The priests tell young men bound for the battlefield that if they fall, Elysian fields and peace awaits them. But this is not strictly true, not as long as the Soulstealer walks the battlefield. Gathering the spirits of those he kills in a bloody, shadowy sack, he augments his own power with their suffering. Those who see him quake in terror to know that death, for them, will be no release, but only a fiery captivity and oblivion.
Soulstealer is a strong solo-mid carry, whose power relies on great farming skills and strong teamfight presence.
Soulstealer calls upon the greater Hellbourne daemons to lay waste to the enemies before him.
Facing - Enemy Units
Mana cost: 80
Cooldown 10 seconds
Deals 75/150/225/300 Magic damage to each target in radius
Don't grab me there!
This skill is Soulstealer's bread and butter. It grants him the best farming skill in the game, as well as strong nuking power, which leads to lane control. Farming a creepwave instantly for a manacost of 160 is pretty huge. This is why Soulstealer usually dominates games; Even if he is shut down early, maintaining 350 GPM is easy.
A thing to note is, that after 35 min mark the creeps have over 600 HP, meaning that they won't die in 2 Hands. This is a huge loss of effectiveness, but the skill is, and will always be, strong for farming and early / mid game hero-killing.
- All the Demon Hands have separate cooldowns and manacosts
- 0.65 second cast time
Soulstealer steals the souls of all he vanquishes, increasing his damage as his collection grows.
Maximum of 8/15/23/30 Souls.
+2 Damage per charge
Dying will cause you to lose half of your charges
Adds one charge
They call me Wishmaster!
While this skill raises your damage by a pretty good amount, it is also your weakness. Due to your weak base damage, you are forced to level this skill in order to maintain last hits properly. Dying causes you to lose half of your souls, which not only means you lose damage, but your ultimate becomes significantly less effective. Always tell your team when you are in lack of souls so that they won't engage a teamfight!
Soulstealer's appearance instills pure fear. Weakening the enemies morale, his mere precense lowers their Armor.
What's the matter, are you scared?
This skill is not that great. It is effective yes, but for obvious reasons (Soulstealer's other skills are so strong) this skill is less effective than those are. But to actually analysis this skill; Basically a free Breastplate-aura for enemies, increases your and your team's damage. This skill is NOT toggle-able
Soulstealer releases torrents of negative energy based on the number of souls he has collected. Each torrent damages nearby enemies. The closer an enemy is, the more torrents he'll get hit by.
Self - Enemy Units
Mana Cost 150/175/200
Cooldown: 120/110/100 seconds
Releases one torrent for every 2 souls that the Soulsteal ability currently has.
Each torrent deals 80/120/160 Magic damage. Applies Soul Burst to enemies in radius for 5 seconds.
Soul Burst Effects
-15/-20/-25% Base Damage
15/20/25% Movement Slow
You want your soul back?
Definitely one of the most damage dealing skills in the game if placed properly. With full 30 souls you can instantly kill an enemy hero, and drop multiple others to low hp, if not kill them as well. Having Shroud / PK to place this skill is quite necessary, or you can't drop it on the enemies. The slow is useful to drop couple extra last hits and/or Demon Hands, and the base damage decrease is something.
You don't want to level this skill early on, because you need 30 souls in order for it to be effective.
- Be ready to press Stop (S by default) if the enemies run too far away while casting this so you don't waste it.
- The skill deals damage in a much further radius (1350, I assume), but applies slow & damage reduction to only 700 radius.
- Cast time of 1.4 seconds.
Dread / Soul Burst
Soul Burst / Dread
Basically you want to max out Demon Hands as soon as possible simply because they are your key for farming & hero-killing. Soulsteal is also a priority to max, as you need it for last hitting and for your Soul Burst to be useful. I don't personally take Soul Burst at level 9 because I think that level 1 Ulti isn't that great and because you won't really be using it without PK / Shroud anyways. Dread is a good skill to max after other skills are maxed, but can also be skipped for Attribute Boost if needed.
These items provide you some nice +damage to get fast souls with your Soulsteal, as well as enough regen.
In my opinion the best starting items. Some good bonus attributes, and minor regeneration to get a fast Bottle of Tears.
These items should be taken if versing a hero such as Thunderbringer or Bombardier in the middle lane. Mana Battery becomes very useful due to them constantly spamming spells, and Minor Totems provide bonus attributes, as well as Runes of Blight provide regeneration.
Runes of the Blight
Consumes target tree, healing self for 115 HP over 16 seconds Value 90
Heals target for 400 HP over 10 seconds, Dispels on damage Value 100
+1 Intelligence Value 53
+3 Agility Value 150
+1 Charge every time an enemy hero on radius casts a spell Activation
Cooldown 17 Seconds
Restores 10 Health and 15 Mana per charge. Maximum of 10 Charges Value 200
+ + ( OR )
Bottle and Power Supply are fairly obvious pickups. Bottle makes rune-whoring much more effective, and as Soulstealer has strong rune control, he should abuse it. Power Supply is one of the best items in this game, because it provides so much survivability and mana, as well as minor attribute boost.
