will be the one best suited for it, mostly applicable in low level pub games (where i play) where it's not rare to end up with more than one meele carry and support players are too headstrong to get one.
: Items to avoid.
Frostburn, total cost: 4400.
I see this item a lot on characters where it doesn't belong, The Madman is one of them. Frostburn isn't bad per se, it's just not as good as what you have to sacrifice to get it. You do not need the increased movement speed or the slow, you have built in chasing mechanics in stalk, barrel roll and even berserk. It adds a little strength and a little agility, making it overall ineffiecient when it comes to damage if you compare it to other luxuary items.
Brutalizer, total cost: 3100.
A waste of space, it's cheap and adds a bash, this looks good but is pretty much crap. You have a built in stun, use that. If you need to break channels get Savage Mace and if you get destroyed by meele damage get wingbow or symbol of rage. It just doesn't do enough to warrant buying, stunning a person for one second is good but you can do better, especially when counting in the random factor.
Riftshards, Total Cost: 5500.
The crit doesn't stack with yours and wishing it so won't make it so, get a real item.
Charged Hammer, Total Cost: 5500.
Not actually a bad item, it just doesn't work well with Madman in my opinion. Most of it's stats are allocated in attackspeed, something we do not exactly need as we have Berserk. The Chain Lightning effect does not get any effect by our crit either, making it sub-par when compared to Runed Axe if you count on the splash damage. Get it if you must, but you can do better.
Elder Parasite, total cost: 1900.
Another item which is gotten on too many heroes. I will just say this, you already have an excellent steroid spell and you do not need this to chase or kill, you definately don't need to be squishier either. So stay clear and get a Whispering Helm if you want lifesteal.
Then we have what I call the retard pile, items you should not get on this character but which i find too obviously bad to justify. This includes items such as: :KuldrasSheepstick::StaffOfTheMaster::Codex::Table tOfCommand: and so on. There are many other items which should be avoided on Madman, which fall between the two latter categories. I will not list all of them as it would be too tedious to read.