Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Guide – How to Survive and Dominate

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Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Guide – How to Survive and Dominate

The goal of this guide for Shadow Fiend is to help people learn more about the hero.

There are a few classic mid-laners in Dota, but Shadow Fiend is in a league of his own. Although we’ve also seen the hero in the safe lane, most players will go mid, where they have the potential to outplay everyone. 

Shadow Fiend is a ranged Agility hero that starts with 305 movement speed and 4.3 armor. The hero has a 41-47 attack damage, making it one of the lowest in the game. With that said, before getting your Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Arana, here are a few things to remember.


Dota 2 hero Shadow Fiend, a dark colossus figure, appears in black and red, shrouded in darkness.

Regardless of the Dota 2 Shadow Fiend build you go for, you need to know more about the hero’s abilities, so let’s learn more about them.

  • Shadowraze – This ability deals 300 damage, and you can use it three times, depending on the range. Each Shadowraze increases the damage of the other one by 80 on level 4 and slows down the enemy’s movement speed by 15%.
  • Necromastery – When Shadow Fiend kills a unit, he steals his soul and gives him up to 4 damage per soul. The maximum number of souls can reach 20, but when the hero dies, he releases 30% of them.
  • Presence of the Dark Lord – This passive ability allows Shadow Fiend to reduce the armor of his enemies by 7. Furthermore, when a hero dies close to him, the hero gets an additional 20% damage reduction for the 20s.
  • Requiem of Souls – This ability allows Shadow Fiend to release the souls he’s captured, dealing more damage to enemies that are closer to him. This ability is automatically cast on death, it fears target for up to 2.1s and reduces the enemy’s movement speed by 30%, magic resistance by 15%, and it deals 60% damage on return.

If you decide to get an Aghanim’s Shard after this Shadow Fiend Dota 2 guide, Necromastery will allow you to get an extra soul per kill, and you can consume a soul per attack to deal critical damage and fear a target.

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As for the Aghanim’s Scepter, the latter increases the maximum number of souls of Necromastery.


Before looking at the hottest Dota 2 Shadow Fiend sets, take a second to go through the talents.

Level 10 – +25 Attack Speed or +25 Shadowraze Stack Damage

Level 15 – +115 Shadowraze Damage or Presence Aura Affects Building

Level 20 – +0.25s Requiem Fear per line or +3 Damage Per Soul

Level 25 – Shadowraze Applies Attack Damage or -5s Shadowraze Cooldown

Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Guide – Tips


Once you have decided on your chosen Shadow Fiend Dota 2 build, it’s time to start playing. As mentioned, Shadow Fiend is usually a midder, but there were metas where people used him in the safelane. Regardless of the position, Shadow Fiend is a core, so he needs to farm as much as possible.

Regarding farming, SF has a huge advantage over the rest because he can use his nukes to clear the waves and camps. These abilities make him one of the faster farming cores in Dota 2, so he is usually extremely strong in the mid-game.

Another thing to keep in mind while skimming through the Shadow Fiend Dota 2 guide is that you should try to farm and hit the enemy hero with your razes as much as possible. A lot of people underestimate their power, but landing just a couple of razes is enough to bully anyone out of the lane.

Another key thing to remember is that you can easily bounce back in the game even if you die a couple of times. Shadow Fiend is often the go-to target for enemies’ ganks, but this shouldn’t discourage you because you can easily outfarm the enemy heroes.

Finally, don’t forget when reading the Shadow Fiend Dota 2 wiki that the hero needs some time to bounce back after dying because he needs to get his soul. Consequently, SF is definitely not the best buyback hero in the game.

Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Guide – Pros and Cons

Every Dota 2 Shadow Fiend build is really good, but the hero has a few disadvantages that we need to consider.


  • Insane physical and magical damage output
  • Fast farmer
  • Great pusher
  • Good option for AoE ultimate combos
  • SF can bounce back in the game even when dying several times early on
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  • Very fragile
  • He has several big counters

Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Items – early game

Besides utilizing the Shadow Fiend Dota 2 skills, you also need to know which items to get. For the early game, people get HP/mana regen and stats, but they usually use the courier to get additional Hp/mana regen.


In terms of the mid game, Shadow Fiend should have Power Treads and at least a few other items. This includes things like a Black King Bar, Shadow Blade/Blink Dagger, Dragon Lance, Aghanim’s Scepter and a Shard, and so on. This Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Guide tried to include the most popular options, but there might be even more alternatives, depending on the specific match.

Late game

The items we will suggest in guide will be completely different, depending on whether the hero goes for physical or magical damage. Players interested in the first option will go for an Eye of Skadi, Butterfly, Monkey King Bar, Daedalus, and more. Those who prefer the second variation will get an Arcane Blink, Refresher Orb, Eul’s, and Octarine Core. 

Shadow Fiend Dota 2 Counter 

When it comes down to the Dota 2 Shadow Fiend figure, the hero is really strong in many situations. Nevertheless, there are several big counters that players have to take into account:

  • Tinker – Although SF is a good nuker, Tinker is better, and he is extremely annoying to play against.
  • Zeus – Zeus’s damage output is high enough to force Shadow Fiend to play defensively.
  • Ursa – Ursa’s slow and Fury Swipes + Overpower combo can be very dangerous for SF unless the hero has some sort of escape mechanism.
  • Viper – Even though SF can lane well against Viber if he harasses him with the Razes, this hero is usually good against SF.


Whether you have the Shadow Fiend Dota 2 Arcana or not, the hero is definitely an interesting name to keep an eye on. He is challenging to master, but once you know how to play him, you can easily win against everything.

Dota 2 Shadow Fiend Guide – How to Survive and Dominate
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.