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Author Topic: Hero Guide: Soulstealer [Trainingsday]  (Read 66757 times)
evilleader
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« on: July 28, 2009, 10:19:28 pm »



Disclaimer:
Welcome to my third and likely final guide.
This guide is meant to be straightforward and to the point. I will not go over basic skills like last hitting and ward placement, however, you can refer to Nome's guide on warding by following this link http://forums.heroesofnewerth.com/showthread.php?t=4839

Soulstealer is a very advanced hero and learning him is no easy task. Despite only having 2 actives, one of his actives is split into 3 "sub-actives" that will truly test your coordination and reflexes. He is a very hard hero to master and it will take you many, many games to play him to his highest potential. With no escape skills, someone once told me that Soulstealer's best defense is his offense; this is only slightly true, as Soulstealer's offense is mainly dealt through his nukes, which require defensive items like portal key and shrunken head to be used to maximum effeciency. Soulstealer is all about positioning. If you neglect this, you will regret it.

Soulstealer is nearly identical to 6.59d Shadow Fiend from dota. The only main difference is that Soulstealer's turn rate is slightly slower, you will have to get used to this if you are an avid Shadow Fiend user. Demon hand's cast time has a long animation that can easily be cancelled, so it is on even grounds with SF's shadowraze.

Finally, take note of the following statement. The item build I post will be that in a high tier game. By high tier, I mean above pubs and even above open leagues. Because of these rather high qualifications, I will post optional items that can be used in lower tier games. Remember, though, Soulstealer is a nuker first and a dps hero second. My proposed item build with focus on this aspect.

Skills:

Demon Hand: Soulstealer calls upon greater Hellbourne demons to lay waste to the enemies that stand before him.

Target: Instant
Type: Magic
Allowed Targets: Hostile, Organic units
When this skill is learned, three independent skills will be given to Soulstealer, each one generating a Demon Hand at a specific distance in front of him.

Demon Hand(low range): Blasts an area 200 distance in front of Soulstealer.

Demon Hand(mid range): Blasts an area 450 distance in front of Soulstealer.

Demon Hand(long range): Blasts an area 700 distance in front of Soulstealer.

AoE: 275 at all levels
Mana Cost: 75 at all levels
Cooldown: 10 seconds at all levels
Deals 75/150/225/300 damage.

Notes: Demon Hand makes or breaks a Soulstealer. I do not expect new players to be naturally gifted with this skill, as even experienced players can often miss. Practise makes perfect. Remember that all 3 demon hands are independent of each other.

Also, the default hotkeys for demon hand are d, f, and g. I personally am not fond of this so I recommend remapping your hotkeys via controls. I use z, x, and c (the same as Shadow Fiend), you can feel free to remap the hotkeys to whatever you are comfortable with.

Soulsteal: Soulstealer steals the souls of all he vanquishes, increasing his damage as his collection grows.

Type: Passive
Each kill, whether it be a creep, neutral, deny, siege unit, or hero will provide +2 damage. Once Soulstealer reaches his damage cap kills will no longer grant bonus damage. Dying as Soulstealer will release half the souls stored, and therefore half the damage gained through soulsteal.

Damage Cap: 16/30/46/60 bonus damage.

Notes: Combined with Soulstealer's attack animation, this makes last hitting incredibly easy. However, do not max out this skill before demon hand. Nukes> physical damage. The amount of souls you have stored will also determine the amount of damage done by Soul Burst.

Dread: Soulstealer's appearence instills pure fear. Weakening his opponent's morale, his mere presence lowers their armor.

Type: Passive
AoE: 900 at all levels
Decreases armor by 1/2/3/4. Fully stacks with other armor reducing abilities and auras.

Notes: This ability, when combined with soulsteal, will allow soulstealer to do decent dps as the game goes on. Depending on how late we make the transition from nuker to dpser, we can delay levels in this skill in favor of stats.

Soul Burst: 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 be hit by.

Target: Instant
Type: Magic
Mana cost: 150/175/200
Cooldown: 120/110/100 seconds
AoE: 1300/1325/1350
Duration: 2 seconds
Allowed Targets: Hostile, organic units
Casting time: 1 second at all levels
Effects: 80/120/160 damage for each line, 15/20/25% reduction in movement speed and base damage.

Notes:

-The amount of damage dealt is related to the number of souls captured with Soulsteal.

-Soul Burst generates damaging lines around Soulstealer, 1 per 2 souls stored, for a maximum of 15 lines.
 
-The closer the targeted unit is, the bigger the amount of lines affecting him.
 
-Reduces both movement speed and attack damage of units in a 700 AoE.

