I’ve seen some number of threads mentioning Alucard being at the very bad spot. While I agree that Alucard is hard and meta isn’t very friendly for him, he is far from being bad.
Short history lesson first.
Alucard ultimate gives no extra lifesteal for autoattacks in 1.1.62. Thus, extra lifesteal is only applied to skills, but cooldown on ulti is shorter and it lasts longer.
Thus, crit builds for Alucard isn’t as viable as before, because no extra lifelink. With this change above, devs clearly stated that they want to see skill damage / CDR more than pure ADC crit/aspd/damage setups.
It wasn’t just a nerf, it was buff too, because they reduced cooldown on ultimate. Now, if you have 40% cdr, it’s whooping 12 seconds cooldown with 8 seconds activity. Yeah, you can launch wave and do second wave after 4 seconds 🙂
That’s why, current Alucard play is all about skilldamage. Skilldamage means certain restriction: if you can’t kill with burst, your damage after is pretty small. Thus, you should retreat after engages. Jump in, do skills, jump/run out. Unlike mages, you can waste your ult without much fear, cuz it’s cooldown is pretty low. If you drove someone away from your lane with combo – it’s already good enough.
Build with explanation:
- Magic Shoes — you want CDR, and you need shoes to play in-and-out gamestyle.
- Tooth of Greed — core item. Your ultimate bonus lifesteal is 15-20-25 + current lifesteal. Thus, without greed it’s just 15-20-25, with greed it’s 55-60-65 (without green unique). Adds good bunch of AD too, so fits skilldamage playstyle. Can easily solo turtle at this point.
- Hunter strike — raw AD and CDR.
- Dominance Ice — some armor is nice (approx 30% phys damage reduction), 15% CDR is awesome. 35%cdr (+emblem) at this point. Can solo lord with no damage taken (tho pretty slow).
- Endless Battle — you trigger skills often, and do autoattack afterwards with chase. Your AD is pretty high. Extra true damage is a big bonus. Extra lifesteal is good bonus too: 35% on basics, 95% on skills after ultimate.
- Immortality (so you can initiate, die, revive and ulti to heal) / Wind Chaser (even without armor build against you, opponents have innate armor; Wind Chaser is 20% more damage MINIMUM).
I use roamer emblem. It’s perfect fit: CDR, movement speed for in-and-out, and even some bonus damage due to penetration.
- Sprint — my skill of choice. It’s better when you need to run out a big distance, not just dash back to your team. Namely, when you splitpush and they came for you 😀
- Flicker — better in teamfights, because ignores slow.
Skill order: always second, always ult, first rest.
How to play
Full, bread and butter combo: Ultimate ONCE, autoattack to chase, 2nd, chase, (some autos, waiting for gap opener), 1st to catch distance, chase, autos, 2nd (back from cooldowns), ulti second time (chase if really low).
Can shorten combo in any place if situation calls, can use 1st after ulti to run out.
Can prolong combo if needed (probably want that against tanks), waiting for 1st skill to CD before wave. Then wave again after 4 sec.
Can start with 1st if need to engage from afar, but then you are vulnerable to enemy dashes.
You are okay anywhere, mid is worst choise, but still menegeable.
Top: rush their bushes, check if they doing rune(not at tower/smaller minion):
If they do, kill minions between 3 and 2 tower (your minions run straight into turret and die, you negate whole wave for them), run back to your jungle and clear it.
If they don’t, retreat and take your blue camp. Hit smaller minion, hit rune, meet them at the middle, hit both with skills and autos.
Mid: If possible, just clear the lane in their face. Take some up to ~40-50% damage, you’ll heal it with regeneration (don’t fail it). While regen, go to jungle creep and clear it, then back to lane.
Best profit of being mid is ability to roam. You are doing pretty heavy burst at lvl4, so 3vs2 can lead in 1-2 kills. Dive the towers if you think you’ll be unpunished for that (no stun).
Bottom: kill small minion, clear wave, clear second or go for rune. Going for rune first is risky: you’ll probably miss first vawe.
General laning rules
Harass them with your ability to burst with skills. Burst/run out if they don’t fear it. You win the trade if you loss less hp than him. Sustain makes you scary: you do damage and heal up all the damage taken, thus driving ppl off lane or killing them with burst, if they dare to go on low HP.
Use your skills to clear the last ranged creep, so you can go jungle safe while they are clearing your wave. Sometimes you just want to kill creeps and go farm somewhere else, go in and kill creeps with skills.
If you need to protect the tower, stay way behind it. Don’t be in the range of their skills, even pokes. You can always jump in and AoE with skills, hit both players and minions, thus tower will start damaging them. After you cleared the wave, go jungle if you have time.
Same applies to general spacing. Be further that ranged attack range. Your first -> chase range is very long, if you suddenly need to go in.
Sometimes you can just walk in and do second -> chase, saving dash to retreat without insane hp loss.
Protect towers, even if it’s not your lane. Go back to your lane just in time to protect it as well 🙂
Splitpush – you do that exceptionally well. Don’t be afraid to ult minions under the tower. Retreat shorty after you don’t see enemys on map. Push it again when they leave.
Sneak turtle if you can.
Farm. If you fall back – you’ll be useless. It’s a road of no return. If you can go farm/push without risk of losing tower or getting killed – go for it.
Help your teammates by bursting enemys, try to redirect hit on yourself if you see your teammate running on low HP. Don’t prioritize fullblown teamfights tho, just burst and go splitpushing.
Kill solo players (namely, splitpushers). Yeah, 1vs1. You should win. Burst is enough to kill any enemy, lifesteal makes you at least 1.5 times tougher(calculated based on death reports 😀 ), and chasing abilities are great.
Burst squishies that are protected badly, be prepared to retreat.
Don’t miss teamfights. Run near, be in the bushes, take unexpected positions to assault, retreat if you 1vsMany. Go in if your team initiates, hero lock squishy damage dealers or hit AoE 3-4 players. Once you bursted, retreat, wait shortly for cooldowns, go back and kill.
Your general role is to push all the lanes on the pretty much same level. When enemies come to your lane -> run out to clear next lane faster then opponents do that, thus laying constant pressure on their towers, not on yours. Turtle / Creeps is nonessential at this point (except enemy runes).
Don’t initiate unless your team is desparate and have no tank. If that’s the case, you better have immortality up and be prepared to use it (don’t ulti before you die, ulti after).
You can burst. It’s your role. At the end of the game, if only one or two opponents defending against whole team, it’s you who must go and kill them, securing tower kill or victory.
Things you should be aware
- Moskov stun. If he pins you to the wall – it’s the game. Worst counter.
- CCs, obviously. Wait till those hit. Don’t rush the battle just after your tank went in, wait until everyone CC’d.
- Don’t waste burst on tanks or tanky chars(unless that’s that’s last char in the game). If you see balmond or freya, or chou – proceed with care, they might run tank build. If you waste your skills before true damage dealer appears – it’s very bad for you. You probably want just to throw 2nd, it’s on low CD.