The fix would be simple, Boosted CD up to 25-30 seconds and when hitting allies Pharaoh ends up infront of the ally. I often play Pharaoh and rarely get SotM but when I do I don't feel that it really dimishes the ability, you now get twice as many shots in the same timeframe, as long as you're not running straight down a lane trying to hook someone you should have no problems, Pharaoh is a surprise flanking hero and should be played as such.
It's not about whether or not it can be used to escape, it's about having it's offensive capabilities reduced. This is especially true during rax pushes where the angle of fire is severely limted and if you're a ninja Pharaoh who doesn't stand on the front lines and instead hooks in as soon as allies engage then you are very likely to hit your ally and land behind him. When chasing enemies and you have allies infront of you, when previously you could simply shoot through your ally and stun them while your allies catch up, with the staff you'll hit your ally and continue the chase like before. Basically I think you should land 100 units past the ally you hook so when they are engaged you can use it to instantly join the fight as well as damage+disable.
2 bracers , phase boots and SotM and u gank till min 40.
SotM gives u the mana and hp needed to gank ,practically, non-stop.
1 think about SotM upgrade that i failed to c here being mentioned.. if u happen to lash onto an ally , enemies within radius still get stunned and damaged.
my point .. u are all noobs ) *joke*
It would be nice if some unwanted parts of ability upgrades could be ignored. For example being able to teleport multiple allies with Nymphora and blinking to allies with Pharaoh with SotM. Because you really shouldn't lose functionality by upgrading an ability (for example with Nymph I can't port out in a team fight as I will just take two allies with me leaving two to die).
Abilities that are awkward by default (Pebbles and Devourer's abilities working with allies) are fine, it's just you shouldn't be discouraged from upgrading an ability. Putting one of those little extra boxes next to the ability (like the electric eye detonate for scout) to toggle the ability would be sweet.