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DOTA Leoric guide (item strategy)

Updated on July 11, 2009

Quick tips

Watch your mana! You'll need some to use your ultimate, and might want to buy items that boost maximum.

Don't worry about survivability items. Leoric works best as a DPS hero, not a tank. Most good DOTA players will usually attack him last due to his reincarnation ability.

Bone King of the Dead

Once a noble knight protecting his kingdom, the man was thrown into Hell, where he was ripped apart over and over for centuries. Lucifer has let him loose, corrupted and mindless, as King Leoric, the Skeleton. He marches on, leading his minions with an unfaltering gaze, knowing only one thing: the orders given to him by the dark lord himself. It is said that he is unkillable, and those who are struck down by his hellfire never wake up again.

Fan artwork of Leoric the King
Fan artwork of Leoric the King

Leoric's Stash

There's a large amount of items many people consider buying for this guy. This item strategy guide assumes you're already familiar with how to play Leoric. But, if you're not, take a look at this other more general DOTA Skeleton King guide first.

  • Shiva's Guard: A great, but unpopular, choice. It gives you both an area of effect nuke, and lets you slow down enemies so that you can land a second hellfire blast to stun. Very useful. As a bonus, and the reason I usually buy shivas on my skeleton king, it also gives you a huge boost to your mana. You never have to worry about it again for Reincarnation unless you're playing against the Antimage, Naga, Ezalor or Phantom Lancer.
  • Blink Dagger: Another great item for chasing, however, you shouldn't buy it if you also buy a Shiva. Just one item like this is enough. The skeleton king needs more DPS than utility items to be truly useful thanks to his critical skill.
  • Boots of Travel: Recommended (or simply carry a scroll) if the other team isn't playing with characters who can stun or disable. This might let you escape scenarios where you'd be reincarnating into eventual death.
  • Battle Fury: Works about as well as it does on any other DOTA hero. I don't usually recommend it, but it's not a bad choice on Leoric. The extra regeneration is helpful as well if you don't buy any mana pool increasing items.
  • Monkey King Bar: A great DPS item. You should consider buying it every game if the enemy team allows you to go with a damage per second build.
  • Buriza or Crystalys: Not a good choice. You already have a critical strike skill, and there's diminishing returns when you try stacking them.
  • Satanic (or other life steal): Vampiric aura and these are overkill. It's often seen in a pub match, but there's no need when playing with (or against) quality DOTA players. There are much better orbs you can pick from, even a Maelstrom might be more helpful as unlikely as it sounds. Who needs lifesteal when you can just come back from the dead.
  • Lothar's Blade: A good choice in many games. Try to mash it's hotkey after you die to escape from a gank attempt. You can also use this for chasing while your stun is in cooldown. The windwalk effect gives bonus movement speed, and extra damage if you hit someone to break out of it.
  • Divine Rapier: Works fantastic when combined with your ability to resurrect. A leoric with both a rapier, and teammates who won't leave him for dead, is a scourge hero to be feared.
  • Refresher Orb: Not recommended, but it might be fun in a DOTA pub match. I don't see these often on Leoric for a good reason.

What items are on your skelly?

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      bawynne90 8 years ago

      Omg i love dota so much and its a good and addicting game.Thanks for the guide its a good article you should post guides for other characters.

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      Fritz 8 years ago

      I like Vladmirs for the extra health regen. Stacks with his passive.