Steamboots are the boot choice you will most likely go for in most of the games. They give you the +10 stats, which when permanently toggled has so good synergy with Bottle that it becomes extremely powerful. Post Haste is more situational choice, but it is definitely useful if you have the farm to get them fast. Mobility and map control in these boots are superior compared to anything else.
Bottle of Tears (3/3)
Must be refilled at the Well or by picking up rune
Bottle is only filled 2/3 when taken to the Well by a courier Activation
Uses one charge, and restores 135 HP and 70 Mana over 3 seconds, Dispels on damage Value 600
+3 Intelligence Activation
Restores 10 Health and 15 Mana per charge. Maximum of 15 charges. Aura
1 Charge every time an enemy hero casts spell Requires Minor Totem 53 Minor Totem 53 Mana Battery 200 Recipe 240 Total Cost 546
+25 Attack Speed
+10 Strenght/Agility/Intelligence Requires Marchers 500 Gloves of Swift 500 Bolstering Armband/Fleetfeet/Apprentice's Robe 450 Total Cost 1450
105 Movement Speed Activation
Mana Cost 75
Target ally non-hero unit/structure. After 3 seconds of channeling, teleports to the target, and applies 200 movement speed buff for 5 seconds.
Shares cooldown with Homecoming Stone Requires Marchers 500 Recipe 2200 Total Cost 2700
+ ( OR )
Shrunken Head is your core item; Without it you are useless in teamfights as the enemies will stun you before you even get your ulti out. Portal Key / Assasin's Shroud are not 100% core, but you usually want to have one of them. Generally Portal Key is better, but for lower level pub-games, Shroud can be very deadly.
Note, Shroud's Stealth will not break before your Soul Burst is fulfully casted, meaning that if you cancel the animation, you will still be invis.
-Better for chasing
-More team oriented
-More damage while ulting
-Better for sologanking
-Better for escaping
There are occasions where you might not want to get an item:
Shroud - When enemies have revelation, such as Thunderbringer or Arachna, or heroes who can carry a Bound Eye with ease, such as Tundra or Devourer.
Portal Key - When enemies have global and/or long range spells, such as Bombardier, Thunderbringer, Vindicator, Andromeda, Aluna or Chipper. These heroes do not all directly counter PK, but they do cause some issues within the use of it.
A thing to note about building items is, that you don't have to finish an item. What I mean is, that you can buy Mighty Blade for some extra HP, and then buy Portal Key, finishing Shrunken Head after the PK.
Mana Cost 75
Cooldown 14 seconds
Teleports self to target position. Cooldown of 3 seconds is applied to Portal Key if damaged by a player controlled unit. Value 2150
+10 Attack Speed Activation
Mana Cost 75
Applies Assasin's Stealth to self for 9 seconds Stealth Effects
+20% Movement Speed
Stealth with 0.5 second fade time
Next attack deals an additional 125 damage Requires Steamstaff 800 Broadsword 1200 Recipe 1300 Total Cost 3300
+24 Damage Activation
Cooldown 80 seconds
Applies Shrunken Head to self for 10 seconds and dispels debuffs from self after each time Shrunken Head is used, the duration of Shrunken Head is reduced by 1 second and Shrunken Head's cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds. The duration of Shrunken Head will not go below 5 seconds, nor will the cooldown go below 55 seconds. Shrunken Head can't be removed or dispelled Shrunken Head Effect
Magic Immunity Requires Mighty Blade 1000 Warhammer 1600 Recipe 1300 Total Cost 3900
My preference here is to get Whispering Helm --> Wingbow --> Symbol of Rage --> Savage Mace.
Symbol of Rage; Arguably the best item for survivability after Shrunken Head, so get this if you need more survivability.
Frostwolf's Skull; The slow from this is extremely useful, so get this if you want to slow the enemies down.
Shieldbreaker; One of the best DPS items in the game, but that is pretty much it. If you already have enough survivability and you don't need the slow from FWS, get this as your attack modifier.
Wingbow; If you are getting raped by the enemy carry and he doesn't have Savage Mace, this is your savior. 60 AS and 62 Damage and armor+Evasion, thats very useful. Get this if you want to avoid enemy carries' attacks and want to deal more DPS.
Demonic Breastplate; Auras are always good for the team, especially this one as armor is very useful and often underrated. Get this if nobody else is getting it and you have other physical damage in the team.
