Riki: See me, See Death.
August 18, 2012
Greetings! My name is Aditya 'Az7y' Vaidya, and I've been playing DotA 2 for around 5 months. I started with Riki, as my one of the first heros. Riki's pretty much a hard-carry/ganker, and one of the best heros you can play on a pub level. It doesn't require much of a support, and hence, can kill several heros, solo.
There're two ways to play Riki, that I know of. This is the total agility build, which higher potential of farming. This is the build which I prefer. So here I go:
Pros / Cons
~ Efficient Ganker
~ Mid-game carry, as well as a late-game carry.
~ Mass silence, for exploiting ganks.
~ Considerably good movement speed, good chasing skills.
~ Permanent Invisibility.
~ Good farming capability & last hitting with his backstab.
~ Quite squishy.
~ Underfarned Riki; useless Riki.
~ Easily countered with Gem, Dust or Wards and invisibility revealing skills.
~ Focused down the first in Teamfights.
Item Guide. [In-depth].
Power Treads : Riki is a carry. And like any other carry with good chasing ability & considerable movement speed, Power Threads is the most suitable item, since it gives Riki the attack speed he needs, and the +8 attribute of agility which makes him a high DPS [Damage per second] hero. While backstabbing, always keep it on the AGI mode, while fleeing, use STR & INT for lack of mana & health.
Poor Man's Shield : In the early game, the block from Stout Sheild helps Riki to acquire last hits, efficiently. Later, it can be upgraded to Poor Man's Sheild since it gives some agility, as well as block. It's an early game item, and should be made from the side shop after farming for a Boots of Speed.
Magic Wand : I've recommended 3x Iron Wood Branch to be bought as a starting item, for enhanced last hitting power. It's always a better choice than going for a quelling blade, since Riki is not the best carry, but can be one of the best gankers/late carry. With the help of a Magic Wand, you can sustain the amount of damage & mana loss due to consistent ganks after level 6, until you get a Vladmir's Offering.
Diffusal Blade : Yes. This item is your core. Diffusal blade gives an optimum level of agility, as well as damage. It's main role is the purge (Charges). You can easily get solo kills with Diffusal Blade. All you have to do is :
Scout -> Spot -> Smoke -> Use a charge from Diffusal Blade -> Auto attack -> Kill.
Manta Style or Sange and Yasha : As I've said, several times, Riki is an agility hero. Get agility items. Focus and improve on his Backstab damage. Preferably, make a Manta Style. If your opponents consists of high nuke potential heros, go for Sange and Yasha since it gives some hit points you might need to survive while ganking them. Manta Style creates confusion, as well as deploys a huge damage with it's illusions's Backstab. If bought in the mid-game, Blink Strike + Manta Style will simply eat up any non-stunner-non-escape hero in seconds. This will also provide you 10% movement speed, which will help you keep backstabbing a hero without using Blink Strike
Vladmir's Offerings : Vladmir's Offerings should be bought as late as possible. Survive on the Magic Wand instead, for mid-game ganks. Remember, the lifesteal will stack with your Backstab damage. So for Riki, the lifesteal is very beneficial for survival since it's quite squishy. If possible, tell one of your meleee support or semi-carry to buy Vladmir's Offerings if he's ready to gank with you.
Butterfly : We all know Butterfly for it's highest agility gain. The evasion, the attack speed, the agility which is directly damage, for Riki is all Riki needs. If you can farm a Butterfly early game, do it.
Monkey King Bar / Black King Bar / Assault Cuirass / Abassyal Blade / Daedalus / Ethereal Blade: The last item will be quite perceptional, yet situational. See a Phantom Assassin/a carry with Butterfly stomping your team? Go for Monkey King Bar. Want high attack speed with armor reduction? Go assault. Like bash? Go Abassyal Blade. Love critical damage? Go Daedalus. Too many stunners, while you're the solo carry? Go Black King Bar, last but not the least, Ethereal Blade, personally. I feel it's a good lategame item. It should be made the last, as you need more than enough agility, since the only use of it will be to use it as a damage skill, since Riki has no other skills which can be amplified with Ethereal Blade. It gives +40 agility, which makes Riki's backstab scary. The last slot is very perceptional. Use it as you may please.
