Lazy Internet Millionaire Confessions

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Favourite DOTA Strategy - Huskar Strategy


Huskar - Sacred Warrior

Range: 350 | Move Speed: 300
Primary: STR
Str: 18 + 2.4 | Agi: 20 + 2.4 | Int: 18 + 1.5
Damage: 39 - 48 | HP: 492 | Mana: 234
HP Regen: | Mana Regen:
Attack Speed: | Armor: 1
Inner Vitality Inner Vitality (V)
Magically unlocks the potential regenerative power within a target unit, healing its life force based upon its primary attribute. If the target is below 40% health, it will regenerate faster. Heals 10(30)% of main attrib + 4hp regen per sec. Lasts 16 seconds.
Level 1 - 5 (15%) of main attrib + 2 hp regen per sec
Level 2 - 10 (30%) of main attrib + 4 hp regen per sec
Level 3 - 15 (45%) of main attrib + 6 hp regen per sec
Level 4 - 20 (60%) of main attrib + 8 hp regen per sec
Mana Cost: 50/90/130/170
Cooldown: 30
Comment: Best heal in the game. Anyone with more than 150 to their main attribute will get at least 98 HP/second heal, if they are heavily damaged. Of course, this fits your own abilities perfectly.
Burning Spear Burning Spear (R)
Using his own life force to set them aflame, the Sacred Warrior can cause his spears to deal stackable damage over time as they impact the foe. Cannot cast if Huskar's HP is lower than 100. Stacks up to 5 times. Lasts 6 seconds.
Level 1 - 6 dps
Level 2 - 8 dps
Level 3 - 10 dps
Level 4 - 12 dps
Mana Cost: 15 (health cost)
Cooldown: 0
Comment: Ouch! Your blood is hot, and early on, stings quite a bit. Unfortunately, that's about as useful as this skill gets, and it doesn't kill very well either...
Berserker`s Blood Berserker`s Blood (B)
Huskar feels each of his wounds and channels the pain, increasing attack speed and damage for each 7% missing health. 7 max bonuses. First bonus starts at full health.
Level 1 - 2% IAS and 2 damage.
Level 2 - 4 % IAS and 4 damage.
Level 3 - 6 % IAS and 6 damage.
Level 4 - 8 % IAS and 8 damage.
Mana Cost:
Comment: This skill defines you. It's a sacred relic and hyperstone if you are comfortable keeping your health at 58%. It's absolutely amazing what you can kill with lvl 4 of this and inner vitality...
Life Break Life Break (F)
Huskar reaches into the well of his own life force to potentially destroy an enemy. Huskar's target takes damage equal to 40% of his HP. Slows target by 50% for 5 seconds. Huskar pays a certain percentage of his HP to cast this.
Level 1 - Huskar pays 40% of his current HP to cast.
Level 2 - Huskar pays 33% of his current HP to cast.
Level 3 - Huskar pays 25% of his current HP to cast.
Mana Cost:
Cooldown: 45
Comment: Ah, the trade-off. Good, in that it immediately activates most of your bezerker's blood. Bad, in that it becomes that much easier to kill you. Be careful when you use this...more on it later.
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Skill Build

Skill Build:

1. Berserker`s Blood
2. Inner Vitality
3. Berserker`s Blood
4. Inner Vitality
5. Berserker`s Blood
6. Life Break
7. Inner Vitality
8. Berserker`s Blood
9. Inner Vitality
10. Stats
11. Life Break
12. Stats
13. Stats
14. Stats
15. Stats
16. Life Break
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Burning Spear
23. Burning Spear
24. Burning Spear
25. Burning Spear

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Item Build

Item Build:

1.View Details for Animal Courier
Animal Courier
Actived (1 charge): Summons courier unit.
Item disappears when charges used up
Cute little animals (and bugs and worms?) are your best friend...
2.View Details for Ancient Tango of Essifation
Ancient Tango of Essifation
Actived (2 charges): Eat tree to gain 100 hp.
Item disappears when charges used up
Greenpeace will have a field day once they find out you don't hug trees with this...
3.View Details for Hand of Midas
Hand of Midas
+30% incr attack speed
Activate: Transmute
Convert max level 5 creep into gold
110 mana, 65 sec cooldown
Cannot be Dropped, cannot be used by Tinker
Gloves of Haste + Hand of Midas Recipe Scroll
Carry: In DOTA, someone who farms throughout the game to get items that will carry your team to victory. IAS is very useful as well.
4.View Details for Eye of Skadi
Eye of Skadi
+200 Hit Points, +150 Mana
+25 to All Attributes
Passive: Frost Attack
-20% Attack Speed
-30% Run Speed
2 Second Duration for ranged heroes, 3 seconds for melee heroes
Melee Eye of Skadi is an orb effect, and does not stack with orb effects; Ranged Eye of Skadi is NOT an orb effect, and stacks with some orb effects.
Ultimate Orb + Ultimate Orb + Point Booster + Eye of Skadi Recipe Scroll
This is why we will do away with Burning Spear...
5.View Details for Satanic
25% Life Steal
+25 Strength
+5 Armor
Activate: Unholy Rage
50 sec cooldown, no mana cost, gives 30 bonus damage and additional 15% life steal for 20 secs
Helm of the Dominator + Messerschmidts Reaver + Satanic Recipe Scroll
Orb + Skadi = GG...this is the orb of choice for someone who needs to slug it out at half-life.
6.View Details for Buriza-do Kyanon
Buriza-do Kyanon
+75 Damage
Passive: Critical Strike
20% Chance 2.2x Damage Multiplier
Crystalis + Demon Edge + Buriza-do Kyanon Recipe Scroll
The definition of damage - get either this or Divine if you have some Aegises.
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Early Game

