Soul Ring: Get more mana, get more money
Thu 6th Sep 2012 - 7:29pm
Soul Ring is a strong early game item with the active ability Sacrifice. You user will gain 150 mana temporarily at the cost of 150 HP. This is useful for any mana hungry heroes that have high HP regeneration, an ability that can heal them or if they don't expect to take much damage. Some heroes that work well with Soul Ring are Bane, Omniknight, Broodmother, Tinker, Enigma and even Dragon Knight.
Soul Ring is built in three parts: Ring of Regen, Sage's Mask and the Soul Ring recipe. All except for the recipe can be bought on the side lane shop, for that reason you'll see heroes like Broodmother occasionally go to lane with the recipe in their inventory.
Ring of Regen is a small HP regeneration item that boosts your HP regen rate up by 2 at the cost of 350 gold.
Sage's Mask is an item that increases your mana regen by 50%. This usually amounts to +.2 mana regen. This item costs 325 gold.
When you have all the items, or buy the soul ring outright for 800 gold, the HP regen will be upgrade to +3 and you'll now have the active ability of the Soul Ring, Sacrifice.
Sacrifice costs 150 HP. Yes, HP. In return it gives you 150 mana. Now things get a little complicated, you don't just get mana in exchange for HP. You get a buff that gives you 150 mana for 10 seconds. Any mana not used goes to waste. Don't make your sacrifice go to waste.
Much like Armlet of Mordiggian, using this item will not kill you. It can reduce you to 1 HP, but the Soul Ring will not kill you. A global ability or an ambitious creep can.
This item works really well with a number of abilities all for different reasons. Several abilities allow heroes to spend mana to heal themselves, most of which cost around 150 mana. These include: Bane's Brain Sap, Dazzle's Shadow Wave, Omniknight's Purification, Treant Protector's Leech Seed and Undying's Soul Rip.
Other heroes have spammable nukes and small mana pools or no natural way of replenishing mana.
Dragon Knight's Dragon Blood and Broodmother's Spin Web boost HP regen allowing them to quickly make up any lost HP from sacrifice.
The last group of heroes have abilities that require quick boosts of mana early game to survive or win their lane. These heroes require a little more explanation.
Enigma excels as a jungler hero because his Eidolons that can tank creeps for him. Since he will rarely take damage as long as his Eidolons are up Soul Ring works to his advantage. The inefficient alternative to Soul Ring is stocking up on a lot of Clarity potions. These can be dispelled and more important waste precious jungling time. With the use of a Soul Ring casting Demonic Conversion only cost Enigma 20 mana. It's also reasonable for Enigma to obtain Tranquil boots instead of quick Arcane Boots. These are cheap boots that boost your armor, HP regen and speed. Their active ability gives you 170 HP over 10 seconds and only costs 25 mana. Tranquil Boots and Soul Ring make a strong item combo for mana hungry lane-support heroes like Ogre Magi. They can be disassembled to make a Mekansm. I'll have to sing praise about Mekansm in another article.
Tinker is unique. His ultimate makes cooldowns mean nothing. So long as you have the mana for them. Soul ring can be kept on Tinker for a while because his spells scale with his combo. The mana regeneration is solid, but the burst from Soul Ring is invaluable early to mid game. Eventually this will be sold when you have stronger items like Linken's Sphere or Scythe of Vyse.
Heroes that should not use Soul Ring either have low-cost spells or they have a way to quickly recover mana. Lich's Sacrifice, or Necrolyte's Sadist, Lion's Mana Drain or even Outworld Destroyer's Essence Aura.
The Soul Ring is a very strong early game item and is understandably core on many heroes. The early regen and ability to quickly gain 150 mana can get early kills or even save you from dieing. Careful use of Soul Ring can give you a strong advantage in the early game and will make opponents second guess your threat level.