November 16th, 2012
Author: Oscar 'OckE' Svensson
Leshrac, the Tormented Soul, is an intelligence-support Hero with great pushing capabilities. He is not an easy Hero to learn, as his abilities are highly unpredictable and difficult to master, but if used correctly, it can cause critical damage to an enemy team. He is also very vulnerable to physical attacks in the late-game; however, his redeeming qualities occur mid-game with his ability to eliminate towers quickly.
His true late-game strength can only be seen if powerful items are obtained. If his inventory is sufficient, he can play like a Carry come late-game and be very successful. At mid-game, when his ultimate is the most powerful, he truly shines (no pun intended). Due to his complicated abilities, Leshrac can be very hard to play and is not recommended for players new to DotA 2.
Split Earth: Deals 120/180/240/300 damage in a 150/175/200/225 radius. This ability has a 0.35 second cast delay.
This is Leshrac's initiation skill. If landed, it almost guarantees his team at least one kill. However, due to the cast delay, it can be very tricky to land on moving targets. This is why it is very beneficial to have some in-game knowledge and being able to (correctly) predict how the enemy heroes will move. It is also good to know that Split Earth destroys trees in its AoE and can therefore be used to create a makeshift path towards escape or to easily double-pull Creep camps without using a Tango.
Diabolic Edict: This ability creates 32 mini-explosions during 8 seconds, which do 12.5/25/37.5/50 damage to random targets within a radius of 500. It can deal damage to units as well as towers. The fewer the units there are, the more damage these units will take.
This is what gives Leshrac his pure pushing power. When fully upgraded, just one instance of Diabolic Edict is enough to nearly destroy a tower on its own, as long as no other units are within the AoE of the ability. It can also be used to quickly dispatch Creep waves, although his ultimate does a much better job.
This ability is also highly useful when chasing or running away, as its damage will not be reduced by any damage-blocking abilities and items, such as Tidehunter's Kraken Shell or Vanguard. If an enemy decides to chase Leshrac when Diabolic Edict is activated, the decision might backfire and provide Leshrac's team with a kill, as the spell is capable of dealing a massive 1600 damage to a single target during its duration. It is also worth noting that the ability persists through its entire duration, even if Leshrac dies. If the enemy team focuses on him in a team-fight, activating Diabolic Edict just before Leshrac goes down and you might give your team that little edge despite your death.
Lightning Storm: Summons a storm that strikes an enemy unit for 80/145/205/265 damage and then jumps to 4/6/7/8 nearby enemies. The damage stays the same throughout the jumps.
This is another ability which adds to Leshrac's powerful AoE damage. This, coupled with Diabolic Edict or his ultimate, can annihilate Creep waves within seconds and help him push much quicker. Like the other abilities, this is also useful in a big team-fight. While the damage might not seem as high, if it hits the enemy team, a total of 1275 health is depleted, which is an impressive sum.
Pulse Nova: Leshrac's ultimate is a 450 radius AoE, which does 66/100/144 damage per second to enemy units. It costs 110 mana to activate and drains 20/40/60 mana per second while it is active. The damage can be upgraded by purchasing Aghanim's Scepter, which increases the DPS up to 177 at the highest level.
Like most of his other abilities, Pulse Nova further bolsters Leshrac's incredible AoE damage. Activating this in a team-fight will instantly make the opposition’s HP dissipate. It is also very useful for clearing Creep waves quickly in order to push your lane. However, this skill consumes an immense amount of mana and should not be toggled on and off carelessly. Keep in mind that Pulse Nova does not deal damage while Leshrac is invisible.
Play-style, Allies and Enemies
When playing Leshrac, there are some things that are of the utmost importance and worthy to note. He is extremely squishy and lacks any escape mechanisms. While he does have a stun, it takes a while for it to land and can thus be very difficult to aim correctly. His spells are also remarkably expensive, mana-wise.
You need to be extremely careful about positioning yourself, making sure to not overextend and providing the enemy team an opportunity to gank you. Due to Leshrac’s frailty, one well-placed stun can mean disaster for him, which is why he is normally placed in the safe lane and there, if no other support does it, ward as well as stack and pull Creep camps.
Split Earth should always be used to initiate if the mana is there and can then be followed up by activating Diabolic Edict. Pulse Nova can also be used in combination with Diabolic Edict in order to do devastating damage to the enemy team. However, Split Earth, if landed correctly, can help you escape as well as save the life of allies who are being chased down.
Leshrac works well with heroes that have some sort of AoE stun or slow, such as Sven, Tidehunter or Enigma. Their abilities enable Leshrac to easily land his Split Earth ability and be able to deal maximum damage with his other abilities. On the other hand, heroes who silence, have great bursting capabilities or abilities that gives them magic immunity, like Juggernaut, Omniknight and Bloodseeker, are the bane of Leshrac's existence and should be approached extremely cautiously.
