To be honest I think Vanguard needs a buff to make it worth buying. Ever since they buffed up Armlet back when, there's virtually no reason to buy Vanguard on anyone ever - Armlet does what it does, but better.
Maybe it needs the Atos treatment or something... like +300 HP or something. Maybe make it able to be disassembled.
Manta is core on n'aix. Infest an image and watch people blow their ults on fake-you just for real-you to pop out and eat them.
SY is core on BB though.
edit: to add to the discussion on Vanguard, Icefrog wrote a blog a bit before dota 2 came to be about balance of items and heroes. He was of the belief that perfect balance is not when every hero (or item) is viable, but rather when nothing is strong to the point of breaking said balance more than everything else. With that said, Vanguard isn't that great, but it doesn't need to be either. It works in lower tiers of match making (I used to build it all the time, and it was core on most heroes I played pre-nerf in HoN). Something not being used in the professional scene does not neccesarily equate to being up/op or even in need of a change, as the game isn't balanced solely around the professional scene.
No comments on Magnus then, I guess.
---------- Post added 2013-03-31 at 07:38 AM ----------
It doesn't have to be your first item (and probably shouldn't), but a simple Orb of Venom does everything Sange does without making you waste gold. Move speed and attack speed are similarly more or less pointless on Slark because he can cross the map in 5 seconds and he gets buckets of agility from his passive.
Drums and treads give you plenty of attack speed to get the train rolling, and by time you need to do more than pounce and pact to wipe out 80% of a support's health, you're getting heaps of stats from items like skadi anyway.You what mate.
EDIT: Love it when people throw games because they're too busy farming and ganking instead of pushing. Could've won at 25 minutes, kept telling them to help me push, but nope let's go for dagon 5 on nyx instead of using that 14/0/8 lead to make a fast sheepstick for their Russian drow that isn't buying BKB.
IAS isn't bad on Slark, but you generally don't want to specifically build it on him. He just likes raw stats.
How can you say waste gold on SnY instead of Skadi then says Orb of Venom does everything Sange does? Those are both wrong statements.
With Yasha then Sange you're able to contribute much more than hold an orb of venom then a single ultimate orb. Getting 1k items are much easier than having to save up 2.1k, twice.
Sange/Yasha is core on Bristleback.
A: I don't think about it that way exactly. Sure it's good if there is a nice distribution and that is something to work towards, but really the goal in DotA's development is, first and foremost, to make the gameplay quality the best it can be. It is the combination of all the heroes, items and mechanics together that makes DotA what it is and not the individual elements alone. Sometimes that means certain things are carefully adjusted to be more frequent than others, sometimes it doesn't, but ultimately the main judge of a game's quality is not in some artificial balance metric, but in the overall gameplay quality and depth that it has.
The game is obviously balanced around higher tiers of gameplay, anything else would be deranged. What I'm saying is that just because it isn't used frequently (or is even viable) at the professional level does not necessarily mean that it warrants a buff. Or so say IceFrog.
Vanguard used to be a fairly good pickup back when it was introduced, around the era of 6.37, where the early days of AoE compositions were changed for fast pushing lineups where summons were common.
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/view...opic_id=405620, fucking Korean time zone got me bad.
Also you gotta be kidding me with your Slark stuff, his passive isn't even close to being a reliable source of agility until it's rank 4, and even then it's only if you're constantly fighting to keep it up. IAS is pretty much the best combat stat for Slark early on, which is why MoM is so popular. And Vanguard Viper pro only build plz no diss.
The only good change they made to items in HoN was Sange being part of Skadi, if it were so in DotA I would actually play nothing but Mirana and go full AngryTestie every game, Linkens > SnY > Manta > Skadi. Still, SnY into Manta HH is a nice build for CK.