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Rikimaru - Stealth Assassin

Created by Counter_Force[X] on 2009-01-29
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This guide is inspired by Team mouz gaming A hero easy to get along with, but difficult to master, Rikimaru is one of the old school DotA heroes. From its early form, having a mobile Death Ward, to the currently infamous ganker, Rikimaru has been loved and hated by users and foes alike. Greatly buffed directly and indirectly in the 6.56 map, Rikimaru is now one of the most powerful mid-gamer in DotA rivaled by only heroes like Oblivion and Bane, and can be considered a game breaker late game - if played right. Rikimaru can now be considered as a new, and more powerful Anti-Mage, who can easily outclass the old, and ineffective Magina in team fights with his arsenal of improved spells and improved items which suits him. However, following the famous pick of this guy as a new breed of superhero, the 6.58 map has nerfed the all potent riki. Still, he is a powerfull hero. The aim of this guide is to present, my opinions on how to play Rikimaru, with a kind of old schooled build as the main build, which have been greatly left out especially by pubbies. This guide will be centered on how to make Rikimaru, a click-kill hero. 1 skill build, 1 item build, 1 style. If you are someone who abhor long guides, there is something for you at the very end of this guide(almost) that resembles a summary, so never fear. Also, I am not image-friendly, and therefore, expect minimal screenshots.

Rikimaru - The Stealth Assasin

Range: | Move Speed: 300
Primary: AGI
Str: 17 + 2 | Agi: 34 + 2.9 | Int: 14 + 1.3
Damage: 48 – 52 | HP: 473 | Mana: 182
HP Regen: 1.26 | Mana Regen: 0.57
Attack Speed: 0.73 | Armor: 6
Smoke Screen
Smoke Screen (C)
Throws a smoke bomb down in the area, silencing opponents and causing them to miss on most of their attacks. Also slows by 25% at all levels. Doesn`t silence item spells. Lasts 6 seconds.
Level 1 - 250 AoE, 40% miss.
Level 2 - 275 AoE, 50% miss.
Level 3 - 300 AoE, 60% miss.
Level 4 - 325 AoE, 70% miss.
• Does not silence castable items.
• Casting Range: 425
Mana Cost: 75/ 80/ 85/ 90
Cooldown: 13 seconds
Comment: Chasing, escaping and last hitting skill. More in the guide

Blink Strike (Stealth Assassin)
Blink Strike (Stealth Assassin) (B)
Teleports to a unit and strikes it if it is a foe, dealing bonus damage.
Level 1 - Deals 30 extra damage
Level 2 - Deals 60 extra damage
Level 3 - Deals 90 extra damage
Level 4 - Deals 120 extra damage
• Damage type: physical
• Bonus damage is dealt before Rikimaru's regular attack.
• Teleports to the back of the target, forcing a backstab on the next attack.
• If the target is an ally, no damage will be dealt.
Mana Cost: 50
Cooldown: 20/15/10/5 seconds
Comment: Sweet anti DPS, anti caster and come with a sweet slow. More in the guide
Backstab (K)
The Stealth Assassin isn`t afraid to fight dirty, and specializes in attacking his opponents from behind.
Level 1 - Deals .25x the Agility of the SA to the target.
Level 2 - Deals .5x the Agility of the SA to the target.
Level 3 - Deals .75x the Agility of the SA to the target.
Level 4 - Deals 1x the Agility of the SA to the target.
• Bonus damage from Backstab can't be evaded.
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A
Comment: Contributes greatly to damage, this is far better than double damage until the remake of this skill into physical type again, except for the fact you need to be backstabbing.
Permanent Invisibility
Permanent Invisibility (E)
Hero becomes permanently invisible when not attacking.
Level 1 - 3 second fade time.
Level 2 - 2.25 second fade time.
Level 3 - 1.5 second fade time.
• Rikimaru will not auto attack enemies.
• If Rikimaru is silenced this ability will be disabled.
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A
Comment: This is why people hate Rikimaru. Sweet, free ward
Skill Build

Skill Build:

1. Blink Strike
2. Smoke Screen
3. Blink Strike
4. Backstab
5. Blink Strike
6. Permanent Invisibility
7. Blink Strike
8. Backstab
9. Backstab
10. Backstab
11. Permanent Invisibility
12. Smoke Screen
13. Smoke Screen
14. Smoke Screen
15. Stats
16. Permanent Invisibility
17. Stats
18. Stats
19. Stats
20. Stats
21. Stats
22. Stats
23. Stats
24. Stats
25. Stats
Item Build

Item Build:

