Characters: Dota 2 Dire Intelligence
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Atropos, the Bane Elemental
"When the gods have nightmares, it is Bane Elemental who brings them. Also known as Atropos, Bane was born from the midnight terrors of the goddess Nyctasha. A force of terror too powerful to be contained by sleep, he surfaced from her slumbers, fed upon her immortality, and stole his vaporous form from her inky blood. He is the essence of fear. Mortals who hear his voice hear their darkest secrets whispered in their ear. He calls to the hidden fear in every Hero's heart. Wakefulness is no protection, for Bane's black blood, continuously dripping, is a tar that traps his enemies in nightmare. In the presence of Bane, every Hero remembers to fear the dark."
- Achilles' Heel: While Bane is a great disabler, all his spells are single targeted, making him one of the worst pushers in the game. Bane players are encouraged to build a Necronomicon on him because of this.
- Anthropomorphic Personification: Of fear and nightmares.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Fiend's Grip can disable and drain an enemy's mana through magic immunity, although it can't damage them. This makes it one of the more powerful disables in the game, since carries often rely on magic immunity in order to avoid being disabled in a teamfight.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Nightmare can be used to deny an allied Hero from getting killed. He can even do this to himself if his health is exceptionally low.
- Black Blood: He is continually oozing black blood from various parts of his body, although in this case it's not his own.
- Black Mage
- Dark Is Evil
- Difficult but Awesome: Since all of Bane's abilities are single-target and mechanically very different and unique, good Bane gameplay means that you'll have to know when to cast certain disables and when to hold back. Additionally, the wonky mechanics of Nightmare (it can be cast on allies, it transfers between targets with right-clicks, and it has a 1-second invulnerability window) mean that it can completely screw over your team if used the wrong way. However, good Bane players can disable two or more enemy Heroes in a teamfight, greatly reduce the effectiveness of carries' right-clicks, and generally make life difficult for the enemy.
- Dream Eater/Emotion Eater: Brain Sap deals Pure damage to a targeted enemy, and heals Bane for the same amount. It always heals Bane for the full amount, no matter how much damage is dealt to the target (for instance, if it's cast on Spectre who has levels in Dispersion or Slardar with his Sprint active).
- Dream Weaver: Nightmare. Fiend's Grip, according to the flavor text, literally brings the target's nightmares to life to attack it.
- Eldritch Abomination: This monster that was literally born from night terrors and feeds upon fear is as close as it gets.
- Eyeless Face
- For the Evulz: His primary motivation.
- Jack of All Stats: Unusually, Bane has completely even stats and stat growth, starting off with 22 points in each category, then gaining 2.1 points with each level. However, he does have a specific play style.
- Madness Mantra: When casting Fiend's Grip.
- Mercy Invincibility: Nightmare gives its target invincibility for the first second of the spell, allowing it to be used to dodge abilities. multiple times.
- Mind Rape: All of Bane's abilities rely on manipulation of the fear he creates in enemies.
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: He has an extra set of arms extending from his back.
- Nightmare Face
- Our Centaurs Are Different: Has a distinctively centaur-like body.
- Our Monsters Are Weird
- Power Born of Madness
- Power Floats
- Power Limiter: Enfeeble reduces the target's attack damage by a certain amount for 20 seconds, and can't be dispelled by anything. What's more, it has a 10 second cooldown so it can be perpetually cast to keep an enemy's damage down, or used to neuter two enemies at once. Used in-lane it can starve your lane opponents of last hits (and experience since you can then easily deny creeps), used in teamfights it can drastically reduce the damage output of the enemy carries.
- Purple Is The New Black
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter"
- Slasher Smile
- Standard Status Effects: Specializes in sleep-related disables; Nightmare renders the target unit unable to move or attack, but any damage will wake them up (as well as transferring the Nightmare to the attacker if it's a right-click). Fiend's Grip, his ultimate, deals huge amounts of damage and cannot be broken unless Bane himself is interrupted. Additionally, allies can attack an enemy under its effect, making it extremely useful for taking down carries and other damage-dealers in the late game.
- Shout-Out/Take That: Towards Heroes of Newerth in one of his responses.
- Vampiric Draining
- Life Drain: Brain Sap deals damage and heals Bane equal to the damage dealt.
- Mana Drain: Fiend's Grip steals a percentage of the target's maximum mana. Aghanim's Scepter doubles this percentage.
- Your Worst Nightmare: His means of attack, and also what he is.
Ethreain, the Lich
"In life, the frost-mage Ethreain (not yet a Lich) had used the threat of destructive ice to enslave entire kingdoms. His subjects, aided by a few desperate magicians, eventually grew bold enough to ambush him. Armed with enough charmed rope to bind him forever, they tied the frost mage to adamant weights and dropped him in a pool known chiefly for being bottomless. It wasn't. He only fell for a year or so before an outcrop snagged him. There he rested, dead but undecaying, until the geomancer Anhil thought to verify the legend of the supposedly bottomless Black Pool. Anhil's plumbline snarled with the ropes that bound the drowned magician, and up he hauled an unexpected prize. Thinking that by rendering the dead undead, he could question the Lich about the properties of the pool, he removed the bindings and commenced a simple rite of resurrection. Even the descendants of Ethreain's enemies were long forgotten by time, so there were none to warn Anhil against imprudence. But he learned the error of his judgment almost immediately, as Lich threw off the shackles and consumed him."
- Affably Evil: He has a large amount of dedicated voice lines for support actions, and even for buying Wards (which makes him unique among even support heroes).
- Bald of Evil
- Boring, but Practical: Lich is widely considered to be one of the best beginner heroes, as all of his skills are very simple to use: Sacrifice solves all of his mana problems in the early laning phase and constantly pulls the creep wave to his tower, Frost Blast is a very simple spammable nuke and slow, Ice Armor can be turned on autocast and forgotten about, Chain Frost can score multi-kills simply by being tossed at a group of enemies, while Lich himself is fairly farm-independent and doesn't need much last-hitting skills. Because of this, it is very hard even for a complete newbie to screw up as Lich; and he remains popular amongst high-level players thanks to his guaranteed deny of 25% of all money in a lane and his unique ability to sap XP from the other team with Sacrifice.
- Chained by Fashion
- Elemental Armor: Ice Armor.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold
- Evil Overlord: He was one in his past life as a frost-mage.
- Evil Sorcerer
- Glass Cannon: While Lich is very squishy and easy to kill, his Frost Blast nuke does a lot of damage and has a very low cooldown, allowing him to spam it. On top of that, his ultimate, Chain Frost, can deal massive amounts of damage to crowded enemies, making it one of the most feared ultis in the game.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath
- Human Resources: Lich's Sacrifice ability allows him to instantly kill a friendly creep and convert a percentage of its current HP into mana for him, as well as converting it into experience for any hero (regardless of team) within the XP gain radius. This means that casting it on a creep while no enemy heroes are nearby will generate mana for him and XP for only friendly heroes. Lich is infamous for being one of the best laning supports in the game because of this ability to guaranteed deny 25% of all gold in a lane just by being there. And played smartly, it can be used to essentially steal XP from the other team.
- Enemies still get experience from Sacrificed creeps as though they were denied through normal methods. However, this can be circumvented by eating creeps far from enemy lines, who can't be denied normally, and allows the lane to be pulled.
- With enough mana regeneration (or frequent use of Sacrifice), Lich can afford to perpetually cast Ice Armor on himself and his teammates upon being attacked (albeit with a minor cooldown) with no major downsides, providing a sizable defensive boost for any nearby allies.
- An Ice Person
- It's All About Me:
- Kill It with Ice: Or frost, in this case.
- Leaked Experience: While this is how all experience in Dota works, Sacrifice is notable in that it can be used to accelerate experience gain for yourself and your teammates (so long as you cast it outside of the enemy team's experience gain radius).
- Not the Intended Use: Chain Frost can be cast on magic immune units. It doesn't actually damage them, but it will still mini-stun the first target and continue to bounce. This means that a Lich with an Aghanim's Scepter can lock down the other team's ancient camp and kill anybody who tries to farm it. Expect an Obvious Rule Patch come 6.81c.
- Our Liches Are Different
- Pinball Projectile: Chain Frost hits up to 10 enemies via bouncing if another enemy is close enough to it (buy an Aghanim's Scepter, and the bounces become unlimited as long as there's another target nearby). It's fairly common for a savvy Lich to pull off multi-kills against gankers, or during teamfights.
- Power Floats
- Random Number God: Because Chain Frost will bounce to random targets after each hit, you can get extremely varied results if there are more than two enemies within the bounce radius.
- Really 700 Years Old: Ethreain has been imprisoned for so long that even the descendants of his enemies were forgotten by time.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Sorcerous Overlord
- Spam Attack: Though Frost Blast costs a lot of mana at the early laning stage, Lich can easily replenish it with constant Sacrifice, allowing him to toss a Frost Blast every time it comes off cooldown. Ice Armor can be this as well, seeing how it can easily be turned on auto-cast and forgotten about.
- Squishy Wizard: While he can alleviate this somewhat with Ice Armor, Lich has very low Strength gain and can be squashed quite quickly if caught out of position.
- Standard Status Effects: Besides his nuking power, all of Lich's active spells serve to slow the enemy's attack and movement speed. A melee hero under the effects of the debuffs from Frost Blast, Ice Armor and Chain Frost will have their movement speed slowed by 90% (which is more than enough to guarantee minimum movement speed) and attack speed by 60% (more than a Shiva's Guard).
- Stay Frosty: He says this when casting Ice Armor.
- Walking Shirtless Scene
- Weaksauce Weakness: There are two ways to counter Chain Frost: Either walk into a group of allied or neutral creeps, as they will take some of the bounces, or run away from any allied units, which, done fast enough, may mean the spell won't be able to bounce even once. This means that to get the most use out of the ulti, it is necessary to lock down the targets' movement speed and engage in an area without creeps.
