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128px Dark Lady is a hilarious hero because each and every time she ults, the opposing team either panics completely (if unorganized) or battens down and rides it out (team). In any event while she at the moment is underpowered compared to other agi carries, she's still a quite viable pick and counterpick solely for her ult.

Dark Lady's strengths are late game scaling (3 of her 4 skills scale with damage and team damage), an almost instantaneous attack animation, and high agility growth.

Dark Lady's weaknesses are piss for str/int growths, all active skills (and no mana to fuel any of it), and comedically bad early lane control which necessitates babysitting for a good ten minutes.

By: Travakh

Skill OverviewПравить

  • Dark Blades - This is your team battle and late game annihilation skill, as it synergizes well with Charging Strikes (silences everything you hit) and in effect gives you a free guaranteed 2.3x critical at level 4, which stacks with riftshards for some four digit critical action.
  • Taint Soul - The mana efficiency on this skill is atrocious, but it has quite a good cast range and takes effect instantly, so a ~3-4 second slow is a great setup for ganks. Just don't spam this in lane, you have the mana to cast it, what, twice?
  • Charging Strikes - This is your mobility skill that lets you duck in and out of fights, as well as a skill that sets up on hit triggers - thunderclaw can proc several times on a stack of enemies, runed axe will cleave enemies, and of course your dark blades will silence everything you hit. Note that this does not ignore terrain and must follow it.
  • Cover of Darkness - This is Dark Lady's trademark skill. NOTES ABOUT THIS SKILL:
    • Activating any sort of debuff remover strips the debuff, which means heroes like Arachna, Jereziah, and Accursed can strip it.
    • This does not affect the map or game itself, teams can still ping locations, chat, and voicechat
    • This does not affect base AI, heroes will still move and autoacquire targets that they can't see if you autoattack somewhere with the debuff on
    • This unlinks vision to your faction, meaning you will have zero notification if buildings begin going down.


Skill BuildПравить

Skill

Taint Soul's mana cost goes up as you level it, mana that you cannot afford. Charging Strikes as your major mobility skill has a decreasing mana cost and cooldown, which greatly improves survivability. During much of the first part of the game you should be ready to flee fights due to your inability to survive early game fights and lack of any significant direct damage. One level of dark blades is taken early to enable the darkblades+charging combo, as a 2.5sec line silence is viable at all levels.


Level Skill
1 Charging Strikes
2 Taint Soul
3 Charging Strikes
4 Dark Blades
5 Charging Strikes
6 Cover of Darkness
7 Charging Strikes
8 Taint Soul
9 Taint Soul
10 Taint Soul
11 Cover of Darkness
12 Stats
13 Stats
14 Stats
15 Stats
16 Cover of Darkness
17 Dark Blades
18 Dark Blades
19 Dark Blades
20 Stats
21 Stats
22 Stats
23 Stats
24 Stats
25 Stats


Item BuildПравить

Starting Items

Dark Lady should not be spamming spells and as such has no need for regenerative items like Ring of the Teacher or Scarab. Raw stats give her enough health and mana to survive and escape early ganks, and cast a level 1 taint soul every now and then.

64px X2 = 370
64px X2 = 106
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Total Cost = 328

Early Game

64px X2 = 1020
64px - 1850
  • You should have your steamboots by the time you're leveling up taint soul. Set them to int early to fuel taint soul's high mana cost, switch to str when you begin levelling stats, and switch to agi once you begin carrying.

Total Cost = 2360

Mid Game

Dark Lady allows several item paths from this point. Generally, pick one out of the three following, listed in order of preference

64px - 3300
  • Nullfire blade counters every hero who has critical buffs (Jereziah, Hammerstorm) and can be used defensively to strip debuffs (Bloodhunter's Hemo, Slither Nova). It's all around a superb item on Dark Lady and should be generally taken if buffs are an issue (and they are, in the majority of matches).
64px - 4420
  • Cheap high damage, and easy application by charging strikes. Nailing several units with charging strikes debuffs them all, which can easily turn a team battle in your favor with mass armor reduction.
64px - 6150
  • Frostwolf Skull immediately solves all your hp and mana issues and charging strikes slows everything you hit. Frostwolf Skull is an awesome item on Dark Lady but it's high cost means you'll have trouble farming it.