1.View Details for Wraith Band
Wraith Band
6 Agility
3 Strength
3 Intelligence
3 Damage
Slippers of Agility + Circlet of Nobility + Wraith Band Recipe Scroll
Cheap boost to damage HP and mana. Get 2-4. Get Poor Man's Shield if you only get 2
2.View Details for Diffusal Blade
Diffusal Blade
22/26 Agility
6/10 Intelligence
Passive: Feedback
Causes your attacks to burn 20 (36 when upgraded) mana and deal bonus physical damage equal to the amount of mana burned. Orb effect.
Active: Purge
Purges a target unit, removing buffs, slowing, and dealing 99999 damage if it is a summoned unit. Non-hero units will be paused for the first 3 seconds instead of slowed. Slow lasts 4 seconds. 8 seconds cooldown. 600 cast range.
Note: Can be upgraded once by buying the recipe again. 8 charges. Charges are refreshed to 8 when it is upgraded.
2x Blades of Alacrity + Robe of the Magi + Diffusal Blade Recipe Scroll
Huge damage and chasing power that is reliable, and refuelable
3.View Details for Poor Man
Poor Man's Shield
6 Agility
Passive: Damage Block
100% chance to block 20 hero damage if wielder is melee (10 if ranged). 60% chance to block 20 non-hero damage if wielder is melee (10 if ranged).
Stout Shield + 2 Slippers of Agility
Optional. Get as a substitute of 1 Wraiths. Good defense agains physical molestations.
4.View Details for Power Treads
Power Treads
60 Movement Speed
30 Attack Speed
8 Selected Attribute

Active: Switch Attribute
Switches the attribute that receives a bonus. From Strength to Intelligence, Intelligence to Agility, and Agility to Strength.
Note: Can only carry one. Movement speed bonus doesn't stack with Boots of Travel, Phase Boots, Power Treads, or Boots of Speed.
Boots of Speed + Gloves of Haste + Boots of Elvenskin or Robe of the Magi or Belt of Giant Strength
Huge increase to damage output and more stats.
Skill Build

Early Game:

caspian -

That's right, something is not quite right about people picking Rikimaru and then thrashing most games with Diffusal Blade.

Due to the Frog's "league balance" moves [which makes things even more imbalanced sometimes] - nerfing sentry wards so strongly in 6.56 and a now-considered-strong buff on Diffusal (
link), now Riki is the hottest guy around in the taverns. I had never expected my prediction - that Riki would be good with Diffusal Blade - to be so spot-on :P . But what is not right is this:

In case you may have not noticed, the current (infectious) trend in 6.57b is for leaguers to ban Rikimaru if they cannot handle him, or hope for a mistake in enemy bans and then pick the new superhero. In most games I've seen the in-thing to do when getting Rikimaru is first, try to get him past early game by pairing him with a support hero like Warlock, Dazzle or Lich (you know, healing and auxillary damage), and then very surreptiously but surely, farm up bunches of 1000 gold. Bunches because each component of Diffusal Blade now costs at most 1000 gold. Use the Circle of Power to keep the stuff, then when Riki gets back to base, you're finished! Prepare to say funeral prayers when Riki starts roaming around with that electrifying ZZZZ!!!!

Of most games having Riki that I've seen, few are lost against Riki. In fact I've seen like over 20 Riki games (whether directly or just seeing the statistics) and out of these, only about 3 were losts. The teams that managed to win against Riki were DTS, MYM and PGS - the rest lost even with counter heroes like Bounty Hunter or Slithereen Guard. Of those games that I did watch, in many cases Riki manages to stomp his way through to victory as soon as he got a Diffusal Blade - which is by about 25 minutes or so. From then on, enemy teams go on a downslide and find it very difficult to recover their positions. Depending on the lineup the team with Riki can expect wins by min 45 to min 50, which is now the average length of 6.57b games.


If you are looking for a quick guide that is short and quite sexy, use ctrl+f, and write in the blank space, the underlined words below

read this kiddies!


Skim it with this baby

1. Introduction

-Pros and Cons

-When to pick

-Role of the hero

2. Skills guide

-Smoke screen

-Blink Strike


-Permanent Invisibility

3. Skill build


4. Item build

-Starter kit

-Core items

-Power items(Luxury)

5. Items debate


-Damage items


-For long games

6. Early game

-What to do


7. Middle game


i. In packs

ii. Solo

iii. Being hunted


-Mind games

-Countering detectors

i. Heroes

ii. Items

iii. Towers

8. Late game

9. Conclusion

-Nightmares and tooth fairies

i. Nightmares

ii. Tooth Fairies


11. Replays

12. Questions and Answers

13. Credits

1. Introduction to the Stealth Assassin

“I strike when my enemies when they least expect it, and where they least expect it”

Pros and Cons


-Powerful DPS

-Invisible all the time

-Free ward to the team

-Not so item dependant

-equipped with one of the best disable



-Low HP

-Ineffective early game

-The only hero with no useful ultimate in team battles

-Subject to focus fire

-Disable dependant

When To Pick Riki

-Comfortable line-ups, you have at least 1 AoE disable

-You’re going to lane up with a good ally

-Not so many heroes that can easily kill you, such as the Gondar+Lina combo

-Not so many other invisible heroes on your team, because that just screams "Buy a Gem and kill us all!"*

(*Shim demands to contribute to this guide via edits since it denies him the chance to remake his own SA guide lol)

And he made himself 2 credits lol

(I don't know what you're talking about...)

The Role Of Rikimaru

Rikimaru prizes his team as a scout and DPS ganker. His ultimate allows

him to sneak within enemy territories to search for targets to be taken down, to make

pushing better and easier. As a damage dealing tool, his ability can be matched by few,

however just like other DPS heroes, he is simply item dependant although just a bit, still

this is his biggest problem.