Early game. [Before level 6]
So let's take in account that you are a new player. You main objective will be farming till 6 level. Do not attempt kills unless you have got a support in your team who's quite confident, in that case, most you can do is autoattack with smoke, while he stuns. And otherwise, just go to the sidelane, either top or bot, since Riki can easily escape with Blink Strike if needed. Remember, Riki is not a good mid solo hero. Don't go mid, that'd just be too selfish. Max up Backstab as I've suggested in the skill build, by which you can get most of the last hits, since in a pub, you'll always have a support trying to steal your last hits. Backstab will allow you to overcome this saddening pub calamity. Be peaceful till level 6. Play defensively, unless it's a gank.
Mid game - [After level 6.]
If you haven't done with your Power Treads & Poor Man's Shield get it done quickly, since it's hard to not let Riki farm while in invisibility. Don't keep farming. You're not a hard-carry. You're a ganker with a good carry potential. Help the mid, for a kill or two. Change lanes, keep changing lanes. [Changing lanes will ensure that Sentry wards] will not be used as much, in early game. With [[Riki one thing you've gotta' take in account, Dust of Appearance, Gem of True Sight, Sentry Ward, Track Amplify Damage & occasional Zeus's spams. Don't be an initiator. Scout the team, wait for the call, target solo heros, and get your team there to kill, until you farm up for solo kills. Riki's a pub stomper, there's not much skill to it. Smoke, auto-attack, get rid of supports in silence using Diffusal Blade, outfarm the opponent carries, and make sure you finish the game as fast as possible. You aren't as effective as a late-game carry.
Late game - [Level 20+]
You'll soon realize that you aren't as effective against hard-carries as you used to be in the mid-game. If you're quite farmed & harassing the opponents, they'll probably keep a Gem of True Sight and Dust of Appearance. Gem of True Sight nullifies your ability to gank. Hence, get your team to ward, stop playing like an invisible hero. Stick with your team, help to silence opponents & finish the game as fast as possible.
Know your enemy better than they know themselves -
Bounty Hunter : He's your perfect anti. He's a Riki to you, as you're to others. His ultimate, Track will allow him to break your invisibility for the whole opponent team for quite a long period of time. Moreover, to check if you're tracked, you have to constantly check your status bar above the HP bar, where it notifies you about nearby auras. Since Track will enhance the enemy team's movement speed, Riki will have nowhere to run, and hence face a terrible gank if not played safely. I suggest Linkin's Sphere in order to say goodbye to his track and play a peaceful game with Permanent Invisibility. Note : Bounty Hunter can still use Shuriken Toss and then Track you, with enough flow of mana.
Slardar : His ultimate, Amplify Damage is similar to that of Bounty Hunter's Track, although, it's highly noticing with the animation. There is no movement speed buff for the other side, yet the damage taken is fatal for a paper hero like Riki. Recommended counter : Linkin's Sphere. Sladar, alone, can't counter Linkin's Sphere since he has no other target spell.
Bloodseeker : Bloodseeker's third skill, allows him to reveal your invisibility incase your HP is below 30%, while granting him movement speed. This will sure case you a lot of trouble even while escaping an efficiently conducted gank. You can't counter it, just make sure you have better farm, and use blink to either escape, or to stick with your team mates till you regenerate.
Doom Bringer : His ultimate will silence you, including all passive ability which grants your invisibility. This will last for some seconds, but may be fatal in ganks, for you.
Zeus : Zeus's skills enable him to view invisibility heros while spammed in specific A.O.E range, for some seconds. This won't kill you, but just make sure you aren't scouting Zeus. Smoke -> Diffusal -> Kill. He's paper, and you're almost equivalent to half an Anti-Mage.