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Nerds Shadow Demon

shadow_demon
Shadow Demon
Midlane Core
Offlane Core
Updated: 2/9/24, 9:31 PMPatch 7.35bAuthor: Leamare
Hero stats
3,226
50.46%
57
36.84%

Description

Shadow Demon is an intelligence hero who can be played as a support or caster core. He has great wave clear and damage ability (Shadow Poison and Soul Catcher), while also having setup and save (Disruption). His main weaknesses are a low effective HP pool and the lack of any kind of mobility.

You can use Disruption early on as a tool to abuse your good base damage for better hit trading. You will be lacking mobility before you'll get to Blink Dagger, but you can compensate it by using Shadow Poison to scout territory. Your goal to just get levels as fast as possible and start nuking enemies down. With blink, you can start aggressive lane push by killing creepwaves with shadow poison and running away as soon as you feel somebody's coming. Splitfarming and lane shaving will help you to get items and levels faster, while also creating space for your team.

This build is partly based on SlashStrike's guide: https://dotaguides.com/core-shadow-demon-guide/

Starting Items

tango
branches
branches
branches
circlet
mantle

Skill Build

Talents
2 Charges of Disruption
25
-30s Demonic Purge Cooldown
+200 Demonic Purge/Cleanse Damage/Heal
20
+15% Disseminate Shared Damage
-1s Shadow Poison Cooldown
15
+25 Movement Speed
+12 Strength
10
+15% Shadow Poison Damage
Skill Build Timeline
shadow_demon_shadow_poison
shadow_demon_disruption
shadow_demon_shadow_poison
shadow_demon_disruption
shadow_demon_shadow_poison
shadow_demon_demonic_purge
shadow_demon_shadow_poison
shadow_demon_disruption
shadow_demon_disruption
talents_tree_full
shadow_demon_disseminate
shadow_demon_demonic_purge
shadow_demon_disseminate
shadow_demon_disseminate
talents_tree_full
shadow_demon_disseminate
shadow_demon_demonic_purge
talents_tree_full
talents_tree_full

Main Build

Early Items
boots
magic_wand
bottle
null_talisman
aether_lens
Core Items
travel_boots
ultimate_scepter
blink
Lategame Items
octarine_core
sheepstick
bloodstone
dagon_5
ethereal_blade
travel_boots_2
refresher
Situational Early
hand_of_midas
arcane_boots
tranquil_boots
Situational
cyclone
force_staff
black_king_bar
shivas_guard
veil_of_discord
lotus_orb
aeon_disk
kaya_and_sange
Alternatives
There are no elements
Order swaps
There are no elements

Build Timeline

Early Items
boots
magic_wand
bottle
null_talisman
Item #1
aether_lens
Situation
tranquil_boots
Item #2
travel_boots
Situation
hand_of_midas
arcane_boots
Item #3
ultimate_scepter
Item #4
blink
Item #5
octarine_core

Lategame Items

Lategame Main Route
octarine_core
sheepstick
bloodstone
dagon_5
ethereal_blade
travel_boots_2
refresher
All Lategame Items
octarine_core
sheepstick
bloodstone
dagon_5
ethereal_blade
travel_boots_2
refresher
cyclone
veil_of_discord
force_staff
black_king_bar
lotus_orb
shivas_guard
kaya_and_sange
aeon_disk

Neutral Items

Other significant items

yasha_and_kaya
bloodthorn
guardian_greaves
meteor_hammer

Tooltips

Spells Tooltips

Disruption

Disruption at level 1 allows you to secure bounty runes and range creep denies. You max poison first, always, since it’s your farming and wave-pushing tool. After that you want to level Disruption and Soul Catcher simultaneously, with Disruption being maxed first because its cooldown scales significantly better.

