Playing against Huskar
Huskar players usually follow a cookie-cutter guide. Consisting of Bracers , Power treads , Armlet of Mordiggian and Heaven’s Halberd . They rarely opt for anything else, spare a BKB , since the hero heavily relies on timings and doesn’t scale well into the late game against harder carry heroes. Abusing this knowledge is part of the way of countering Huskar.
Generally, Huskar is going to have high Hp regen, armour and evasion in the midgame. Countering him can be accomplished by either building against these factors, or shutting his game down before. Early game Huskar is extremely weak, and as thus should be punished for his lack of stats and bad positioning.
There are multiple ways of countering Huskar . Countering him with hero picks is the easiest, but Huskar can be 10th picked when your team has no good heroes like Ancient Apparition . Thus, we will be discussing counters in form of Hero counters, Item counters and how to play against Huskar .
These heroes are strong at countering Huskar due to either their spells or unique playstile. While some may require prior knowledge of the matchup, some are more straightforward. Even players unaccustomed to these heroes will not have a hard time figuring things out.
The most well known counter to high regeneration heroes such as Huskar , Alchemist , etc. Ice blast places a debuff for 10/11/12 seconds that cancels all regeneration and healing. It also causes the affected unit to „shatter“, i.e. die when their health drops bellow a certain threshold. In combination with his Ice Vortex which reduces the enemies Magic resistance bursting Huskar down with a bit of team coordination should not be a difficult task.
Using Reaper’s scythe blowing Huskar the moment he drops below 50% hp can be done easily. On top of that, Necrophos can use Ghost Shroud to become imune to Huskar’s auto attacks and Heartstopper aura will cancel out Huskar’s regeneration (especially with the lvl 20 Talent and Aghanim’s scepter). Be careful not to use Ghost shroud too early, as you will take bonus magic damage from Life break , as well as any Burning Spears stacks accumulated before.
Death prophet is a very annoying hero for Huskar to deal with. Spirit siphon will keep you at max HP while countering Huskar’s regeneration. Silence will stop Huskar from turning on you with either Life break or pushing you away with Inner Vitality . Exorcism will melt Huskar since he won’t be building high armor, opting for evasion instead, which Exorcism completely ignores.
Broodmother can completely destroy Huskar players both in early and mid game. Without a reliable way of dealing with your Spiders Huskar can only use Inner vitality to push them away. Incapacitating bite is extremely annoying to deal with, as most Huskar players will not want to buy MKB, hence they will have to burn their BKB charges. Luckily, Broodmother has unobstructed movement and can easily kite Huskar’s BKB duration, effectively wasting it. Insatiable Hunger allows you to man up against a Huskar without fear of dying as the insane lifesteal will keep you at high health at all times.
While certainly not the best way of dealing with Huskar , it’s a straightforward one. Using Static link you deplete all of Huskar’s physical dmg, lower his armor with Eye of the storm and follow him around during your BKB duration. Even if you don’t kill him, he will effectively be out of damage for the 18s duration of Static link .
Shackleshot can disable Huskar for up to 4.6s, and since he will most likely be playing in front of his team, there is a high chance of it latching. Powershot will make sniping him in the early to mid game a breeze (pun intended) with it’s insane 450 magic damage at Lvl 4. Windrun gives 100% evasion significantly reducing Huskar’s damage output. Rushing MKB is a common way of playing against Huskar , as in conjunction with Focus fire you can make quick work of Huskar .
As mentioned before, Huskar has no reliable way of dealing with multiple units, such as illusions. Phantasm illusions deal high burst physical damage, while also being extremely tanky. Reality Rift also lowers the enemies armor making Huskar even more likely to die.
Maledict deals damage based on the difference between when it was applied and every 4 seconds after. The burst damage is entirely based on the difference between the hero’s current health and its health as the curse got applied. Death ward upgraded with Aghanim’s scepter has True strike, thus completely ignoring Huskar’s Evasion via Halberd or other sources.
Notable mentions : Break
Nethertoxin places a Break debuff on Huskar , completely disabling his Berserker’s blood health regeneration and attack speed. While running out of the Nethertoxin area isn’t hard per se, if followed up by Viper strike and Poison attacks movement speed slow, Huskar will be stuck in the Nethertoxin AOE for a long time. Viper strike pierces BKB therefore Huskar can easily be kited due to the extreme movement speed slow of Viper strike .
Patch 7,20 added a 4s Break debuff to any unit struck by Vendetta , while 7,24 changed the dmg type to Pure. Thus, Nyx assassin can not only solo kill a farming Huskar for most of the early to mid game, but also opens up a window for his team to kill the Huskar . Due to Huskar’s low movement speed hitting an Impale isn’t difficult. Timing your Spiked carapace for his Inner vitality can be done easily by anticipating him using it the moment one of your Melee physical damage allies gets close to Huskar .