-This skill breaks invisibility a short time before it's released.     

A very powerful ultimate, it is obvious that the closer you are to a target, the more damage it will do. You will need suitable items to help you do this. Note that if you phase inside a unit before casting this spell, it is possible to hit him with all 15 lines, though this is unlikely as they would have to be standing completely still during the 1 second casting time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Core Analysis: This is where we analyze hero-specific stuff like stat/stat gain and movespeed. Soulstealer's base stats are pretty low, in particular his base str, which leaves him incredibly vulnerable early in the game. His agi gain, +2.4/level, is not particularly high, but luckily all of his other spells (with the exception of his ult) will help him either farm dps items or augment his physical dps. His str gain of +2.0/level isn't alot when he does not have any escaping tools. His int gain is sufficient considering the low mana cost of demon hand and soul burst.

Soulstealer has average movement speed and low base armor at 1.8. His range of 500 is good but his base damage is pathetically low. Hopefully Soulsteal will fix that problem.

From this analysis, we will be focusing on the power of 3 indepedent nukes to ensure a solid early/mid game. Being item dependent, we will solo Soulstealer mid, where he can acquire last hits with relative ease with the low mana cost with demon hand. As with many solo-mid heroes, rune control is key. We will build Soulstealer to take full advantage of his nukes early/mid game, and will take advantage of his farming potential to keep up with hard carries later in the game.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Skill build:
1: Soulsteal
2: Demon Hand
3: Demon Hand
4: Soulsteal
5: Demon Hand
6: Soulsteal
7: Demon Hand
8: Soulsteal
9: Soul Burst
10: Stats
11: Soul Burst
12-15: Stats/Dread
16: Soul Burst
17-20: Stats/Dread
21-25: Stats

The first level should always be given to soulsteal, if you last hit well it will augment your damage enough to be equal to most other solo heroes. Never get demon hand at level 1.

Demon hand is maxed out by level 7, as it is Soulstealer's best method of lane control given the low mana cost. Do not be afraid to use demon hand to grab souls, especially if you can hurt the other heroes in the process.

Soulsteal is maxed out by level 8, as higher damage will make last hitting far easier, as well as denying.

Soul Burst is near useless if taken at level 6 as Soulstealer cannot position himself to make use of it, not to mention the lack of souls.

By level 11 Soulstealer can position himself easier for his ult, and will have the souls to inflict maximum damage as well. Be wary of casting your ult if you are low on souls. It is almost never worth it.

Because we build Soulstealer as a nuker and a dps'er second, we can take dread whenever we feel it is necessary. Although I usually have it maxed out by level 15, there are circumstances when you may want to take it later, for example, if you are having a very hard time staying alive. In any case, though, I recommend having this skill maxed out by level 20 at the latest.

Item Build: Oh boy, this is where I might draw flak from the readers. Anyways, here we go. The way we play Soulstealer is the same whether in pubs or higher level games, so I will combine pub and competitive item builds into one build, with slight modifications to reflect this.

-Steamboots/Post Haste
-Bottle
-2x Fortified Bracers
-Portal Key
/Assasin's Shroud
-Shrunken Head


Start off with stat items and minor hp/mana regen. If your team doesn't have a courier (pub game), invest in one. DO NOT buy bottle as a first item please. Farm 600 gold in lane and have your courier bring it to you.

-The synergy between a mid-solo hero with nukes and bottle should be obvious. You will need bottle to maintain control of your lane and to gank other lanes effectively.

-Fortified Bracers are required to null Soulstealers' poor base Str. I find Soulscream rings redundant as Soulstealer has more then enough damage to last hit thanks to soulsteal.

-Although I strongly prefer Post haste to Steamboots on Soulstealer, the -str option on Steamboots can easily serve to further improve Soulstealer's vitality, while giving a bit more dps. Post haste, though makes Soulstealer much more mobile and will allow him to farm lanes incredibly fast, assuming it is not on cooldown. Of course, it does not grant hp, and is more expensive then steamboots.

-Soulstealer needs both an escape tool and an initiation tool. In pub games Soulstealer players tend to get Assassin's shroud 90% of the time due to the lack of true sight used and the bonus dps it provides. Furthermore, Assassin's Shrould can potentially allow you to cast soul burst from inside a hero, making for a fast and hilarious kill.

However, as you play against better and better opponents, you will find Assassin's Shroud less and less usable. That is where portal key comes in. It is cheaper and allows for positioning far more rapid then that offered by the 20% ms gain of Assassin's shroud. If your games are limited to pub games, Assassin's shroud is more then sufficient, but I would still recommend you try portal key a few times to note the pros and cons of each. If you are a higher-tier player, I doubt you will be reading this, but portal key will almost always be prioritized over Assassin's Shroud.