- One of Lich's biggest weaknesses is that he has no pushing power, as Frost Blast has an extremely thin radius, giving him no real ability to nuke down creep waves. Combined with his low base Intelligence, this means that he can't really spam his abilities until he gets some good items or enough levels of Sacrifice.
- Sacrifice also eventually becomes a liability in the late game, when map control is dictated by how far the creep waves are pushed against the enemy towers (as opposed to early game, where you want the creeps near your tower to keep enemy heroes away). Since Lich has to kill one of his own creeps in order to sustain his mana pool, relying too much on Sacrifice can inadvertently take map control away from your team.
- Weird Beard: Made of frost, apparently.
Lion, the Demon Witch
"Once a Grandmaster of the Demon Witch tradition of sorcery, Lion earned fame among his brethren for fighting on the side of light and righteousness. But adulation corrupts. With powers surpassed only by his ambition, the mage was seduced by a demon and turned to evil, trading his soul for prestige. After committing horrible crimes that marred his soul, he was abandoned. The demon betrayed him, striking better deals with his enemies. Such was Lion’s rage that he followed the demon back to hell and slew it, ripping it limb from limb, taking its demonic hand for his own. However, such demonoplasty comes at a cost. Lion was transfigured by the process, his body transformed into something unrecognizable. He rose from hell, rage incarnate, slaying even those who had once called him master, and laying waste to the lands where he had once been so adored. He survives now as the sole practitioner of the Demon Witch tradition, and those who present themselves as acolytes or students are soon relieved of their mana and carried off by the faintest gust of wind."
- Appendage Assimilation: Creatively referred to as "demonoplasty".
- Art Evolution: Prior to a redesign, Lion used to look like an obese half-demon◊, but was updated to a more agressive, slightly feline appearance prior to game release. Prior to even this, he was spikey yet somewhat feline-looking, or simply a purple blob◊.
- Baleful Polymorph: He can do this to his enemies with Hex.
- Beam Spam: Aghanim's Scepter drops the cooldown on Finger of Death down to twenty seconds, an extremely short cooldown for such a damaging spell.
- Body Horror: Finger of Death. It deals a huge amount of damage because it is attempting to turn the target inside out. In other words, if he kills someone with the spell - it succeeded in doing so!
- Deal with the Devil: Also resulted to a Faustian Rebellion and killing the demon.
- Evil Sorcerer
- Face-Heel Turn
- Fallen Hero
- Finger Poke of Doom: Finger of Death
- Finishing Move: Finger of Death is often used this way.
- Glass Cannon/Squishy Wizard: Finger of Death is the second most damaging spell in the game after Laguna Blade, although he's quite frail. With Aghanim's Scepter, Lion can hit multiple enemies with a single Finger of Death, effectively dealing up to 1025 magical damage to enemies that are bunched up, and potentially causing a team wipe under the right circumstances.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Units hit by Earth Spike.
- The Left Hand of Doom: The demon's hand.
- Like a Badass out of Hell
- Loin Cloth
- Mage Killer: A villainous variety, in his backstory. In the actual game, Lion is quite adept at nuking down fragile intelligence heroes with Earth Spike/Finger of Death, or preventing them from casting spells with Mana Drain/Hex.
- Magic Staff
- Mana Drain: His third ability, named this. Used properly, Lion can maintain his mana pool without having to go back to base, meaning that he can roam and gank very effectively.
- One-Hit Polykill/Splash Damage Abuse: Due to his ultimate becoming an AoE targeted spell if an Aghanim's Scepter is purchased, a good grouping spell such as Magnus' Reverse Polarity or Dark Seer's Vacuum can allow you to drop your nuke on multiple enemy heroes at once, to say nothing of the short cooldown.
- Spikes of Villainy: On his face.
- To Hell and Back: Judging by Visage's surprised reaction, he did it multiple times already.
- Vampiric Draining: His third skill, Mana Drain.
- Volcanic Veins: His stolen demon hand.
- Walking Shirtless Scene
- Was Once a Man: His background lore makes it clear that he was something else before his transformation, though it's unclear just dramatic the demonoplasty altered him.
- You Will Not Evade Me: Lion is one of the game's more notable heroes due to having two hard disables (Earth Spike and Hex), as well as Mana Drain, which can prevent heroes with small mana pools from casting any spells or using certain item active abilities. Most other heroes in the game will have only one reliable disable.
Zharvakko, the Witch Doctor
"A wiry silhouette hitches forward—uneven of feature and limb, bizarre of gait, relentlessly criss-crossing the battlefield in search of that vital weak point where his talents can do most good, and most harm. Whether broken or mismade it is not clear, but still, none can doubt the power carried in his twisted physique. A long staff thumps the earth as the Witch Doctor advances, deploying a terrifying arsenal of fetishes, hexes and spells. It is a body of magical knowledge learned over several lifetimes in the island highlands of Prefectura, now wielded with precision accuracy against his enemies. Witch Doctor is your best friend, or your worst enemy—healing allies and laying waste to all who oppose him."
- Amazing Technicolor Population: His skin is purple.
- Ballistic Bone: The projectile of Paralyzing Cask is a skull filled with paralysing powder.
- Combat Medic: Voodoo Restoration periodically heals allies around Witch Doctor.
- Damage-Increasing Debuff: Maledict deals a pitiful amount of damage by itself, but deals a large amount of bonus damage with each tick depending on the difference in the target's HP between ticks, making it a powerful damage amplification spell, in effect if not in mechanics. However, it can also be countered with large amounts of burst healing between ticks, as the spell only checks on the HP difference rather than damage dealt to the target (meaning that a burst heal that happens at the same time as a damage nuke will essentially make Maledict think that little to no damage was done between the ticks).
- Dance Battler: While channeling Death Ward, Witch Doctor dances along to a drumbeat rhythm.
- Deadly Doctor: Of the magical persuasion.
- Difficult but Awesome: Maledict has a very thin AoE, low range and a fairly long cast time, making it difficult to land on smart opponents. However, it is a very powerful damage amplification that can decimate any enemy heroes caught in it.
- Dreadlock Rasta: One of the cosmetic unlockables to go with his accent.
- Hollywood Voodoo
- Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: By purchasing an Aghanim's Scepter, Witch Doctor's ultimate will bounce up to 4 times between targets. This means that if you can catch all five enemy Heroes in the area, you can do up to 5 times its rated damage, provided there are no illusions.
- Loin Cloth
- Magic Staff
- Monochromatic Eyes
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate
- Pinball Projectile: Paralyzing Cask; plus Death Ward if Witch Doctor has Aghanim's Scepter.
- The Red Mage: Although usually played as a passive support, Witch Doctor can be quite deadly if played as an offensive initiator.
- Savage Piercings
- Shout-Out: To Left 4 Dead:
- Squishy Wizard/Glass Cannon: Witch Doctor deals incredible amounts of both physical AND magical damage (most heroes specialize in one or the other, and thus peak at different times in the game) with his spells. His damage potential is therefore offput by his very low stats.
- Stoners Are Funny: While not explicitly stated, he has a very stereotypical Rasta accent.
- Top-Heavy Guy
- Tribal Face Paint
- The Turret Master: His ultimate, Death Ward, summons a magical turret that deals incredible amounts of damage.
- Walking Shirtless Scene
- Weaksauce Weakness: While Death Ward can dominate a teamfight or counterpush, it's also a channeled spell - meaning that if Witch Doctor is stunned, silenced or otherwise interrupted the ward will disappear.
- You Are Already Dead: Maledict deals delayed damage based on how much health an enemy lost since the spell cast. If it's instantly followed by burst damage, the target won't be able to escape alive.
"Nothing is known of Enigma’s background. There are only stories and legends, most of them apocryphal, passed down through the ages. In truth, Enigma is a mystery for whom the only true biography is description: he is a universal force, a consumer of worlds. He is a being of the void, at times corporeal, other times ethereal. A beast between the planes. There are stories that say he was once a great alchemist who tried to unlock the secrets of the universe and was cursed for his arrogance. Other legends tell that he is an ancient being of strange gravity, the abyss personified—a twisted voice from out the original darkness, before the first light in the universe. And there are older legends that say he is the first collapsed star, a black hole grown complicated and sentient—his motivations unknowable, his power inexorable, a force of destruction unleashed upon existence itself."
- Anthropomorphic Personification: He is a sentient manifestation of gravitational forces.
- Armor-Piercing Attack: Midnight Pulse deals Universal damage, meaning that it will continue to damage enemies even through magic immunity. Similarly, Black Hole will disable magic immune enemies, meaning that the only way to dodge either ability is to be in a state of invulnerability.
- Chunky Updraft: He is followed by a trail of rocks and dirt raised from the ground by his gravity. Rocks start orbiting him as a tiny asteroid belt when he's standing still.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Difficult but Awesome: Black Hole is one of the most fearsome teamfight abilities in the game, disabling the entire enemy team for up to 4 seconds. It is also very difficult to land as the enemy will rarely group nicely for you given the choice, and being a channelled ability, requires Enigma to catch all enemy heroes or buy BKB to prevent disruption.
- Eldritch Abomination
- Enemy Summoner: Demonic Conversion turns friendly or enemy creeps into three Eidolons, which are capable of self-replicating on successful attacks. Casting it on allied creeps instantly denies them, while casting it on enemy/neutral creeps will instantly kill them, making it a highly flexible spell (you can even cast it on existing Eidolons).
- Fixed Damage Attack: Midnight Pulse and upgraded Black Hole deal damage to enemies depending on their maximum HP.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Enigma and his Eidolons.
- Gravity Master
- Gravity Sucks: Black Hole pulls all affected enemies into its centre.
- Meaningful Name
- Me's a Crowd: Enigma's Eidolons are actually aspects of himself from other dimensions.
- The Nameless
- Neutral Counterpart: As the manifestation of gravity, Enigma is a counterpart to Wisp, a manifestation of the other fundamental forces. Gameplay-wise, they have surprisingly little in common.