Riki can be said as a potential game breaker, and ranks as a powerful hero, however does

not prize as much a powerhouse, as he has no AoE damaging skills and incompetent with

items of such.

Being invisibile, Riki should be played to gank all around as soon as he can chase effectively.

This can be achieved by good farming up early game, and no feeding. And so, mind your early game

2. Skills Guide

Smoke Screen

-No longer does a mini-stun on every organic stuff in the AoE when casted

-Item abilities such as Lothar and Dagger are not silenced

-Melee cast range

Anti DPS, anti caster, and havoc creator, smoke screen is your main gank value, aside your powerful DPS, since it is your only disable. It is stupid for a hero to stay within the smoke, and so do not ever hope to kill them alone in the smoke. Smoke screen is the terrorizing initiating skill. It’s function, is to make the enemy hero inside the smoke to run away while disabling them from using any skill and dealing any damage, so that you may have the upper hand in physical attack combats for a short while. Also ,certain disables such overgrowth, still enables trapped heroes to use their skills, and so, if your team has one , use smoke screen in conjunction of that disable, to make both skills more effective. You should only take 1 level of this skill early, as this is the least important skill to max early. 1 level is sufficient early. Skipping this is a very dumb act no matter if you’re gonna farm for long or not.

Also, this skill has an annoyingly long filler animation. Cancel it and save time so you can get an extra hit.

How to use

The main purpose of this skill, is to allow Riki and his allies to deal as much as damage possible while staying out of any possible threat. This skill has a minor slow of 20% and a relatively small AoE, therefore correct placement is vital. The logic is, when an hero is enveloped within, he will try to escape. This way, you can deal monstrous damage thanks to backstab. This will give the enemy an impression, “I wont win because my HP is already too low”. This, is what makes initiating and positioning an important thing.

The only thing to be rambled about this skill is the way of placement and on what hero to place it on. Use it on heroes that have AoE skills and disables, or multiple disables in team battles, as well as on easy to kill heroes. Heroes like Raigor, heroes like Atropos and Lina, heroes like Nevermore. You get the picture. These hero are important in the enemy line-ups, and so you should take them down first ,rather than heroes like Slardar or Centaur first because they are, easier to kill.

Like told before, it is stupid for an enemy hero who is trapped inside to stay, even when ruptured. There is about nothing an enemy hero could do when they’re in the smoke screen. And so, they way you place this skill, must make use of this factor. Place it in a way, a hero would struggle the most to escape. If he’s running away ,make sure he’s gonna have to take more time to escape.

Note that zeus is in the centre

Riki however, does not face much difficulty upon placing this skill compared to other heroes with AoE but short effect range, due to the reason he’s concealed from sight. What makes a smoke screen sucks, is inevitably the player himself. You should always centre the hero in the smoke if hitting him when he’s is stationery condition just in case he’s smart and a calm person. When he’s running somewhere, place the hero on the edge of the smoke, and most side of the smoke in the position he’s running towards. This way, you would slow him longer, and therefore you can get more hits in.

The slow provided by this skill is usable to slow down the motion of enemy heroes, and help you deal damage. Use this to slow chasing and escaping enemies. Use it to assist chases if your HP is too low to attack the enemy for too long.

Note how I placed the edge of the smoke .This way Zeus has to take the hardest route.

Blink Strike

The max range of this skill is about 700, or so.

The infamous blink strike, is Riki’s only natural means of escaping and chasing. Just like smoke bomb, 1 level of this is sufficient, but maxing it is also a way to go. Either you max backstab first, or blink strike first, it doesn’t really matter because they give about the same result, and so this will not be debated here.

Some people actually doesn’t know that this skill is usable on allies. Use this when facing sticky situations where there’s units you can see standing in a position safe from danger.

Golden rule 1# - The first strike after blink is always a backstab

Yes true. I don’t know if this is a mechanic, but the blink strike will always be a backstab because you will always land right at their backs. This will help you to deal lots of damage in the first strike, not just in team fights, but when last hitting too. Since blink strike will place you behind the target, use this when initiating, to provide a body block. This will later help you to cast smoke screen

Important thing to remember 1# - Remember that the bonus damage is magical, and deals full damage on creeps.

Early game, where your mana pool will be put to a constraint by just casting a smoke screen, using blink strike to last hit isn’t possible. Furthermore, it’s cd for the first 3 level really sucks, and if you blink in just like that, shit may happens. This is why you should not use it to last hit early game, unless you’re pitted to a situation or true pressure, or unless your lane partner gets RoB. You’re free to your own opinions, whether to max it or not first.


-Disabled under the effects of doom

-Does not require successful attack to trigger

One of the most imba damage dealing skill, however requires a condition, which is it’s main problem.

Deals bonus damage equal to X.XX of Rikimaru’s agility when attacking from behind”

The phrase behind, refers to the back of a hero, about 120 degrees of a hero’s rear position. I deduce this simply based on Bristleback’s definition of back.

Backstab is the reason why Riki is so powerful against low HP heroes. But as foretold, it requires a condition. In this guide, we will mention it as a manipulated variable. This variable cannot be controlled, but it can, be influenced. The variable is the actions of the rival hero itself.

