The Advanced Shadow Fiend Mid Lane Guide (w/6.79 updates)
By The Real ViRu$m@n
An advanced Shadow Fiend build for both PUB and Competitive gameplay. Mastering this guide will enable you to snowball your enemies out of control. Following this guide will ensure 100% efficiency coming out of your mid-solo for your team. Small details can do a whole lot of difference. That said, tread carefully, you’re about to enter uncharted territory. So without further ado I present to you, a Shadow Fiend Guide which will help you step-up your game to the NXT LVL. This build is considered by many to act like a gateway for novice players across the Universe who strive to pwn heads with the merciless soul keeper, Shadow Fiend. Legend has it; one doesn't learn this guide but rather gets chosen by the Nevermore himself. To find out if you're the chosen one, play Shadow Fiend using this guide. Your fate awaits your destiny for it is in fact your only choice as your soul seeks redemption.
Tool tips for a better Gameplay:
1. Blocking Creeps.
Although using the stop key is the conventional practice, it is inefficient. Blocking creeps by side-stepping and body blocking without using the stop key is far more reliable. Depending on where the enemy creep wave is, block or let go to make sure your creeps battle on the high ground closer to your tower and outside the tower range. This eliminates your vulnerability towards harass and of course gives you an upper hand to last hit creeps better. Shadow Fiend Gameplay is all about your early game survival. Ensuring every protocol to NOT DIE is essential for a strong mid game presence.
Since a Raze costs 75 mana for all levels, try your best to not use the Level 1 Raze (unless youre not getting any CS in lane). Level 2 raze is highly recommended when you're Level 3 and should be used often to harass your enemy hero and of course push the enemy creep wave to gain rune control.
Best way to line your razes is to click on the enemy hero and Raze. This is an efficient method, however as you play more, clicking on the ground and Razing might prove useful as the former method might not be suitable against obstacles like creeps, trees and other heroes.
Best Method to use all 3 Razes: line your X Raze since its the only one that has the same range as your melee hit (or W for QWER users). If the enemy continues to confront you, and you have a shot at him, use your Z raze. When enemy is fleeing, line up your C raze. X-Z-C.
This method is better that C-X-Z because the enemy will have time to realize your damage output and can easily turn around and you'll have your C Raze on CD. When you X-Z-C, you have the option of right clicking the enemy hero or using the C Raze if they're running away.
Double Razing for creeps. C-X s far superior than any other double razing combo as it ensures a certain distance from the creeps. Make sure your C Raze hits in 2-5 range of the Ranged creep, else it won't die. Keep farming using Double Razes to dominate your opponent and to control the runes. Given the recent nerf on bottle crowing, Rune control is preferable.
Spell Cancelling. Raze has a long cast time compared to other skills in Dota 2. If you think your intended target (Creeps/Heroes) will dodge your Raze, hit the stop key and cancel your Raze. Spell cancelling is just as important as Spell usage.
Tread Switching. Shadow Fiend is an ideal hero for this neat trick. Use Agi-Treads while last hitting, and Str-Treads when playing defensive. There's a third one too! Switch to Int-Treads and Double Raze, then switch back to Agi/Str. This saves massive amounts of mana and hence helps you Double Raze much more often.
Lastly, it is absolutely essential for you to realize when to stop Razing to damage a hero. During the Mid-Late game transition, your physical attacks combined with your attack speed will most definitely deal more damage than you would have using a Raze. Damage-per-second tends to be huge for Shadow Fiend during the Mid game. However, more often than not, the C Raze can be used if enemies are out of range.
3. Farm or Gank?
When do I farm? When am I supposed to gank? Do not leave lane until you're Level 5. If you think there are enemy supports around you waiting to gank, try to stack the medium camp cautiously (Radiant Only). If you're Dire, stay toward the east side rather than on the center, its unlikely the supports will gank you from the east under the tower range.
If your lane goes well, you can help out with other lanes given a good rune. Rune Preference should be: Haste>Invisibility>Double Damage>Regeneration>Illusion.
If your team is getting more than what it hoped, stay mid and dominate. Shadow Fiend can easily grab the mid tower in less than 8-9 minutes constantly spamming your Double-Razes.
The primary issue here is Shadow-Blade or Black-King-Bar?? For heavy Damage Output and Stats, Shadow-Blade should your best option. For a defensive build and a mid to late game approach, BKB + Dagger is your best bet.
5. Map Control
Help your team take down towers as early as possible. You dont want the disadvantage of not having towers, rendering you prone to ganks. Once you're in the lead, use your Shadow-Blade to enter lanes or the enemy jungle to pick off their weak supports. RightClick-X-Raze (Same Range as Right-Clck)-Right Click-Right Click-Raze if needed. Rest in peace Enemy.
Useful Shadow Blade Tip: While TPing from your Base to a lane, use Shadow Blade WHILE Tping, this doesn't cancel your teleport and you're invisible as soon as you reach. Most players might assume you got your TP cancelled as few players are aware of this neat trick. Line up your ultimate or right click them to death, *insert fat shop guy's voice* its for you to decide!!
1. Get Boots first against Pudge.
2. Always count the number of Enemy heroes present in the side-lanes. if 2 or less, play cautiously.
3. Remember, Smoke of Deceit is just 100 Gold.
4. 90% of the Requim of Souls animation is hidden while invisible.
5. Use Helm to stack ancients.
6. Always try to use high ground fog and turn to Double raze while running.
7. X-Z-C does wonders against aggresive mellee heroes.
8. When using Shadow-Blade and Requim, try to position yourself such that you're overlapping the enemy hero.
9. Buy your own set of wards if no one does, 150 gold.
10. Don't get frustrated if you die, Just keep practicing until you master the skill!
Shadow Fiend's Friends:Dark Seer, Crystal Maiden, Lion, Enigma and Magnus..
Shadow Fiend's Foes: Batrider, Templay Assassin, Night Stalker and to a very skill cap dependent Pudge.
Good Luck and Happy Razing ! !