0. Practice manual targeting, and learn to position very well I cannot stress this enough, Moskov does the most damage by hitting minions first, heroes second. In the thick of any fight, being able to hit minions instead of heroes can be very advantageous. His passive does bonus damage to secondary targets.
1. See if it’s safe to blink in and start hitting the enemy wave so you can clear it asap. By this, I mean you should figure out where the enemy turret’s max range is , and blink just right outside of it when you also see the first wave just leaving out of the tower. What this does is allow you to start pushing the wave, and also pressure top/bottom lanes (if you start there instead of mid) to get out of their jungle. Also take a step back after every auto so you maintain the ability to pierce through all minions.
2. Moskov dominates the lane through proper positioning. Use your blink to reposition moskov so that your attacks will pierce through the minion and safely hit the enemy champions. If you’re lvl 2+ and fighting against 2 champs, remember you can also stun them together with a proper blink into 2nd skill. It might be harder at first, but this is why I recommend being able to use manual targetting.
3. Moskov’s playstyle varies depending on which Summoner spells you use. 250g jungle item + retribution means your lvl 1 loses to someone who runs a long sword + execute for example, but you can easily kill jungle monsters with a simple blink> retribution > auto > 2nd skill to wall and you’ll reach lvl 3~4 really fast. Consider buying a 120g mana regen item or two because Moskov goes out of mana pretty fast. If you have execute, mid lane Moskov becomes super scary because a simple wall pin at lvl 2 can take 30~40% off an enemy’s hp, and if you do it twice with execute it tends to lead into an early kill at lvl 4. With flicker instead, Moskov gets to engage halfscreen away with blink into flicker. Pretty useful if you see an enemy who’s right next to a wall. Unexpected kills galore. Purify is exceptional as well considering Moskov has to be in the middle of the fight to do the most damage. While assault and fury fulfill their roles as well. Fury gives moskov max aspd so fast in the game and late game functions as a damage boost even with 2.5 aspd cap already.
4. Pierce is a modifed crit, but is a critical hit nonetheless. This means getting your passive on a minion wave automatically activates Scarlet Phantom’s passives. This is why you see some Moskov’s rush scarlet on him. Pierce a wave, blink into the enemy and start the barrage.
5. Attack speed is pretty crucial on Moskov. Self-explanatory, at max attack speed (2.5 per second), he only needs to attack 7~8 times to refresh his blink. So in effect he has blink up every 3 seconds. If you get blue buff and maybe dominance ice or enchanted talisman for some reason, you get to blink every 2 seconds.
6. Fallen sword is really strong early but well.. falls off later. Ironically, you could say 8% current hp is pretty strong vs. tanks but on the average, it will only do 4% cause you start doing less as their hp drops right? It also doesn’t crit so it has no synergy with blade of destruction/despair/ scarlet/ thor’s thing etc. It is a huge boost in attack speed and early game damage considering most champions have 2,000~3,000 hp when you rush it. And it allows you to reach the 2.5 aspd limit with Moskov very easily. The lifesteal isn’t comparable to Tooth at all and I would have to get 3 or more minion waves to get back to full health while Tooth lets me do it with just 1~2.
7. Endless battle gives the most movespeed but only in battle. I see some moskov’s go for rapid boots + Thor’s sting to get past 300 movespeed but one endless battle proc easily beats that combo.
8.Critical chance is great but remember you always start with a low %. This is pretty much why I dislike thor’s sting as second or third item. It ends up putting so much emphasis on luck. Some people have sworn that it’s better than any other item on the menu, but to be very frank, it really is random. If you start the trade with 4 auto’s on minions then leap into the enemy and 5th auto + crit, Moskov without a doubt gets so much ahead in that trade. But if the battle goes on and no crits are achieved, well he’s basically a sitting duck. Compared to fallen sword, you get the best of everything (lifesteal, damage, attackspeed) without necessarily being set behind whatsoever.
9. Scarlet phantom and Blade of destruction are amazing thanks to Moskov’s passive.Automatic crits and boosted crits = free damage. You’re also a splitpushing monster with just scarlet phantom tbh. Don’t rely on rush scarlet for 1v1’s without minion waves though. 10% crit chance is still very small.
10. Moskov’s ultimate adds a bit of damage for every champion it hits. The value is very small even at max rank but if you can hit multiple heroes a split second or so before a fight starts, go for it. The additional damage for the next few seconds can mean the difference between winning or losing the fight.
11. Cooldown reduction also works with Moskov’s skills. Back when 40% cdr was possible thanks to hunter’s strike and dominance ice, I could blink every 4~5 autos. You can probably narrow down the attacks at max rank and aspd cap from 8 to 6 with a simple switch to magic shoes late game. I mean with so much attack speed from scarlet and blade of despair, the additional from swift shoes gets wasted.
The current item build I use generally revolves around swift shoes, tooth of greed, scarlet phantom (75% attackspeed and 20% crit whenever there’s a minion wave, or for the first two seconds after you hit a wave and start trading with the enemy is pretty powerful), blade of destruction , blade of despair.
Last item is very situational. Could be immortality, windchaser, another blade of despair -> then change boots into whatever., magic blade etc.