- Power of the Void
- Purple Is The New Black
- Retcon: An updated set of response lines in Dota 2 revealed that he is actually one of the Fundamentals, the sentient manifestations of the four fundamental forces of the universe. This is only alluded to in his original lore if you turn your head and squint.
- Self-Duplication: Enigma's Eidolons are able to multiply and fully heal themselves after 6 successful attacks.
- Sentient Cosmic Force
- Summon Magic: Demonic Conversion.
- Time Abyss: As a Fundamental, he's literally as old as creation.
- Too Awesome to Use: Black Hole has the longest cooldown in the game, 3 minutes at the minimum (beaten only by Bloodstone's active Pocket Suicide, Wraith King's level 1 Reincarnation, and only tying with some level 1 ultimates which then become even shorter as they're leveled). This means that Enigma players will frequently be forced to die without casting their Black Hole because they need it for a major teamfight. It isn't uncommon for an Enigma to build single-target disable items just so that they have an option outside of Malefice, or a Refresher Orb to effectively reduce the cooldown to a maximum of 160 seconds after casting.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: Enigma's Black Hole hovers above the ground, sucking in every enemy (but not allies or terrain) in a very small area until it disappears or Enigma stops channelling.
Rotund'jere, the Necrophos
"In a time of great plague, an obscure monk of dark inclinations, one Rotund'jere, found himself promoted to the rank of Cardinal by the swift death of all his superiors. While others of the order went out to succor the ill, the newly ordained cardinal secluded himself within the Cathedral of Rumusque, busily scheming to acquire the property of dying nobles, promising them spiritual rewards if they signed over their terrestrial domains. As the plague receded to a few stubborn pockets, his behavior came to the attention of the greater order, which found him guilty of heresy and sentenced him to serve in the plague ward, ensorcelled with spells that would ensure him a slow and lingering illness. But they had not counted on his natural immunity. Rotund'jere caught the pox, but instead of dying, found it feeding his power, transforming him into a veritable plague-mage, a Pope of Pestilence. Proclaiming himself the Necrophos, he travels the world, spreading plague wherever he goes, and growing in terrible power with every village his pestilential presence obliterates."
- Beard of Evil
- Body Horror: And he absolutely loves talking about it.
- Combat Medic: Necrophos's first ability, Death Pulse, deals damage to enemies and heals his allies within a certain radius. It also can't be evaded through blinking or teleportation, so it'll eventually hit its target no matter what.
- Corrupt Church: An individual example, as Necrophos's superiors swiftly brought him to punishment when they found out what he was doing.
- Cursed with Awesome/The Punishment: The plague was supposed to slowly kill him, but he was immune to it and became a Plague Master instead.
- Deader than Dead
- Necrophos's ultimate is unique in that it's the only skill in the game that can negatively affect the target's respawn timer. Killing someone with the scythe will add 30% to their respawn timer, which can get very long in the late game and give your team more breathing room.
- If you purchase an Aghanim's Scepter, any enemy he kills with Reaper's Scythe will not be able to buy back into the game for that death. In late game fights, where buying back becomes necessary to prevent the other team from pushing, managing to catch the enemy carry with this spell will put them out of the game for a neighborhood of two minutes, more than enough time for your team to make at least one major play.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts: Though Necrophos initially doesn't deal much damage, Death Pulse and Heartstopper Aura damage can constantly add up to ludicrous levels in a prolonged fight, before he finishes his victim off with Reaper's Scythe.
- Emotion Eater/Human Resources: Necrophos's third ability and passive, Sadist, gives him HP and mana regeneration every time he kills anything (including denying). Each individual amount isn't that much, but considering that he only has two active abilities, and that you'll be getting kills each time you last-hit a creep (and you'll be doing this dozens of times in any given match), this means that it's very hard for him to run out of mana even if he spams Death Pulse.
- Up to Eleven: The bonus is multiplied by ten for every hero that Necrophos kills. This allows Necrophos to regenerate large amounts of HP in the middle of a teamfight, making him hard to bring down.
- Evil Old Folks
- Evil Sorcerer
- Field Power Effect: Necrophos's second ability and passive, Heartstopper Aura, drains a percentage of every nearby enemy's maximum HP every second. While 1.5% per second doesn't sound like much, being in a teamfight for just 20 seconds means that you can remove 30% of their max HP, which is huge.
- Its huge radius means that it is possible to actually finish off fleeing enemy heroes simply by walking after them, since they will still take the damage even outside of direct combat.
- Field Promotion/You Are in Command Now: Rotund'jere rose to become a Cardinal in the first place because all of his immediate superiors died to the plague.
- Finishing Move: Because Reaper's Scythe deals the more damage the less HP the victim has, increases their respawn timer and locks out buyback if upgraded, it's often used this way.
- Fixed Damage Attack: Heartstopper Aura deals damage based on enemies' maximum HP.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Gradual Grinder: Heartstopper Aura removes a small percentage of HP from all enemy units... within a screen's radius, every second. In order to deal ludicrous amounts of damage Necrophos just needs to walk along with the party and chase off fleeing enemies, and it isn't unheard of to outright kill fleeing enemies with the passive alone.
- Healing Factor: Sadist grants Necrophos absurd amounts of HP and mana regeneration, making him one of the few Heroes in the game who will rarely/never have to go back to base except to buy items.
- The Immune: To the 'great plague'.
- Kill Steal: This would often result any time you lock down anybody with your ultimate, as your teammates would instantly jump on the disabled target in the 1.5 second window it takes for the scythe to come down, preventing you from getting Sadist HP and mana recovery.
- This was actually inverted in the 6.78 patch, where Necrophos himself will kill-steal whenever he casts Reaper's Scythe and a teammate finishes off the hapless target, crediting Necrophos with the kill and proccing Sadist no matter what. In fact, between then and 6.81, the only way to kill-steal from Necrophos was with Axe's Culling Blade.
- Mighty Glacier: Although he is an Intelligence hero, and despite having relatively low Strength gain, Sadist gives him absurd amounts of HP and mana regeneration every time he kills anything, meaning that he can stay in fights and never have to return to base so long as he pushes creep waves. Even in teamfights, his regeneration is so fast that he can kill enemy heroes and very quickly regain any HP or mana he loses in a teamfight, even while being attacked by enemy heroes. A common way (even encouraged!) to play Necrophos is to build survivability items on him rather than Intelligence items so that he can stay alive longer for teamfights to make full use of his passive aura. As such, it's not uncommon to see Necrophos players build Heart of Tarrasque, Shiva's Guard, and/or Pipe of Insight.
- One-Hit Kill: Unless an opponent has absurd amounts of magic resistance, has magic immunity, or has a special ability active, Reaper's Scythe will often net a guaranteed kill. With an Aghanim's Scepter and level 3 ulti, you only have to drop a target to slightly below 50% HP in order to net a kill unless they have magic resistance items or skills.
- Monochromatic Eyes
- Mystical Plague
- Percent Damage Attack: Inverted; Necrophos's ultimate, Reaper's Scythe, deals damage based on how much health the target is missing, meaning that if the victim's below a certain percentage of health, it can potentially result in a One-Hit Kill.
- Plague Master: He enjoys spreading pestilence. His other title is the "Pope of Pestilence".
- Revive Kills Zombie: Parodied whenever he grabs a Regeneration rune. It still heals him and restores his mana as normal, however.
- Sickly Green Glow
- Sinister Minister: He's more appropriately an evil Cardinal, or with some unlockables, Pope.
- Sinister Scythe: He carries one around (fittingly, also shaped like a shepherd's crook), but only uses it as a Magic Staff. Although his ultimate, Reaper's Scythe, manifests as a giant scythe.
- Spam Attack: Death Pulse, with its low cooldown and mana cost.
- The Southpaw
- Walking Wasteland: Heartstopper Aura.
- Wizard Beard
- Why Won't You Die?: A combination of Death Pulse and Sadist, along with active healing items like Mekansm can make Necrophos extremely hard to kill unless he's disabled and focused down.
Demnok Lannik, the Warlock
"As Chief Curator and Head of Acquisitions for the Arcane Archives of the Ultimyr Academy, Demnok Lannik was tireless in his pursuit of lost, rare and forbidden tomes. No cursed temple was so foreboding, no cavern path so treacherous, that any concern for his own survival could dissuade him from entering if rumors hinted that some pamphlet of primordial lore might still survive in its depths. However, so often did his investigations trigger the wrath of protector entities, that he finally found it necessary to master the arts of magic. He bent himself to learning sorcery with the same thorough obsessiveness that marked his quest for incunabula, becoming the most powerful Warlock of the Academy in less time than most practitioners required to complete a course of undergraduate work. Almost as an afterthought, he carved a staff of Dreadwood and summoned into it a captive spirit from the Outer Hells. And anticipating the day when he will have recovered every last lost spellbook, he has commenced writing his own Black Grimoire. It will undoubtedly be instructive."
- Adventurer Archaeologist: The whole reason he became a Warlock was to protect himself from whatever was protecting the tombs he raided for artifacts.
- Badass Bookworm: His dedication to uncovering artifacts became his motivation to learn the dark arts, which he managed to do in his spare time faster than others who were actually studying on a full-time basis. In-game, despite being an Intelligence support hero, his high Strength gain makes him surprisingly durable as the game progresses, as opposed to most other Intelligence supports, who tend to fall over from a light breeze.
- Badass Grandpa
- Canis Latinicus: Some of his responses while casting spells are Latin-sounding nonsense words.
- Combat Medic: Shadow Word can also heal his allies.
- The Dark Arts: He's a practitioner of it.
- Dynamic Entry: Chaotic Offering summons a Golemnote in a fiery explosion, which briefly stuns all enemies in its radius. The stun also goes through magic immunity, and has one of the largest areas of effect in the game.