Early Game:


1) Skill build is a guide. You may opt for more Berzerker's blood than Vitality if you are doing very well in your lane, and still have trees to eat. Or, you may opt for Vitality to use all of that otherwise useless mana, and go ganking. You may also opt to put a point or two into Burning Spears for harassing. I do not recommend this however, because the spears are generally useless late game compared to Skadi and Satanic. Skadi/Satanic are much better options for him - remember that ranged Skadi synergizes with Satanic's lifesteal.

Eye of SkadiSatanic

2) Because he is ranged and a STR hero, Huskar is the one and only hero where the STR gain and special effects from Skadi AND Satanic are utilized to the fullest. That may be why this is the first guide for any hero advocating the two at once. Burning spears negates Satanic, and you really, really can use Satanic's orb.

3) Huskar is a hunter. Late game, he can switch to tank mode, but early-mid game, you should be racking kills like Balanar or Bloodseeker. This will help you get the Paris Hilton Deluxe Suite of items I have laid out for you.

4) Either you will own, or be owned, repeatedly. Huskar's skills unfortunately lend themselves to a duel to the death even more than Axe, with the hope that your Vitality skill will keep you alive long enough to vanquish the foe. However, it will keep you alive at around 0-50% health...great for that unexpected 3rd party to come and ruin your day. Remember, though, that in 16 seconds, you can slaughter enemies coming at you one by one, over and over again...this is Huskar's strength.

5) This is a carry build. Throughout the guide, I will highlight other options, namely early game support/DPS, and pure tank. I prefer this build however, because of the augmentation the items give to your primary skills.

Levels 1-6


You'd think that someone with throwing spears could hurl them like Leonidas in 300, but no, you throw them as far as that fat, pudgy little Zeus fellow. So, you're about average in your lane. You can't really help lane partners too much, as your heal is about the same as eating a tree (pathetic for 170 mana), and you have no nuke. So, just sit back and farm. Without Life break, you don't have a real ganking skill...however, with Berzerker's blood, you can do an incredible amount of damage early game. 5-6 hits can send some heroes to the fountain via river Styx, so even now, you can try to force an engagement with your lane shadow.


Hunters always have some funky tactics that you'll need to keep track of, mainly because of their unique hunting tools, and Huskar is quite a hunter.

Early game, your Berzerker's blood is your main tool. Use this to your advantage by keeping your health around 50-75%. With level 3 blood, you'll acquire a bonus 42 damage if you keep your health around 50-60%. This is huge, and you get it by letting the enemy harass you...a strange reward for what may seem like lane incompetance. Keeping your health at this level makes last hitting a very easy proposition, and heroes will think twice about engaging you, considering that you are already doing 100 damage per hit.

This also stresses the importance of getting basic items that augment your HP early on. One or two circlets will do here, since you also really want to get Midas as soon as possible, too. You'll be doing quite well if you can get Midas by early mid-game, if not, don't sweat it. Just be VERY careful, especially of long stuns and nukes. You may want to consider yourself melee with low HP while laning against opponents with these skills (I.E., stay back and tower hug).

Although Burning Spears seems great, and hurts the most right now, Berzerker's blood hurts just as much, and allows you to attack VERY quickly once you hit Life Break. If you replace berzerk with the burning spears, you'll attack rather slowly, and each attack will take off a chunk of your life as well, too. You simply can't afford this, since Vitality at this low level isn't even enough to replace the health lost from the spears, let alone the opponent(s) hitting you. So, I highly recommend sticking to berzerk early game instead of burning spears, even if this forces you to be below full health. ALWAYS take Vitality, since at level 4, it's easily the best heal in the game. More than any other hero, you really, really need a good heal.