Geometer's Bane; Not that good anymore as the attack modifiers won't transfer to illusions. However the disjoint and +MS can be useful but i highly suggest a Wingbow over this anyday.
Savage Mace; If the enemy carry has a Wingbow, this item is an obvious choice. But even if he doesn't, this item is extremely useful for pure DPS.
Riftshards; The extra damage and the critical strike are extremely powerful for DPS, get this item after couple other items to unleash the full potential.
+40/55/70 Damage On Attack Impact
Applies Broken Armor to target for 5 seconds Broken Armor effects
-2/4/6 Armor Requires Warhammer 1600 Recipe 900 Recipe 900 Recipe 900 Total Cost 4300
+200 Max Health
+150 Max Mana
+10 Damage On Attack Impact
Applies Freeze to target for 3 seconds when attacking or casting a single target spell Freeze Effects
20% Movement Slow
20% Attack Slow Requires Glowstone 1200 Icebrand 2200 Blessed Orb 2100 Recipe 700 Total Cost 6200
+10% Movement Speed
+15 Attack Speed Activation
Mana Cost: 165
Cooldown: 50 seconds
Spawn 2 Illusions of self. The illusions take 3.5 times normal damage, deal 33% of your attack damage, and inherit properties from you. The illusions have a 20 second life time.
Dispells all Buffs and Debuffs on use. Requires Blessed Orb 2100 Firebrand 2200 Recipe 800 Total Cost 5100
+15 Attack Speed
True Strike (you can't miss your attacks) On Attack Impact
35% chance to deal 100 Physical Damage to target and stun for 0.1 seconds.
Does not propagate to illusions. Requires Slayer 2200 Warhammer 1600 Warhammer 1600 Total Cost 5400
Symbol of Rage Passive Bonuses
+25% Lifesteal Activation
Cooldown 35 seconds
Applies Symbolic Rage to self for 3.5 seconds Symbolic Rage Effects
+150% Lifesteal Requires Axe of the Malphai 3200 Whispering Helm 1850 Recipe 1100 Total Cost 6150
Personally I build this item in most of my games. That is because this item not only gives you strong mana regeneration and movespeed with cheap cost, it also provides you a quaranteed kill on an enemy by ulting just after the cyclone on the enemy ends. On top of all that, it is great for escaping in combination with a Portal Key.
This item is great if you play versus a hero such as Doctor Repulsor who needs to be silenced. Keep in mind that the enemies can't activate Shrunken Head or any other item when affected by this item. Provides you with strong mana and some DPS on top of the extremely useful silence.
Sheepstick isn't bad on any hero. 3.5 Second disable can be devastating in teamfights or ganks, as well as the mana regeneration for farming. SS can farm so swiftly, that getting Sheepstick is very easy.
Nullstone might be necessary against strong single target spells, such as Rampage's ultimate or Succubus' ultimate. Against magical disables, a Shrunken Head is just enough.
+30 Attack Speed
+225% Mana Regeneration Activation
Target Enemy Unit
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown: 25 seconds
Applies Hellflower to target for 5 seconds. Hellflower Effects
+20% Damage taken
Leaves a visible trail behind afflicted target Requires Arcana 1575 Arcana 1575 Arcana 1575 Total Cost 4725
+200% Mana Regen Activation
Target Enemy Unit
Mana Cost: 100
Cooldown: 35 seconds
Applies Transfigured to target for 3.5 seconds Transfigured Effects
Movement Speed set to 100 Requires Acolyte's Staff 2700 Manatube 875 Blessed Orb 2100 Total Cost 5675
+6 Health Regeneration
+200% Mana Regeneration
When not in cooldown, ngates a single targeted spell.
Cooldown: 20 seconds Requires Blessed Orb 2100 Sustainer 1750 Recipe 1000 Total Cost 4850
+25 Movement Speed
+150% Mana Regeneration Activation
Mana Cost: 75
Cooldown: 30 seconds
Applies Cyclone to target unit for 2.5 seconds Cyclone Effects
Stunned Requires Neophyte's Book 1000 Scarab 325 Manatube 875 Recipe 600 Total Cost 2800
If you can't go mid, get rid of the guy who picked your team. Block your creeps so they are closer to your ramp, so you will have an advantage (enemies can't gank you under the tower, enemy misses attacks & can easily be ganked)
Abuse the fog when timing your last hits; if just possible. Your strong attack animation and projectile speed should make last hitting fairly easy, especially after you get couple souls.
Start last hitting creeps with Demon Hands at level 2 if necessary, otherwise wait for level 3. Remember to keep some mana in your pocket.
Before a rune spawns, drop the creep wave down with couple Demon Hands and bottle up the rune if you already have a Bottle. If the enemy goes for the rune, he loses experience as his tower kills your creeps and he gains nothing.
