With Skeleton’s King returning to Dota 2, we had no choice but to make a guide to help you prepare to dominate your games with this iconic hero, even though the only thing that is going to differentiate him from Wraith King is his name.
Table of contents
Role in the game
Skeleton King is an insanely powerful hero, who is very strong in the lane and has the ability to farm and push very effectively.
The most common position for Wraith King is carry. In this role, he has the ability to farm his items quickly and then become a real threat to the enemy team. He is also viable in an offlane position, as he has a disable and is good at initiating fights and frontlining.
The purpose of Skeleton King in the game is to be frontline for his team in fights with his two lives and create a high pace in the game thanks to his ability to take down towers with skeletons
Wraithfire Blast is a single-target disable, which stuns, slows, and deals damage to a target. The ability is good for initiating fights. Since it is a single-target spell, you should be aware that a lot of heroes in Dota 2 may dodge it with the help of their spells or items.
Vampiric Aura improves the sustain of Skeleton King. The spell provides vampirism and damage aura, which works on all allied melee units, except for regular creeps. It is useful to get two points in this ability early into the game to increase your farming potential and sustainability.
Mortal Strike is the spell, which makes Skeleton King very strong in the current meta. It provides a chance to crit on the attack, as well as gives your charges, which you can later use to spawn the army of skeletons. The skeletons will always attack the closest target in their vision or the target that you use Wraithfire Blast on. Skeletons help Skeleton King to farm very fast and push towers quickly.
Reincarnation adds bonus life to Skeleton King. The spell costs a lot of mana at early levels, so you should always pay close attention to it.
Item build for Skeleton King is very straightforward and rarely needs any adjusting.
As your starting items, you should get yourself a Quelling Blade, set of Tangoes, a Healing Salve, an Iron Branch, and a Ring of Protection.
As the laning and early stage of the game begins, immediately bring yourself a Buckler. Even though this item doesn’t give any significant bonus armor in comparison with Ring of Protection, this item is going to be useful in the long run, as it makes Skeletons a lot stronger. The next item you should buy is Chainmail. It will improve your armor even more and make it very hard to harass you out of the lane. Use the Chainmail to complete Phase Boots and follow it up with Gloves of Haste. You are not going to use Gloves of Haste to complete any item. The purpose of Gloves is to increase your attack speed slightly, which will improve your farming potential. The only thing that is left for you to buy is Magic Wand, this item is very necessary for fights.
In the mid-game your goal is to get yourself Radiance as quickly as possible. This item is going to enable Skeleton King in the game. Follow it up with Shadow Blade to gain an ability to make effective rotations and kill enemy heroes around the map. A good alternative to Shadow Blade is Blink Dagger.
In the late-game you only left with Assault Cuirass and Abyssal Blade and your basic build is complete.
The other items you may find useful are Black King Bar, Monkey King Bar, Desolator and Bloodthorn. BKB is great against heroes with many disables and nukes. MKB is a counter to evasion. Desolator is great for pushing and killing Roshan. Bloodthorn helps to counter mobile enemy heroes.
The gameplay of Skeleton King is as straightforward as his item build. The hero is very strong in the lane and is hard to zone away. Your goal in the lane is to secure as many last-hits as possible to get your necessary early items. Once you get Phase Boots and Gloves of Haste you may leave the lane and start farming a jungle. Brace yourself, as you need to spend quite some time there. Use the Skeletons to effectively farm the jungle until you get yourself a Radiance. Do not go full afk mode, participate in some fights, and also apply pressure on towers whenever you have an opportunity to do so.
Nonetheless, finishing a Radiance is your highest priority. Once you get this item you can start actively participating in fights. Play around the cooldown of Reincarnation. Stay upfront during fights to create space for your teammates.
Your second big power spike is Shadow Blade. Having an SB is going to help you to make single-kills and make unexpected rotations around the map.
Pay close attention to Roshan. You can kill it fairly easily with the help of Vampiric Aura and Mortal Strike. Securing an early Aegis of the Immortal may help you to take all the space away from the enemy team.
The longer game goes, the easier your gameplay becomes. Keep playing around key objectives, use Smokes with your teammates, and always stay upfront in fights.
Basically, your goal as Skeleton King is to outfarm your opponent in the early game and then use your advantage to destroy all the towers. The perfect timing to end the game for Wraith King is around the 28th to 38th minute.
If you want to find the easiest way to work out the Skeleton’s King gameplay try out GOSU.AI Voice Assistant.
Allies and counters
Skeleton King feels very comfortable with powerful ranged support in the lane. He is very good in combination with Lich, Grimstroke and Keeper of the Light. He can benefit a lot from having active heroes with disables in a team, who can create space for him in the early stage of the game.
The biggest counters for Wraith King are his lane counters. He gets countered quite easily by Batrider, Timbersaw, or Beastmaster. The other heroes, who are very good against Skeleton King in the game are Naga Siren, Anti-Mage and Phantom Lancer, as they are able to burn down his mana and ruin his gameplay.