If you decide to take burning spears to harass (a good option), you may need regen items early on. RoR -> Mekansm automatically comes to mind, but this has the disadvantage of slowing your build to the Skadi/Satanic/Heart. Definitely worth considering...

Anyway, I'll cover the core hunting tactics in mid game, so let's do a quick inventory check:

Circlet of Nobility Circlet of Nobility
Circlet of Nobility Boots of Speed
Gloves of Haste

Very conservative - I don't expect anyone to get Midas before level 6 unless they last-hit every time, got first blood, and "dominated" in their lane against noobs. But, I really think Midas should be the first item you get, before even completing bracers, unless you are harassing with Burning spears, in which case:

Headdress of Rejuvenation Circlet of Nobility
Gloves of Haste Boots of Speed

You will really need that extra regen, and probably more trees to boot. I really question whether or not this is worth it - I'd rather just sit back and farm for the Midas and Skadi. Still, Mek is very, very tempting on this hero...

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Middle Game

Mid Game:


Yes, now you can branch out of your lane, and begin the hunt. This is a bit harder for you than most other hunters, because you have no stealth, and no speed. Think of it like Juggs, except that Juggs will own your ass in any 1v1 encounter. So, almost like Juggs, in that neither of you have speed or stealth, but can own in a hunt anyway.

Levels 7-16


Now, things get complicated. You are at maximum potential when below 60% health, so sticking your neck out at this potential is usually one step away from suicide. Usually, for me, once I get the Midas, I go neutral creeping until I have the Reaver/Ultimate Orbs. I play just like I play N'aix, in that I come out and assist in a gank if it's the entire team hunting, or if it's on my side of the river. And, I only do this when it conveniently fits into my creeping. You'll be amazed how quickly you can get the 3200 for the Reaver with Berzerk and Midas.

You can also assist your team in ganking anyone, ANYONE who is still laning at this point. That other troll or Void come to mind immediately.

Another way you can assist the team is in a pitched battle. This gets kinda tricky. One way you can assist is to be the tank. You have three bracers, you are a STR hero, sure, why not. Just remember that nukes hurt quite a bit, so if you go this route, turn on Vitality IMMEDIATELY when you are at full health, and then soak up the damage. 16 seconds is longer than most battles, so by the time you'll need it, you can rest assured your stunned, sheeped arse can still benefit from it because you prepared ahead of time.

Or, you can assist like how the Bloodseeker assists - once the battle begins, burst out at an awkward angle, VITALITY FIRST, turn on your spears, ulti, and own. (for BS, it's probably Rupt, rage and own, but you get my point - be the LAST one in the battle). It mainly depends upon how badly the team needs you as a tank. Just remember that without a Heart, you are about as frail as most INT heroes with a soul booster. And you have no AOE, and no stun. So, personally, I opt for the latter (i.e., don't tank unless you have to).


Now that we've gone through a broad picture of where you should be on the map, here's a detailed outlook on what you should do on the actual screen. We begin by detailing the skills:

Inner Vitality

Right now, this will probably heal a respectable 40 hp/second when you need it most. This is more than enough to survive a 1v1 vs most DPS heroes, and can help you greatly in escaping without Blink or Lothar. You actually are a DPS hero dependent on STR, much like Ursa, except that you are also dependent on low health as well. This skill will fit in nicely, and will also ensure that your dependency on not getting killed is taken care of as well.

Burning Spear

Keep in mind that this is an orb with a high prioirty. If you choose this skill, you will find that with Berzerk, the 5-6 hits needed to maximize its potential will come quite quickly. Once maximized, the stacking will give you 60 damage/second for as long as you hit them after the 5th hit. I've noticed that the way it works is that EACH SPEAR has a 6 second "burning effect" that individually wears off (so each spear will do a cumulative 72 damage). So, the "burn" will slowly diminish the less you attack them, until it completely wears off 5 seconds after your last attack. This can add up over time, but most DOTA players would rather opt for the immediate kill, because they can also benefit from the EXP gain too. Also realize that this is an automatic 75-100 HP loss to you every couple seconds. Hard to figure out if it's worth it. In fact, I don't bother with this build, since Satanic/Skadi is much, much better late game.

Berserker`s Blood

Your bread and butter. At level 4, and at 58% health (100%-42%, your first bonus applies at 100%), you gain 56% attack speed, and 56 bonus damage o_O. Abuse this throughout the game.

