You must learn to sacrifice.
Learn how to stomp every game playing Huskar. This guide will focus on the standard way of playing Huskar, his item progression as well as the general game plan. Huskar is a ranged strength carry hero who has a high risk high reward play-style. The hero is conceptually simple, the lower his HP, the higher his DPS gets. He has an AoE nuke and disarm that knocks enemies back, One of the best DoT single target spells in the game, Passive that gives him tons of health regeneration and attack speed when his life is low and a gap closing spell that slows enemies and damages both Huskar and the target, with a potential taunt by purchasing Aghanim’s scepter.
In the current meta of fighting with your team, Huskar can provide an amazing front-line tank, dishing out impressive single target DPS while also securing mid lane as few heroes are able to contest him. Important to note though, Huskar is a 10th pick type of hero. While he can be absolutely unstoppable in many games you do not want to pick him vs Ancient Apparition or Illusion heroes such as PL and CK. To learn how to deal with Huskar, stay tuned for our upcoming Huskar guide on playing against him.
Inner Fire is an AoE Nuke/Disarm ability that knocks enemies back. This ability allows Huskar to disable heroes that rely on their auto-attacks as well as farm creeps. Heroes like Phantom Assassin , Slardar , Clinkz , Troll Warlord , Templar Assassin , Slark , and many other right click heroes. The disarm can be dispelled via any basic dispel. Because of this buying Heaven’s halberd in conjunction can be great as it’s disarm cannot be dispelled by magic immunity or dispels.
Inner Fire’s knock-back is probably as good as it’s disarm in certain situations. It can be combo-ed with Puck’s Dream Coil for a guaranteed stun. Push heroes into a Chronospehere or just force Nature’s prophet out of Sprout and Clockwerk out of Power Cogs . Even just pushing heroes over a cliff can be advantages at times. This is also a double edged sword, as it can save your opponent from these spells just as well.
In team-fights you can cast it right after Life Break to separate your enemies and confuse them. You can push melee heroes who are chasing you away and make your run easier. In chasing scenarios after you Life Break take half a second to go in front of the slowed enemy and knock him back towards your allies. If not careful, You will save an enemy hero by pushing it away from your self and allies. So think before you act.
Inner fire’s dmg isn’t high enough to justify maxing it early, but it can be used to secure last hits in lane.
Burning Spear is you main source of damage throughout the game. In laning phase it allows you to harass enemy heroes without drawing creep aggro. It does not cost mana, rather it removes 15 health on every cast, but your passive, will make this sustainable. Therefore if you want more attack speed for better farm in lane use Burning Spear to reach the amount of health you want.
Burning Spear is better to be cast manually. Putting it on auto-cast uses Huskar’s 400 attack range, while manually casting it has a 450 range.
While farming jungle always keep Burning Spear active to boost your farm and learn to calculate the number of stacks you need on each creep before you switch target. After lowering the creep down to ~40% hp you can change targets, as the applied stacks will deal with the creep quickly. While you are taking care of another unit or camp, the poor creep is burning to death. This will boost your farming speed quite a bit, as you need less attacks to farm creeps, and can come quite in handy with Ancient creeps with a lot more HP.
Burning spears should be taken at lvl1 as Huskar’s base dmg is not worth mentioning, but in conjunction with Burning spears he can dish out enough harass dmg to get him to lvl3. Lvl2 Burning spears is where you start doing enough dmg to zone out your opponent and secure the lane for yourself.
Berserker’s Blood is Huskar’s signature skill, It’s what makes Huskar who he is. It provides massive amount of health regeneration and attack speed which helps you stay in lane, last hit and deny efficiently and not die. The regeneration is amplified by strength, that’s one of the reasons we build 2, 3 or even 4 Bracers.
Having more Strength has never been this important to Huskar and it’s all because of bonus regeneration. 150 HP regeneration in the middle of fight is simply amazing. Early game Bracers , Heaven’s Halberd , Satanic , Heart , Dragon Lance these items boost your health regeneration and make you very hard to kill in fights.
There are also few problems with Berserker’s Blood. Being on low health means you farm faster, fight harder and push with more power. The downside of this is you become susceptible to high burst dmg heroes such as Lion, Lina, Queen of Pain, Skywrath Mage. When facing them be careful to not go too low into the red.
Life Break is your main gap closing ability. It is a Magical dmg nuke based of your opponent’s current health which also makes Huskar an anti-tank. The self damage is magical and is reduced by Magic Resistance (another reason for stacking Bracers). If the target has magic immunity Life Break will still apply a 60% movement speed slow.
While Farming jungle cast Life Break on neutral creeps to offset the regeneration of your passive and gain more attack speed. It’s also very effective at clearing Ancient creeps with lots of health.
Casting Life Break on a target with active Blade Mail can deal a lot of damage to you as well, especially if they had a lot of HP to begin with. A BKB or Satanic should be picked up, otherwise your regeneration may not kick in in-time to save you. When you get extra Life Break cast range talent you can actually use it as an escape mechanism, similar to Phantom Rush, just keep an eye out for creeps or other units to attack.