Inducing the “fear” factor

Let us look at a level 6 Rikimaru-


-May pop from behind

-Has smoke bomb

-Has blink to catch up

-May or may not be at the same lane

-May have DD, haste and invi rune

-His MIA might not be notified

Tell me, who wont be afraid? Except Doom and Techies.

Now with all this, you can induce fear. When you strike, he will, most of the time, run. When you attack a hero from behind, his straight action, 99% of the time, is to run away. When this happens, his back is yours to stab.

When your opponent is afraid of you, he will panic. When Lion has 100 HP left, he’s gonna put forth the running away motion above all else rather than casting impale, because his judgment is ruined by fear. This is what you want.

What makes the difference, is the way you use all these factors, to influence the variable. As shown before in the “how to smoke” section, the way you use the smoke screen can be an event changing ability. Keeping an enemy hero under a distressed situation for just “1 extra second” is enough for you to get all the advantage to your side.

Here’s some tips-

-Blink strike, attack once and smoke immediately with just some agi boosting items, this will deal like 300 damage and above.

-Strike a hero whom you found jungling, when he’s fighting with creeps, but don’t let the creeps be shrouded in the smoke screen. Preferably when they’re handling camps like the Satyr camps, because the bitch who looks like you can, and will purge him. Good, unholy allies.

-Strike when they’re close to creeps, and smoke immediately, to trap them and prolong the duration of them being stuck in the smoke. This can be easily done on melee opponents when they’re farming the lane creeps.

Important thing to remember 2# - BACKSTAB IS NOW NO LONGER DEAL MAGICAL DAMAGE AND STILL DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO LIFESTEAL. It also have a damage deal delay of about 0.5 seconds which sometimes ruins last hit timing.

Since the damage is now physical, it deals smaller amount of damage the whole game run unlike the old 6.58 ones. However though, this makes it a good asset when teaming up with armor reducers like Slardar and Leviathan.

Why low HP, caster and DPS heroes?

Rylai Crestfall - The Crystal MaidenSyllabear - The Lone DruidEzalor - The Keeper of the LightBoush - The TinkerMirana Nightshade - Priestess of the MoonRaijin Thunderkeg - Storm SpiritLuna Moonfang - The Moon RiderKardel Sharpeye - The Dwarven Sniper

As told, the first blink strike is always a backstab. Low HP heroes, will notice that they wont have the abilities to endure this after taking the first hit, and so, they will be forced to run. This will make backstab effective. In other words, the variable is influenced greater when confronting low HP heroes because they get frightened easier.

Lets take an example –

Rikimaru - The Stealth Assassin VS Traxex - The Drow Ranger

You decide to kill a 800HP Drow. She cant see you coming because you’re invisible, so you have the upper hand. You blinked, and hit her, and reduced her HP to 600, will she stay? She might fight ,but again, you have smoke screen to mitigate her DPS to almost 0. So straight after you casted Smoke screen, she’ll run . With that, you probably hit and damaged her down to 400 HP or so after 1-2 hits. Lets say she has boots, but again, you can blink again. If she fights she’ll lose. If she don’t she’ll die. This is what I meant, there is nothing, Drow could do to you even though she got a DPS boost ultimate and DPS boost skill. So why would you be afraid of her?

In other words, when you engage a low HP hero, most of these heroes have lower initiating damage compared to you, and they cant see you. This, will make them think that they cant kill you, and it is best for them to escape. We don’t know if that’s true or not, but that is exactly what we want them to think. Make them think that they wont win. Use all possible abilities to intimidate them because when you do, you will probably win.

Permanent Invisibility

-Disabled by silence

-Will dodge any damaging projectiles if they hit after fade

-Renders you immune to Poison Nova , if no true sight is available and Veno cant see you

-Does not dodge Thundergod’s Wrath

-Having Aghanim’s will not make Riki undetectable by gems.

This is what makes Riki a bitch to everyone. This skill will allow you to scout, gank, and escape easily early. This skill will make backstab a chicken killer. This skill made Obama won. Sort of.

This skill however, is the most useless ultimate in team battle.

Do not ever, stick in team battle with spit HP thinking you wont die, because they cant see you.

Important thing to remember 3# - Rikimaru is the only hero who does not have an ultimate in team battles.

Being invisible, having blink, as well as Smoke Screen, Rikimaru is perhaps the most suitable hero to place wards inside enemy territories. A warding guide by caspian can be found at the "read this kiddies!" section.

There’s nothing much to say, max this every time, since it’s more worth it than +2 to stats.

When you have this skill, scouting for farming heroes, like PA and all else is easy. So use it to scout.

Intro to permanent invisibility – Tower’s true sight range

Important thing to remember 4# - The tower’s true sight range exceeds their attack range by a slight amount.

The following screenshots will show you the true sight range of a Scourge level 1 tower . Use it as reference to the true sight range of all other towers. So if you’re lingering too close to towers, you better be careful.

Put the tower with red circle SS here shimmeh *



3. CF[X]’s Rikimaru Skill Build And Explanations

Blink Strike(BS)

Smoke Screen(SS)




Permanent Invisibility(PI)


Attribute Bonuses(AB)




Sunder(S) if possible, if not then AB


Blink Strike is taken first thing first, to avoid shitty situations, since smoke screen is not reliable.

