Terrorblade is a (somewhat) illusion-based hard agility carry. He's extremely squishy early game, especially against nukes, but has great damage both mid and late-game with Metamorphosis and high agility growth and hard-hitting illusions. His ultimate is a bit strange, but can be used both to weaken enemies and save both teammates and Terrorblade himself.
- Don't pick Terrorblade against a heavy-nuke (magic damage) line-up!
- DO pick Terrorblade against heroes that like prolonged fights!
- DO pick Terrorblade if you are running a defensive Safelane tri-lane, or have a dedicated hard support to back you up in the early game!
Worst Enemies (by Dotabuff win rate):
- Sand King
The Pro Scene
In the current meta of 6.85, as of this writing, Terrorblade hasn't seen pro play due to the preference for early-fighting carries, or carries with absurd early-farming speed, such as Shadowfiend and Alchemist.
So if you DID want a Terrorblade who could fight earlier, how could you itemize?
Early-Aggression Item Build:
Start: Tango, Branch x 3, Shield, Gauntlet.
Early: Boots, Bracer, Shield, (leftover branches), TP
Midgame*: Power Treads, Ogre Club, Bracer, Shield, TP
Core**: Power Treads, Maelstrom, Bracer, TP
Core Ext***: BKB/S&Y (situational), HoD (once your hp pool and damage have been increased, add lifesteal - it's better if a teammate has a Vlad's, though - it works for your ranged form now with the recent change).
6-Slotted****: Boots of Travel, Butterfly, Deadalus, BKB or Manta, +2 situational (Heart, Satanic, Skadi, Mjolnir, MKB)
7-Slotted: Moon Shard
*This combination is largely to buff Terrorblade's terrible hp pool. The idea here is to get cheap items that will give him toughness. Because of high agility, he doesn't need armor, and a Vanguard is not a great choice because Terrorblade should be in ranged form whenever he is fighting. The ranged form is your raw damage boost, which gets boosted further with the addition of crit.
** This becomes your early-fight equipment. With L4 Metamorphosis and Agility Treads, you'll be doing 256 DPS, with 967 hp, or 1663 EHP / 1289 MHP (Magic EHP). Mael is also good for farming and wave-clearing either both melee and ranged forms.
***Given that you took the Ogre Club for toughness, you can go for early a BKB against lockdown/nukes, or an S&Y for better chase and damage. You can later disassemble the S&Y to create a Manta (sell the Sange eventually).
**** The order is which you get items is important, and depends on what composition you are facing. You will generally just get BoTs to free up a TP slot, but with the decent decrease in cooldown of BoT vs. TP, you may want to get them earlier for farming. You may also need another defensive item (Heart, Satanic, Skadi), or an MKB, depending on what you are facing). I personally favour Skadi + MKB.
General: You want to maximize Metamorphosis, for the raw bonus damage. Given that you're going for cheaper toughness items rather than a drum for balanced stats, you can skip Conjure Image until later, and take some early Stats. One level of Reflection is taken for the slow. Sunder (ultimate) is delayed because of the lack of mana available to cast it when needed; the item build above skips the Aquila, meaning that you need a support with Arcane Boots, and/or you need to conserve mana for fighting.
*First Skill-up: You should generally NOT skill your first point until you need it. In some situations, having Reflection in an early engagement (especially 3vX or more) can make a huge difference.
Level 1* - Metamorphosis
Level 2 - Stats
Level 3 - Metamorphosis
Level 4 - Reflection
Level 5 - Metamorphosis
Level 6 - Stats
Level 7 - Metamorphosis (L4)
Level 8 & 9 - Reflection
Level 10 - Sunder
Level 11 - Sunder
Level 12 - Reflection (L4)
Levels 13-15 - Conjure Image
Level 16 - Sunder
Level 17 - Conjure Image
Level 18+ - Stats
** You should be level 4 before the mid-laner comes ganking, so delaying Reflection until this point shouldn't hurt you that much. When enemies' right-click damage is low, Reflection L1 isn't a great harass tool anyway (40% of their damage for 2 auto-attacks, taking into armor mitigation, is going to be somewhere around 65*2*0.75*0.4 = 40 damage total).