madman guide


the following is a brief, item-focused guide on .

after much research, as he is my fav/most played, i’ve pared down all the possibilities to two main item builds.  skill build is always the same, i don’t really see a better way of doing it.  i haven’t included playstyle in here, as i’m assuming anyone who reads this will either a) have no idea what this is, or b) have an idea about how to play this hero (ie. legion bot/hellbourne top, you are a hard carry and thus expected to farm and not die, etc.)

skill build:

  1. stalk
  2. barrel roll
  3. barrel roll
  4. stalk
  5. barrel roll
  6. stalk
  7. barrel roll
  8. stalk
  9. gash
  10. ult
  11. ult
  12. gash
  13. gash
  14. gash
  15. stats
  16. ult

berserk level 1 is taken at 10 rather than 6, as it still costs a lot of mana for madman’s small mana pool (even after the cost got lowered) and it doesn’t provide enough of a boost without the stats/items to support it.  better to max out his two primary skills while the magic damage still hurts, and improve your chances of nabbing some kills.

starting items:

logger’s for lasthit, shield to protect against harass.  you could substitute the shield for a couple and some more regen, but it’s really not worth it unless you’re facing minimal harassment in your lane.  any decent babysitter will be beating on you as much as possible, as you’re the carry in the lane and also a major squishbox.


you will most likely need some early mana regen:

or , depending on your taste, your teammates and your opponents.  is advantageous if you’re mid, or if you’ll have access to a lot of runes (especially if your lane’s rune is warded) and your mid isn’t bottling.  otherwise i would recommend as it’s a bit cheaper, requires less roaming around or courier micro, and you only need 4 charges to give yourself that much-needed stalk to escape.  of course becomes far more important when you’re facing spammy lane opponents, etc.  is also a possibility, but it leaves you really vulnerable due to mm’s low health pool.  i don’t recommend it on him.

(, then , then ).  keep em set to str for now as you’ll really need the health early on.

at this point your item slots should look a little like:

once you have your core (which i’m keeping very basic), you can diverge a little:

item build 1: for a focus on hard carrying.

(, , then in either order).  gotten early to give you insane gpm.  will also help with pushing late game.

(first , then ).  pretty much necessary as any decent team will quickly prioritize toasting you with nukes and disables in a 5v5.

, if the game goes on long enough.  it will give you much needed survivability and the best attack modifier in the game.  get the first as its life and mana bonus (the best value in the game) will greatly boost the %-based regen from .

item build 2: improved midgame ganking, and protection from targeted spells.

( first).  really helps your survivability, and solves your mana regen problems.

.  still pretty much required.

you may want to also go in this build, but the stats from also give you the chance to go for another luxury item of your choice.  the stats from both fws and nullstone are overkill, in my opinion, and will cripple your lategame damage.

luxury items:

: pretty much madman’s dps item of choice.  its passive syncs extremely well with madman’s ult as it is percentage based.

: if the enemy team has a lot of a-click types who love to beat on you.  also adds A LOT of agility/damage.  otherwise it’s quite expensive, though, so there are a lot of better options unless you are bathing in gold.

: the lifesteal can come in handy, and it’s not too pricey to build.  only build this if nobody else on your team has it.

alternative attack modifiers:

if you don’t like the idea of , there are a bunch of items with attack modifiers that benefit madman.  just don’t get more than one modifier, unless you’re pro and can keep on top of microing between 2+ orbs.

: people will hate on this by saying that its damage is substandard for the price, and that madman doesn’t need the movement speed.  however more movement speed is NEVER a bad thing and the additional 14% ms gives madman insane chasing/escape potential.  the strength also greatly benefits mm as he’s quite squishy, and the damage isn’t bad either.  overall, it’s FINE to go frostburn on him (although you may be raged at).

: will make you hit like a truck.  best damage item in the game, damage/gold.  the downside is that you don’t get any stats off it, leaving you pretty squishy.

–> : makes you impossible to kill, and stacking with and/or using creeps/creep auras is always viable.  + in a teamfight makes you horrifying, and is extremely worthy of note.

not so great

: expensive and won’t give you that much of a bonus for the insane cost.  better to have a teammate build it (which is very good).

: with mm’s attack speed you will be bashing the shit out of opponents, but the damage is quite low and it’s not really worth it overall.  the +6 strength is helpful, though.

: quite viable, and used a lot in pro matches, especially because of the wicked silence.  it doesn’t give you any survivability, though, and if you go nullstone or runed axe you won’t need the mana regen either.  best leave this one to the pros.


: apparently one of the dota heroes mm is based off of builds this a lot.  it’s not worth it, though, as it’s expensive and the immolation will become useless lategame.  also gives no survivability.

: you’ll hit like a freight train, but burn through your manapool in no time  madman is a physical dps hard carry, keep it that way.  also has a bad buildup for mm (acolyte’s staff) and offers crap stats for him.  not a good choice for an attack modifier.

: you already have a built-in critical strike.  use your money on something else.

: you don’t need the attack speed, and either or + spell-spamming will give you plenty of farm potential.  also leaves you squishy.  just don’t do it.

: this is one i see ALL THE TIME.  mm DOES NOT need the attack speed or ms from the item cooldown.  if you really want life steal go –> as primary orb or as secondary.  ep adds no damage, and using it will leave you VERY vulnerable as an already squishy hero.


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