Maybe I'm mistaken, but doesn't Energy Absorption barely pay itself off, re: mana costs?
IIRC Correctly, at all levels the mana cost is 5 times the amount of mana returned per charge. That means you need at least 6 targets in the area to replenish mana using that ability.
On paper, that power can certainly restore some mana. In practice, and in team fights, etc... you're generally looking at losing mana when you use it. At best, you might make 70 mana or so..... not exactly what's going to "grant him ton of mana".
IMO, Energy Absoption will not be enough to power your mana all game long without a manatube or something.
Play the hero before you attempt to theorycraft.
Lvl 2 Energy Absorbtion pays for itself and more, from then on its pure gain.
Obviously this alone is going to suck compared to constant mana regen via items which allow u to harass alot more often.
This hero is great, ive carried a team with him, pub game obviously, not the best of enemies/allied carries but when you get 5 charges on a Stone with manashield you become nearsight unkillable, even Cursed Ground(Maledict) + massive nukes wasnt enough.
Great addition to any team if played right, o and Purge should remove Cursed Ground.
Okay, now I'm home from work, and I can check for myself.
Mana cost is 75 / 100 / 125 / 150
Mana Drain is 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 (per target)
Therefore, the number of targets you'd have to hit to BREAK EVEN on use is: 5 / 5 / 5 / 5
However, the part of the skill that I missed is that you get +3 charges just for using it. So you only need 3 creeps to break even. Against Heroes it's even better.. you might even gain 100ish mana from it, in a big ol' brawl.