Demonic Purge

May be worth skipping at lvl 6 since it's not as significant in terms of damage, but slow and constant purge are very valuable

Shadow Poison

Main farming/damage tool When trying to solo-kill on the lane, both your Disruption and your ult essentially give you 1 guaranteed stack of Shadow Poison. This means that as soon as you hit 2, you can Disrupt, hit a 3rd + apply Catcher, step back so you’re less vulnerable, ult when they come out and hit a 4th one.

-1s Shadow Poison Cooldown

This is probably the most one-sided choice of all, the cooldown reduction is what sends this hero into OP territory, Shadow Poison basically becomes your auto-attack, it takes you only 4 seconds to insta-kill a creepwave from two screens away (if you’re good at aiming), it takes you 5 seconds to pop a hero for 2000+ damage, etc.

+15% Shadow Poison Damage

movement speed is no joke, and this hero runs around a lot. However, once again the 25% Shadow Poison damage is just a huge difference maker.

2 Charges of Disruption

charges of Disruption basically means you have no down-time, no weak moment where ‘oh, he used Disruption, I can go on him now’, because you always have another one ready. You can save 2 allies, save an ally and get illusions of the enemy carry, disrupt 2 enemy cores, save an ally and yourself as well, the possibilities are endless.

Items Tooltips
blink

Blink increases your safety-zone massively when split-pushing by giving you an escape, as well as increasing your catch-range by a ton, since blink range is also boosted by lens.

hand_of_midas

Even while you have Shadow Poison, you still would like to go for Hand of Midas to get a lot of benefit from your level 10 talent and use your early advantage to get the item early.

sheepstick

Scythe of Vyse is obviously always good when you just need a hard disable versus slippery heroes, and further boosts your solo-kill potential.

cyclone

Eul’s gives you yet another disable / set-up, more movement speed and can also function as a Linken’s breaker which enemies will often pick up against an SD.

force_staff

Force-staff, similarly to Eul’s can act as a Linken’s breaker (the cheapest one) and boosts your mobility. Whether this is a good pick-up or not generally depends more on the enemy team and how many of their heroes are countered by Force (heroes like Riki, Clock, Ursa, Sven, etc.)

ultimate_scepter

Agh’s gives you 3 charges on your ult as well as adding the Break effect, obviously good if there are any passives to be broken (it pierces BKB, unlike Silver Edge), but also just for controlling multiple enemy cores that don’t have mobility spells (sometimes better to have 2 more purges than a hex versus melee carries with immunity or that buy BKB like Jug/Naix/Sven/Luna/Troll)

tranquil_boots

Tranquil Boots are an absolute must, for merely 500 gold you are almost doubling the MS you get and also getting more HP regen than a pipe gives you. The only down-side is that they deactivate when you attack or get attacked – well GUESS WHAT, you never attack and if you play properly you should very rarely be getting attacked also!

meteor_hammer

It not only gives you incredible solo kill potential, but also provides you with the structure damage you lack to go with your amazing wave-clear. In the standard Disruption->Hammer combo, you can shift-queue Soul Catcher while channeling the hammer – since the meteors take 0.5s to land, that gives you enough time to apply the amplification even before for the initial damage.

lotus_orb

Lotus Orb is another great item that you can either put on whoever is front-lining or save for yourself to deal with enemy silences.

aether_lens

Aether Lens is your first core item. It allows you to initiate with Disruption and also use hammer on towers or Disruption targets from much further away (fog, trees, etc.) all of which is absolutely crucial for this build. It also makes the Soul Catcher much easier to land, lets you ult pretty much anyone you want in fights, and lastly the range increase on poison is also noticeable although not the biggest deal since its range is already massive.

aeon_disk

Aeon Disk is pretty good in a lot of games as a 4th or 5th item because enemies will try to jump you first since you’re a saving hero, and between the 2.5s of Disk and 2.5s of Disruption you have enough time for a guaranteed blink out.

yasha_and_kaya

Aggressive solution for lower manacost and higher damage output. It effectively allowes us to have 16% bigger manapool and higher mobility in fights.