While quite unattainable on most support Shadow demons , a core Shadow demon can apply break up to 3 times in a short duration with his ultimate ability Demonic Purge , rendering Huskar useless for 21 seconds. Disruption is a strong ability for either saving allies from Huskar’s Life break, or simply controlling the Huskar instead. Soul Catcher burns up to 35% of Huskar’s Health, making him an easier target to burst. Huskar’s lack of movement speed also makes him quite vulnerable to stacking up Shadow poison during laning phase, which can in turn cripple his early to mid game potential.
There are several ways of countering Huskar in terms of itemization. A Spirit vessel should be purchased in every game against Huskar . Recent buffs in 7.26a added the Spirit Vessel Degen Aura ability, that reduces any HP regeneration in a 1200 radius by 20%. Support players can try to rush it. With a good start it’s possible to get it early on supports, but risking getting it late should be avoided. Therefore, Cores players should build it, as they can use it to snowball any early game aggression. In high level pubs as well as the professional scenes, Spirit vessel is often times purchased by farming heroes. Heroes such as Ember spirit, Kunkka and Invoker can make great use of it for snowballing. Rushing it opens up a wide window-of-opportunity, before Huskar purchases his BKB, to use it against him.
Just as it makes him strong to fight your carry, it’s also great for countering Huskar. Heaven’s Halberd applies a 5s disarm on Huskar and can therefore significantly lower his dps. It’s important to keep in mind that the disarm debuff cannot be purged by BKB or Life break, but has to be applied before Huskar uses his BKB. Build it on a core heroes to get it early; build it too late and Huskar might have already snowballed out of control.
While glimmer cape doesn’t deal with Huskar directly, it can save an ally from Huskar , as it gives bonus magic resistance to the target, decreasing damage taken by Life Break and Burning Spears.
Ghost scepter and E-blade.
While it does amplify magic damage done by Huskar, it can protect you or your ally from accumulating more stacks. It can also be used to disable and slow Huskar for a brief moment, and amplify any damage your casters throw at him.
How to play against Huskar
If you were unlucky to face a 10th pick Huskar with no good hero counters, do not fret, there still is a chance. By making smart decision with your team, and playing the map to your advantage, you can make the Huskar pick a liability.
If you can’t fight into a Huskar, then don’t fight into a Huskar.
This is one of the biggest mistakes players in lower MMR tend to do. They optimistically cling to the thought that things may by chance go right. If you want to improve, stick to plays that are reliable and predictable. Going for high risk-high reward can often backfire. Therefore, go for safe plays to buy time. Delaying the game by 5min can net you 1 or 2 more items, that can turn the fight.
Split the map
By pushing the opposite side of the map from Huskar , you can force one of the enemy players to teleport back, allowing you to either take favourable 4v5 fights or at the very least get a trade going, be it in the form of objectives (towers, Roshan) or map pressure and farm (lanes).
Huskar can be a real menace to deal with, but he’s a hero that wants to play in your face. He wants to invade your side of the map and play aggressively. The solution to this is simple, go to his side of the map. Heroes with wave clear can do this very effectively. Eait for a creep wave to spawn and kill it with your spells. Without creeps pushing your base will have Backdoor protection enabled. While Huskar’s dps is quite high, it’s mostly magical, and doesn’t do a thing against buildings.
Punish Huskar early.
Going against Huskar when he is strong can be extremely difficult, therefore run at him while he is still weak. Most heroes outscale a Lvl 1 or 2 Huskar . Zone him out of the lane. Obviously this is easier when Huskar is in the side lanes than on mid. But rotating to the mid lane for a gank should be encouraged. Supports with disables such as Lion or Shadow Shaman should use a Smoke of Deceit , while roamers like Tuskar or Earth spirit can use their abilities to initiate. Even Earthshaker can do serious damage by blocking Huskar’s escape route with a well placed Fissure .
Once Huskar leaves the lane to farm the jungle, place wards, invade his jungle and punish him for farming at low health. The only reason Huskar can get big is because you let him get big.
By forcing him to play early on with his teammates, you are restricting his growth. Which, in turn will allow your heroes to out-scale him. Playing against a last pick Huskar doesn’t have to be disheartening if you keep your head calm and focus on dealing with him in a structural manner. Countering Huskar can be done via both hero picks and playing around him. Restrict his farm, deny Roshan from him, and keep him disabled in fights. When low on numbers cut waves to buy time, and split the map to abuse his low mobility. Don’t spread blame but rather think „What can I do to punish the Huskar?“