Life Break

This is the main reason why I wanted to break down the skills. The description given in the game is woefully inadequate:

"Huskar reaches into the well of his own life force to potentially destroy an enemy. Huskar's target takes damage equal to 40% of his HP. Slows target by 50% for 5 seconds. Huskar pays a certain percentage of his HP to cast this. "

What this REALLY means is that you can't kill any hero with this ultimate. You do NOT deal 40% of YOUR HP to your opponent. Instead, you inflict 40% of THEIR CURRENT HP as damage to them at the cost of YOUR CURRENT HP, expressed in the levels of the ultimate. So, this skill is essentially a convenient way for you to slow them for 5 seconds, bring your health down to the point where you go berzerk, and to equalize your opponent's health so it's not an uneven fight from the get-go. I emphasize this far more than solely the damage you deal because:

1) It's magical damage, so it's actually 30% of their current HP.

2) The cost to you will more than likely be far more than the cost to the opponent in absolute terms, even at Lvl3, because you may have more than 3000 hp, and 25% of that is 750 HP of YOUR HEALTH lost. But, it's magical damage to you too, I believe, so w/e.

3) You will do far more damage to them via berzerk than the ultimate.

4) Whatever damage you sustain will be mitigated through Vitality, so the "pain" of the ultimate is negligible once the engagement is over. Furthermore, you are probably going to be at around 50-60% health once everything cools down - perfect for more farming.

This ultimate is the core to the tactics mid-end game, so fully understanding what it does is absolutely essential in determining when you are going to "risk" it. So, now that we understand it, let's delve into when to use it:

A) Basically, against low HP heroes there's no real "good" time as to when to use it, except that the damage is maximized at the beginning of a battle, and the point is to kill them within the time of the ultimate. Essentially, cast if you think they will run. You will actually kill them with your insane berzerk damage anyway, not the ultimate damage. I emphasize not necessarily casting the ultimate on low HP heroes, because you can then save it for high HP heroes, the ideal target for the ultimate.

B) I strongly recommend casting Vitality FIRST before even engaging, regardless of your own health. It lasts 16 seconds, and isn't really useful until you are below 40% health. By the time this is true, you may be stunned, silenced, or whatever, which may prevent you from casting it when you need it most. Also, it will take only 2-3 seconds after casting it for you to walk up to someone and Life Break, so there's no time wasted.

C) Against tanks, Lifebreak immediately. If you can't kill them, that's all right - they probably are travelling with the majority of their team (and hopefully you are too), so just hurting them badly will probably lower the chances of their team coming out ahead in a large conflict (think Centaur or Levi). You can handle the damage dealt to yourself far better than anyone else in the game, so don't worry about it. As always, VITALITY FIRST.

D) The cost against you is in almost all situations marginal, mainly because of Inner Vitality. Remember, you cannot die by casting Lifebreak. So, do not be afraid to cast this even if you are critically low, as long as you think they are going to run, cast it. You can also cast it as a "good bye gift" to anyone ganking you. In that sense, this ultimate has the potential to be the most damaging spell in the game. The question is whether or not anyone can actually capitalize on it...

E) I will go into this more later, but doing this against the Bloodseeker is the main reason why you do not fear him. If you are ever a victim of Rupture, VITALITY FIRST, and once he comes, ultimate. All Thirst gives him is speed, but for you, the low health gives you so much're probably going to worry a lot more about his stunner buddy that's ganking with him, so hopefully you're also not alone.

Complicated, no? This is where the unique style of Huskar really requires explanation - the low HP tactics require that you compensate, and compensate some more. Still, once you get used to it, you'll start getting those godlike streaks just like any other hero-killer...


Bracer Bracer
Boots of Speed Hand of Midas
Ultimate Orb Ultimate Orb

This is your goal by the end of mid-game. That third bracer is on your critter, to put back on after you complete Skadi if you so choose. You'll have around 2000 HP, and Vitality will net you around 60 HP/second at low health. That, and with Berzerk and Midas, your attack speed is insane, and your damage is around 130-150 per hit, not including burning arrows. Ouch!

Bracer Bracer
Bracer Mekansm
Power Treads

This build is early-game support/DPS. DPS, because like the Shadow Fiend, you really don't need any help with damage early-mid game. Treads compensate for not getting Midas. Mekansm, to use that spare mana and provide team support. The goal with this build is to push with some very heavy nukers - you'll be the one keeping them alive, tanking damage, and initially disabling any tanks you encounter. However, you lose one critical aspect in a gank - the Mek aura kinda announces - HEY, YOU'RE ABOUT TO BE GANKED IN 5 SECONDS - RUN NOW! The game is supposed to end before you get any other items if you attempt this build.

One more note, if you go this route, putting points into Burning Spears instead of Vitality becomes a viable option. Mekansm's heal will supplement a weaker Vitality, so you're not really sacrificing a good heal. The damage, however, is incredibly important, since you will be heavily reliant on your ultimate's 5 second window for the majority of your kills. If the game goes past 1/2 hour, you've probably sacrificed a lot of long term potential by doing this. With enough INT behind you, that certainly won't be a problem.

