Necrophos Is The New King Of Pubs

Necrophos now tops the win rate charts for patch 7.01 at 57.64%. His rework, along with the nerfing of perennial pub-king, Omniknight, has rocketed him to be the biggest pub stomper of this patch. It doesn’t necessarily mean he’s broken or he’s the best hero, but across most skill brackets, he’s winning a larger portion of his games than every other hero.

Where Necrophos falters is in the 4-5k+ MMR bracket, where his win rate drops by 2-4 points, but it’s still dominant. But he has yet to make his mark in the pro scene, where he was played only once at the recent ESL One Genting.

That’s where Necrophos shares some commonalities with top performers of previous patches, such as Omniknight, Wraith King, and Abaddon. He may be a meta hero in pubs, but he isn’t in pro games, and that’s most likely why he isn’t picked as often as his strength suggests. He ranks #1 in win rate and 20th in popularity. Then there’s Abaddon, who has the 2nd highest win rate and is 84th in popularity.

Popularity translates from pros to pubs, but rarely does success. Leshrac and Invoker were, at one point or another, the most picked hero of the patch for pubs, but not always the winningest. Pub players across the MMR board wouldn’t be able to maximize the potential those heroes had when they were imbalanced in their metas. So, the most successful heroes in pubs tend to have inherent strengths, making it difficult for an average player to blunder.

What’s New?

  • Reaper's Scythe Scepter upgrade no longer disables buyback or deals extra damage.
  • Reaper's Scythe Scepter upgrade reduces cooldown to 55/40/25. Death Pulse now passively provides 1/3/5/7 HP/MP regen for 7 seconds for each unit you kill (10x for heroes).
  • Death Pulse damage reduced from 125/175/225/275 to 80/120/160/200
  • Death Pulse heal reduced from 70/90/110/130 to 60/80/100/120
  • Replaced Sadist with a new ability, Ghost Shroud. Turns you Ethereal for 3/3.5/4/4.5 seconds and grants you a 600 AoE slow aura that reduces enemy movement speed by 12/20/28/36%. While you are in this form you take 20% more magic damage but any HP/MP you heal is amplified by 50%. Cooldown: 28/24/20/16

In the previous patch, Necrophos with Aghanim’s Scepter had the unique ability to "delete" a hero out of the game for two minutes, with no recourse of buying back. It added an interesting dynamic to the hero, but it felt like a gimmick, especially if his viability in the meta hinged on that skill.

The new upgrade drops the cooldown of lvl 3 Reaper's Scythe Reaper's Scythe to 25 seconds (18.75 with Octarine). With a lower CD, Necrophos players no longer need to keep their trigger finger ready for that one crucial kill. It also matched thematically. Necrophos players want to extend fights for more ticks of Heartstopper Aura Heartstopper Aura and Death Pulse Death Pulse casts, and now they’ll most likely be able to cast multiple Scythes at the same time.

The other change essentially integrated Sadist’s mechanic into Death Pulse, and gave Necrophos a new skill. Much like how Queen of Pain’s Blink jumps 1300 range versus Blink Dagger’s 1200, Ghost Shroud is Necrophos’ Ghost Scepter, but better. The duration is longer, the extra magic damage taken is lower, and to top it off, it slows enemies and increases your healing (both HP and mana). The new skill makes Mekansm Mekansm a core first item, if it wasn’t before, when some pro carries would opt for Rod of Atos.

What Is The Build?

The different win rates for Necrophos’ talent builds

Sometimes talent trees are situational, but Necrophos has some choices that are better in most situations. The extra +120 hp is about a 10% HP gain for Necrophos, but the +40 damage is crucial for accelerating his farm in the early and mid game.

His level 15 talent is a bit trickier. Pubs are in favor of +6 stats, but the results so far don’t favor one or the other as far as win rate. One rationale is similar to why previously Necrophos players preferred Treads over Phase Boots. Necrophos needed some early HP, and his mobility later on could be compensated with a Blink Dagger or Force Staff.

Even with Dota’s change to buff spell damage based on intelligence, spellcasters have very few ways of buffing their damage, but many ways to increase their survivability. That’s why his level 20 talent not only favors +5% Spell Amplification, but it also has a significant win rate difference.

The case is the same for Necrophos level 25 talent. Octarine Core Octarine Core is the only item in the game that can reduce cooldown, while there are many items Necrophos players can look to for HP. One second may not sound like a lot, but it’s essentially a 20% reduction in cooldown for Death Pulse. Octarine Core brings this down to 3 seconds, close to the base attack time of a siege creep.

wings.blink’s build in his 12/0/14 performance against Newbee in ESL One Genting

Still Not A Support

Because Necrophos heals, he has to fight against the unfair image that he’s a support and not a carry. It doesn’t help that he used to have observer wards as part of his recommended items, or that he was tagged as Support under Valve’s directory.

But misjudging Necrophos and underrating him is part of what makes him strong. Even Newbee tried and failed to take down wings.blink’s Necrophos all game. It’s still too early to see if Necrophos will thrive in competitive play, but meanwhile he’ll continue dominating in pubs.