While leaping under the effect of Life break, you are still able to use items and cast spells. Therefore a bad jump can be canceled by using a Blink dagger , or popping BKB while mid-air.
Lvl 10: Huskar’s physical dmg output is really low, therefore taking +12 dmg can offset that weakness of his and even helps a lot with pushing towers. The Health on the other hand does not work well with Berserker’s blood as the regeneration amplification is based on Strength and not max HP. So +12 dmg is the better one.
Lvl 15: 15% Lifesteal will be your only source of life-steal until you get Satanic , or a teammate buys a Vladimir’s offering. +6 burning dps is a decent talent, increasing Burning spears DPS by ~30%. I’d recommend going for the life-steal, as it makes fighting people while at 10% life safer and more frustrating for the opponent.
Lvl 20: +40% Berserker’s blood hp regeneration will in combination with a Heart of Tarasque show some ridiculous numbers. The bonus Life break cast range is my recommendation as it allows you to jump people from further away. By the time you have to choose this talent your opponent will have picked up blink daggers and force staffs, so having the extra range can do wonders.
Lvl 25: Hands down Burning spears pure damage is too good not to take. Being able to deal damage unmitigated by magic resistance and BKB makes you an unstoppable machine.
This Huskar guide will focus on Maxing Burning spears as priority, since it’s your main farming and harassing tool. You will want to max Berserker’s blood 2nd as it allows you to stay on the map longer and lets you shrug off chip damage with ease. You can take a value point of i at 4, or skip it for later on. Maxing Berserker’s blood early is not advised as the regeneration is based on Strength, which you lack early on, and the attack speed gain is minimal unless you rely on playing at 10% which in this context would be <100 hp.
Depending on the game and lane match-up, sometimes you will see Huskar players get Inner fire as early as lvl 1. Such an investment slows down your farming and harassing potential too much. A value point at 1 can be justified if facing Ember spirit with Flame guard, as you can instantly cancel it. Just one point at 4 if needed is usually enough though.
Huskar’s Item build
While some Huskar guides out there are recommending going Dagon and blowing people up, we want to stomp games and win MMR. You want to start with a combination of stats, regeneration and a wind lace . The Wind lace is due to Huskar’s low base movement speed. His lane potential is only limited by 2 factors. His atrocious armor and ability to hit enemies. The armor doesn’t matter in lane much if you mind your positioning and play behind creeps.
Early game items are Bracers , Boots of choice, a Magic wand and rushing straight for Armlet of Mordiggian. This item was made for Huskar. In fact it’s so good on him he even has a cosmetic set based on the item. Boots of choice should be either Power Treads for more Strength, or Phase boots against physical line-ups.
Mid game items are about dealing with what is against you. Halberd is a generally safe choice as it offers more Strength, status resistance, evasion and a way to deal with annoying right clickers like Enchantress , Outworld Devourer etc.
Late game you want to be buffing yourself up to become an unstoppable force that just crushes their opponents body,spirit and mind. Satanic is great when facing a lot of disables and the active is amazing at turning any engagement. Heart of Tarasque offers insane HP regeneration as well as a solid boost to your max Hp. Assault Cuirass and Shiva’s guard are good choices for armor, the former offering stronger pushing potential, while the later helps with clearing illusions and summons. Special shout-out to Lotus orb as it can be a viable replacement for BKB when facing single target spells.
Armlet of Mordiggian
No Huskar guide would be complete without mentioning Armlet. Armlet of Mordiggian is Huskar’s most important item, it provides armor, regeneration , attack speed and damage. While activated it gives even more armor, damage and provides strength. Once you get armlet , you can gank and kill, clear whole jungle, push towers, cheat death, can solo kill Roshan and basically everything that you want to do is possible with this item.
When armlet is active you receive bonus strength and strength gives health and you can’t die when the bonus health is gone. So every time you are close to death, you can toggle armlet twice to have free HP.
This technique is crucial for solo Roshing and is kinda easy against projectiles. When attempting to solo Roshan do pay attention to the state of the map, and use a Smoke of deceit to avoid running through enemy vision. To learn more about warding spots near Rosh pit check out our Warding guide.
Armlet toggling is the only mechanically difficult thing one has to learn to be any good at Huskar. Going from 50 to 500 hp in a single moment can turn many unfavourable fights. And it’s free with no noteworthy cool down, so you can keep doing it all day long.
When to pick Huskar.
You can pick him against most melee heroes. Few melee heroes can tank your Burning spears while being a kill threat. Do not pick him against Ancient Apparition , as you will be rendered useless in teamfights due to his kit. Also don’t pick vs Illusion heroes, most notably Chaos Knight as his high physical burst can end you.
Huskar is not a late game carry, and as such should not be picked with games that will obviously go late. Heroes like Spectre, Morphling, Techies, Sniper, all have ways of prolonging the game. Your goal is to end the game around 30min by snowballing from an early lead.
Choosing your lane.