Just remember though, Huskar really shines late game, so this is probably a bigger gamble than it may seem at first glance.

Bracer Bracer
Bracer Boots of Speed
Hand of Midas Messerschimidts Reaver

I left this in because it's very popular to go 4 Hearts with Huskar right now. The regen from doing so is'll have over 200 STR, which is at least 128 HP/sec from Vitality, and 44 HP/sec from the Hearts. Still, DPS heroes can wipe you out faster than you think, even with 5000 HP and this insane regen, since they'll probably have butterfly, Burize, MKBs and what not. Also, getting fat HP does NOT help your ultimate - indeed, it may actually detract you from using it, once you learn you'll lose 25% of it (1250 HP) when you are at full health. I think the reason this build is so popular is because most people think that the ultimate inflicts percentages of YOUR HP against an opponent - this is simply not true. Still, this is a compelling build, if you are the only tank on your team.

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Late Game

Late Game:


The great thing about Huskar is that two (three, if you include IAS from Berzerk) of his abilities are based on a percentage of various attributes - this means he only gets stronger as the game progresses, unlike nukers or even DPS characters. If you are having a good early/mid game, chances are you'll have a great late game. Of course, the opposite is also quite true...

Levels 17-25


Huskar is one of the most team-friendly hunters in the game, as he naturally progresses from being an above average hunter into one of the most stalwart tanks in the game. He has a nuke that can easily take more than 1500 HP off fat tanks, and a heal that makes him, or anyone on your team for that matter, nearly invincible against any one hero, with one major exception.

I will go straight into the item build to demonstrate how this is possible:

Bracer Hand of Midas
Boots of Travel Satanic
Eye of Skadi Buriza-do Kyanon

No, I don't expect you to get this in most games, but it is easily possible if the game goes past 60 minutes. Skadi and Satanic combined give you an extra 50 STR...more than enough to compensate not getting HoTs (yet). This build gives you one tremendous benefit - you can now be very, very conservative in using your ultimate. You don't need the slow to kill, since you have Skadi, and you can keep at high health because you don't have to rely on the ultimate's 5 second window to get kills. Furthermore, you can tank damage like no tomorrow, as Vitality will return around 80 HP/sec without even getting HoTs. And, the 40% lifesteal from Satanic, coupled with Buriza's critical, will keep you alive much, much longer than with HoTs, as long as you're not permastunned. Skadi also minimizes damage dealt to you, as your target will be attacking 20% slower than normal. The only drawback of this build is the absurd cost, but again, I am constantly amazed at how much you can farm mid-game with Berzerk and Midas. I'd consider Assault or a HoT for the last item.

This gives you the benefit of choosing when to ultimate, whereas in mid-game, you will probably ultimate every chance you get. Late game, disposing of that mega-tank on the opponent's team is a matter of life or death, so using Life Break to make this possible becomes ever-important. Save it for these special occasions. This item build makes that possible.

Skadi is the key. Get it first before Satanic or Burize. You don't immediately need the lifesteal, because Vitality is simply that good. And, damage is covered by your innate Hyperstone/Relic (Berzerk), so Burize is also not an immediate priority. Skadi is, however, because it gives you more time to kill as your opponents get fatter (no more 5 second window to worry about), and allows you to be less reliant on Berzerk, which is what prevented you from appearing too often in mid-game. It also gives you 700 HP, 500 mana, 25% IAS, and an extra 15 HP/sec heal with Vitality. Truly, this is the perfect item for Huskar.

Having a large mana pool is important at this stage, because your teammates will begin to be able to benefit from Vitality almost as much as you can. You will be spamming Vitality, even though you personally may not need it with Skadi and eventually Satanic. This will help your team sustain a push far longer than if you did not have enough mana to spam Vitality. Putting points into stats largely makes this a non-issue, but in mid game, while you are still placing points into your primary skills, the Ultimate Orbs -> Skadi will give you that extra mana.

Satanic will allow you to take on 2 DPS heroes at once. Think if N'aix had 3000 HP, a hyperstone, a Relic, and an EXTRA 80 HP/second passive heal ON TOP OF feast. And was ranged. And had a nuke that could take off 30% of an opponent's HP. My head is starting to hurt...

Rotund`jere - The Necrolyte

This build also has the advantage of countering your own personal nightmare. You no longer have to be reliant on your ultimate and indirectly Berzerk, so you are now as suceptible to Scythe as any other DotA hero (as opposed to it being instant death to you). If you do not rely on Satanic, and recklessly Lifebreak and rely on Berzerk, Necro will own you over, and over, and over again. Unfortunately, without Skadi, you will have to do exactly that in order to get kills.

