Written by Micah Messer
There he is… Isn’t he beautiful?
Even though N’aix the Lifestealer looks like the kind of creature that would devour my soul with a smile on his face, I’ve still been enjoying him greatly. It’s been hard for me to get into strength heroes recently, but Lifestealer is special. Instead of taking the front line like most other strength hereos, he actually spends a lot of his time hiding behind his team mates. Did I say behind? I meant inside. Lifestealer’s ultimate ability is called Infest. The ability’s description is as follows:
“Lifestealer will infest the body of the target unit, lying dormant and undetectable inside. When he reveals himself, he deals damage to all nearby enemy units. Lifestealer can gain experience from units that die while he is infesting a unit. If the unit is a creep, he will devour it first, gaining health equal to the unit’s current HP. Does not work on enemy Heroes.”
Lifestealer disassembles into a cloud of blood and shoots himself into the Infest target.
The coolest part of this ability is the fact that it has no maximum duration, and you can use it on ally heroes. This can set up some hilariously effective ganking scenarios. If you’ve got a buddy who plays Riki, just hop inside of him and roll around as an invisible death team. Then you find some poor sucker straying too far from his team mates and, BAM! Two people out of nowhere! Same thing goes for Nature’s Prophet. Just hop inside every time he’s teleporting off for a gank, and you can catch a ride. Your ult can also be used for sustainability and confusion in a team fight. If you need a quick boost of health in mid-combat, just jump into a nearby creep and devour it. This’ll give you some extra burst AOE damage, as well as some pretty substantial healing to finish the fight. Thinking of clever uses for Infest is a very important part of playing Lifestealer.
I like to play a very elusive Lifestealer, so I grab items like Shadowblade, so that my enemies never know if I’m infesting a target again, or if I’m just invisible. I also like to grab an early Vanguard to give myself some durability in case I get caught in a bad spot. Phase Boots are my boots of choice, as they really help with chasing down squishy enemies and making a quick escape. For a more traditional, farm-heavy build however, Armlet, Assault Cuirass and Heart of Terasque will serve you well. Lifestealer is also a competent jungler, which can help with farming for some of his more expensive items. The rest of Lifestealer’s playstyle revolves around, well, stealing lives. His abilities have a heavy emphasis on lifesteal effects. This is mainly just to give him some sustainability when he does finally decide to leave his infest host.
Now that I’ve given you a basic run down of how Lifestealer operates and how I play him, here’s a couple more screenshots of the terrifying bastard in-game.