- Familiar: Warlock's Golems qualify as one of powerful and dangerous summons in the game; not only do they have a chance to deal large amounts of bonus damage with every auto-attack, but they also deal constant magical damage to all enemies in their reach and can be difficult to kill if supported by a team. By the end of a game, a well-farmed Warlock can summon four golems at a time (using both Aghanim's Scepter and Refresher Orb).
- The Faceless: Warlock's Golem has no face, only a set of bindings that vaguely resemble one.
- Faceless Eye: One of Warlock's cosmetic Golems, Ishul-Shog the Watcher, has a huge eye where a face should be.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Golem: His ultimate summons one of these, which can be used to push towers or contribute to teamfights.
- Herd Hitting Attack: Warlock is notable for having some of the most powerful crowd control abilities in the game, capable of ripping entire teams apart almost by himself if they dare to clump up. Fatal Bonds effectively doubles the power of area-of-effect spells that hit multiple enemy Heroes, Chaotic Offering will stun everything in its area (through magic immunity as well) for one second while the Golem's passive abilities help it to rip its enemies apart, and Upheaval will slow all of the enemies by a drastic amount, making it harder for them to split up.
- Living Weapon: The Immortal staff Hellborn Grasp has a set of custom animations for various situations.
- Magic Staff
- Mucking In The Mud: Warlock's third ability, Upheaval, channels a huge area that slows everything caught in it, and continues to slow them even after the enemy leaves the area or the channel ends. It can even be used to create a dead-zone that can instantly lock down enemies who walk into it after a certain point, since the slow is dependent on how long the spell is channeled rather than how long an enemy stood in its radius (meaning that you can be slowed to the minimum speed if you even put one foot into the whirlpool after it's been going for a few seconds).
- Ominous Latin Chanting: When casting Shadow Word.
- Playing with Fire: Warlock's Golem burns enemies around it and can deal extra cleave damage when attacking with Flaming Fists.
- Pungeon Master: He replaces "friend" with "fiend" in much of his dialogue.
- Put the "Laughter" in "Slaughter": While Warlock tends to be fairly straitlaced most of the time, he loses his cool once he gets Aghanim's Scepter or Refresher Orb, which allows him to summon two or even four golems instead of one with his ultimate.
- Race Lift/Raised by Natives/The Artifact: In the original DotA, Warlock was an orc and part of the Oglodi tribe. While he is still referred to as Oglodi by Axe and Disruptor, his character design is decidedly not orcish and his lines and backstory make no mention of the Oglodi.
- The Red Mage: Both literally and figuratively. His second spell, Shadow Word, can either heal or damage, depending on who he casts it on. Fatal Bonds and Upheaval don't necessarily damage enemies, but they do make it very easy for other teammates to take them down, and both of them synchronize well with his ultimate.
- Scary Librarian
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Basically what his Golem is, which he summons at will.
- Summon Magic: Chaotic Offering, which also qualifies as a Dynamic Entry for his Golem.
- Synchronization: Fatal Bonds causes all units linked together to take 20% of whatever damage one of them takes. Generally considered Warlock's most powerful spell since, if you shackle the entire enemy team together, they'll take almost twice the damage from area-of-effect spells that hit them all.
- This Cannot Be!: Basically his reactions if you purge his golem with a Diffusal Blade. One of them is more deadpan, though.
- Tome of Eldritch Lore: He dedicated his life to finding such books and seemingly with enough inspirations, now writing his own.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Diffusal Blade is this, as it kills Warlock's golem instantly with its active ability.
- Wizard Beard
Akasha, the Queen of Pain
"The Ecclesiast-King of Elze nursed a desire for pain—forbidden pain. In a less prominent political figure, such desires might be considered unwise, but in a monarch of his stature, to satisfy such thirsts would have threatened the virtue of the Divine Throne itself. Therefore he turned to his dungeon full of demonologists, promising freedom to whoever could summon a personal succubus of torment and bind it entirely to his service. The creature who arrived, Akasha by name, visited upon him such exquisite torments that he named her his Secret Queen, and he began to spend all his spare moments submitting to her clever torments—eventually abdicating all his responsibilities in his pursuit of the painful pleasures that only she could bring. Queen of Pain could bring him to the brink of death, but she was rune-bound to keep him alive. At last the King's neglect of state brought on an uprising. He was dragged from his chamber and hurled from the Tower of Invocations, and at the moment of death, Queen of Pain was let loose into the world, freed from servitude—freed to visit her sufferings on anyone she deigned to notice."
- Bare Your Midriff
- Bondage Is Bad
- Brains and Bondage: Most of her lines are based off of BDSM, on top of her being an Intelligence hero.
- Chainmail Bikini: Justified, see Squishy Wizard below.
- Dark Action Girl
- Dominatrix: This was her role to the King.
- Double Entendre: A lot.
- Dynamic Entry: Her nuking power and blink ability allow Queen of Pain to initiate fights on her terms, and blast down entire teams quickly.
- Glass Cannon/Fragile Speedster: She can deal massive amounts of AoE damage and has a built-in Blink, which allows her to engage and escape as she pleases. But with a pitiful 1.7 Strength gain per level, she cannot afford to be caught out of position.
- Horned Humanoid
- Horny Devils
- Knife Nut: Her primary means of attack is with a seemingly infinite supply of throwing daggers.
- Make Me Wanna Shout/Brown Note: Scream of Pain and Sonic Wave.
- Our Banshees Are Louder
- Overshadowed by Awesome: From 6.78 onwards, she's fallen off as a highly valued mid in pros and pubs alike because she offers little in terms of teamfight control or push, unlike other dominant mids such as Storm Spirit and Invoker.
- Poisoned Weapons: Shadow Strike is an envenomed dagger.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- Shout-Out: To Vampire Chronicles.
- The Southpaw
- Stripperiffic: She's a succubus.
- Squishy Wizard: Despite her high mobility and nuking power, Queen of Pain has pitiful Strength gain, mediocre Agility gain, and very little base armor. If she doesn't kill her targets in the first few seconds or tries to engage more than one target at a time, she can be disabled and put down very easily.
- Teleport Spam: Alongside Anti-Mage, QoP's Blink gives her a huge amount of initiation or escape capability, being able to chase with ease or escape determined ganks.
- Torture Technician: Both in her backstory and the lores for Shadow Strike and Sonic Wave.
- Wave Motion Gun: Sonic Wave is a gigantic wave of sound that deals heavy damage to all enemy units in its wake.
- Winged Humanoid
- Wings Do Nothing
Krobelus, the Death Prophet
"Krobelus was a Death Prophet—which is one way of saying she told fortunes for the wealthiest of those who wished to look beyond the veil. But after years of inquiring on behalf of others, she began to seek clues on her own fate. When death refused to yield its secrets, she tried to buy them with her life. But the ultimate price proved insufficient. Death disgorged her again and again, always holding back its deepest mysteries. Her jealousy grew. Others could die for eternity—why not she? Why must she alone be cast back on the shores of life with such tiresome regularity? Why was she not worthy of the one thing all other living creatures took for granted? Still, she would not be discouraged. Each time she returned from the grave, she brought a bit of death back with her. Wraiths followed her like fragments of her shattered soul; her blood grew thin and ectoplasmic; the feasting creatures of twilight took her for their kin.. She gave a little of her life with every demise, and it began to seem as if her end was in sight. With her dedication to death redoubled, and no client other than herself, Krobelus threw herself ever more fervently into death's abyss, intent on fulfilling the one prophecy that eluded her: That someday the Death Prophet would return from death no more."
Pugna, the Grandmaster of Oblivion
"In the realm of Pugna's birth, near the vents of the Nether Reaches, there stood a lamasery devoted to the Arts of Oblivion, which drew its power from the nether energies. The Grandmaster of the temple compound had himself passed into Oblivion several years prior, leaving his academy without a leader. From the moment of their master's death, the regents of the temple began rites of divination to identify their master's reincarnation, and eventually all signs converged on the immediate neighborhood. Several villages squatted in the shadow of the temple, their alleys and plazas full of the laughter of squalling children. Pugna, a mere thirteen months of age, was but one candidate among the local brats, and on the appointed day he was presented at the temple alongside two other promising tots. The lamas offered a jumble of worn relics to the children, treasured possessions of their former grandmaster. One boy reached for a porphyry wand that had belonged to the lama...and put it in his nostril. An impish girl pulled out an amulet that had also been the lama's, and immediately swallowed it. Pugna regarded the other two coolly, gave a merry laugh, and blasted them with gouts of emerald flame, reducing them to ashes in an instant. He then snatched up the wand and amulet, saying 'Mine!' The regents hoisted the beaming Pugna on their shoulders, wrapped him in their grandmaster's vestments, and rushed him to the throne before his mood could change. Within five years, the temple itself was another pile of ash, which pleased Pugna to no end."
- Attack Reflector: The Nether Ward shoots a Mana Flare at an enemy hero every time they cast a spell.
- The Dark Arts
- Dem Bones
- Domain Holder: Pugna says the Nether Reaches are the source of all magic, explaining his ability to decimate mages.
- Enfant Terrible: Stated on his Back Story.
- Evil Genius: Has the highest per-level intelligence in the game, and an appropriately enormous mana pool. Just a few levels in, he can spam spells with impunity.
- Evil Overlord: As the Grandmaster of Oblivion.
- Evil Sorcerer
- For the Evulz: He doesn't have a specific reason to destroy everything, he just loves doing it.
- Glass Cannon: He is a Squishy Wizard with unusually short-cooldown, high-damage spells, and even deals damage to mechanical units and buildings with Nether Blast.
- Glowing Eyelights of Undeath
- Having a Blast: Nether Blast is a spammable spell that creates a powerful explosion over a large area.
- High Collar of Doom: He easily has the most popped collar in the game. It almost looks like an attempt to compensate for his height.
- Horned Humanoid
- Hunter of His Own Kind: He's a fragile Intelligence hero that excels at killing other fragile Intelligence heroes with his Nether Ward and Life Drain, which can melt other frail supports like Lion or Crystal Maiden.
