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He cannot trade well because he either has to choose to farm, or waste farm and harrass. So basically if you can BARELY get through early game without dropping farm or being outharrassed too much, then you get your chalice and its smooth sailing from there.
As soon as you start getting decent items you can generally wipe out an entire wave with just a couple of abilities. In this respect he becomes one of the better farmers around. So his early game farming might be kinda meh against most mids, but later he can do it with ease.