1 level of smoke screen is explained.

Blink strike is maxed first, since it is a more reliable mechanism to deal damage, to escape, and to last-hit. Once you managed to get the few wraiths, your mana pool should be sufficient to last hit 2 creeps at once and therefore will promote farming skill. Blink strike also helps chasing and further placement of smoke. Also you better max it by leveling up real quick, because the first 3 levels of this skill is really, really crappy.

We then max backstab over smoke, because they boost your DPS amazingly, and at the time, you agi build up is enough to deal satisfying amount of damage via this skill. The fact that backstab works only when you hit from behind is also another reason to avoid maxing this early. And since you only become invisible after level 6, walking behind opponents and hoping that you wont be owned is quite impossible without invisibility.

Smoke screen is eventually maxed, since the AoE gets sweeter and the miss% gets nastier. This skill when maxed, will make Drow and Troll nothing more than trashes.

4. CF[X]’s Rikimaru Item Build

CF[X]’s Riki Starter Kit In All Pick Games

Circlet of NobilitySlippers of AgilitySlippers of AgilityHealing Salve

2 slippers of agility ,because you have 2 feet's, and they help you last hit nice. They can also be formed into Wraiths or Poor Man's Shield

1 circlet to boost damage and give some HP and MP. Can be Formed into Wraiths.

A salve because it heals better than tangoes

I am not your God, you may get circlets over slippers if you think survivability problems could arise. As for Quelling Blade, it's decent, but you can't jungle early due to low HP. Damage on heroes are far better than a farm item. Quelling Blade should only be gotten if you are bad at last hitting(we last hit with Blink Strike anyway to farm after some Wraiths).

CF[X]’s Riki Core Items Set

Wraith BandWraith BandWraith Band

3-4 Wraiths to boost HP, damage, and mana so that blink can be use to last hit creeps. Poor Man's Shield is also a good substitute to 1 Wraith. It gives decent defensive powers, especially against creeps, so you can jungle better if lanes are taken, or infested with enemy heroes.

Power Treads

Power Treads, because they supply good DPS and you need neither BoT’s teleport because you’re going to be the one who’s walking in the enemy forest, and Phase Boot’s active isn’t useful since youre going to use spells like every 5 seconds.

Scroll of Town Portal

Town portals, because we don’t get Travels

Diffusal Blade

Diffusal Blade, because it gives a tremendous damage boost and a nice slow, and can remove bad buffs, as well as giving free gold from heavy duty summons, like Necronomicon and Infernal. It also burns those painful mana out from enemy heroes, potentially disabling escaping chances.

CF[X]’s Riki Power Items

The Butterfly

Butterfly, because it further boosts DPS and it is the ideal item for Rikimaru’s concept

Manta Style

Manta Style, because you pump agi, and your illusions will be a pain. It gives huge MS bonus as well. This item is great late game asset.

Guinsoo`s Scythe of Vyse

Guinsoo’s Scythe Of Vyse, because when purge is all used, this item is a good asset to have. Furthermore, guinsoo is very powerful is team battles. This also makes you harder to counter.

Heart of Tarrasque

Heart Of Tarassque, because it boosts survivability of the 1.6k HPed brat we call Rikimaru.

Vladmir`s Offering

Vladmir’s Offering, if no one favors, as it helps pushing

5. Items Debate


Sange and Yasha OR Diffusal Blade

The current pub game style Riki which I have been observing is SnY. Let me tell you something,

-Early game SnY>early game manta

-Late game manta>late game SnY

-Diffusal>Manta in any way

-Diffusal>SnY in any way

You might not believe this, but it’s true. I cant help you to understand if you keep being hardheaded thinking it is better to have high move speed than a sure slow. You have to try it yourself, to get what I mean. Upgrade when charges runs out. Do not sell even if it can't be upgraded anymore.

Why Feedback as the orb?

Try to understand here, I am not saying SnY is bad, I am only saying in the name of my God Allah, Diffusal is better. So please, nobody scream.

Before, I have mentioned in the intro that Riki rivals the incompetent Magina as the new Anti-Mage. This is just a potential, and this is only possible with Purge. SnY requires luck, which can not be classified as a controllable variable. Purge doesn’t. The feedback, though inferior to Magina’s, burns out mana and deals bonus PURE damage given the enemy has mana. And if the enemy has no mana, it’s still a good thing. SnY cant do this. Yes it pumps up your movement speed, but Riki’s move speed can be said crappy, and raising a crappy percentage to a crappy amount is still crappy, though we know it isn’t really so and with luck, it wont. To make it more clear, what can you do to Lion with SnY? With Purge you can prolong the period of him staying in the smoke and prevent him from using his skills. Eventually this is the same with any other heroes. Let me tell you, in short notes, the benefits of Manta/Diffusal over SnY-

-To pump up backstab damage, you pump agi, by pumping agi, you make late game damage dealing by using illusions effective because clones gets their punch from stats

-Purge instant kills True sight Necro summons and infernals.