- Life Drain: His ultimate.
- Mana Burn: Nether Ward applies mana degeneration within its range, and casts Mana Flare at anyone who uses mana-consuming abilities, dealing from 100% to a whopping 490% (with Refresher Orb and Decrepify) of mana used as damage.
- Counterspell: Damage is applied before a spell takes effect, so if the target dies the spell will not be finished.
- Mage Killer: Especially effective against heavy casters like Skywrath Mage and Lina, easily oneshotting them.
- Mechanically Unusual Class: Pugna is one of the few INT heroes better suited to carrying than supporting: his skills need levels to scale and be useful (a level 1 Life Drain does nothing if you're behind in levels), making him a bad support; meanwhile, Aghanim's Scepter, which greatly boosts the damage of Life Drain and removes its cooldown, gives him good carrying potential, as he can spam it continuously unless killed or out of mana.
- Can't Catch Up: Conversely, Pugna is one of the least hard carries in the game: he can come online fairly fast if given solo experience as a mid or safelane farmer, and then push towers extremely quickly with Nether Blast spamming, but as a carry he falls off hard around the 30-35 minute mark, because he doesn't scale well with items, unless if he has heavily snowballed his team with tower bounty.
- The Napoleon: He is much smaller than most heroes, but makes up for it with his temper.
- No Sell: Enemies affected by Decrepify also become immune to physical damage as a side-effect.
- Our Liches Are Different
- Religion of Evil: Pugna and his followers seem to be practicing a twisted fantasy counterpart of Tibetan Buddhism, even with references to lamas and the concept of the grandmaster's reincarnated form being chosen among children by letting them identify the grandmaster's possessions in its previous life.
- Sickly Green Glow
- Spam Attack: Nether Blast and upgraded Life Drain have very short cooldowns and can be spammed as long as Pugna has mana. Which thanks to his whopping 4 point Intelligence growth is pretty easy to obtain with mana regen.
- Squishy Wizard: The best example in the game; he has the highest Intelligence growth out of any hero (a whopping 4 points per level), but his Strength and Agility gains leave much to be desired.
- Too Spicy for Yog Sothoth: Because of his huge Intelligence growth, Pugna is one of the few heroes that can become completely immune to Outworld Devourer's Sanity's Eclipse, which only affects targets with lower Intelligence than OD.
- Undead Child: According to his backstory, Pugna is only around six years old.
Dazzle, the Shadow Priest
"Each young acolyte to the Dezun order must complete a series of rites before becoming a shadow priest. The final rite, the rite of shades, is a harrowing spiritual journey through the Nothl Realm, an unpredictable domain from which not all visitants return. Of those who do, some return mad. Others return with strange aptitudes. But all who go there are changed by their experiences. Driven by the need for enlightenment, Dazzle was the youngest of his tribe to ever request the sacred ritual. At first the order refused him, saying he was too young. But Dazzle was not to be dissuaded. Sensing something special in the headstrong young acolyte, the elders relented. Dazzle drank down the sacred potion and sat by the fire while the rest of his tribe danced through the night. In this ethereal dimension of the Nothl Realm, the properties of light and dark are inverted. Thus his brilliant healing light, beautiful to our eye, is actually a sinister kind of evil; and the darkest deeds are done in a dazzling glow. The elders intuition was prophetic: Dazzle returned to his people as a Shadow Priest like none seen before. With the power to heal as well as to destroy. Now he uses his power to fight his enemies and help his friends."
- Combat Medic: Shadow Wave heals a number of friendly units near the target, and deals damage in an area around them.
- Combination Attack: Weave is ridiculously good when partnered with right-click damage dealers. In addition, Dazzle can combo with himself, as both of his offensive spells deal physical damage instead of magical damage.
- Damage-Increasing Debuff/Status Buff: Weave will increase the armor of all friendly units within its cast area, and decrease that of any enemies, over a period of time (with the amount shifted per second increasing with the level of the skill). Any enemies that get caught by it will often find themselves taking loads of physical damage only ten seconds into the ulti, while even the squishiest of allies will find themselves surprisingly resistant to the enemy carry's right-clicks.
- Dark Is Not Evil / Light Is Not Good: Zig-zagged like crazy.
- Deadly Doctor: The Dezun Order teaches very few attack spells, and even these are designed to disable the enemy. Dazzle however can invert their properties thanks to his unique gift.
- Enlightenment Superpowers
- Last Chance Hit Point: Shallow Grave places a 5 second buff on an ally that prevents their HP from going below 1. There are only three ways for a target to die under Shallow Grave: being hit by Axe's Culling Blade, activating Suicide Squad, Attack! as Techies, or using Bloodstone's Pocket Suicide.
- Light Is Not Good: As mentioned in his Dota 2 Back Story, his light has inverted properties.
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Shadow Priests' Order however is stated to use magic mainly for healing and self-defense.
- Magic Staff
- Mutual Disadvantage: Against Axe. On one hand, Axe is the only hero in the game that can ignore Dazzle's Shallow Grave with his ultimate Culling Blade. On the other hand, Axe is very susceptible to Shadow Wave because of his playstyle, which involves blinking or rushing into a group of enemies and pin them down with Berserker's Call - the perfect opportunity for a Shadow Wave. Weave also hurts Axe hard, as it boosts enemy armor, weakening Counter Helix, while reducing his armor, which really hurts a tanky hero like him.
- Pinball Projectile: Shadow Wave bounces off allies, healing them while dealing damage to nearby enemies.
- Poisonous Person: With Poison Touch, which paralyses enemies.
- Slasher Smile: His face paint makes it seem as though he is always grinning.
- Squishy Wizard: Despite his ability to keep his teammates alive, Dazzle himself can be very easy to kill, especially if he can't cast Shallow Grave.
- Supernatural Is Purple: It's the tint of his light.
- The Rival/Bash Brothers: With Huskar, and justified in both their backstory and gameplay. Dazzle's skills can make Huskar an unstoppable machine of destruction - or make him useless if he's on the enemy team.
- Tribal Face Paint
- White Mage: His damage output is extremely weak and getting killed by Dazzle is usually considered just luck, so Dazzle is more focused on buffing allies and debuffing enemies.
- Lethal Joke Character: His starting damage is quite high for a support hero, and all his spells deal Physical damage, meaning magic resistance or immunity don't protect against it. Properly geared, he can easily shred enemy armor down into negative levels and thus increases his overall damage. Combined with his great attack animation and high base damage, he's a viable mid hero and can even carry with the right team/items.
- Why Won't You Die?: While Dazzle himself is quite squishy, he, like Omniknight, can use his abilities to make (at least one member of) his team extremely difficult to kill with a combination of Shallow Grave and Weave, while keeping them alive with Shadow Wave.
Leshrac, the Tormented Soul
"Leshrac, Tormented Soul, is an entity torn from the heart of nature, a liminal being that exists half in one plane of existence, half in another. His penetrating intelligence is such that he can never ignore for a moment the agonizing horror at the heart of all creation. Once a great philosopher who sought the meaning of existence, he plumbed the depths of nature with the haunted Chronoptic Crystals, and was forever altered by the hideous mysteries thereby revealed to him. Now the darkest depths of his enlightenment are illumined only by the fitful glare of his arrogance. Like other elemental characters, he is completely at one with nature, but in his case it is a nature lurid and vile. He alone sees the evil truth of reality, and has no use for those who believe the cosmos reserves a special reward for those who practice benevolence."
Ish'Kafel, the Dark Seer
"Fast when he needs to be, and a cunning strategist, Ish'Kafel the Dark Seer requires no edged weapons to vanquish his enemies, relying instead on the strength of his powerful mind. His talent lies in his ability to maneuver the fight to his advantage. Hailing from a place he calls 'The Land behind the wall,' Dark Seer remains an outsider here—a warrior from a realm beyond the veil of this reality. Once a great general among his people, and a valiant defender of the god-king Damathryx, Dark Seer’s army was wiped out by a much larger force in the final days of the Great Boundaries War. Facing certain defeat, he made one last desperate act: he led the enemy forces into the maze between the walls. At the last moment, just before capture, he crossed over—then sealed the walls forever in an explosive release of dark energy. When the dust settled, he saw that he had saved his people but found himself blinking at the sun of a different world, with no way to return. Now he is committed to proving his worth as a military strategist, and vows to show that he’s the greatest tactician this strange new world has ever seen."
- Another Dimension: The Land Behind The Wall.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Bookworm: Despite (or possibly due to) the fact that he's one of only two melee Intelligence heroes in the game, his base Strength and Strength growth are quite above average, as is his base armor, making him surprisingly durable for an Intelligence support. One of the other interesting quirks is that as he's a melee hero, he can actually take advantage of damage block items effectively, meaning that building Vanguard on him is viable (and even encouraged, since Soul Ring is often one of his first-built items to bolster his mana pool).
- Bare-Fisted Monk: He's one of only two melee Intelligence heroes in the game.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Being from another dimension he is quite alien in appearance. Most notably his sharply pointed head (which he seems to take great pride in), as well as "points" jutting out from his back.
- The Dark Arts: He's a master of them.
- Difficult but Awesome: Since he relies on his melee attacks to do damage and is an Intelligence hero, he has very little damage output outside of Ion Shell, giving him little ability to directly kill enemy heroes. However, his skill set allows him to manipulate the battlefield in such a way that makes things difficult for his enemies. He's often one of the first picked or first banned heroes in competitive play due to his ability to change the tide of a teamfight by himself.
- Four-Star Badass: He was a general of his people.
- Glacier Waif: Dark Seer is one of the smallest heroes in the game, but he has above-average Strength and Strength growth, and very good base armor, making him surprisingly durable for an Intelligence utility hero.
- Glass Cannon: Wall of Replica illusions can deal even more damage than the original enemy hero if Dark Seer is carrying Aghanim's Scepter, however they also receive three times as much damage.
- Glowing Eyes
- God Emperor: Damathryx, Ish'Kafel's former boss.
