1 - Withering Presence
Justification / Modifications:
2 - Judgment
3 - Judgment
4 - Inhuman Nature
5 - Judgment
6 - Demonic Execution
7 - Judgment
8 - Inhuman Nature
9 - Inhuman Nature
10 - Inhuman Nature
11 - Demonic Execution
12 - Withering Presence
13 - Withering Presence
14 - Withering Presence
15 - Stats
16 - Demonic Execution
17 - Stats+
Kids, I'm here to tell you that he lied to you. All that talk about being a support, maxing Withering Presence and skipping Inhuman Nature? Getting SotM? All lies. And all of us that knew no better believed it.
Soul Reaper is no support by any kind of standard except the standard of ignorance. 1 point is taken in Withering Presence first as your nuke is abysmal at level 1, and Withering allows you to really put the hurt on any hero approaching the creep line for too long over the course of the laning phase.
Judgment is maxed first, as it is your bread and butter skill that allows you to be a pushing, farming, and teamfighting force, ensuring a ~2000 hp difference between your team and theirs per cast in a teamfight.
Inhuman Nature gives you mana every creep kill you do. Now think quickly. You have a nuke that does 275 damage at max level. 5 creeps per wave means you're gaining 60/120/180/240 mana back per level every wave that comes along.
So wait, you're gaining back MORE mana than you can use to get all the creep kills in a wave? And you still want to skip that? Heh. Max Inhuman Nature next.
His ultimate can be delayed until 10-11 because not only does it tear through your mana pool at early levels, it's fairly pathetic at level 1. 175 mana for a single target stun every 100 seconds, or 185 mana for an AoE nuke every 5 seconds. Use your own Judgment (haw haw) for this.
:RunesOfTheBlight: :HealthPotion: :GuardianRing: 3x:MinorTotem:
(Power Supply >>) Ring of the Teacher >> Plated Greaves/Steamboots (>> Fortified Bracelet)
Plated Greaves and Ring of the Teacher allow him to push ridiculously hard with Judgment spam giving you back mana. Pick up Steamboots situationally against magic burst gankers that threaten you (Pebbles). An early Fortified Bracelet notches up your HP a tad to make you not as squishy, but as always remains optional.
Helm of the Black Legion/Astrolabe >> Shaman's Headdress >> Barrier Idol >> Kuldra's Sheepstick
Helm or Astrolabe is picked up first on him to extend his buffer of HP. Astrolabe is better as it gives armour and a regen aura for everyone else around you, but Helm is still a viable substitute under certain circumstances.
Shaman's Headdress is taken next as the next threat to you staying alive is now burst magic damage. This will be upgraded to Barrier Idol as soon as possible, as you will be in the middle of every fight spamming your Judgment, and this means you'll be able to hit everyone with the activation. Shaman's Headdress can be taken straight away before Helm if the game is progressing and you don't think Astrolabe will be better than an earlier Barrier Idol. They have inter-changeable parts (Refreshing Ornament, and Shield of the Five can stay in Plated Greaves) so the transition is easy.
The next item is Kuldra's Sheepstick to ensure you can keep their (presumably harder) carry down long enough for you to be able to swiftly deal out more than one Judgment (within reason) to put him below half HP to insta-kill him with Demonic Execution. Grab the Manatube and Blessed Orb first.
You'll notice that Sheepstick is the first real item that gives mana regen in your build. Inhuman Nature is that good.
- Barbed Armour - An amazing item on him for the sheer amount of effective HP Soul Reaper has through Judgment heals, armour and magic armour, Astrolabe heal etc. Consider heavily if you're transitioning to lategame and their physical carry is getting dangerous.
- Nullstone - Substitute this in before Kuldra's Sheepstick, using the two bits of Kuldra to divert into building this. While being very good now it will stay situational. Get it to counter kill ultimates, Sand Wraith's Mirage or targeted silence. (Swift, Pyro, BH, etc)
- Behemoth's Heart - It's back and now more recommended than ever. With Heart now giving the %hp regen that used to be only for STR heroes, it has now become 1000 times more viable on Soul Reaper, who benefits IMMENSELY from the regeneration. Now the go-to survivability item for him for late-late game.
- Sacrificial Stone - Meh. It's ok, but simply doesn't do enough for you to justify buying it instead of Astrolabe+Barrier. More viable if you've gone Helm instead of Astrolabe.
- Nome's Wisdom - As of the re-alignment patch, consider taking this if you are struggling and need something to prop you up after Barrier Idol. Upgrade path for your Ring of the Teacher.
- Frostfield Plate - More armour, mana pool and another AoE nuke/slow. Inferior to Kuldra's Sheepstick for usage of an Acolyte's Staff (+25int item), but worth the pickup for the sheer amount of EHP with extra mana you'll have.
Roles: Mid-game carry, Pusher.
Tips and Tricks:
Preferred Lane: Any. Can solo 1v2 horizontal lane.
Difficulty: 4/5 (suffers from public player stigma's horridly. Expect people to throw games if you attempt to play him well.)
Farming capabilities: 5/5 (low cd nuke, Inhuman Nature)
Item dependent? Yes, very.
- Early Game / Lane Control: 5/5 (Aura+harass+Judgement is very dominant; can really push hard from level 5)
- Mid Game / Ganks: 4.5/5 (will melt towers, 2k swing in damage every 5 seconds mana permitting)
- Late Game / Team Fights: 4/5 (Will carry harder than most semi-carries when farmed)
- Soul Reaper moves very slow, having a base movespeed of 290(10 under average), as such most of his ganks will be done via TP counter ganks.
- Either offensive or defensive, you should be at every team fight and pushing down towers afterwards. You're far too useful at this stage in the game (~7-11) to not be in team fights, as you can literally be a 2k swing in damage with a single spell. AFK farming just doesn't work for this guy. If you aren't at a teamfight, you need to be knocking down a tower to make up for it.
- In mid game, with STR Steamboots on you should be tilting around 1.1-1.2k hitpoints, making you one of the highest health heroes (especially INT heroes) in the game. You need every bit of HP as you are a force as long as you can survive the onslaught. Every 5 seconds alive means an extra Judgment and ~1.4k damage dealt to 5 heroes.
- Soul Reaper thrives on drawn out fights, and chipping away at the enemy heroes. King of the Mexican stand-offs that occur in HoN, so to speak. This mostly often occurs at towers, which allows him to do his best work.
- Soul Reaper's strengths in pushing come from keeping the creep wave (and heroes) around him alive and taking tower aggression. Generally this means you should be prepared to use a bit of mana to keep them alive (by killing the enemy creeps as well at the same time) to beat on the tower longer.
- Magic Armour is solid against him.
- Don't try to counter him too much, better focus on you / your team getting stronger than him.
- Burst damage counters him hard. Every second he's alive, Withering Presence is eating away at you and Judgment is being spammed, bringing you closer and closer to death.
- His pushing depends on having creeps and/or a team around him. Nuking down creep waves ensures he is left without support, and will invariably need to retreat, stalling his progress until you are more able to deal with him completely.