Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


Kurthifa the Crimson Knight by Cuttleboss

6 Votes

Kurthifa the Crimson Knight

By: Cuttleboss
Last Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Quick Share

Kurthifa the Crimson Knight

-A Carry that truly uses the power of Strength and Health-

This hero is based on a hero I designed for my friend’s MOBA map many years ago, who was called “Blood Elemental”, and he was a caster and tank who used his health to cast spells and healed himself with attacks. The Crimson Knight is a spiritual successor to the Blood Elemental, repurposing my old hero character Kurthifa, formerly known as the Cutlass. She is my interpretation of what a strength carry that weaponizes the strength attribute feels like, similar to how outworld devourer does for intelligence. She is similar in this way to Huskar, but plays a bit differently than him as she has multiple spells to be mobile and has nukes that get stronger the lower her health gets. Though she is not the most powerful strength carry late game (she’s weaker than Wraith King and Chaos Knight), she has a well rounded skillset that allow her to be a huge threat early to late as she is able to move quickly, disable enemies, and nuke them. Playing her is meant to get the adrenaline pumping, to live life on the edge and to outplay her foes. In terms of lore, the Crimson Knight is a young knight from the location of one of Dragon Knight’s sets. She comes into contact with Dazzle’s order and acquires her powers in a similar manner to Huskar, though not to the extreme nature he did.

Every hero has a gimmick and Kurthifa’s is Health, specifically health missing.

The Kingdom of Candoness has always had a bit of trouble with all sorts of marauding creatures, such as Meranths, Ogres, Treants, Vhouls, and worst of all, Dragons. It took a lot of effort and a special visit from the Dragon Knight to take care of the time dragon Uldorak, one of the greatest threats that the kingdom had ever seen. As such after this, King Tansis XIII had created an elite order of knights to seek out and destroy hostile creatures. Kurthifa was one of many knights chosen as the original selection of the Order of Golden Wings. She had made a reputation for herself as a monster hunter, known as the Crimson Knight due to her tendency to impale her enemies, lift them into the air and let the blood drip onto her. Many who saw her two blades fled in terror while she was completely without fear, even powerful dragons.

One day she had run into some members of the Order of Dezun defending a young dragon. The used their magic to fight her off. While on the brink of death, they saved her, as the priests decided she was worthy of that other chance. They showed her a vision of the many creatures she had slain in the Nothl realm all crying out while bloody. A small amount of that energy from the Dezun priests infused themselves into Kurthifa, turning part of her scarlet hair white. She had now the ability to harness power as she drew closer to death and the Nothl Realm.

Kurthifa resigned from the Order of Golden Wings the next day saying that her past of killing so many creatures, many whom were helpless, has bloodied her conscience. She says that in this sense, her nickname was fitting but not for the reason everyone had said. Impressed with her, King Tansis XIII gave her a chance to be free if she won in duels against the rest of the Order one at a time. With her newfound abilities and her existing skills, she defeated every other knight and was able to walk free to start her new path.

*28 + 3.8 [138 at level 30]
19 + 1.6 [65 at level 30]
16 + 1.5 [59 at level 30]
Complexity ◆◇◇
Base Stats:
Health: 200 base, 760 at level 1
Mana: 75 base, 267 at level 1
Armor: 3 base, 6.04 at level 1
Damage: 43-45 base, 71-73 at level 1
Attack Animation (frontswing+backswing): 0.5+0.3
Base Health Regen: 2.5 base, 5.3 at level 1
Base Mana Regen: 0 base, 0.8 at level 1
Base Attack Time: 1.7/0.59 att/sec base, 0.70 at level 1
Initial Attack Speed: 100
Range: 150 (Melee)
Missile Speed: Instant
Movespeed: 315
Sight Range: 1800/800
Turn Rate: 0.8
Legs: 2
Voice Actor: Allegra Clark

Level 30 Stats:
Health: 2960
Mana: 783
Armor: 12.9
Damage: 181-183
Health Regen: 16.3
Mana Regen: 2.95
Attack Speed: 165
Attacks Per Second: 0.97

Kurthifa is a tall female human as seen in the size comparison far below.
As of this writing, the current version of Dota2 is 7.27d.