- Gravity Master: Vacuum works by modifying the centre of gravity to a place of Ish'Kafel's choosing.
- Gravity Sucks: Vacuum sucks all enemies in an area to its centre.
- Heroic Sacrifice: He saved his people by trapping himself along with his enemy on "the other side of the wall".
- Humanoid Aliens
- Humans Through Alien Eyes: Played for Laughs. He finds the roundness of the human head repulsive.
- The Maze: Mentioned in his backstory.
- Power Glows: His hands and most of his spells.
- Psychic Powers: All of Dark Seer's abilities rely on mind manipulation.
- Purple Is Powerful
- Spam Attack: Surge has a very low mana cost and short cooldown, allowing Dark Seer to spam it to get around the map.
- The Strategist: Was once a master tactician on his homeworld.
- Stone Wall: Because of his skillset providing innate damage and escape, he tends to go for tanky and teamfight utility items, such as Mekansm, Pipe of Insight, and Shiva's Guard. Of course, with his utility-oriented skillset, he has very little direct damage output.
- Super Speed: Surge temporarily boosts an ally's speed to the cap of 522.
- Support Party Member: Dark Seer has one of the lowest damage outputs in the game: his right-click is extremely weak, Vacuum deals almost no damage while Ion Shell's damage quickly fall off mid- and late-game, basically being reduced to a farming tool; but his kit offers so much utility and versatility that he's valuable in almost any situation possible.
- Twin Maker: Wall of Replica, Dark Seer's ultimate, creates an illusion of any enemy hero walking through it, while dealing a small amount of damage. While it can only create one illusion at a time and the illusions are easily destroyed, they do nearly full damage, and dropping it in the middle of a teamfight ensures that they're forced to focus on your teammates instead of the illusions. Even better, the wall will create another illusion if an enemy hero walks into it again after destroying the last one, essentially becoming a hazard zone that the enemy team cannot pass through easily.
- Walking Wasteland: Ion Shell, which deals damage over time to enemy units in an area around a unit, temporarily turns it into this.
- Wizard Beard
- You Can't Go Home Again: Ish'Kafel is trapped in this world, unable to return to his home.
Batrider"There is no such thing as harmony among the creatures of the Yama Raskav Jungle. By bite, or claw, or pincer, or hoof, even the slightest sign of weakness means a swift death. They say the Rider was just a lad cutting chaff in his family's field when he was taken, swept up by a massive morde-bat looking for take-out. But this boy had a better idea, and wriggled his way from his captor's grip, onto the beast's back, and hacked it down with his tools. Emerging from the bloody wreckage and intoxicated by the thrill of flight, the boy realized he'd found his calling. The boy grew, and every summer he'd return to his family's field, often setting out into the bush seeking to reclaim that first thrill of facing death in the form of jaws or a fatal fall. The years went on, but his fire only grew stronger. He studied the overgrowth, plunging deeper with each expedition, until finally he found his way to the caves at the heart of hostility. They say the Rider, on the eve of a scorching summer night, had nothing but a rope, a bottle of liquid courage and a burning determination to feel the skies once more, when he plunged inside..."
- Adventurer Outfit: The aviator variety.
- Badass Biker: What his character was obviously modeled after.
- Bat out of Hell: His mount.
- Breath Weapon: His standard attack is his mount spitting fireballs.
- Casanova Wannabe: For a moment he even thinks about hitting on the Broodmother!
- Cool Horse
- Damage-Increasing Debuff: Sticky Napalm increases damage that enemy units take from Batrider over an area, and can scale up to ten times.
- Explosion Propulsion: Enemies hit by Flamebreak are ministunned and knocked out from the point of impact.
- Fragile Speedster: Firefly makes him extremely fast and mobile, but his stats make him rather frail.
- Mad Bomber: Batrider seems to be one judging from his responses when he uses his abilities or kills an enemy hero:
- Molotov Cocktail: Flamebreak throws a flaming cocktail of dangerous chemicals.
- Money Multiplier: Though none of Batrider's skills does directly boost his gold income, Sticky Napalm, which increases the damage that enemies take from him in an area, makes last-hitting significantly easier. Good Batrider players often miss no single creep in the lane and get an early Blink Dagger.
- Mounted Combat
- No Name Given: He was once known as Jin'zakk in the original DOTA, but that name was removed when he's included in 2.
- Non-Fatal Fire: Flaming Lasso, despite being flaming, doesn't deal any direct damage.
- Noun Verber
- Obvious Rule Patch: Players took advantage of Sticky Napalm, a skill that amplifies damage from Batrider on his victims, by building the constant DPS aura item Radiance, which turned Batrider into a real damage-dealer. Apparently Icefrog disagreed, as he proceeded to change Sticky Napalm so that Radiance could not (normally) trigger the bonus damage any more.
- Playing with Fire: His right-click attack and three of his four abilities are fire-based. The one that doesn't directly uses fire drenches foes in napalm.
- Spam Attack: Sticky Napalm, with its short cooldown, low mana cost and stacking effect.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: His attacks include drenching enemies in napalm and throwing a Molotov Cocktail.
- Vapor Trail: Firefly leaves a trail of flames in Batrider's wake.
- What a Drag: Flaming Lasso drags any unfortunate victim in Batrider's wake.
Kaldr, the Ancient Apparition
"Kaldr, the Ancient Apparition, is an image projected from outside time. He springs from the cold, infinite void that both predates the universe and awaits its end. Kaldr is, Kaldr was, Kaldr shall be...and what we perceive, powerful as it appears to us, is but the faintest faded echo of the true, eternal Kaldr. Some believe that as the cosmos ages and approaches its final moments, the brightness and power of Kaldr will also intensify—that the Ancient Apparition will grow younger and stronger as eternity's end draws nigh. His grip of ice will bring all matter to a stop, his image will cast a light too terrible to behold. An Apparition no longer!"
- Added Alliterative Appeal
- Bishōnen: His low violence model's face is quite handsome, inexplicably.
- Blow You Away: In their descriptions, Ice Vortex and Chilling Touch are both described to manipulate frigid winds.
- Damage-Increasing Debuff: Any enemies caught in an Ice Vortex receive increased magical damage.
- Death of a Thousand Cuts/Gradual Grinder: While his skills don't seem very damaging, the total amount of damage dealt indirectly through buffs easily goes into 4-digit numbers. Chilling Touch alone has the potential to deal over 2000 damage, and regeneration-disabling debuff from Ice Blast removes a lot of potential health that could be gained with lifesteal and heal.
- Defog of War: Ice Vortex temporarily reveals the area around it.
- Eldritch Abomination
- Elemental Embodiment: Of ice and entropy.
- Evil Is Deathly Cold
- Fighting a Shadow: It's stated in his backstory that Ancient Apparition is only an image of the true, eternal Kaldr.
- Finishing Move: His ultimate instakills enemies at low HP.
- Fixed Damage Attack: Ice Blast is this, in effect. Because hitting an enemy with the ball will cause them to instantly die if they fall below 10% of their HP, the debuff effectively removes 10% of an enemy hero's maximum HP for the duration of the debuff, without factoring in the blast itself or the damage over time.
- Harmless Freezing: While Cold Feet does deal damage, it's so insignificant that it's never used as a nuke.
- An Ice Person
- Ineffectual Loner: Ancient Apparition's skills don't work very well without allies: Cold Feet is useless without a setup since enemies can simply run away from it, Chilling Touch is only powerful when used on many allies, which makes Ice Vortex's damage amplification much less useful since AA's damage output without allies is rather low.
- Kill It with Ice
- Lead The Target: Ice Blast requires leading the target, stopping the projectile marker at a certain point, and then waiting for the real projectile to arrive and hit. While difficult to land, it's exceptionally powerful when it hits, easily turning around the outcome of a fight. Firing it from a long range also increases its area of effect up to a whole screen.
- Literally Shattered Lives: The final effect of his ultimate.
- Power Floats
- Power Nullifier: Ice Blast is infamous as the only spell in the game that prevents the enemy from gaining HP through healing for the duration of the debuff. This counters any direct healing (whether from items like Magic Wand and Mekansm, or abilities like Voodoo Magic and Purification), percentage based stat changing (switching your Power Treads, toggling Armlet of Mordiggian), and even the fountain. The only ways to stop the HP loss are with Magic Immunity (which only nullifies the damage over time but cannot remove the debuff), invulnerability and banish (which also only nullifies the damage over time), Borrowed Time (during which Abaddon will not gain any HP either), damage shields (such as Aphotic Shield and Flame Guard), all of which are only temporary measures used to wait out the debuff. Only Weaver's Time Lapse allows you to return to actually increase your HP while under the effects of the buff.
- Sealed Evil in a Can
- Sentient Cosmic Force: Kaldr is the manifestation of entropy.
- Spell Blade: Chilling Touch grants allied heroes in an area bonus magical damage for a set amount of attacks.
- Squishy Wizard: One of the squishiest, in order to offset the massive damage his ultimate deals.
- Standard Status Effects: Cold Feet freezes slow or unaware enemies that don't leave its radius.
- Time Abyss: So ancient that the Fundamentals of the Universe consider him old.
- You Are Already Dead: Getting frozen by Ice Blast disables all forms of health regeneration and deals damage over time, making survival of low-HP units impossible without magic immunity or Dazzle's Shallow Grave.