-Diffusal gives more damage than SnY

-Purge can purge out bad buffs, like shadow strike

-Purge gives an absolute slow, so you wont need to chase badly, and you can be sure you will backstab frequently.

-You get 2 naked twins with Manta that can cause havoc and block everything

-Late game SnY isn’t a game breaker, Manta is.

-In 90% of games you play, there are heroes called disabler, where MS and slow are useless if they cant move

-You can send you images to do your dirty job without you having to endure the pain

-You cant save your ally with your own SnY. Purge can.

^^^^ The range of Purge (Diffusal's) ^^^^ (THIS IS NOT MINE IN THE ORDER)

I am NOT saying SnY is bad. There are, some occasions, where SnY is good but diffusal with purge charges is better. As I said before, I am not your God, you are free to choose what you want as the orb , I am just telling you what I think is good.

If you do not understand this thinking of mine from the side as a Riki user, see it from the side as a Riki victim. Which type of Riki is more intimidating, a Riki with SnY, which is luck based, or a Riki with Purge, mana burn and some buttload of damage that can slow you for sure? Your allies don’t benefit from your SnY anyways.

Other Orbs

Stygian Desolator KIND OF

This could work, very well since the new bacstab is physical, but your team needs to have a disabler.

Eye of Skadi NO

EoS gives slow just like purge anf SnY. However, EoS is horrible, its freaking expensive. Yes, it gives great HP boost and agi boost, but the int goes to a waste. Yes, the slow is very promising, but still it’s expensive. I would rather if someone else gets it. Butterfly and SnY is way better then EoS. Having to farm 6.5k for a core item which gives +25 crap damage will waste your whole mid game potency.

MjollnirMaelstrom NO

Chain lightning, from either mjolnir or maelstrom is crappy. Amp likes this build (*so does Shim occasionally while ultimately acknowledging the superiority of Diffusal), I tried it like 16 times, it does gives good damage, but it doesn’t help you chase. Unless your whole team except you is composed of stunners, do not get this.

Helm of the Dominator

Lifesteal orb is crap, since backstab is does not contribute to lifesteal. And also, no chasing power. MoM which crappanizes a hero’s EHP will make a hero with crappy HP have a crappier EHP. Case closed.

In short, for orbs use either Diffusal or SnY only unless you get basher. However i stood still DO NOT RUSH EoS


Cranium Basher

The 6.58 nerfed riki but buffed almost all melee heroes. 25% chance to bash is ridiculous needless the price. If you like other orbs or any, you can get this straight after then rush Butterfly. This works well with Desolator. This pretty much removes the need to chase.

Damage boosting items

Monkey King BarBuriza-do Kyanon

If you follow my build, direct damage items can be considered shiz, except buriza, because you will eventually get Manta, and illusions do no get direct damage. So pump up your agi.

However, if you choose SnY or other orbs except lifesteal, I would really recommend you get MKB instead of buriza, since the DPS of (SnY+PT+MKB)>(SnY+PT+Buriza)

Either orb you choose, get Butterfly straight after you acquired your orb.

The Butterfly

The Butterfly

The Butterfly is the most sweetest item not incorporated with chasing that you can get on Riki. It boost DPS amazingly, and enhances survival. It is far better than its duplicate, Assault Cuirass, since you already have good armor. It gives you 90 damage, far sweeter than even buriza, and a sweet 30% evasion. Clones can also evade attacks, and they get 30 damage with this item. However, eagle horn is a crap to farm , too expensive for little benefit. If you used all charges of purge, I would recommend you farm this item ASAP so that you damage can match those of late gamers as well as allowing you to live longer on the field.



Crap. Crap. Crap. Crap. After the introduction of the Dust of Appearance, radiance carrying Riki is really asking for it .

* Shim supports owning Radiance to pieces.



Buriza-do Kyanon

Good when using Manta build, but not great. Illusions gets nothing from the 75+ damage, but they can proclaim some quite frequent crits. There are however, some downsides. Since now you have no slow, it’s quite hard to get the kill. I would only, recommend buriza as 4th luxury item. At this stage, even a vladmir’s is better than buriza, if nobody else gets it. Also, this doesnt multiply backstab's damage.

Monkey King Bar

Monkey King Bar

Great when using SnY as orb. It is better than buriza(as 1st item) since the mini-stun kinda help you chase, and prevent TP. It also proclaims more frequently than buriza, and though minor, it gives a still sweet IAS bonus. The damage pump is also good for tower hitting. The problem with this item is the core requirements, which sucks. If you want to farm for this, make it quick. Whether you get butter first, or not, does not make any significant change. Also, the bonus proc damage is actually magical(when the wielder is melee), and so it deals full 75 damage on most heroes. This further adds to your magical damage fury.

Divine Rapier

Divine Rapier

“BUY A GEM”. Gem sellers are incorporated with drug dealers. Every time someone buys a gem, a kid is infected with tooth decay. I don’t know what it has to do with drugs, but just don’t buy DR.

