A special thanks to Liith for this awesome guide on Harley.
Harley Build :
So reasoning for my pregame set up
1) Movement Speed over CDR(Cool Down Rate), for roaming ability. Harley has a generally really low CDR, and with Buff already gives you 40% CDR (not including emblem stats) I prioritize mobility because Harley is one of the best early game junglers in the game. I always start with the white jungle monster on the right side of mid lane, proceed to minion wave, straight to buff, and back to minion wave. This gives me a slight advantage to hit Level 4 before my mid lane opponent.
2) Penetration over Magic Power and Spell Vamp . Magic Power stats is % based, and you barely have any of those during the early game. The stats from emblems are largely to help you during the early game, as during the late game, the stats margin is reduced due to items. Also, Penetration / Armor / Magic Resistant points are much more worth it during the early game than in the late game (this is a vague generalization, but I can get into more detail with the formula that Discord User wonai , floof and 0kills tested)
Continuing that, Spell Vamp is just meh compared to Penetration. Sustain is mainly for the mid to late game when fights are more prolonged. Therefore early game ganks are more about burst than sustain. Not that it is bad, I just value Penetration more, particularly during the early game.
3) Talent: I choose the 3rd talent (though it requires a Lvl 40 Custom Mage set) because it removes my need for buying pillager’s Axe, and provides more than enough Mana sustain. The fact that I don’t have to spend another 450+ gold for the jungle item (which I will end up selling in late game) also means that I can get my core items much quicker than my mid lane opponent. Being that I always prioritize boots, I will have more early roaming ability than my opponent since I get to purchase boots first. I just like a little CDR early. So Shoes + emblem (5% CDR) + BUFF gives me a total of 35% CDR already. After that, I go for Penetration and Mobility from Glowing Wand as well as some Dmg .
Next item would be for HP sustain . Devil Tears is my next choice as I find it hard sometimes to target backline priority targets, so I just burst Frontline instead, punishing then for protecting their backline so well. And boy does it hurt (the enemy tanks)
After that, my 5th item used to be Lightning Truncheon .But ever since the Talent update, Buff + Talent 3 gives me more than enough sustain. So I opt for Calamity reaper instead.This way, even without buff, I have a 25% CDR which is not too little not too much .The True Dmg comes in handy too.
Last item is usually or but recently I’ve been using more. Not only does it give me even more Mag Pen, or rather Mag Res Reduction, which hurts tanks even more, it greatly reduced the burst ability of Kagura and Gusion, and magical dmg in general. Don’t underestimate 50 Magical Resistance (refer to formula)
Gameplay as Harley :
As Harley try to get mid of possible. Harley is one of the best mid laners in the game.
1) insane juking ability, mobility, ganking, assassinating ability
2) single target
3) very low CDR
4) points 2 and 3 works together meaning that in a fight go in burst one target, get out. Wait for CD go in burst one target get out. This is very different from Kagura, where she constantly pokes with umbrella, waits for an opportunity, use ULT for good combo and some other crazy Kagura stun knockback shit, which I might talk about another day.
5) Best jungler among all mages
6) Use the bush is best possible
7) Make the choice to out roam your enemies constantly
Regarding point 7, what makes a good mid laner is not whether the hero can beat the enemy in the mid lane, though that is the bonus point. A good mid laner will almost always be the first to hit Level 4. This gives the hero a huge advantage over the side lanes. A good mid laner (in ML) is a good ganker. That is why mid laners such as Kagura, Lance, Gusion, Harley are highly effective.
So as Harley don’t keep your mind focused on turret diving and bursting the opponent. Your Level 4 ULT doesn’t have enough dmg for a secure kill in a 1v1 scenario (unless your enemy is a noob)
Instead, roam side lanes, get some kills, even of not, deal some Dmg force the enemy to back and heal. This gives your time to farm while the enemy isn’t. In the mean time steal some crabs or jungle monsters. Harley can jungle significantly faster than both Kagura or Cyclops. Though not necessarily Gusion or Lance. However, Harley does have the added advantage of range, which reduces his walking path, indirectly increasing mobility
I tried execute, I prefer retri. I don’t hv much experience with execute so I cant say anything there.
Some pointers for Harley: Just like Kagura’s umbrella position, Harley’s hat position is very important. There are different ways to position the hat in combination with your skills.
1) Dash directly forward, ULT, Skill 1. This is usually used as a gap closer burst. When turret diving, remember to keep your hat out of turret range, or rather, keep your hat in a place that is safe for retreat.
2) Dash sideways from a bush, and burst similarly. This is more effective because your teleport position is not the obvious straight line that the enemy might expect.
3) ULT and Skill 1, dash only when enemy starts to flee. This is most effective when attacking from a bush, and the enemy isn’t expecting an attack. When in range, the short duration of shock allows your ULT and Skill 1 to seal significant dmg before enemy starts to juke, then just use your hat to reposition to the enemy’s juke.