Shrunken head is a no-brainer. The magic immunity will allow you to cast soul burst in peace, and finish off casters with demon hand without fear of retaliation. If you have post haste, you can escape many ganks with magic immunity+teleport.

Luxery Items: Soulstealer is a fast farmer, and so you will likely be able to build one or two, if not more, of these.

If you are the main carry of the team, dps items like Flayer, Shieldbreaker, Whispering helm, Nullfire blade and Wingbow will probably be your best bet.


If your team has hard carries like Madman, DL, Swiftblade, Warbeast or Nighthound, you may not need to prioritize dps. In that case, items like Totem of Kuldra, Behemoth's Heart and Frostwolf Skull are logical and perfectly acceptable choices.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Laning: Solo mid is the best lane for Soulstealer. Do your best to last hit/deny and use demon hand to harrass and charge soulsteal. Grab your bottle ASAP from the courier and maintain rune control. Be wary of ganks in your lane and try to do some ganks yourself.

Ganking: Depending on how farmed you are this may change. Concentrate on landing demon hands rather then physical dps, because demon hands inflict far more damage at this point. Disables like electrician's static grip and glacius' ice imprisonment greatly help in this. If you have portal key/assassin's shroud farmed, blink/ww up to the target and immediately chain with soul burst, finishing off heroes with demon hand and physical attacks as required. If you have shrunken head farmed, cast it before you blink, or right before you cast soul burst if you are using assassin's shroud.

Team fights: Your priority is quite simple, to land the best soul burst that you can. MAKE SURE you turn on shrunken head before casting soul burst, it can easily make the difference between a won or lost fight. Similar to ganking, use physical dps and demon hands as necessary. Late in the game your dps might be so high that you can just cast shrunken head, blink in +soul burst, and then right click anything in your path. Demon hand is an aoe move though, so even late in the game don't neglect it completely.

Other: Most of Soulstealer's farming as the game progresses is done through demon hand, not last hitting. 2 casts of the skill (maxed out) is enough to whipe out a whole creep wave early/mid game. I recommend using the mid range+close range Demon Hands for this.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And so we come to the end of my third guide. I expect most of the comments and concerns to be regarding the item build, please read my explanations before doing so.

Also, I realize that I haven't particularly given you, the reader, alot of detail on how to play Soulstealer in, well, detail. You will learn alot more about how to play Soulstealer if you actually play him in-game. Reading this guide will only do so much. It is a template on getting you started on the right foot. I can tell you how to aim demon hand. I could post pictures and animations, and even replays once it is enabled. But exactly how useful is that? It is up to you, the reader, to fill in the gaps of this guide with your own experience. I wish you the best.

Cheers.


---

Courtesy to Trainingsday @ forums.heroesofnewerth.com
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infernuz
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2009, 03:34:09 am »

  Cheesy Grin  Shocked

I followed this guide and guess what i PWNED got a 10-0-20++ stat

Items i got in order below:

1. 1x bottle
2. 2x str bracelets
3. post haste
4. assassins shroud
5. behemoths hearth
6. shrunken head

behemoths hearth rulez now,, its really good now since the newest patch
this guide gave me inspiration to do my ownz cuz it helped me alot.
with all that said, thx again!
 Afro Afro Afro Afro Afro
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Tradius
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« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 08:27:58 am »

 Cheesy Grin  Shocked

I followed this guide and guess what i PWNED got a 10-0-20++ stat

Items i got in order below:

1. 1x bottle
2. 2x str bracelets
3. post haste
4. assassins shroud
5. behemoths hearth
6. shrunken head

behemoths hearth rulez now,, its really good now since the newest patch
this guide gave me inspiration to do my ownz cuz it helped me alot.
with all that said, thx again!
 Afro Afro Afro Afro Afro

All you did was add in 'Behemoth's Heart' into the list of recipes to get, and you call it "your own". You make it sound like your item build is totally unique compared to Trainingsday's. Stop making it sound like it was your idea in the first place.

Also, if you follow Trainingsday's guide, you can see how it clearly stats that bottle, str bracelets, post haste, assassin's shroud, and shrunken head should be your priority items. Other items that can be purchased afterward would go under the category as Luxury Items. Behemoth's Heart would count as a Luxury Item because the assassin's shroud is supposed to be used to gank/escape from battles, which means that you shouldn't be tanking in the first place. Also, the fact that his ultimate is cast in an AoE around the Soulstealer, you would require Shrunken Head to prevent spells from disabling you during a battle.