Survivability Items

Heart of TarrasqueVanguardVladmir`s OfferingHood of DefianceEye of Skadi

Heart is favored, get it if you don’t get guinsoo. If you do, get it anyway. Lifesteal from vlads and any other source is too overrated. You get Satanic+Vlads+DD, you blink into Atropos, you get disabled, you die. You get satanic+vlads+DD+BKB, you blink into a bunch of heroes, you get focus fired, you die. Lifesteal does not improve your EHP when you cant hit. With HoT, you increase you HP to almost another 1000. Anyway, this is far better than vlads most of the time. However, this only applies IF, you use SnY as orb.

If you get Manta, I highly suggest you get Eye Of Skadi for survivability, though most of the time, this will not happen as we wont go this far. Forget what I said before, if you use manta, EoS is the better item. It gives clones armor of about 3, approximately 18% EHP, it also supplies 25 more damage and IAS to you and you clones, although it gives around 200 less HP than a HoT. Also, you can prioritize the orb, to get EoS’s 20% movement slow over the feedback. I personally like feedback more though. Refer here, the orbs effect table on how

Orb Effects Table

Orb effects table -

Vanguard is not necessary, but not bad, same as hood. Vlads is sometime necessary. You should get it if no one in your team is. The aura will increase your creep’s pushing power and durability. The damage aura which is % based increases hero damage based on main attributes. Were pumping agility, some the bonus damage aura will increase your damage significantly.

Super long game items

Guinsoo`s Scythe of Vyse

Guinsoo’s Scythe Of Vyse

The great question will be here. I would like to make it clear, get guinsoo, if, and only if:

-A Butterfly wont help much(AoE fantasy team, i.e. ES+Magnus)

-Purge is used up, and AFTER manta


Why? Because hex is an ability better than Doom, as it reduces the potential of its inflicted victim to zero, rendering anyone useless. When this happens, you can rape almost any non-superfed late gamers with your manta illusions. It doesn’t matter if Troll have Butter+PT+Satanic+3 bashers, he’ll still gonna get hexed, and you’ll own him easily with this.

When purge is used up, you need new means to chase, and this, is the solution. Furthermore, you add more fury to your team, by getting another disable. There isn’t much key to click when using Riki anyway. I don’t care the Int and mana regen goes to a waste, it’s still sweet. Like I said, when Troll have like Gay-fat items, and there’s no use to hit him if he still can amend back his HP with his insane DPS, this item can solve that problem.

Important thing to remember 5# - Hex removes passive buffs, like evasion, from both item or abilities. This is why, I like it.

Secondary Purge Blade

Diffusal Blade

More agi, more own. Basically, i do not have to repeat what I've said, just get this if you find Guinsoo not interesting.

If you are still, dissatisfied, then just do it your way. Its not like we would get to this part in more than 10% of the DotA games we play anyway.

6. Playing early game

The definition I give for Riki’s early game, is until you can get your core items.

Lane – anywhere but mid. Mid lane’s safe range is short, not suitable for a melee, low HPed, no lane control, no lane staying skills hero like Rikimaru.

DO NOT SOLO. I repeat, do not solo. You are fragile, you are useless early game, you need to farm up early game but you cant risk dealing with ranged lanes, so you must, be partnered. If you plan to lane with a melee hero early, do not lane with heroes, like Terrorblade, not with heroes, like Void, you get the picture. Prefer ranged heroes as partner as you are a melee hero, with no lane control skill(which is why you are an incompetent solo), with crap HP. Ranged heroes as partner will help you to stay away from danger better than melee heroes with the same level of skill abilities. Lane with heroes like melee heroes like Omniknight, like Axe or Crixalis, or heroes that are ranged and powerful early like warlock, heroes like Dazzle, heroes like Drow, heroes like Jakiro, you get what I mean. Heroes that can take care of your health, and helps you farm for that important core items fast.

The general plan of early game is simply to farm up for a item set core, to allow you to gank mid game. Stay away from danger, and always watch the minimap for one. When fighting to get last hit from a very good last hitter-denier ally or enemy, be free to use Blink Strike to last hit. If he has superior damage, make use of the backstab damage dealing delay to get last hits going. Another thing to remember, although you might trigger a backstab. I forgot what is the name of this abuse but it doesn’t matter as the damage is too minimal early game.

If action is favorable, lets say axe gets an invi and then makes a call, join the action but stay, away from danger. Use smoke screen to help him and then hit if favorable. Use what I taught you about placing smoke screen to get maximum result. If he escapes with red HP, do not chase unless you think you can kill without dying, or unless it’s a firstblood. This applies for the whole game run. Dying is not worth killing. I am not encouraging you to die to get firstblood by the way. If you have your ultimate, but you think your HP is too not favorable, lets say the Axe did that on a Zues, then don’t hit, block the zeus with your body after using smoke, to slow him down until Axe can make another call or just until he’s close enough to use culling blade. This way, you’ll stay unseen and safe.


An alternative way of play in early game is functioning to the team as a scout, however, I really like to play as scout at mid game stage once I have my diffusal, since everything is easier then.

This style has much been said. You wander in forest, or lanes , looking for targets then call in for help. Unlike the proposed style, this makes you a better asset earlier. However, you surely will be slowed down in further stages, but it's okay as long as you're winning. This strategy works very well against carries which are usually found neutral creeping, with lifesteal or so. A very common example is Furion and Beastmaster.

