Night Stalker has historically been a hero that is played mid lane as if he gets early levels then when night time comes he is capable of ganking at a very rapid pace. However, recently Night Stalker has been seeing more use as a support (even used in pro matches by players such as N0tail) as he has a very powerful silence, slow and nuke while moving quickly while drastically limiting the LOS (Line of Sight) of the enemy team. Combine this with an eventual Aghanim’s Scepter and you have a support that can control the map and ensure that the enemy team cannot catch you by surprise. Here are some tips for playing support Night Stalker to his full potential.
Positives of Night Stalker Support
- Moves very quickly at night
- Long duration silence/miss chance
- High damage nuke and slow on a low cooldown
- Huge map control
- High health and starting armour.
Downsides of Night Stalker Support
- While a great hero when ahead, Night Stalker is weak when behind. If the map control he provides is not helping then any other support would be more useful
- Hard for him to catch up as he does not clear waves quickly.
- Is most effective during the night.
- Cannot hard support. As he should be getting an Aghanim’s your team should have another support to buy the majority of the ward until your Scepter is finished.
Support Night Stalker Skill Build
4/1/1/1 is probably the most popular build, follow up by going 4/1/4/1 and then maxing your silence last. If the enemy has a spell caster that must be prioritized (such as Storm Spirit) then getting more points in your silence is also fine.
Support Night Stalker Item Build
Start with boots and upgrading them into Treads/Phase as required (Treads if you need to be a bit more tanky, Phase if you are snowballing and need more damage). An Urn next very useful, it gives you strength, some mana regeneration and helps your team push and secure kills. It is also cheap to make and has an easy build up. After Urn then Aghanim’s is the item you want. If you can get an Aghanim’s scepter and a Gem then you have the best map control in the game. Other items you can consider to be luxury are BKB, Vlads, Heaven’s Halberd etc. You do not want to build expensive carry items as you will not have enough gold. Build items that help you and your team survive.
Once you have your Aghanim’s Scepter and Gem then you should play very safely. De-ward everything and always stay with your team.
TLDR item build
- Boots – Tread/Phase
- Aghanim’s Scepter
- Decide luxury item
All about the map control
Do not play Night Stalker support to crush the early/mid game. Although it is possible, the fact that you are giving the xp to your core heroes means that you are not so strong early. Do not be too aggressive. Night Stalker support is strongest in mid and lategame when he can provide huge map control.
Night Stalker’s ultimate reduces enemy heroes LOS while Aghanim’s gives him true vision at night. This means that the enemy team cannot surprise you unless they use smoke (which you should have sentry wards for). You can see far enough to have control over Roshan while standing in your jungle (radiant side). Night Stalker makes the enemy team afraid and reluctant to leave their base or go alone.
Although you should use melee attacks when you know it is safe, usually you want to hang back and use your Q to keep an enemy slowed. Do not risk dying for the sake of a few weak auto-attacks. You do not have the items to make you a fearsome right-clicker whereas your Q and silence are very useful and can be cast from range on a low cooldown.
Try it out!
I hope this post will inspire some more people to try out Night Stalker Support. When played well you can make a drastic difference to your team.