I completely suck at DotA (though I am somewhat familiar with Nevermore); I can never kill any enemy heroes even on easy. What strategies can I use to defeat enemy heroes?

I do the basics: get last hit to get cash and that's pretty much all I know. I buy the trent boots which are set to agility. The first two things I buy are a courier and the reg with +5 hp regen. I then get that sword with critical hits and upgrade it after getting demon's edge.

I still suck and can't kill enemy heroes even though I have +130 damage (or more). What can I do?


Nevermore is actually one of the more powerful heroes there are a couple things you should know about him:

Staying alive: Nevermore's damage is largely proportional to how many last hits you got since you last died. So stay alive! You're going to need Lother (which turns your invisible) or Kelen's (which teleports you) to do this, so after boots (str or phase) this is your first pick up.

Combo: because you have 3 shadowrase, you need to cast it more than once to kill. Figure out the middle range usage (hint its the same range as your basic attack) and then follow up with short (if he comes after you) or long (if he runs away). You can also combo it to get more kills.

Requim: This skill trades on being right next to your target, so combo it with Lother or Kelen's for maximum effectiveness.

Ability build:

  1. Necromasty (to start grouping up your last hits)
  2. Shadowraze (lvl 1 isn't great, so hold off on it
  3. Shadowraze (Your combo is starting to get good)
  4. Necromasty
  5. Shadowraze (by now your combo is leathal)
  6. Requim
  7. Shadowraze
  8. Necromasty
  9. Necromasty 10+ you want to max out Requim then Presence of the Dark lord

Damage: Most of your early game kills revolve around Shadowraze, but once you get to mid game you're going to want to pick up some dps. Demons Edge is very nice, as is Manta Style (with bonus to survive). Stygian is going to be essential in late game as it stacks with your Presence. Nevermore doesn't trade on his life steal, but Mask of Madness' on use ability is nasty. I usually go for Demon's Edge -> Stygian -> Buriza. If you're still looking for items after that Skadi or Satanic are both good, but you should be in end game by then.

Ok, it sounds like you have a larger problem than working well with Nevermore, that extends to DotA in general.

A carry is a late game hero who can push a lane and take out 3-4 opposing heroes with little support. A Hard carry is a character who needs to farm up all game specifically for late game. A Soft carry is a player who doesn't have a ton of late game abilities but can become very powerful late game due to ganking.

Ganking is a term for going into an ally's lane and helping to kill their enemy. This technique usually relies on surprise and coordination. Ganking is useful for all heroes as nearby heroes split the xp of a kill and the last hit gains significant gold. Agility based heroes usually operate as glass cannons early on, so ganking is a way to gain experience and gold with minimal risk (the risk usually being getting ganked).

Nevermore's ganking technique usually relies on casting shadowraze back to back. Ideally you can get an ally to stun the target and there fore get off all 3 shadowraze. Once you hit level 6, if you have full Necromasty use your lothar's to get right on top of an opponent and Ult. Follow this up immediately with shadowraze (remember to attack first so you're pointed in the right direction, but don't wait for the attack to go off). The target should be low and try to run. Just dps him down till he's in range of your next shadowraze and enjoy the kill.

Farming is another technique to get to late game with an agility hero. Nevermore is especially good at farming in his own lane (known as laning) because of shadowraze. Adjust your range to be ideal for mid-range shadowraze (you can do this by attacking). Wait till the last one of your melee creeps is about to die then cast shadowraze. This should kill some of them and injure the rest. When they come into melee range your second shadowraze will finish them off. This is excellent farming technique, but very mana intensive so stock up on consumables.