Heart of Tarrasque Heart of Tarrasque
Heart of Tarrasque Heart of Tarrasque
Boots of Travel Hand of Midas

Ah yes, the four HoT build. 5000-6000 HP, nearly 200 HP/sec regen with Vitality, and a decent +120 damage. It is hard to argue against this, except that you will not be killing a lot of heroes with this build (no chase skill/orb and low damage), and your contribution to the team (besides being the best damage sponge in the game) will be minimal. Basically, if you are masochistic, go for this build. Just remember - you are NOT Ursa - the HoTs do NOT give you a bonus 400 damage attack. And as stated before, the synergy with your ultimate is actually backwards - you will be doing far more damage to YOURSELF when you Life Break than against anyone else in the game using this build.

Other items to consider:


As mentioned before, Mek is fantastic on Huskar early-mid game. It also allows you to become more team-centered earlier, rather than waiting for all of the luxury items I have prepared for you. However, that is also the drawback - you'll be pushing and teaming up far earlier in the game with Mek, and thereby concentrating less on farming. Just something to keep in mind - I think it's not the best for a carry build.


Dagon is also very alluring. Most hunters benefit disproportionally from Dagon, and Huskar, with Lifebreak, is no exception. Just like Mek, however, it slows your Skadi build, and Skadi is one of the best items for him, considering he is ranged. It's also more or less useless late game, so you'll be pumping a LOT of money into this, only to have to sell it later. As effective as Huskar can be mid-game, it is end game where he really becomes totally imbalanced. So, I'd recommend gunning for late game with Satanic, Skadi, and Burize.


Yet another great item for Huskar. His attack range fits neatly into Radiance's AOE, and he has a lot of HP to benefit from just sitting there and tanking. However, as DPS, Burize is far superior, and Skadi and Satanic are simply too good on Huskar; by the time you complete Skadi, Satanic, and Burize, the sparkle from this will become negligible. Else, not a bad choice at all. Just remember that Huskar has a built-in Relic with Berzerk, so skipping this is not such a sin as it may seem at first. You CANNOT afford to skip major STR items like Skadi and Satanic.

Heart of Tarrasque

HoTs are always something to consider for Huskar, given the synergy with Vitality. I don't like it too much, because I play Huskar with more focus on DPS and killing skills than just soaking damage. Skadi allows him to chase and kill, and Satanic actually gives a lot more regen than HoT. Burize then adds that invaluable damage, which leaves HoT someone on the periphery of your choice of core items. Probably good for that last slot.

Assault Cuirass

Yet another great item for Huskar. This is a tank's answer to Butterfly, so consider this if no one else on your team has it.

Monkey King Bar

Good against TPers. There are so many options for Huskar, but Skadi, Satanic and Burize are just too good to ignore. So, this fights for that last slot with HoT, Assault, and Radiance.

Hood of DefianceVanguardLinken`s Sphere

The hood is good on anyone when facing a LOT of nukers. However, there is no offensive use for this, so be selective in getting it. Ditto for Vanguard against normal attackers - I'd much rather get ultimate orbs or save for the Reaver than get Vanguard. Linkens may sound great, but is too defensive for Huskar. He already has that covered with Vitality, so the great regen with Linkens is not needed. Furthermore, you already have a huge mana boost with Skadi...


A weak alternative to Skadi. This will help you kill in 5 seconds or less, and the True sight with level 3 is priceless. Still, with Skadi, you'll need a lot less help in any endeavor you choose to undertake, so think hard before gunning for this. This cannot replace the utility of Satanic or Burize, so more than likely, this will also fight for that last slot.

Black King Bar

This is also not a very good alternative, IMO. You are quite hard to kill, and 10 seconds of spell immunity is just not that valuable, considering you can soak up most of the damage from spells with Vitality and your 3000 HP. Good in mid-game I suppose, but Skadi and Satanic just offer so much more...


I started out getting this, believing that Huskar didn't need the mana from Skadi. Boy was I wrong. This is good, except for that. The MS and orb are fantastic, but you really do need the extra mana from Skadi, IMO, at least in mid game. Spamming Vitality is incredibly potent, given that most people think Huskar is imba solely because of that one skill. Skadi also boosts everything by a LOT more than SnY. Lastly, and most importantly, SnY's orb is negated by Satanic, but you have no such problem if you get Skadi instead. So, this is good, but Skadi/Satanic is much, much better.

Manta StyleThe Butterfly

Manta is good, but it loses focus on Huskar's primary skills, which tend to be slowing, healing (or lifestealing), and damaging. The damage from feedback is good, but Skadi is much, much better at killing. You don't need the extra INT from anything else once you get Skadi - Manta is no exception. And the AGI is useless for you. Assault is better than Butterfly on Huskar for that reason as well, although the evasion is good against permabash...