Total Cost = 13870

Late Game

Assuming you took a nullfire blade, by the time you hit L16 you have a total of +28 int from items and +stats, which is easily enough to fuel your spells. If you went shieldbreaker mana management will remain a minor issue.

64px - 6000
  • Wingbow remains the standard agi carry item.
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  • Flayer must be taken at this point, as with Nullfire Blade + Wingbow + Flayer and dark blades active you will land 1k+ crits.
64px - 3910
  • As with all agi carries this is a must to actually land those 1k+ crits.
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  • While images do not benefit from you having dark blades up, they're still the best way to improve total damage.

Total Cost = 20510

Situational Items

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  • The chain lightning proc will go off on your charging strikes which allows for good farming, but that's all its really good for. There's little utility to it and it's inferior for raw damage compared to the items in the core build, but if you're having severe difficulty farming you may as well pick it up.
64px - 6300
  • The chain lightning proc will go off on your charging strikes which allows for good farming, but that's all its really good for. There's little utility to it and it's inferior for raw damage compared to the items in the core build, but if you're having severe difficulty farming you may as well pick it up.
64px - 4350
  • There are plenty of people who will recommend rushing this item on Dark Lady as the cleave procs on all hits in a charging strike. This allows you to stack ancient creeps and repeatedly charging strike them to clear them.
This is a pub gimmick.
If the opposing team lets you sit at an ancient creep camp for 3-5 minutes stacking them, they're doing it wrong and you probably would have won anyway. Don't get me wrong, the item is great on Dark Lady, but *after* major damage items have been deployed (i.e. wingbow and flayer). Not before.
64px - 6150
  • I guess you can get one after finishing geometer's bane, but it's a very bad item to get before your wingbow and flayer as it offers little damage or survivability. As with runed axe it suddenly becomes awesome once you do get your 1k+ crits going.
65px - 4500
  • Cost is too high for too little damage, but the health boost is nice and you can proc maim on things you charging strike. Frostwolf skull is, of course, a superior item.


Thoughts on other itemsПравить

64px
  • If your team has no hard disables, this is a really shitty choice but more than likely must be taken. Naturally with no hard disables your team will probably lose the game anyway.
64px64px64px
  • If you get any of these items I will kick you in the face.


GameplayПравить

Early Game

Your early game is really, really bad. You must be babysat, this is not an option. Melee agi solo is always a bad idea unless you're bloodhunter, lanes like Dark Lady + Predator are really bad. Dark Lady must lane with babysitters like a Demented Shaman or heroes with superb lane control like Electrician, to compensate for Dark Lady's total lack of said lane control. Your focus early game is survival, as feeding early cripples your farming and delays your items.

Mid Game

Keep farming midgame. Again, without items you offer little/nothing in team battles besides your ult, which can be cast from any range. Make liberal use of charging strikes to last hit, farm, and escape ganks, and once you have a secure mana pool you can taint soul from a distance to assist in teamfights.

Late Game

Lategame becomes simple. Initiate with your ult in combination with another team initiate, Taint soul on your target, activate dark blades and chargestrike in,and autoattack your target down. Try to position yourself so that your charging strikes hits as many enemy heroes as possible in order to get as many silences out. With solid damage you should be shredding whatever you touch.

Note: Although a bitch move, Cover of Darkness can set up backdoors. Hang out with your team near their base while they're pushing, activate. They panic and break their push, by the time the darkness fades you should be able to rax a lane. Works even better with a Nymphora to teleport near their base.


Hero SynergyПравить

Good Allies

Babysitters enable your early game and prevent your lane from turning into a catastrophe.

Bad Enemies

Those same babysitters usually come with a way to strip Cover of Darkness which reduces its effectiveness as an initiation tool.

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