Aside from wards, there is a very interesting item that can help you carry this role better. I have not used this item, until I went to caspian's blog. A quote -


I saw this article in another dota website, (sounds like a person's name lol), that argued a lot for magic stick. For your convenience I shall quote at length what the author wrote (so this is NOT my stuff and I'm not plagiarising anything):

People don't remember that it's only 210g. Buy it from a sideshop when you have the money.

It's useful when facing a dual lane heroes with active spells(or a soloing serious spammer like zeus and bristle).

Ok, so this much has been said by other members on the thread. If Magic Stick was created solely for the purpose of getting something out of spell spammers I daresay its usefulness is very limited indeed. However apparently it is not. Here's more of what the author said:

Also it's a good for radaring ganks and junglers.

  1. You are running through woods and suddenly you get a charge. No allies on minimap, you know there's a hero jungling. Profit, for only 210g.
  2. You are laning down and miss is called for mirana, pudge, puck etc. and you get a charge. You know something is coming, hug the tower, get called a maphacker, maybe get a kill from towerdivers, profit, for 210g.

Apparently I had not realised that common sense dictates that this is quite true. It takes a lot to figure things out from common sense though. Magic Stick is essentially a radar as well. When you get a charge for no reason, depending on the enemy's lineup you can sense something's not quite right, and this is how you can alert your allies as well. Good point.

This is very true, indeed the Magic Stick also helps in the upcoming Blink-last hit powerfarm tactic which will require massive mana. For slot exchange, just take less 1 wraith band. I highly suggest if you were to play as scout early, you should at least have Power Treads and Wraiths so that you have all essential requirements, HP ,damage and mana. If not, keep on farming until you can afford the core items.

Harassing enemies when you have invisibility

This is what you should do if you lone for an early game kill. Simply ,walk to their backs, hit, and retreat. Simple, because they cant see you. Just don’t do it, when there’s creeps around unless you got help. Don’t do it without using smoke screen when trying to harass heroes like Tinker and Shadow Fiend, because a hit on their back which deals 150 damage is not worth a laser and a missile in the face. 3 seconds fade times isn’t short. There’s a lot of stuff that could happen. Also mind for trouble, and retreat if anything goes wrong.

By doing this, if they don’t die, they might retreat fully or change lane, and so you can farm up safer.

Like I’ve said before, there is no fixed definition for Riki’s early game. Until you can farm up for your chasing power, you are stuck at early game where you are ineffective at.

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589 By llgondarll 2011-04-18

riki is not hard to master he's simple to use. i guess you didn't use him right. no offense dude.

588 By starwars1000 2011-03-15

just wondering why do people say riki is cheap because in my opinion he's actually quite a hard hero to master

587 By Ne0aly 2011-03-07

I could be better off on a set build instead of wasting 2 slots and gold for 2 orbs where a butterfly/heart + diffusal would probably cost a little more but is twice as effective. I try not to play him as a chaser but a burst damager.


586 By mawhpawh 2011-03-07

@585 If neither of you suck, you can't.

585 By shaunkhaw 2011-03-07

if im playing 1 on 1 with doom and me using riki how do i win? only the middle lane is used

584 By dark_skyline 2011-02-27

can I share my experience?
I ever buy diffusal n SnY together, it's just easy, if you need Maim, move SnY to the top left of your inventory, then do some purge and switch itu with SnY then you got mana burn. it's just easy playing with orb, the orb item that put on the top left is the one that we are using. and RADIANCE is good item LoL , don't forget it has ON and OFF so if you is scouting, turn it off, when you are chasing turn it on

583 By nightmareboobies 2011-02-26

lol, nice guide :D

582 By windwaker 2011-02-20

poor man shields 1st. do manta illusions get backstab?

581 By veLe 2011-01-05

radiance,butters,PT,bfury,diffusual and basher...others who doesnt like radiance bcs it will actually show riki can go up for mkb...and..1st choose backstab allways..then these 2 spells...

580 By beta147 2010-12-23

radiance? idiots who wants to be revealed only use radiance with riki

579 By Riki.rules 2010-12-08

Riki Rules!!!!

578 By ShadowNinja25 2010-10-16

radiance gives off ur location.

577 By silentzero 2010-10-16

radiance is bad

576 By Vanpongase123 2010-10-16

riki is not that strong...
Radiance is good..
Buy MKB rather than buriza..

575 By dota133 2010-10-01

ive seen many ppl rush basher
is it better dan diffusal

574 By Reigarde 2010-09-24

sa can blink in and smokescreen, sort of very annoying an confusing during ganks . plus, I feel that sny, even tho it's cheap and has easy to get parts, it's slow and unreliable . I'd rather get diffu or skadi . skadi provides constant slow plus good hp . by the time you get skadi you'd have around 2k hp . only get skadi if you're fat tho :)

573 By Nabla 2010-09-24

no you still have fog-skill which is very useful, and you still can blink.
but you have to be very careful.

572 By kpkiller85 2010-09-24

so if people can see me, am i useless?

571 By LeoMaru_22 2010-09-09

lol xD
thx vor comment ! LOL !

570 By silentzero 2010-09-04

lol disregard the last line, wrong window is wrong XD

Power TREADS no H thar XD