Headline image by motenai - "Apostle of Decay" set

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      sad solo S U P P O R T

        second highest winrate
        -yah he needs more buffs
        second lowest pickrate(visage)
        buff him then if he wins nerf him to oblivion

        This comment was edited


          Storm Rage-

            Necrophos abusers incoming!


              6 i will win ti16 XD Yeah so op please nerf asap im not a necrphos user.


                Someone make an article about LD no bear build pls


                  nerf incoming, tnx author


                    LOL? King? King is Treant, and this is his food lol.


                      Never first, always chitery

                      It aint me

                        11th now I can die in peace


                          i ahve that set, is very good

                          доярка из хацапетовки

                            Гавно из него сделали, а не персонажа



                              Back from hell

                                DAMN FAIL TO FIRST NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

                                Back from hell

                                  15th btw


                                    take this out. THE SCRUBS CANT FIND OUT

                                    M C T

                                      *DIES TO PUDGE*


                                        Слава Украине


                                          Pretty good


                                            Just won a game with him and yes, seemsgood at the moment. Would play again.

                                            Wings on my Penis

                                              Well i feel his strength in pubs has mostly to do with countering jugger, legion commander, slurk and monkey king so hard its not even funny.
                                              Ok watching amazing LC duels of 2 people staring at each other is actually really funny, played the hero a ton this patch and ghost shroud really messes with all three of thos adding the benefit of providing not only the survivability but also just straight up killing them with reapers scythe once the countering is done.

                                              Fight Machine

                                                He could solo kill any hero with a scepter and a dagon. Not to even mention Eblade and refresher.


                                                  Saw this on twitter before starting a game, didn't read it but decided to try him out. Bloody hell he's unkillable. I decided to go pipe because a) we were ahead and i had the gold and b) it helps negate the additional magic damage and the improved heal rate is improved even further.

                                                  Add to that that your ult cd is pretty low so you can use it purely for the stun. Admittedly the other team weren't great and i'm only 2.7k but still felt a bit to op.


                                                    eeeeeek why would you write this article, now necro is going to be in all my pubs. I really hate that hero, always is my nomination for ban.

                                                    M C T

                                                      he just got escape. still balanced imo


                                                        tldr please anyone?

                                                        End my suffering

                                                          Pick tinker.. Ez ghost shroud..


                                                            haha poor me never play necrophos

                                                            Brock Hall

                                                              This was a really necessary buff, but I'm not so jazzed about the changes to aghs.

                                                              One of the biggest problems with the hero was always that as potentially powerful as his ult was, it was on such a high cooldown that it wasn't worth picking the hero. He couldn't survive long periods of time like, say, bristle could, and thus wasn't putting nearly enough damage out to justify the eventual aghs upgrade. Now the aghs upgrade is kind of what the ult needs to be. Moderately stronger than what would be balanced, mind you, but still, the base cooldown time is ridiculous.

                                                              Clearly that isn't proving to be an issue in pubs, but I think in a well organized game it's still kind of difficult to place him in any one spot. He is still clunky, much like jakiro. Slow turn rate, terrible attack speed and animation, you can outrun death pulse, etc. There's the possibility that he could work in specific situations for sure though. I can see the potential for offlaning him, and it's already been established that he can be played mid.

                                                              Personally love playing the hero and I am very glad to see the early game boost afforded by moving his passive into death pulse. That worked very well for DP a few patches ago and it is working well here too. I do expect to see some rebalancing, but probably only minor nerfs will come. Just a hunch though.


                                                                can plaz articale about lone druid no bear build ?


                                                                  Having this article up here means we will be seeing even more of Necro. Grab your Linken's everybody!

                                                                  Nagmahal, nasaktan, nagmeepo

                                                           87% winrate 453 games IM NOT KIDDING

                                                                    Nagmahal, nasaktan, nagmeepo

                                                             87% winrate 453 games IM NOT KIDDING

                                                                      |Hehe GGWP|

                                                                        Last comment

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                                                                            Idk what y'all are talking about. Necro has always been the king of pubs, he was a great hero and still is a great hero, if not even better

                                                                            Cat Chan Guy

                                                                              Necros has ALWAYS been a fucking pest. He is even cheesier than before! lol


                                                                                Necro is strong as hell. Abusing.


                                                                                  imagine u r low hp on nerco facing 3 enemies
                                                                                  u start juking around and spamming Q
                                                                                  At least 1 of them gets low, u use ulti on him,if u kill him u press W, and u get regen abovt 120 per sec
                                                                                  imbalanced shit


                                                                                    I am pwning necrophos everytime with Monkey King, havent felt at all hes on the rise.
                                                                                    I see him a lot tho, but I am raping him!


                                                                                      good post sir


                                                                                        Funny how the comments is full of 2k ppl lul.its not even op tbh

                                                                                        This comment was edited
                                                                                        I am sick of your pignoyness

                                                                                          shiiiiiiing! chaching! get rekt son.

                                                                                          carrybrah 2

                                                                                            jus lost a game with necro after reading this guide , fuk!


                                                                                              Necro mid is so strong right now :S


                                                                                                lol sky pisses on necro from faaar away