Terror of Darkshire
This warrior’s Hook is the single scariest initiating tool in the game. It is capable of plucking a hero from whatever safe zone they may be in, be it in their base or surrounded by teammates. A good H(with team support) almost guarantees a kill, and can force a fight that is unprofitable for the enemy. Because of the effectiveness of this ability, Stitches’s damage output and survivability are subpar.
His Devouring Maw heroic can further single enemies out, enabling him to carry a single target to a quiet corner for murdering, ideally with team support. That said, Putrid Bile is the go-to, as it supplements his meager damage and gives him some much-needed disengagement. Top-tier Stitches play requires immaculate positioning, an instinctual connection with Hook, and the support of a damage dealer or two. If Stitches can land Hooks from the start, he can tilt a game in his team’s favor.
Vile Gas (D)
When damaged, Stitches emits a gas cloud that persists for 4 seconds. Enemies who enter it are poisoned for 40 (11.5 + 1.5 per level) damage per second for 3 seconds.
Vile Gas punishes enemies who attack Stitches at melee range. The damage from the gas is negligible at first, but over the course of a long chase or engagement it can sap enemy health pools.
Cooldown: 16 seconds
Pull the first enemy hit towards you, dealing 200 (48 + 8 per level) damage.
This is Stitches’s premier ability and the determinant of his usefulness. With a knack for landing Hooks, Stitches can secure rage-inducing early kills. A Stitches must learn to track an enemy’s movement and predict where they’re going to be before shooting a hook into the dark. This ability is stopped short by structures and blocked by minions, so timing and placement are everything.
Cooldown: 8 seconds
Deal 175 (61 + 6 per level) damage to enemies within the target area.
A rather uninspiring AoE cleave, or rather Slam. This does damage in a cone in front of Stitches and can be boosted mightily with talents.
Cooldown: 24 seconds
Deal 700 (320 + 20 per level) damage to Minions or 250 (60 + 10 per level) damage to Heroes. Restores 20% of your maximum Health.
A single target damage spell that has instant health rewards. This can one-shot creeps early on, allowing Stitches to Devour mages and collect their Regeneration Globes. The damage dealt to heroes is reduced, but in a gank, every bit counts. That said, this is more for survival than damage, and the 24 second cooldown can punish ill use of it.
Putrid Bile (R)
Cooldown: 60 seconds
Emit bile that deals 80 (23 + 3 per level) damage per second to enemies within, slowing them by 35%. You gain 20% Movement Speed while emitting bile. Lasts 8 seconds.
Without Putrid Bile, Stitches has a very difficult time chasing and escaping. After engaging with Hook, Stitches relies on allied crowd control to keep the enemy around. Putrid Bile‘s damage adds up over time and can help with incidental AoE. The 60 second cooldown makes using this for escaping a no-brainer.
Cooldown: 80 seconds
Consume an enemy Hero, trapping them for 3.5 seconds. When Gorge ends, the enemy Hero takes 600 (125 + 25 per level) damage. The trapped Hero cannot move or act and doesn’t take damage from other sources. Stitches’ Movement Speed is reduced by 15% while an enemy is Gorged.Cannot be used on massive Heroes.
With Gorge, Stitches excels at picking off individual enemies. He can Hook them and Gorge them before waddling to a tower or his team, securing easy kills on those who can’t dodge Stitches initiation. It does require team support for full value, however, and doesn’t bring much to a teamfight other than temporarily removing a problem target.
Level 1 Talents
Recommended: Heavy Slam or Regeneration Master
Stitches wants to be grabbing more damage wherever he can get it. Heavy Slam is an early opportunity to make him hit a little harder all game long.
If the enemy team is full of bruisers and long-term damage dealers, Heavy Slam may not do much. In such cases, Regeneration Master does a lot for Stitches’s long term sustain, though he will stay susceptible to being bursted down. Regeneration Master‘s bonus is affected by Amplified Healing at level 4, making them a good pairing.
Block is an acceptable counter to an enemy lineup with a lot of basic attack damage.
Chew Your Food can provide a wealth of healing over the course of a game for proactive Stitches, but since it provides no damage and has a requirement for its heal, Regeneration Master is often favored.
Level 4 Talents
Recommended: Putrid Ground or Amplified Healing
Putrid Ground further amplifies the damage done by Slam. This makes Stitches of further use in teamfights and allows him to follow up his Hooks with more gusto.
