Armlet of Mordiggian
This is a great item in many respects. Yes, it's a risk/reward item. However, it is very cheap for what it gives you. The build up is excellent. And the Active is very versatile.
- +8 HP/sec Regen
- +9 Damage
- +5 Armor
- +15 Attack Speed
- +31 Damage
- +10 Attack Speed
- + 25 Strength
- Which is 19 HP/STR and 0.03 HP/sec regen == 475 HP, 0.75 HP/sec regen
- -40 HP/sec
- Which as I recall is HP Removal, similar to Necrolyte's Aura
- You cannot die to it (at worst, left with 1 HP)
- It doesn't count as "taking damage"
- It cannot be reduced in any way
Turn it on When:
- Going into a fight (500 extra HP, lots more damage)
- You're super low, then immediately turn it off for a quick burst of HP (you get to keep some of it!)
- You're low and hear something coming (e.g. Clockwerk Rocket, if you hear the Sunstrike audio, etc.)
- You're low on HP and someone is coming to finish you off
- This is how it goes down:
- Someone thinks "Oh, look at this easy kill"
- flips on Armlet
- Hue hue, my friends ;)
- (works great on Huskar)
- You want to quickly kill a neut camp, then turn it off right after
You turn it off When:
- You're fairly high on HP
- You're not in danger
- You're not using the effect to it's maximum capacity
Basically, you want to avoid being "caught with your pants down". Don't turn it off too early while going back to the well if you know they have some global presence hero like Invoker, Clockwerk, Zeus, Ancient Apparition, etc. You can easily toggle it repeatedly for some quick HP (i.e. when you're on like 100 HP, toggle off --> 1 HP, toggle on --> 475 HP)
When to get it
There are lots of scenarios that are "Well known" like:
- It synergizes with his abilities because he gets better the lower on HP he is
- He's a STR hero, so instead of 31 damage, he gets +56 (31 damage + 25 damage from STR being his main stat)
- Skeleton King
- He is STR
- He has massive life steal
- Same deal as Skeleton King
- He also has built in magic immunity (can't be stunned and get boned by the HP loss)
- Chaos Knight
- This one is pretty cool: turn it on, use your ult, then turn it off. Now you have 1-3 clones that still have the active (or at least the STR from it), but don't take any damage.
- Another STR hero
- He's a "Hey, I just met you, but not you're dead" kind of hero. The effects are negligible when he can kill you so damn fast at night.
- You're strength
- Your ult basically cancels out the HP drain.
- Quickly kill a stunned enemy that also has your ult on it
- Deal out massive damage while ulting
- Dragon Knight
- You have naturally high damage, and in your ult form, you're ranged (one of the few STR Ranged)
- Works well while you have someone trapped in cogs
- You're squishy, but your ult gives you a massive HP drain, so the HP loss is negligible
So, we extract this "rule of thumb" (i.e. a good general rule, but not always applicable):
- You have Lifesteal (or can regen ~40 HP/sec, like Alchemist)
- You can quickly kill a hero with the active (i.e. you're an awesome ganker)
- You're a Strength hero (and will benefit extra from that being your main stat)
- You get better at lower HP (which right now is basically just Huskar, though some future heroes like Terrorblade/Soul Keeper can benefit as well -- look at his ult)
- You love to bait attacks (being low on HP and then flipping Armlet on is hilarious)
Less Common Uses:
- Some players pick it up on squishy heroes for the HP, Attack Damage and Attack Speed (e.g. like a Drow/Luna/Anti-Mage)
- (As I recall) Some casters analyzed some mid game items and determined Armlet to be the "best bang for your buck" (i.e. best deal)
As you get better, you'll find times to pick things up because they provide what you need, even though it's not an "obvious pick" or doesn't fit the mold of when to buy it.
- If you get stunned, you're going to lose a lot of HP (so generally, grab a BKB afterwards if you plan to Carry/Semi-Carry)
- You can easily get sniped by Invoker on your way to the fountain
- If you can be kited, you're gonna have a bad time
Miscellaneous / Final Thoughts
Armlet has a great build up. Helm of Iron Will is great in lane for dealing with harass. It also leaves you open to either going Armlet or Helm of the Dominator (and technically Veil of Discord).
It's a great mid-game item, which is also where it shines due to the HP bonus tapering off at higher levels. Therefore, you get this when you want to be aggressive early/mid game, as it does not scale very well. If you would rather farm, then opt for a farming item. They tend to be the safer choice if you want to carry in the mid-late game.
Armlet is also very, very good for it's price (2600g, holy shit). I think a lot of this is attributed to it being a double-edged sword item (i.e. high risk/reward). It's kind of on par with Mask of Madness in that respect, but still a little less risky (you get HP and shit with it, plus it's great without the active).