Primary Abilities

Crimson Impact
Lunges forward and deals a percentage of the Crimson Knight’s max health as physical damage to all enemies in the area she lands in. Gains attack speed for every hero hit. Costs a percentage of max health to use.

: No Target
: 0+0.5
: Physical
: Yes

: 400
: 500
: 20% of max hp
: 8/10/12/14%
: 15/18/21/24 IAS per hero
: 7 seconds
: 0
: 18/16/14/12
Kurthifa jumps into combat and sets herself ablaze. This flame powered by her pain creates one to be shared with her foes.

Spoiler: Click to view

Spoiler: Click to view
Run Through
Kurthifa draws her sword and charges at a target unit to skewer it at very high movespeed, ignoring collision and attacking it for critical damage. After that it latches that target enemy to the front of Kurthifa, unable to move. All enemies passed through during the charge will take damage, have movespeed slowed, and have their health regeneration and healing reduced.
: Target Unit
: 0.3+0.5
: Physical
: No

: 500/550/600/650
: 700 Movespeed
: 50/70/90/110
: 175 AOE
: 1.5/1.8/2.1/2.4xCrit
: 12/14/16/18% ms slow
: 20/25/30/35% regen reduction
: 4/5/6/7 seconds
: 1.1/1.3/1.5/1.7 seconds
: 0 (2 with talent)
: 70/80/90/100
: 19/15/11/7
: 7 (talent)
The Crimson Knight got her name for her tendency to impale her foes. These skewerings were often immediately fatal, but when they weren’t her victim would fight back, even when hanging off her sword.

Spoiler: Click to view
Mortality Rush
For each certain amount of health missing Kurthifa gains a point of bonus damage. Can be toggled to disable your own regeneration and lifesteal unless you are damaged by a player owned unit or hero.
: Passive/Toggle
: Yes

: +1 (2 talent) damage
: Per 30/25/20/15 hp missing
: 50/100/175/300 cap
: 0
: 0
Nothing makes the Crimson Knight fight harder than when her life is in danger.

Spoiler: Click to view

Spoiler: Click to view

Ultimate Abilities

At the cost of a percentage of your current health, deals damage and stuns an enemy at close range based on how much health that Kurthifa is missing.

Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade: Increases damage cap by 1000 and adds a new ability, Adrenaline Burst.
: Target Unit
: 0.3+0.5
: Magic
: No

: 175
: 30% of current health
: 0.6/0.9/1.2 damage per hp missing
: 0.75/1/1.25 (2.75/3/3.25 with talent) stun
: 800/1400/2000 (1800/2400/3000 Scepter)
: 0
: 27/17/7
The Crimson Knight brings justice to those who have wronged her. Every drop of blood will be repaid.

Spoiler: Click to view

Other Abilities

Adrenaline Burst
Acquired by Aghanim's Scepter.

When activated temporarily increases max health by a percentage but does not adjust current health.
: No Target
: 0.3+0.5

: 30% HP
: 9 seconds
: 0
: 60
A burst of energy in the right times will empower Kurthifa with all the passion she needs to take down any foe

Spoiler: Click to view

Hero Talents

-6 Armor Corruption
+2 Second Retribution Stun

2 Run Through Charges
+1 Mortality Rush Damage

+10 Health Regen
+30 Attack Speed

+200 Health
10% Lifesteal

Pros and Cons

+ Excellent starting stats between attributes, armor, regen, and movespeed, very powerful hero from early game
+ Low mana dependence as only one spell costs mana
+ Low cooldown skills, does not have to play around cooldowns
+ Good mobility between two spells
+ Potentially very high scaling damage output with both right clicks and nukes
+ Has very easy and early access to heal reduction
+ Activates with only a bit of farm and stays a huge threat into late game
+ With some items and levels she can be extremely hard to kill
+ Easily one of the hardest heroes to manfight and comfortable in the frontline

- Extremely item dependent throughout game, needs to stay farmed to be useful and is inflexible in role.
- Very level dependent and reliant on talents, needs multiple levels of skills for them to be powerful
- Mobility spells are soft mobility due to either short distance or not being able to bypass terrain
- Very vulnerable to Break and burst damage, especially scaling burst damage.
- Needs to be at low life to farm quickly and deal damage, meaning it’s much easier to get nuked or disabled to death than other tanky heroes
- Requires key synergy picks (like Dazzle, Oracle or Io) to be optimized

Role and Gameplay

Kurthifa is a carry that needs farm and levels. Because of how powerful and fast she is early game with her high damage boosted by her passive, the general usefulness of Run Through and the escape capabilities of Crimson Impact, Kurthifa is well suited as a midlaner. She can easily wear down most opponents with many uses of Run Through and can out last-hit them with the damage from Mortality Rush.