OMG, I can keep going, but suffice it to say, Skadi, Satanic and Burize are what I consider core. HoT, Radiance, MKB, and Assault are so compelling as the 4th and possibly 5th item after selling Midas that discussing even more items after them seems tedious to me. I think the reason I am dwelling so much on them is because Huskar is the first ranged STR hero, and as such is probably the first hero where getting Skadi and Satanic is incredibly potent (Skadi has always been an orb on STR heroes).

Diffusal Blade

After thinking long and hard, I believe this item is the bane of Huskar, at least during mid-game. Not play-tested yet (Medusa too), but if it dispels Vitality, you have a serious problem. Just like how some people buy this or pick Medusa just to counter Sven or the Warlock, they may do the same to counter you as well. Luckily, Skadi/Satanic is so potent, I rarely have the need to cast Vitality on Huskar late game...maybe IceFrog will consider banning Satanic or life-steal in general on Huskar - it is that potent.

Huskar's unique abilities give him some startling synergies with popular DotA heroes:

Mogul Khan - The Axe

Synergy with Axe is incredible, with the carry item build. You will almost without exception be casting Vitality on Axe in nearly every battle. Axe is a much better candidate than you to get 3 or 4 HoTs, since he is the most masochistic hero in DotA, and is only missing an uber heal to become the most frightening hero in DotA. You will be able to heal quite well yourself, as most of your enemies' attention will be forcibly focused on Axe, and you have Satanic. Skadi will ensure that at least one hero will die to you or Axe. Congratulations, it is GG if you get to late game with a good Axe.

Rotund`jere - The Necrolyte

If Necro is on your team, then 1) you have eliminated the strongest counter to Huskar, and 2) you have a perfect setup with Life Break and Scythe. This is almost an instant kill late game every 80 seconds against even heroes with 4000+ HP. The contribution to the team is, well, obvious.

Strygwyr - The Bloodseeker

Lifebreak someone, and more than likely, the Bloodseeker on your team will immediately cease whatever he was doing and arrive at the scene in 5 seconds or less. This is great if something goes wrong during your 5 second engagement, i.e., another enemy hero shows up. He can then rupture the new arrival, and help you dispose of the original target. You can then retreat w/o fear of chase (since the ruptured hero will either move or die), and then the Bloodseeker can rage and own the second hero. The two of you travelling together can make quite a team, as long as you coordinate who is going to use their ultimate - the two ultimates on these heroes have the worst synergy in the game, but just one of them can synergize with your other combined skills quite well. The advantage here lies in that instead of hunting every 45 seconds (or 100 seconds for the Bloodseeker), you can constantly hunt without waiting for one's ultimate cooldown. And, both of these heroes are able to heal very well throughout the game. In that sense, Bloodbath and Vitality have very good synergy, and can result in some very terrifying, lightning-quick hunting expeditions (since both of you do not need to go to the fountain to heal).

In general, you synergize very well with other hunters, so accompanying them on an expedition is almost always a good idea. Furthermore, the stronger you get, the stronger your team gets, since unlike other hunters, you easily can become the cornerstone of the team with Vitality.

Inner Vitality

Another way you contribute to your team is spamming Vitality. As mentioned before, this becomes possible with Skadi. So, who benefits from this best?

Harbinger - The Obsidian DestroyerRikimaru - The Stealth Assassin

These two heroes benefit greatly by pumping up their main attribute. Remember, STR is your main attribute, but INT is OD's, and AGI for Riki's. So, even though these guys are not that fat, they can benefit enormously from a well-timed Vitality (usually BEFORE, not during, an engagement). Keep this in mind, if you don't need it yourself.

N`aix - The LifestealerUlfsaar - The Ursa Warrior

These two, and especially Ursa, pump up a secondary attribute to be successful. Although N'aix is a STR hero, his STR build-up is so abysmal that no amount of STR items can bring him to an adequate level, so I consider it secondary compared to his crazy AGI build-up. Ursa is an AGI hero that benefits enormously from pumping STR. So, keep this in mind when casting Vitality on them.

Other than that, a general rule of thumb is to cast Vitality on anyone soaking more damage than you, and cast it on anyone who is running away from a chaser (like Slar or Bloodseeker). Then, chase the chaser, Lifebreak and own them yourself.

INT heroes may seem like good candidates for Vitality, since most of them become support via INT items late game. But, their contribution to the team is more than likely minimal compared to the front-line fighters, and more than likely are receiving less damage than they are. So, I typically cast it on them only when they are at critical health, and are in danger of immediately dying. More than likely, other heroes are in much greater need for the heal, so be conservative in casting it on, say, Zeus. This may seem cruel, but c'est la vie. INT heroes had their chance early-mid game.