Leshrac's abilities can be selected in a wide variety of ways, which makes numerous builds viable. Here is just one of many good build options:
Level 1: Split Earth
Level 2: Diabolic Edict
Level 3: Diabolic Edict
Level 4: Split Earth
Level 5: Diabolic Edict
Level 6: Split Earth
Level 7: Diabolic Edict
Level 8: Split Earth
Level 9: Lightning Storm
Level 10: Pulse Nova
Level 11: Pulse Nova
Level 12: Lightning Storm
Level 13: Lightning Storm
Level 14: Lightning Storm
Level 15: Attribute Bonus
Level 16: Pulse Bonus
Level 17-25: Attribute Bonus
There are some things that need additional explanation in this build. The reason why Pulse Nova is not chosen until level 10 is due to Leshrac's limited mana pool. By level 10 or 11, with sufficient farm, he should be able to amass enough gold in order to buy some items that aid with his mana regeneration. Otherwise, Pulse Nova does not need to be chosen at level 10 and can instead wait until about level 13.
Diabolic Edict is maxed before Split Earth because even though the damage of Split Earth increases with every rank, the stun stays the same. The possibility of dealing up to 1600 damage to a single Hero is simply way too good an option to pass up. This is the same reason why Lightning Storm is avoided until level 9. Diabolic Edict also aids with destroying towers much more quickly.
As stated earlier, this build is far from the only way to play Leshrac. For instance, Diabolic Edict can be switched with Lightning Storm if that seems like a better choice, although its lack of tower-pushing capabilities usually makes the former ability much more attractive. Although, Lightning Storm's damage to enemy units is much easier to predict, since it hits its targets once while Diabolic Edict’s choices are random.
Upon starting the game, most heroes greatly benefit from having items that aid with mana and health regeneration and Leshrac is no exception. However, there are some variations of the build. If the team already has a support to buy a courier, those 150 gold can go into Wards instead. The Gauntlets of Strength are not a must, although they really help with survivability in the early-game. If it seems like Leshrac will endure just fine without the added perk from the Gauntlets of Strength, they can be swapped for a Mantle of Intelligence, which helps his mana pool quite a bit.
Early Game Items
Depending on your enemies in your lane, you could choose to build any item first. Boots of Speed are great if the enemy team is composed of heroes that like to chase. A Bracer though, will boost your survival by a great deal and should be bought first if the lane has heroes capable of bursting Leshrac down immediately.
If a Mantle of Intelligence was bought instead of the Gauntlets of Strength, switch the Bracers for a Null Talisman. The Magic Wand is last on this list because while it provides a great stat gain for its price, it does not benefit Leshrac that much and can even be skipped in favor of getting the core items more quickly.
Once again, the choice of items depends on what kind of opposition Leshrac is facing. Phase Boots are superb for escaping as well as chasing and should be used if a quick escape is needed. Arcane Boots, on the other hand, are great for the spell-spamming sorcerer, as the mana they give back allows you to more freely use your abilities without worrying about exhausting your mana supply.
Bloodstone is a great item for Leshrac because it helps him with his mana issues and allows him to keep his ultimate toggled for much longer. The extra health and health regeneration are also great, not to mention the AoE heal it provides your allies if the enemy manages to take you down.
The upgrade from Aghanim's Scepter, while not much of a difference, is still a good enough upgrade to make it worth a buy. The added DPS to Pulse Nova is a great help in team fights, since it also provides an all-around good stat bonuses and increases to your health and mana.
Late Game Items
Leshrac's late-game items are very situational and therefore difficult to list them all. These are but a small list of items that can be of used during the end of a game. Eye of Skadi is great because of the same reasons as Aghanim's Scepter, giving good stat bonuses and increases to your health and mana, but the passive is what really makes it useful for Leshrac. Thanks to the slow it provides when your attacks hit enemies, chasing enemies and keeping up when Diabolic Edict is activated becomes an easy task.
Dagon is great if the enemy team has one Hero who needs to be defeated as quickly as possible and the extra Intelligence is also very useful. The Cyclone from Eul's Scepter of Divinity makes landing a Split Earth an easy task and so does Scythe of Vyse. Radiance will further add to Leshrac's AoE capabilities, making him an expert in systematically decimating the enemy team, although buying Radiance is far from the norm in competitive games.
Leshrac, while being a very tough Hero to master, is a lot of fun to play when you are capable of utilizing his abilities to the fullest. It is very satisfying to predict and correctly land Split Earth, especially when it rewards your team with a kill. He also does really well in team fights and is therefore a solid pick for almost any composition. His weaknesses are his frailty and low mana pool, but they are overshadowed by his marvelous capabilities. Therefore, Leshrac is recommended to anyone who believes they are ready to take on a more complex Hero.