I won't answer on everything you said, because it will draw away the attention from the important things i want to stress
Well, my point is his Ultimate is too big for him, thus he needs two skills to utilize it. Flare Pulse can do someting else beside AoE if it pleases you and can still perfectly synergize, just with a different effect.
that's a viable option. He definitely needs more things to do other than a slow and AoE damage. he's got 4 skills for god's sake, it's crazy for 3 of them to do the same thing!
No, it's not. The point of a STR tank is to take as much damage as possible from enemies and to attract attention, not suicide himself using his skills. He can take advantage of his health, but that is not a tank by most means.
so, you don't think that he attracts attention and get's as much damage as possible from enemies? cause i think that he does. In a perfect way in fact. The enemies will be complete morons if they let him die on his own and get devastated by his huge AoE damage until then, when it is so much easier to simply kill him, especially since he is also damaging himself
Would I rather make him useless just to be less similar? Not quite.
exactly. Therefore you should try to find some more unique concepts for your hero; make changes that will make him more original and needed in DotA, while still keeping him a viable hero
As the suggestion stands right now, i cannot approve of it. I think that he must be rethought of. Imho, the first skill and the ulti can stay. The others need a remake, plain AoE damage is bad. You should try to broaden his range and his cappabilities with the rest two skills. Think of something out of the box. (i am not talking about a gimmick, i am talking about giving him a more loosely connected skillset, that will allow him to do more things, while still being effective). Just try to avoid him being one-dimensional. Sorry, but i will
this one. I will be looking forward to a V.2 of him, since he has potential. Good luck with your suggestion