Tactics with Huskar change significantly late game if you follow this guide's build. Lifebreak is now a secondary hunting tool, to be used conservatively and typically only on tanks. Items (Skadi, Satanic, Burize) heavily compensate for this, and allow you to kill in any situation. Also, you no longer need to rely on Berzerk for kills, and thus become much less vulnerable to the opposition - indeed, this allows you to take full advantage of Vitality, and become nearly invulnerable.

Tactics are actually much simpler in general late game. With Skadi, you simply have to be close to the front, and auto-attack. Once you find a nice, juicy target, right click on them. Done.

You can do this almost all the time, because with Satanic and Vitality, you have very little to fear. Indeed, you are very, very good against a hero that is actually very similar to you:

N`aix - The Lifestealer

You are N'aix's bane. Why? Skadi goes through Rage, and Berzerk and Vitality work in your favor during Rage as well. Satanic, too. This means that as the battle wears on between the two of you, you attack faster and faster, hitting harder and harder, while he hits 20% slower throughout the battle. Both of you lifesteal quite well, and you have that extra edge with Vitality, which will ensure your victory. Engage N'aix as often as possible. Just be aware that the battle will probably be very long and drawn out, so hopefully your team is quicker to rally to your cause than his. Finally, beware of permabash! It will own you even with the carry build, and I personally believe that bash is very good on N'aix...

Dark Terror - The Faceless VoidJah’rakal - The Troll Warlord

...which brings us to these two. These guys require team support, period. Engaging them 1v1 is suicide late game, Void with Chronosphere, and Troll with Blind. Troll may not even have to permabash you to own you. And unlike N'aix, permabash on you is not a good option...

Ulfsaar - The Ursa Warrior

Ursa is another hero that you are a good counter for. Once he appears, Lifebreak. Not only do you reduce his HP by a sizeable amount, you reduce his damage potential by a similar amount. You have basically made this bear 30% less effective on all fronts. Then, dispose as you would any other tank. You are beefy enough that his vaunted 5-hit kill method will not work on you.

Rotund`jere - The Necrolyte

As mentioned before, Necro is your bane. The main counter to him is having the carry item build, and to engage him at full health, like any other hero. With Skadi, you can ensure you kill him if you choose to engage him. Satanic will make you less vulnerable to Scythe.

Strygwyr - The Bloodseeker

Also mentioned before, the Bloodseeker is not that frightening to you. Vitality seems designed to counter Thirst, as it drastically improves in effectiveness up to 40% life, exactly when Thirst kicks in. This gives you the option to run and not be chased by him, if he has teammates hunting with him. Not only that, Thirst only grants him increased move speed, whereas what triggered the thirst (your low health) turns you into a crazed killer. Lifebreak evens the score. Vitality then ensures that your crazed spear-throwing madness properly impales this poor guy. Just remember, VITALITY FIRST! The Bloodseeker should be easier for you to handle than it may seem at first glance.

Medusa - The GorgonLucifer - The Doom Bringer

I rarely see anyone playing Medusa, so it took me a while to even think about how Purge can affect you. It robs you of your imba Vitality, so be very cautious when she is around. She may actually take the crown as your bane as opposed to Necro. Luckily, Satanic and Skadi mitigate her potency against you in late game. I do not believe Doom dispels, so if you follow my advice and VITALITY FIRST before engaging, I think Doom's potency against you is mitigated as well. Haven't play-tested yet, though, so correct me if I'm wrong.

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Other stuff


This guide is probably more serious than my other guides. I guess that's what love does to me, and I really love this guy. But, not in a gay, fruity way. More like a "I love killing and disembowling people with this guy" kind of love. You know what I mean, right? Of course you do, you future serial killer! Oh, excuse me, SACRED killer, er, WARRIOR, uh...right, hm...

Also, this is the first attempt at a Huskar guide I've seen anywhere, so I guess I wanted to be rather thorough. And, he's rather complicated, don't you agree? I hope it sheds some light into someone that's really fun to use, and I really hope that you don't turn into a serial killer after reading this. I really do!

I usually add some sort of preemptive strike against flamers and other scourges of the earth, but I really have no idea what people might think about Huskar in general, besides what I've already laid out in the guide. I do know that this works very, very well if you dedicate 50-75% of the game to farming, take it or leave it.

Thanks to the godly admin people on this site for being the godly people that they are.

And thanks to you for giving this guide a high rating, and not disembowling the contents of this guide. One caveat, if you have not read this guide in its entirety, DO NOT COMMENT ON IT. Looking at the skill and item builds alone are not enough to sound intelligible. I will call anyone doing this a complete ignoramus and poo-poo head in advance. You've been warned.

Anyway, enjoy, and happy hunting!

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