You should stay behind your creeps and preferably on the cliff, as the enemies miss attacks, and try to kite, but otherwise play fairly passive untill you get lvl 3/5
If the enemy tries to engage on you, drop your E nuke (if hes that far away) or just W if hes closer to you. If he keeps coming closer, hit him with Q and autoattack him to death. If he starts running, and you havent used E, use it on him and he will most likely die.
At level 7 you can just use 2 Demon Hands to kill a creepwave. After you've done that, you have 3 choices:
Push the tower if the enemy is unable to defend it
Farm neutrals (preferably stacked ones)
Gank sidelanes if you are SURE you will get a kill/kills
Always carry a TP to help your team!
Farm stacks whenever you have some, as Soulstealer's power is in farming.
Try to farm your PK/Shroud ASAP, so you can easily gank the enemies with the help of teammates. Keep farming creepwaves and neutrals with your Demon Hands, and go towards your BKB aka Shrunken Head.
Have your team push towers with you, as SS has a huge edge at mid game compared to most of the other carries.
Ganking with Shroud
Shroud and run right on the enemy hero, and use your ultimate. It should be instant kill.
Ganking with Portal Key
1. PK next to the enemy, ulti / nuke + autoattack to death.
2. Run behind the enemy, Nuke and/or Ulti, autoattack, PK when out of range, autoattack + nuke to death.
Late game is mostly about teamfights. If you however manage to get a pickoff, try to capitalize it by pushing or taking the Kongor. Your ultimate is worth a pickoff, remember that. Try to avoid getting caught by constantly having a look on the map, continue farming or go push, depending on who has better carries.
In teamfights, stay hidden in trees or cliffs, and jump in after an initiator has engaged. Try to drop down the enemy carry asap, so they lack DPS.
Dont suicide for a kill!
Ganking is easier during night because every hero has their vision shrinked and therefore you can get closer to them before they see you (basically has effect during the late-laning phase and when you gank somebody with wards.)
Swapping Steamboots is very important
Strength if you are about to take damage.
Agility if you need to regenerate mana and/or health / need the increased damage to lasthit
Intelligence if you are about to cast a spell.
Using the Stop button (S by default) fixes all the Hands/Ulties before they land as they both have fairly long cast times.
How to Play Against Certain Heroes
Wretched Hag - Simply Harass her when she comes too close, and punish her with Demon Hands. Lasthitting should be fairly easy due to your higher range, attack animation, and projectile speed. And after couple levels, higher damage. Always push the lane before rune spawns, and go to one. 50% chance that you get rune, and if you don't, hag loses some experience as tower kills creeps.
Arachna - Don't lose your hope in the first levels, she will have advantage. After level 3, however, if she tries to harass you, drop some demon hands on her face! Push the lane before rune spawns, and she can't stop your rune control.
Devourer - Keep the range early on. If he gets close to you, he rapes you with Decay. Harass him from behind the creeps, and get couple lasthits. At level 3, simply drop some Demon Hands and keep him at or under half HP, while constantly keeping your HP over 3/4. This way, if he hits a hook, you will simply kill him. Get an early Mystic Vestment and possibly Steamboots. Push the lane before rune spawns, but if Devo goes to one rune, go to another unless you can take him out.
Deadwood - ^ But dodge grasps not hooks.
Pebbles - Above.
Bombardier - Get Mana Battery at level 1! Proceed to lasthit with Demon Hands, punish him if he comes too close. Gain rune control by pushing the lane, and get some early Vestments and Steamboots
Defiler - Look at her items. If hes going for fast Bottle, play very passive. If he has bought items with all 600 gold, you can play fairly aggressive as soon as you get level 3. At level 5, try to force 1v1 situations and rape her with Hands. Keep farming some creeps. At level 7, just instantly nuke her creeps down, and she can't stop you from farming, nor can she push the tower. Push the lane to gain runecontrol
Thunderbringer - Once again, Mana Battery and fast Mystic Vestments is the key. Keep range from your own creeps so chain lightning won't hit you, as he lasthits with it. Rape him with Demon Hands after level 3. Push the lane to gain rune control.
Doctor Repulsor - At level 1, play aggressive as you have better attack animation & attack speed. At level 2 however, he will easily rape you in harass so keep distance and lasthit with some Demon Hands. After level 3, start owning him with Hands and autoattacks. Keep the aggressive play up, and when he gets level 6, never let him stay with full hp, or he will engage on you and most likely kill you. Doctor Repulsor has advantage over SS, so if you lose, don't be ashamed.
Chipper - One of the few heroes who have advantage over Soulstealer in the middle lane. Stay on your cliff, and if he tries to come close, just drop some autoattacks and hands and avoid most of the rockets. Don't 1v1 with him. Keep playing passive, but push lane before rune spawns to gain runes. Mana Battery & Vestments are good against him.