Huskar is pretty strong during laning phase, especially against melee heroes. Their innate block does nothing against the 3 stacks of Burning Spear that you just gave them. Huskar is not a strong beast for his first few levels and shouldn’t solo offlane since he has no escape unless its against two weak melees, however he works well mid or a lane with a support. Hands down the best lane for Huskar is mid. In a strict 1v1 he is able to crush most heroes, and the solo experience enables his snowball. He is also viable as a safelaner, but should be paired up with a strong pos 5 such as Ogre Magi or Undying, as Huskar’s low base stats make him easy to kill in a 2v1 scenario.
How to play Huskar?
Huskar’s game plan can be divided into 3 separate sections.
1st: Laning stage
Lvl 1 and 2 you are very weak. Huskar has low base armor, low physical dmg, and a terrible attack animation. You want to play defensively against most hard hitters. Poking them with Burning spears is fine,but you should never commit too hard.
Lvl 3 is when you become much stronger with Lvl 2 Burning spears. This is when you start stacking them on the enemy. Each stack will deal 80 magical dmg, and cost you only 15 HP.
In case laning stage goes bad, do not worry. Huskar is one of the few mid heroes that can reliably farm ancient camps. Just mind your position and make sure nobody ganks you. Farming ancient camps means you will be sitting at extremely low health and can die to 1 spell.
Once you have your Armlet complete you become a much stronger hero. This is a huge power spike that you want to abuse to pressure your opponents. Taking the mid tower, killing the enemy safe-lane and delaying their game or even solo taking Roshan. Once you have completed Armlet the world opens up.
Hitting this timing must be used to snowball your lead and suppress your opponents. Teleport to a lane and push it with your team. Going straight for Roshan can make it obvious, especially against aware supports with vision in place.
Once you have Armlet and Aegis of the Immortal you want to group up and start pushing the Tier 3 tower and threatening Barracks. Once you have the Aegis you should as a Huskar guide your teammates towards taking the enemy base. With ~100 HP/sec regeneration you can tank the front line. They should sit behind you and cast their spells from a safe distance. Despite his kit Huskar will get out-scaled into the late game. As such you want to end the game before the 30 min mark. You want to end the game with your high tempo. Bracers , Armlet , Aegis and perhaps a Halberd and you are ready to siege the enemy base.
Dealing with counters.
When it comes to dealing with counterpicks, you need to asses what makes them good against you.
Ice blast renders your regeneration obsolete, therefore you need to either dodge it or wait it out. Status resistance helps as well as Huskar is a natural buyer of Halberd and Satanic .
Viper can disable(break) your passive Berserker’s blood by dropping his Nethertoxin . In combination with his Viper strike and Poison attack you will not be able to move. The only way of dealing with him is by either using magic immunity (BKB ) or moving out of the Nethertoxin and bursting him during it’s downtime. Huricane pike should be considered as it not only allows you to move out of Nethertoxin’s aoe, but also attack Viper from further away, placing you in a safer position.
Necrophos can blow you up the moment you reach 50% HP using Reaper’s scythe . Against him stacking magic resistance usually isn’t enough, and a BKB should be top priority when engaging him. It’s very important to keep track of his ultimate, as if he has already used it on someone, you are free to jump him. Also worth noting that Ghost Shroud will amplify the damage he takes from Life break and Burning spears.
Death prophet is a very annoying hero to play against. Her Spirit siphon will keep her at max HP. Silence will keep you unable to push her away or dispel yourself with life break. Exorcism straight up means you can never be near her, as it’s absurdly high damage output will shred you before you get any meaningful armour upgrade such as Assault Cuirass.
Broodmother is one of the hardest counters to Huskar because of the difference in playstile. Huskar has no reliable way of dealing with Spiderlings unless he goes for a unconventional Maelstrom, Shiva’s or perhaps Radiance build. Incapacitating bite will remove your ability to deal dmg while any lost health she will regain with Insatiable hunger . If you are already stuck playing against her, leave her to your team to deal with. Disarm her if you can, but other than that, keep your focus on the weaker targets that you are able to deal with.
Huskar is a last pick addition to your team that puts your game on a timer. He has one of the highest potentials of all heroes and can go absolutely uncontested if picked in the right circumstances. Do beware though that the counters he has can absolutely ruin his game. You do not want to face his hardcounters, and you even less go late game against them. Huskar’s power spikes are based around strong early game item timings and Aegis. Thus, your main goal should always be to group up with your teammates and push high ground before the enemy cores get online. Tier 4 neutral items can give Huskar a huge boost, but at that point it might be too late and he will be overshadowed by other cores.
When played in the right situation, you can infuriate your opponents by playing at a hair’s width from death, all the while you farm their heroes and decimate their base. When playing Huskar remember to always keep check of the enemy’s abilities, as knowing which are currently unavailable affects how low your HP is allowed to fall.
So good luck, have fun making your opponent’s life miserable, get that early Rosh with Armlet and become the raid boss you always wanted to be. If you want to learn how to play huskar from a real booster you can always check out Dota 2 Boosting service and choose Huskar as hero to play for our boosters.