She can also be played as a carry in a sidelane and this is where her Crimson Impact shines more, as she can gain more attack speed from facing multiple foes. With the right partners she can stomp the lane with her huge damage output. Either way, her gameplay is mostly aggressive, as she wants to use her innate high damage, speed, armor and regeneration combined with her mobility to bully whoever she can. With her gameplay however, it can be very easy to overcommit to plays and end up feeding a lead. In terms of gameplay, she would be like a Huskar, Ursa or a Legion Commander as a carry and burst damage hero that activates pretty fast. She is not this super fast farmer but she hits hard and can be very hard to kill and puts a lot of pressure on enemies.

She can also be played as a utility position 3 hero built around regen reduction and disabling with her Run Through and nuking with her Retribution, however she is much less optimal with standard aura items than most tanky position 3’s due to only getting huge value out of strength and health. This type of build will probably just be more gimmicky and fun, but situationally could be strong. As a utility she is more like a Night Stalker, having tankiness, spells, and attacks to deal damage and pressure enemies.

Kurthifa has a low skill floor as all her abilities are simple and she is mechanically easy to execute. She takes a lot of practice to master her low-health based decision making, so it takes a lot of practice to master her. Because of this, she has a low skill floor and a medium-high skill ceiling.


General Stat Priorities:
High Priority: STR, Attack Speed, HP Regen, Status Resistance, Movespeed, Spell Immunity
Middle Priority: Armor, HP, Attack Damage, AGI, Lifesteal, Spell Amplification, Mobility
Low Priority: Magic Resistance, Mana Regen, INT, Cooldown Reduction, Cast Range, Mana

Early: Bracer, Soul Ring, Morbid Mask, Crown, Faerie Fire, Magic Wand, Helm of Iron Will, Orb of Venom, Blades of Attack, Blight Stone
Boots: Power Treads is generally more valuable as it adds more health and attack speed which is better for this hero but Phase Boots can be easier to snowball with. Tranquil Boots for utility nuker, as you’re trying to cast more spells and need the regen with that build.

Carry: Armlet of Mordiggian, Sange and Yasha, Desolator, Orchid Malevolence, Echo Sabre, Black King Bar, Crystalys, Shadow Blade, Battle Fury
Utility: Spirit Vessel, Vladmir's Offering, Drum of Endurance, Heaven's Halberd, Blink Dagger, Crimson Guard, Solar Crest, Lotus Orb, Pipe of Insight, Force Staff, Mekansm
Nuker: Veil of Discord, Kaya and Sange, Dagon 1

Heart of Tarrasque, Satanic, Daedalus, Silver Edge, Eye of Skadi, Aghanim's Scepter, Assault Cuirass, Nullifier, Bloodthorn, Mjollnir, Monkey King Bar, Butterfly, Abyssal Blade, Dagon 5, Ethereal Blade, Guardian Greaves Shiva's Guard, Moon Shard

Some Item Builds:
Early Activating Armor Reduction Carry: Power Treads/ Phase Boots> Armlet of Mordiggian> Desolator> Black King Bar> Assault Cuirass> Heart of Tarrasque/ Satanic
Ganker Semi-Carry: Phase Boots> Shadow Blade> Black King Bar> Silver Edge> Abyssal Blade> Assault Cuirass/ Heart of Tarrasque
Farming Lifesteal Carry: Power Treads> Battle Fury> Sange and Yasha>( Black King Bar)> Satanic> Daedalus> Butterfly/ Bloodthorn
Utility: Tranquil Boots> Spirit Vessel> Heaven's Halberd> Blink Dagger> Aghanim's Scepter> Lotus Orb> Shiva's Guard
Nuker: Tranquil Boots>( Veil of Discord)> Kaya and Sange> Aghanim's Scepter> Dagon 1> Ethereal Blade> Dagon 5> Heart of Tarrasque