Carl, the Invoker
"In its earliest, and some would say most potent form, magic was primarily the art of memory. It required no technology, no wands or appurtenances other than the mind of the magician. All the trappings of ritual were merely mnemonic devices, meant to allow the practitioner to recall in rich detail the specific mental formulae that unlocked a spell's power. The greatest mages in those days were the ones blessed with the greatest memories, and yet so complex were the invocations that all wizards were forced to specialize. The most devoted might hope in a lifetime to have adequate recollection of three spells—four at most. Ordinary wizards were content to know two, and it was not uncommon for a village mage to know only one—with even that requiring him to consult grimoires as an aid against forgetfulness on the rare occasions when he might be called to use it. But among these early practitioners there was one exception, a genius of vast intellect and prodigious memory who came to be known as the Invoker. In his youth, the precocious wizard mastered not four, not five, not even seven incantations: He could command no fewer than ten spells, and cast them instantly. Many more he learned but found useless, and would practice once then purge from his mind forever, to make room for more practical invocations. One such spell was the Sempiternal Cantrap—a longevity spell of such power that those who cast it in the world's first days are among us still (unless they have been crushed to atoms). Most of these quasi-immortals live quietly, afraid to admit their secret: But Invoker is not one to keep his gifts hidden. He is ancient, learned beyond all others, and his mind somehow still has space to contain an immense sense of his own worth...as well as the Invocations with which he amuses himself through the long slow twilight of the world's dying days."
- Aerith and Bob: His "true name of power" is Carl.
- The Arch Mage
- Ascended Meme: His "name," Carl, comes from a Google Translate of a "leaked" changelog. The original Invoker was named 'Kael', after a Warcraft character. When a fake Chinese changelog was posted on the PlayDota forums, it was Google Translated, and "Kael" was translated as "Carl". In Dota 2, where the name Kael cannot be reused for legal issues, Invoker is renamed to 'Carl', according to several lines of himself, Undying and Mirana.
Icefrog, commenting on the Invoker "nerf": Carl had it coming.
- Badass Long Robe
- Black Mage: All of his spells but one are damage-dealing and mostly used for offense.
- Brown Note/Gale-Force Sound: Deafening Blast knocks victims back and temporarily disables their right-click attack.
- Canis Latinicus: Some of the responses for his spells.
- Colony Drop: Chaos Meteor pulls an asteroid from orbit and throws it at the target point, where it will roll and deal damage to anything in its path. It rolls farther the more Wex levels you have, and deals more damage the more Exort levels you have.
- Confusion Fu: Invoker has three "reagents", which grant stat bonuses as well as minor regeneration, movement and attack speed, or damage bonuses when active; and Invoke, which gives Invoker a spell based on which reagents are active at the time. Since there are ten possible combinations and the effects include summoning, buffing, disabling, creating temporary walls, four different attack spells (one with unlimited range), and turning invisible, it's very difficult to tell what an Invoker will do next. Since Invoker is limited to having two spells ready at a time, it also makes him Difficult but Awesome.
- Death from Above: Chaos Meteor and Sun Strike. The latter is a beam that can be fired anywhere on the map.
- Difficult but Awesome: Widely considered to have the most complex skill set in the game (though not the hardest character to actually use, as that title goes to Meepo). Not only does casting his spells require good memory of which reagents are required for each spell, the amount that each reagent is leveled drastically affects how powerful each spell is. For instance, Deafening Blast, which requires one of each reagent, can affect the enemy completely differently depending on how much you've leveled each reagent, since each one controls a completely different variable, so it can either do only damage, only stun, or only disarm the enemy, or anything inbetween. This makes it hard to use Invoker effectively if you don't level the proper reagents for maxing out the power of specific spells for specific builds or situations. But once you get it down, Invoker is easily the most flexible caster in the game (with even Rubick coming in second), capable of queuing up whatever spell is required at will, casting it, and quickly Invoking another spell to cast while the others are on cooldown. A good Invoker who has enough mana and Aghanim's Scepter can potentially cast one spell every two seconds (barring the cooldown of each individual spell stopping him).
- Sun Strike is this, amongst Invoker's spells. It deals spread out damage over a small area and has a long delay (1,7 seconds), forcing players to predict their victim's movement and assure that no creep wave will come to shield him. But good Sun Strikes can be used to snipe enemies from pretty much everywhere on the map, even near the fountain where they think they're safe.
- Subverted in that for the most part, actual combos aren't really difficult to land, especially when compared to say, Pudge. Most of them just consist of "Shoot these two skills right after eachother at the same location", such as his bread-and-butter combos of each build.
- Elemental Powers: He is perhaps the most glorious user of such powers; manipulation of each element grants bonuses to one attribute and a temporary buff to a related skill.
- An Ice Person: Quas grants bonus strength and provides extra HP regen while active.
- Shock and Awe/Blow You Away: Wex grants bonus agility and provides extra attack and movement speed while active.
- Playing with Fire: Exort grants bonus intelligence and provides extra damage while active.
- EMP: The name of one of his abilities, which deals damage, burns mana and returns part of that mana to Invoker.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The basic reagents of his spells.
- Flowery Elizabethan English: When he's not speaking in Canis Latinicus.
- Foil: To Rubick, both are arguably the most generic "Mage" type heroes, with no additional theme, Invoker wears White and Gold, Rubick dresses in Black and Green, Invoker's practically a walking mass of ego while Rubick's a Nice Guy, Invoker only uses the 9 skills he has, seeing everything else as beneath him and isn't all that bright, relying on his memmory. Rubick on the other hand, is very adaptable and a quick learner, but is also rather forgetful.
- Functional Magic: His ability to cast magic lies in his excellent memory.
- Fun with Acronyms: His responses give creative definitions for EMP such as "Extractive Mana Pulse" "and "Endoleon's Malevolent Perturbation". Quas Wex Exort are more obvious, with the first letters for each being the keyboard hotkeys for those skills.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Harmless Freezing: While Cold Snap and Ice Wall do deal damage, it's mostly incidental next to the stun and area slow.
- Healing Factor: Invoker gains bonus HP regeneration if he has Quas orbs active (which stack directly with each other). This allows him to shrug off harass damage fairly reliably in-lane, and replenish health over time with enough levels of Quas.
- I Have Many Names: Acquired from all the ages he's lived.
- It's All About Me: Basically, to him, there's two kinds of people in the world, Him, and people that aren't him, the latter of which are worthless.
Invoker "All that matters, perishes with me."
Invoker "The universe depends on what I can remember of it."
- Insufferable Genius: Constantly prattles on about his (Supposedly) superior intelligence.
- Invisibility: Ghost Walk turns Invoker invisible immediately (meaning there's no fade time), and slows enemies nearby depending on his Quas levels. While it initially makes him slower as well, he can start moving at normal speed (or even faster) once he has four or more levels of Wex.
- Jack of All Stats: Because of his massive stock of spells, Invoker can be built to fill almost any utility role that his team needs, whether it's Quas-Wex for crowd control, Wex-Exort for pushing and damage output, or Quas-Exort for direct combat.
- Jerkass: From claiming he did all the work after a win, to basically ignoring his enemies, to not bother to even know whose on his side either.
- Kill Sat/Lead The Target/The Power of the Sun: Sun Strike has a global range and deals Pure damage. Its damage is distributed evenly on all enemies hit, and it has a very small radius, on top of having a 1.7 second strike delay (requiring players to Lead The Target), however it can be used to snipe enemies anywhere on the map, even in their fountain where they think they're safe.
- Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Despite his constant claims of being the smartest, he's actually quite close to the bottom of the barrel in actual intelligence, largely getting by through memory.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: His background story leans heavily on Dota 2's metagame; even the most complicated hero other than Invoker only has three or four (or six in the case of Keeper of the Light) active abilities, with some such as Wraith King, Drow Ranger and Viper only truly having one. The ability for any player to use Invoker well depends on their memory of which reagents are required for each spell, as well as their knowledge of how powerful those spells are based on how many levels are in each reagent.
- Mana Burn: Invoker's EMP ability lays down an electric blast over a massive area that explodes 2.6 seconds after he casts it. Any enemies in the area will have a part of their mana pool destroyed (based on the levels of Wex), and half of that amount converted into damage done to them.
- Mana Drain: The other half of the mana destroyed by EMP is given to Invoker.
- Man in White: His default robe is white with golden lining on the outside.
- Monochromatic Eyes
- Narcissist: Just to give an idea of how bad he is compared to the other egomaniacs in this game (who also have plenty of "Look at me!" or "I am the best!" lines): Invoker is the only hero to have zero special interactions for killing a particular enemy, like taunting a rival or acknowledging a Worthy Opponent. Nope, he is so self-absorbed he doesn't bother to learn anyone's names, they mean nothing to him.
- Non Standard Skill Learning: Unlike any other hero in the game, Invoker cannot directly learn his various damaging spells via leveling up; he must first skill the necessary reagents for the spell, then Invoke them in the correct order to temporarily gain access to that skill. He's also one of only two heroes who can skill his ultimate before level 6, the other being Meepo at level 3.
- Really 700 Years Old: Due to the Sempiternal Cantrap.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness
- Shout-Out: His death animation is very similar to timelord regeneration.
- Some Dexterity Required: Managing Invoker's spells before level 17 can be (comparatively) straightforward once you learn which reagents are required for certain spells, since there's still at least a 12 second cooldown on Invoke, giving you plenty of time to think about what spell you need next. Once you hit level 17 (or grab an Aghanim's Scepter after level 12) though, you can essentially barrage the enemy with every single spell you have, since the cooldown on Invoke shortens down to 5 seconds or less, meaning that you have to be quick with your thinking and key presses in order to make the most of it.
- Special Person, Normal Name: His true name of power: Carl.
- Squishy Wizard/Glass Cannon: On top of his relatively mediocre Strength and Agility gain, Invoker is incapable of getting stat bonuses since each of his three reagents can be leveled 7 times, and his ultimate 4 (other heroes level their three abilities 4 times each and their ultimate 3 times, with 10 levels left over for stats). This means that despite each reagent passively giving him stat bonuses each time they're leveled, at level 25 he has three less stat levels than every other hero, which adds up.
- Interestingly, though, this also makes Invoker stronger early-game if the proper reagents are leveled, since each reagent level gives him a small stat bonus in that category. An Invoker who maxes out Quas as his primary reagent can be surprisingly tanky since he'll have the equivalent of seven Strength stat bonuses before level 15, which is the first level at which most other heroes start leveling stats.