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    Great answer. What items do i buy at the beginning and early game? (i really suck). I Go for The ring of health for 5+ (keep this?) I dont go for void stone as i dont use mana Shadowraze early game so i can spend money on other stuff (my mistake? i think i should use Shadowraze). And i go for trent boots with agl (ring+trent is my first). What is this 'boots (str or phase)' ? – user1246 Jul 18 '10 at 16:18
  • After ring + trent boots with Agl i go for the 500+1200 weapon to make that sword then Demon edge + recipe to upgrade it. This is no good from what i can tell. What item order do i want? Also i dont die with nevermore since i have +5regen + i stay away from heros and rarely get hit by creeps. Do i need lother (which i used and didnt like) or Kegen (i never used) if i dont die to much? So after getting enemies health downto 3/5 or 1/2 i do the two Shadowraze to do damage. – user1246 Jul 18 '10 at 16:21
  • str vs phase is a personal decision, phase lets you run away faster, but str gives you more hp. You NEED Kelen's or Lother, they do double duty: 1) getting you away, 2) getting you kills. Both synergize with your Ultimate (item ontop of enemy then ult), as well as Shadowraze. Nevermore is an Agi, soft carry, so you need to be ganking. Usually I go: manapot+2*bracers for early kills (by level 3 you can gank) into boots, stygian. If I'm not doing well by this point chances are I won't catch up. – tzenes Jul 18 '10 at 17:26
  • I am so confused, gank means team up with someone to kill right? --->(item ontop of enemy then ult)<-- Shouldnt nevermore be doing his ultimate first? i try to get them down 1/2 or 3/4 before trying to attack them. What is manapot? which shop? i play an older version so i may not have it. What is soft carry? Can i skip boots? hmm stygian desolater is a bit expensive. Ok i'll do bracer x2, skip boots to get dagger, then mythril hammers until stygian and hope i do well. I may insert that +5heal or maybe go for perseverance near the beginning. – user1246 Jul 18 '10 at 22:46
  • I did a quick game and it didnt feel like i needed the+5regen with the 2xbracer. I played 2 insane vs me and my first death is when i didnt realize one hero came up behind me and the 2nd is when they both rushed in and got me. I didnt have time to use kegen. With full health i tried to fight one hero and he destoried me. He was lvl14, stunned me and made 3 copies of himself who hit me. 2/3sec later when i could move his clones killed me. I was lvl9 so he must have been the one to hit me last to be 5lvls ahead. At this point i had 2 bracers, 2mithril hammers and a courier. Any comments? – user1246 Jul 18 '10 at 23:28

tzenes' answer covers a lot of Nevermore's playstyle and build tactics very well.

What you must always have in mind is that positioning and timing is the key for any hero on a game like DotA. Both require good experience, good metagame vision and of course, teamplay.

The best strategy for a beginner is to have someone(s) to be your tutor. Consider using an app like Skype to have a faster way of communication with your teammates.

And remember: never feed "trolls" or let yourself be affected by stressed "1337" players.


Do most or all of tzenes post especially the ability build. My build suggestion is (tested mostly 1 on 1)

Get boots of speed, Helm of Iron Will and Ring of regeneration + others to create the recipe Hood of Defiance. This will have your HP regen really high which is good if you are new. Buy the Trent boots so your attack speed is significantly faster and so you can run away without other heros catching up. I prefer switching the boots to intellects when getting lvl3 shadowraze to get have mana regen faster. Switch this late game to whatever you want.

Then get the quarterstaff (or any cheap weapon) or void stone depending on what level you are (void stone is preferable if your at a higher level for better mana regen). Then go for lothers edge or kelen to either combo your 4th ability or to use to run away. Then do whatever build you like as you should be mid game

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    Hood is very situational I wouldn't recommend it unless you're against a team of heavy nukers. Try to remember that heroes have natural magic damage reduction of 24.5% so the hood is actually less effective than you think. – tzenes Jul 27 '10 at 15:04
  • That is very good to know. Using the build you first suggested on top of your whole post. i am using lothars edge effectively and doesnt take forever to get it after learning shadowraze + items to get mana. I am now kicking ass. Well not really but i am 50x better. Its amazing how being better magnifies success (and small bad choices or failures magnifies the game/fighting heros to be much more difficult). – user1246 Jul 27 '10 at 15:10
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    its also worth pointing out that Enchantress' Impetus is "pure" damage, not magic and is not reduced by the hood. – tzenes Jul 27 '10 at 15:11

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