Huskar's reputation in Dota 2 is notorious as a cheese pick. If Huskar is last-picked in a match with no direct counters, it becomes almost impossible to win if Huskar is not chased down throughout the early game.
Huskar operates under the same principles as all tempo mids in Dota 2. As a strong laner, he depends on winning his lane, creating early-game momentum. The idea is to create an insurmountable advantage when he is untouchable in his mid-game power spike.
As Huskar operates best at roughly 30-40% of his hit points, the common reasonable build is to tank up with armor and strength items like Armlet of Mordiggian. However, an alternative niche build focuses on his ultimate ability: Life Break.
The Life Break build works even better in the newest Dota 2 patch, but only theoretically
Life Break functions as a point-target HP removal from the victim. The raw HP removal is percentage-based, but it is affected by other modifiers like magic resistance and spell amp. At the third level of Life Break, this percentage is 44% of the target's current HP.
At level 25, Huskar can opt for a talent that adds +20% to Life Break, bringing the total tally to 64%. Before the recent Dota 2 patch, 7.30c, this talent used to be +16%.
The buff makes it so that Huskar currently only requires four items to bring the 64% HP removal to 100%, i.e., guaranteed one-hit kill on Life Break. Because this is percentage-based, it will kill the target no matter how high their HP pool is.
Currently, the four items this build requires are:
- Ethereal Blade
- Kaya and Sange, or Kaya and Yasha
- Veil of Discord
- Ceremonial Robe, or Timeless Relic (neutral slot)
By default, if the target is affected by the Ceremonial Robe aura, E-blade brings the target's magic resistance to -15% from the natural 25%. The spell amp from Kaya (8%) and Veil of Discord active effect (18%) is enough to take the Life Break damage across the 100% threshold.
The reason(s) why no one uses this build
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The big issue here is that getting to level 25 with Huskar will not happen in most Dota 2 matches without the enemy coming up with easy counters. There are a myriad sources of gaining magic resistance in Dota 2. For example, the build will simply not work for heroes like Pudge who have higher than 25% innate magic resistance. Glimmer Cape, a common utility item picked up by Dota 2 supports, can easily curtail the prospect of one-hit Life Break by a large margin.
That being said, this can be a fun surprise build to try out in games where Huskar is already dominating, and there is a secondary core as a safety net.