- Summon Magic: Forge Spirits summons a minion to fight alongside you. Having more than four levels in both Quas and Exort will summon two of them instead of one.
- Super Speed: Invoker starts out with the second-lowest base movement speed in the game (tied with Death Prophet and Crystal Maiden), but gains bonus movement and attack speed with active Wex orbs. With enough levels of Wex and an active Ghost Walk, Invoker can move quite quite quickly, to say nothing of his recommended item build including various movement speed items like Eul's Scepter and Phase Boots.
- Tornado Move/Status Buff Dispel: Tornado throws a tornado at the enemy in a straight line, disabling them for a certain amount of time (however many Quas levels you have). It has an absurdly long range if you level Wex enough (well beyond visual range starting at 4 levels), and has buff-removal properties similar to Eul's Scepter of Divinity.
- Wizards Live Longer
- Wolverine Publicity: One of the more well-known heroes due to his notorious versatile spells and high difficulty curve. It also helps that he's the most obvious target (as an enemy or rival) for Anti-Mage, who himself has a heavy case of Wolverine Publicity.
Harbinger, the Outworld Devourer
"One of a lordly and magisterial race, Harbinger prowls the edge of the Void, sole surviving sentry of an outpost on the world at the rim of the abyss. From this jagged crystalline Outworld, forever on guard, he has gazed for eternities into the heavens, alert for any stirring in the bottomless night beyond the stars. Imprinted deep in the shining lattices of his intellect lies a resonant pattern akin to prophecy, a dark music implying that eventually some evil will wake out there, beyond the edges of creation, and turn its attention to our world. With his whole being focused on his vigil, Outworld Devourer paid little attention to events closer in to the sun. But at last the clamor of the Ancients, and a sense of growing threat from within as well as without, sent him winging sunward to visit the plains of war. Harbinger's place in our own prophecies is unambiguous: he must be considered an omen of worse things to come. But his arrival in itself is bad enough."
"Among the sovereign Demons with explicit access to this world, Doom scarcely bothers with the affairs of Noninfernals and Lesser Spectral Consorts, while Shadow Fiend passes through almost exclusively on collecting expeditions. The Shadow Demon, however, has always taken a deep and abiding interest in the material plane, as if sensing that mastery of this gritty dimensional nexus might be the key to total domination of all realities. Summoned first by minor wizards, the Shadow Demon granted every wish and put on increasingly impressive displays of power until he had the full attention of the greatest demonologists, and through them the various lords, tyrants, autarchs and heirophants who depended on sorcery to buttress their mundane power. So great was his deception that all his summoners considered themselves the master and Shadow Demon the servant; meanwhile, he eroded their identities and made their minds his own. In the end, most members of the cult were hollow puppets, extensions of his evil will. What Shadow Demon's next step would have been remains open to speculation, for around this time, Nevermore the Shadow Fiend bit into a particularly nasty-tasting soul and discovered that it held nothing but a foul nougat of Shadow Demon's essence. Alerted that a coup was underway, and that the ancient equilibrium of the Umbral Pact was about to be destabilized, Doom and Shadow Fiend briefly joined forces to destroy the burgeoning cult. Combining spells of incredible force, they undid Shadow Demon's centuries of patient work, reducing his cult to smithereens—and all its members to a bloody splatter. Nothing remained except a tiny speck of demon shadow. Immortal and irreducible, this mote of evil was enough to seed the Shadow Demon's next scheme, and in fits and starts, over further centuries, he began to regroup. Whatever that speck of shadow touched, it tainted, and its influence gradually grew. A chaos of damaged parts pulled together, reknit, and combined to give Shadow Demon a form even stronger than his former. He is all but complete now, and his plan for infinite dominion lacks all of its former weaknesses. It would seem that such a being of pure malice and malevolence, a threat to all creation, would be forever out of place in our world...yet Shadow Demon does not lack for followers."
Visage, the Bound Form of Necro'lic
Visage, the Bound Form of Necro'lic"Perched atop the entrance to the Narrow Maze sit the looming shapes of sneering gargoyles, the paths into the hereafter forever in their gaze. Beasts and birds, men and monsters, all creatures that die and choose to travel beyond must someday pass beneath their sight. For an untethered spirit, the decision to journey through the veil of death is irrevocable. When chance comes, and by craft or cunning some restless soul escapes their hells and heavens, it is the dreaded gargoyle Visage, the bound form of the eternal spirit Necro’lic, who is dispatched to reclaim them. Ruthless and efficient, unhindered by the principles of death and fatigue, Visage stalks its prey without mercy or end, willingly destroying all which may give shelter to the fugitive essence. That which flaunts the laws of the afterlife may never rest, for while it is true that the dead may be revived, it is only a matter of time before Visage finds and returns them to their proper place."
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Averted utterly with his Familiars; while they start with incredible bonus attack power, they quickly are reduced to 10 damage until the next time they activate Stone Form, encouraging hit and run tactics.
- Badass Bookworm: Despite being an Intelligence hero, he has above-normal Strength gain and up to 70% resistance to both physical and magical damage when he maxes out Gravekeeper's Cloak, letting him withstand even heavy harassment. Much needed because his skills benefit his team the more he stays in team-fights.
- Charged Attack/Spam Attack: Soul Assumption initially deals extremely low damage, but becomes more and more powerful with soul charges which Visage can acquire when heroes take damage near him. Combined with its very short cooldown, Visage can constantly spam it in a fight as long as he has mana and soul charges.
- Dark Is Not Evil
- Deflector Shields: Gravekeeper's Cloak generates a four-layered barrier of protection around Visage. One layer is removed every time Visage takes damage from players, making him very durable against burst damage, but damage-over-time effects can break it in no time.
- Difficult but Awesome: Like Meepo, Visage is considered one of the more difficult heroes to master given the amount of micromanagement required to manage his ultimate, on top of his other abilities being quite complex. Given the punishing cooldown on summoning his familiars and the large bounty they award to enemy players for killing them, new players can be easily discouraged from learning the hero properly given how easy it is to feed the enemy team with the familiars. But mastering the familiars gives Visage a great deal of flexibility and firepower, since they can globally gank squishy heroes with almost no warning by using trees for cover, and chaining their Stone Form stuns can give you an area-of-effect stun that lasts up to 3 seconds, or even 4.5 seconds with an Aghanim's Scepter. Combined with his other abilities, Visage is one of the deadliest support heroes in the game who can tank damage, burst down enemies extremely quickly, and disable entire teams when used properly.
- Elite Army: Visage's Familiars are weak in a direct fight, but are valued for their ability to globally gank squishy heroes with little warning, their 3 second area stun, and the large bounty that they award to enemies for killing them.
- Familiar: Can summon 2 of his fellow gargoyles (3 with Aghanim's Scepter) from the Narrow Maze.
- Glass Cannon: His familiars are capable of decimating most enemies in seconds if they've recently used Stone Form, but don't take much to destroy.
- Fragile Speedster: They also are fairly fast, and can bypass obstacles as they are flying units.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: However, he's a decidedly heroic character.
- Guardian of the Multiverse: Necro'lic is not only in charge of bringing souls to the afterlife, but also keeping various Multiversal Conquerors, Eldritch Abominations and even gods at bay.
- Hit-and-Run Tactics: His familiars are best used to blast enemies and then beat a fast retreat, as they are pretty weak in a direct fight.
- Lightning Bruiser: Visage can dish out great damage with Soul Assumption and his familiars; Gravekeeper's Cloak makes him extremely resistant to burst damage; and he can also move very fast with Grave Chill.
- Limit Break: Soul Assumption does very little damage by itself, but it scales up as heroes (allied, enemy, and including Visage himself) take damage in an area around him. Combined with its extremely low cooldown, Visage can nuke down targets extremely quickly during a teamfight.
- Metal Slime: Visage's familiars give a very large bounty when killed, but move very fast and can fly over terrain, so no good Visage player would allow his enemies to profit from that bounty. Bad ones, on the other hand...
- The Minion Master: Visage summons 2 familiars with his ultimate (3 with Aghanim's Scepter). Unlike most summoned creatures, they don't die on their own after a set of time.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Nobody seems to be able to agree on whether his name is pronounced vis-IHJ or vis-AHJ. Visage himself pronounces it as vis-IHJ in the English audio, but casters and players will use both in the same breath. Lampshaded by the Bastion announcer pack where Rucks dubs him "vis-AHHHHJ".
- Our Gargoyles Rock: Both him and his summoned familiars.
- Piñata Enemy: Familiars are worth 100 gold each and have less hp than normal lane creeps. While they make up for that with their temporary invincibility and can be denied by resummoning, a planned attack on them is as profitable as ganking a hero.
- Power Glows
- Remote Body: For Necro'lic.
- Shockwave Stomp: Familiars' Stone Form combines this with Taken for Granite, as it also stuns enemies in an area around the Familiar.
- Some Dexterity Required: Playing Visage well requires good micro-management of his familiars; while they can quickly burst down enemy heroes and charge up Soul Assumption in no time, they also do not have much HP and give a huge bounty if the enemy can kill them.
- Sophisticated as Hell: He normally speaks in a tone worthy of the afterlife's overseer. Killing Dirge the Undying yields this responce:
- Squishy Wizard: Visage is one of the squishiest early-game heroes in the game, as he is one of only three heroes in the game with negative base armor (the others being Wisp and Phoenix), and the only hero in the game with less than the standard 25% base magic resistance...
- Badass Bookworm: ...yet his Strength gain is actually quite respectable, and Gravekeeper's Cloak makes him absurdly resistant to burst damage once he maxes it out, allowing him to shrug off magic nukes and burst physical damage surprisingly well if he survives into the late game.
- Summon Magic: Summon Familiars.
- Taken for Granite: His familiars can do this to themselves as means for both offense and defense.
- Vampiric Draining: Grave Chill drains speed from enemies and gives it to Visage.
- Wings Do Nothing: Played straight by Visage, averted by his familiars.