Amplified Healing helps Stitches stay alive and keep bruising in fights, which is exactly what he wants to be doing. With an allied healer and (potentially) Regeneration Master, this talent goes a long way towards keeping Stitches alive.
Superiority allows Stitches some resilience for pushing and grabbing mercenaries, but he generally wants to be grabbing heroes with Hook, making this talent a little counter-productive. That said, some situations may call for this pickup.
Vile Cleaver is a neat increase of damage, but Stitches has inconsequential basic attack damage and does not much benefit from bopping enemies. Adding Vile Gas to Slam is generally more effective, especially with talents that later improve the ability.
Level 7 Talents
Though his auto attacks don’t hit for much, having them apply a slow is a huge boon to Stitches’ ganking abilities. In teamfights it can be the difference between enemies slipping back to base or getting slaughtered by Stitches and his team. Tenderizer forces Stitches to swing around in the frontline, but yields many benefits when he does.
Savor the Flavor doesn’t provide a large initial boost, but with conscientious use of Devour on heroes it can supplement Stitches’ already impressive regeneration. In certain builds, this will allow Stitches to restore his health bar at incredible rates in the late game.
The 24 second cooldown on Devour is deterring, but since this ability does no real hero damage it is not usually worth being able to cast it sooner. 15 seconds is a long reduction, but doesn’t generally do enough to be worthwhile.
Toxic Gas improves Vile Gas across the board, and can be picked up in builds that want to focus on gradual AoE damage. In the burstiness of today’s game, however, this approach can be lackluster.
Level 10 Heroics
Recommended: Putrid Bile
Putrid Bile‘s many utilities make it the preferred heroic for Stitches players. Being able to chase and escape vastly improves his game – his mobility is abysmal without this heroic. Though it has a 60 second cooldown, it can be used liberally to keep Stitches alive and his enemies dead.
Gorge is not a bad pickup by any means, just a more niche one. In lineups that are focused on grabbing a single enemy and bursting them down, Gorge can do work. It requires team followup to be worth it, though, and is sometimes rendered ineffectual by teams with straying attentions, making it a wasted 80 second cooldown.
Level 13 Talents
Relentless allows Stitches a better fight presence by letting him shrug off stuns and other debuffs. This gives him more time to land good Slams and clutch Hooks. Against teams with a wealth of hindering effects, Relentless is an easy choice.
Mega Slam grants a substantial size increase to Slam, making it a good pickup for builds focused on this ability. This can hit an entire minion wave, two towers and a wall if positioned wall.
Indigestion is a cool talent, but the Retchling it spawns is puny and uncontrollable. There are better talents at this tier for utility and damage.
Helping Hand is a cool idea – being able to save allies should be great, right? More often than not, though, Stitches ends up throwing out a hook in a chaotic teamfight and landing it on a teammate who wasn’t paying attention. With very apt use this can prove helpful to Stitches’ team, but it is definitely a double-edged sword.
Level 16 Talents
Recommended: Fishing Hook
The farther Stitches can pull an enemy from safety, the more likely the kill. As such, the 40% range increase can prove formidable at nabbing kills that are otherwise impossible. Fishing Hook allows patient and skilled Stitches to make tremendous plays.
Shish Kabob is cool but can sometimes backfire, potentially biting off more than Stitches and friends can chew. The range increase is hard to pass up for Hook, but grabbing two heroes can outweigh its value in some situations.
Imposing Presence counters basic attack heroes who are giving Stitches a hard time. Having their attack speed cut in half is a huge debuff and will keep Stitches alive.
Pulverize is a good further improvement of Slam, but Slam‘s utility is paltry compared to Hook‘s and should only be upgraded if Stitches’ team is in desperate need of more damage.
Level 20 Talents
Recommended: Hardened Shield or Regenerative Bile
Stitches wants to survive in the late game. His ability to grant picks against even the most careful of teams is unmatchable, allowing a skilled Stitches to tilt the odds in his team’s favor come the late game. Hardened Shield ensures he can withstand the hatred that this brings upon his head, giving him 4 seconds of high reduction against burst.
Regenerative Bile is another pick that boosts survivability, only this one makes Stitches faster, as well. With him spewing DoTs all over the battlefield, healing himself as he goes, his team is free to capitalize.
Bolt of the Storm is always a great pickup and can help Stitches get perfect positioning for insane Hooks. This also spikes his survivability way up, making it a solid pickup for those who favor it.
Hungry Hungry Stitches makes Gorge even better at what it does. If a Stitches prefers Gorge, he may prefer this storm talent, as well.