Slark the Nightcrawler is a melee agility hero that utilises his skills to spring onto enemy heroes and slip out unhindered. He is a very mobile ganker, but remains statwise below most other carries unless he is able to steal away stats with his abilities. Once he does, though, only a few heroes can hope to be as fearsome as the Nightcrawler - extremely mobile to the point of ever-presence; his strikes only hitting harder and faster.
Slark can quickly leap forward onto enemies with Pounce to leash them and bind them from escaping. His Dark Pact releases a delayed purge that breaks even the most powerful disables. This gives him one of the most flexible abilities to start and end fights in the game. He is also capable of stealing stats on auto-attacks to boost his own damage temporarily with Essence Shift which can rapidly shift engagements in his favor, even when merely performing hit-and-run maneuvers. Slark's ultimate, Shadow Dance, allows him to remain unseen even while attacking for a short duration and allows him to move quicker when not under the watch of enemy eyes to strike in and out of enemy ranks unhindered.
- Drum of Endurance provides Slark with stats that he needs while giving you extra Movement speed and Attack speed to help close the distance on foes. A must to give him the early game advantage he needs to snowball.
- Ring of Health provides HP regeneration early game, and you can build it into a Vanguard.
- Vanguard is rarely a good option, however, as the cost outweighs the benefits - a Poor Man's Shield coupled with Slark's passive health regeneration should be enough to tide you over until the mid-game.
- Black King Bar's magic immunity offers great survivability and magic immunity in team fights.
- Shadow Blade's stealth offers great survivability and escape, as well as allowing you to land surprise Pounces.
- Soul Ring provides a cheap source of instant mana, and Shadow Dance can easily regenerate the health cost.
- Butterfly offers bonus attack speed, armor, damage, and Agility, and its evasion gives you more survivability.
- Vladmir's Offering can be taken if you want the benefit of the auras and use a different Unique Attack Modifier but still have lifesteal.
- Eye of Skadi grants Slark both incredible survivability and killing power. Its wealth of stats provide Slark HP, mana, armor, damage, and attack speed - all superb boosts to Slark's lackluster base stats. Not to mention, its ever-useful Unique Attack Modifier which slows enemies on-hit greatly helps Slark to stick to his targets. A good alternative for a Unique Attack Modifier (albeit a less defensive one) would be the Diffusal Blade. While it may not provide him the same survivability as the Eye of Skadi, it grants excellent Agility attribute boosts, 8/16 (Lv1/Lv2) total uses of the Purge active, and the signature manaburn attack modifier, which is a good countermeasure against spell-dependent foes.
- Sange and Yasha works great in conjunction with Slark's skill set allowing you to easily chase and attack enemy heroes due to the passive maim. In addition to the slow, Sange and Yasha also provides additional move speed, attack speed, and a much needed strength and agility boost to your attributes.
- Orchid Malevolence offers all the mana regeneration you will ever need, bonus attack damage and speed, as well as the damage amplifying Silence ability. Together with Pounce, it will lock down any target almost completely. Note, however, that this item choice does not supplement your naturally low health at all.