In today’s guide, we are going to talk about one of the most versatile carry heroes. The biggest strength of Lifestealer in the current patch is that he can lane very well against any other hero. It is impossible to force him out of the lane and stop him from farming. For this reason, Lifestealer is one of the very few carry heroes in the game, who can be first picked in matchmaking.
Table of contents
Role in the game
You can rarely see Lifestealer in any other role than carry. He is very strong in the lane and lanes exceptionally well against melee offlaners.
The purpose of Lifestealer in the game is to secure a good farm in the lane and then use his early items to get an advantage in the game.
Rage gives Lifestealer to gain a full immune for the duration of the ability, while also increasing the movement speed. The spell allows Lifestealer to fearlessly run into fights and demolish his opponents.
Feast significantly improves the sustain of Lifestealer. Spell passively provides lifesteal and bonus attack speed.
Open Wounds is a powerful slow, which also makes Lifestealer and his allies' lives steal from dealing damage to a target. Life steal works for all damage, including spells.
Infest is a very powerful defensive ability, which helps Lifestealer to survive during fights. By using the spell you can infest into an allied hero or a unit, giving the infested target bonus health and movement speed. While Lifestealer is infested he also gains bonus HP regen.
As your starting items, you should get yourself 3 Tangoes, Healing Salve, Quelling Blade, Iron Branch, and Faerie Fire. In this build, you are going to have 150 unused gold, which means that after your team takes two bounties you are going to be able to purchase Orb of Venom quickly.
In the early game, as mentioned above, you need to get yourself an Orb of Venom and follow it up with a quick Phase Boots. Phase Boots are going to allow you to apply a lot of pressure on the enemy offlaner. Get Magic Wand after and start working on your core items.
Your two key items in the mid-game are Armlet of Mordiggian and Desolator. These two items will improve your farming and killing potential. Once you get Deso you are going to be able to destroy towers very quickly.
Your key late-game items are Assault Cuirass and Abyssal Blade.
What is great about Lifestealer is that he can have many other situational builds. Playing against Ursa/Terrorblade/Drow? You can go for Heaven’s Halberd after Armlet. Playing against PL or other illusion based heroes? Both Mjolnir and Radiance work very well on Lifestealer.
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Lifestealer has one of the best sustains for the lane among all carry heroes. No matter how hard the lane is for Lifestealer, he can always drag the creeps onto himself to get last-hits. It is very hard to punish him for any misplays.
Your goal in the lane is to get yourself Orb of Venom and Phase Boots as quickly as possible. With these two items, you can start running on your opponents with the help of your lane support. When you are about to hit that delicious level 6 you can make a call for your support to leave the lane, as Lifestealer can perfectly lane by himself.
His strength in the early game for the safelane is that Lifestealer can easily defend the siege creep by using Infest on it. Since the enemy team won’t have a siege creep, it means they won’t be able to get your tower.
Once you get an Armlet you get a serious power spike. With the Armlet you can start making rotation around the map and applying pressure on the enemy towers. Even after you get the Armlet, farming is going to be your main priority. Join the fights if necessary but focus on getting Desolator as quickly as you can. With Armlet and Deso you should group up with your team as often as you can. Kill Roshan, take towers, control the map.
Once you get Abyssal Blade you are going to be able to focus down key enemy heroes by yourself. Play ballsy, as you can always use Infest to get away from fights.
Allies and counters
Lifestealer is a hero, who barely needs any help in the lane. He can benefit a lot from having pretty much any support, but he can obviously get so much stronger with the addition of Grimstroke and Lich. Chen and Enchantress are very good in combination with Naix, as they can leave him in the lane quite early into the game.
As we mentioned before, Lifestealer barely has any counters. Just like any melee carry he can suffer in the lane against Beastmaster, Slardar, or Timbersaw.
The best counters to Naix in the game are Terrorblade, Faceless Void, Phantom Assassin, and Morphling.