Necrophos used to be the perfect counter to heroes like Terrorblade, Pudge, and strength-based tanks in general. He is very good at bringing a target down to less than 50% HP and then killing it with his ultimate.
But after a while, heroes started to be able to purchase magic resistance relatively easily, which meant that Necrophos wasn’t as attractive as before. But now he seems to be extremely popular and quite successful again.
Roughly 12% of all Dota 2 matches feature this hero. And his win rate is close to 53%, which is a clear indication that it’s relatively easy to succeed with him in the current meta.
Necrophos’ strong features
Necrophos is very hard to play against in the laning phase. At level 3, his Death Pulse is usually level 2 and what it does is extremely hard to counter. It deals 160 damage to the enemy and heals Necrophos for 80 damage. And you can cast it every 7 seconds.
This means that if you have enough mana, you can just trade hits with your enemy and generate a 240 HP difference every 7 seconds. Combined with your basic attacks, you will quickly bring a target down to low HP and force it to abandon its lane. But Necrophos has other powerful abilities as well.
His Heartstopper Aura deals damage equal to 0%-2% of an enemy’s maximum HP per second. If you choose to use a build that focuses on this ability, you will need to put at least 2 points in it as fast as possible. Otherwise it’s not efficient. But you could also put a single point in order to benefit from the HP and mana regen that you get after each kill.
Ghost Shroud is another powerful ability that can be used to become immune to physical damage for 3-4s and gain 45-75% restoration amplification during this time. The strategy is usually to cast the ability, activate your Magic Wand, use your Q, and hope that you will gain around 400 HP instantly.
In the early stages of the game, that much HP can be the difference between getting killed and getting a kill. If you also use a Faerie Fire or a Healing Salve, that’s even better.
Necrophos’ ultimate, Reaper’s Scythe, deals an enormous amount of percentage damage and is the perfect tool for dealing with high HP targets.
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