Why does Behemoth's Heart count as a Luxury Item, though?
- If you are just going to stack yourself with health, why did you purchase assassin's shroud in the first place? It isn't any good in a team battle if you have all this health, but just turn invisible whenever you are being attacked.
- Soulstealer's passive damage spell increases the base damage of the Soulstealer based on how many souls he has collected. If you purchase Behemoth's Heart, aren't you neglecting this ability? If you are just going to turn yourself into a tank, what use is the additional damage it gives if you are just going to stand in the battles and take damage?
- The reason why it is suggested to go additional attack/agility recipes as luxury items, as stated in Trainingsday's guide, is because as late-game begins to develop, your primary spells and ultimate won't do jack anymore. That is why by that time, you act as one of your team's most potent lane pushers. Your demon hand, damage, movement speed + teleport (ty post haste), and power to turn invisible at will makes you a lane-destroying machine. More health from the behemoth's heart wouldn't make pushing lanes any more effective. In fact, damage is the way to go, because when you are supposed to taking out a tower, while your team needs you in a battle, you need to destroy that tower as fast as you can to join in with your allies.

I usually don't write this much, and I usually don't get so into the topic matter, but today, I've had a bad day, so this will just help me vent out the shitty day I've been having. ^^
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infernuz
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2009, 03:07:54 pm »

'_'
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 07:44:07 pm by infernuz » Logged
Mr_Matt
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2009, 04:44:32 pm »

the -15% cd is very important because u can then spam his demon hand all the time and...

lol
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Shagroth
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2009, 03:24:50 am »

the -15% cd is very important because u can then spam his demon hand all the time and...

lol

only problem with that is that soulstealer is an agility hero
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ihonyou
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« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 07:31:30 am »

 Cheesy Grin  Shocked

I followed this guide and guess what i PWNED got a 10-0-20++ stat

Items i got in order below:

1. 1x bottle
2. 2x str bracelets
3. post haste
4. assassins shroud
5. behemoths hearth
6. shrunken head

behemoths hearth rulez now,, its really good now since the newest patch
this guide gave me inspiration to do my ownz cuz it helped me alot.
with all that said, thx again!
 Afro Afro Afro Afro Afro

All you did was add in 'Behemoth's Heart' into the list of recipes to get, and you call it "your own". You make it sound like your item build is totally unique compared to Trainingsday's. Stop making it sound like it was your idea in the first place.

Also, if you follow Trainingsday's guide, you can see how it clearly stats that bottle, str bracelets, post haste, assassin's shroud, and shrunken head should be your priority items. Other items that can be purchased afterward would go under the category as Luxury Items. Behemoth's Heart would count as a Luxury Item because the assassin's shroud is supposed to be used to gank/escape from battles, which means that you shouldn't be tanking in the first place. Also, the fact that his ultimate is cast in an AoE around the Soulstealer, you would require Shrunken Head to prevent spells from disabling you during a battle.

Why does Behemoth's Heart count as a Luxury Item, though?
- If you are just going to stack yourself with health, why did you purchase assassin's shroud in the first place? It isn't any good in a team battle if you have all this health, but just turn invisible whenever you are being attacked.
- Soulstealer's passive damage spell increases the base damage of the Soulstealer based on how many souls he has collected. If you purchase Behemoth's Heart, aren't you neglecting this ability? If you are just going to turn yourself into a tank, what use is the additional damage it gives if you are just going to stand in the battles and take damage?
- The reason why it is suggested to go additional attack/agility recipes as luxury items, as stated in Trainingsday's guide, is because as late-game begins to develop, your primary spells and ultimate won't do jack anymore. That is why by that time, you act as one of your team's most potent lane pushers. Your demon hand, damage, movement speed + teleport (ty post haste), and power to turn invisible at will makes you a lane-destroying machine. More health from the behemoth's heart wouldn't make pushing lanes any more effective. In fact, damage is the way to go, because when you are supposed to taking out a tower, while your team needs you in a battle, you need to destroy that tower as fast as you can to join in with your allies.

I usually don't write this much, and I usually don't get so into the topic matter, but today, I've had a bad day, so this will just help me vent out the shitty day I've been having. ^^

well I was just wondering as to why you say that it's a bad idea, i mean it gives you extra health to survive whilst you are ulti-ing while also giving you a 10% boost to all damage, i mean, i'm sure there are alot of calculatioins out there, but 10% increased damage on top of all that extra health seems like it would be worth picking up, considering that with all the other damage items you pick up it will only increase, so yeah. just my thoughts.
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