Neutral Items:
Broom Handle, Faded Broach, Iron Talon*, Ironwood Tree, Ocean Heart, Poor Man's Shield*, Royal Jelly, Clumsy Net, Dragon Scale, Essence Ring*, Imp Claw, Nether Shawl, Vambrace*, Vampire Fangs, Enchanted Quiver, Greater Faerie Fire*, Orb of Destruction*, Paladin Sword, Spider Legs, Titan Sliver*, Flicker, Havoc Hammer*, Minotaur Horn*, Prince's Knife, The Leveller*, Timeless Relic*, Witless Shako*, Apex*, Ex Machina, Fallen Sky, Force Boots, Mirror Shield, Pirate Hat*, Stygian Desolator*
*Denotes an extra useful neutral item

Item Discussion:

First Damage Item:
Armlet of Mordiggian: Probably most reliable first item as a damage dealer as is pretty common on strength cores, but very strong on Kurthifa due to how her passive works. This item can also be used to keep her health lower to get more damage, though with the Mortality Rush toggle, it means that it is not entirely necessary to get Armlet to keep health low.
Shadow Blade: A less damage but more of an impressive ganker item, Shadow Blade allows Kurthifa to get kills all over the map by positioning well for Run Through. Builds into Silver as well.
Echo Sabre: Alternative item for building into Silver. This item offers some mana regeneration and allows Kurthifa to easily deal a lot of damage with the double strike, since she gains a lot of attack damage from her passive.
Battle Fury: If for whatever reason you decide to build Kurthifa as a farming hard carry that builds around her Crits and buying lifesteal, this item fits her, as she has built in damage, can cast crit, and has mobility spells to clear camps very quickly. Also very useful against summons and illusions.

Minus Armor:
Assault Cuirass: A very good and balanced item on this hero, massively increasing the value of her hit points. Should be a big priority in late game in carry builds. Pairs well with Desolator.
Desolator: A powerful item if bought reasonably early, this stacks well with Assault and the hero’s level 25 Armor Corruption talent.

Spirit Vessel: A great option, stacks with the regeneration reduction of Run Through. Makes her a huge anti-healer threat.
Heaven's Halberd: Useful against key enemies and generally makes the hero very survivable. Probably a legitimate option even on the carry build of Kurthifa.
Solar Crest: A good item for utility Crimson Knight, as it makes her tanky but also allows her to do some physical burst damage with the armor reduction.
Shiva's Guard: Another useful anti-regen item and adds a huge amount of armor. The slow is also very useful.
Eye of Skadi: If you need further anti-regen and slow. Slowing attack can help her if she is getting kited too.

Force Staff: As Run Through allows you to drag the latched hero, you can use Force Staff and Crimson Impact to significantly displace your Run Through target far from the enemies. Useful in general as a utility hero with certain matchups as well.
Blink Dagger: If played like an initiator, Dagger allows Kurthifa to jump enemies with Retribution's stun (and significant damage, even if cast from full health) and then use the other mobility skills to flee, disengage or chase.

Kaya and Sange: Boosts the damage of Crimson Impact and Retribution on two fronts with health pool and spell amp. Also makes Kurthifa much harder to kill.
Aghanim's Scepter: Adds 1000 to the cap of Retribution, makes the potential combo damage much bigger, especially with Adrenaline Burst.
Ethereal Blade: Can massively boost the damage of Retribution, making it one of the most powerful nukes. Its own nuke scales well with Kurthifa’s high strength too.
Dagon 1 to Dagon 5: It’s Dagon. 3 guesses on how it synergizes with the Nuker build.

Tank and Status Resistance:
Sange and Yasha: A good all around item, the speed helps with kiting and pairs excellently with lifesteal.
Satanic: A huge damage boost for Kurthifa, and the status resist fits well on her too. With Run Through's crit, the Satanic active is an effective way to heal to full.
Heart of Tarrasque: This is one of the best potential damage boosters on this hero, as it gives you more health and survivability which boosts 3 skills. However, if you do not use your Mortality Rush toggle, it will keep you at full health and will massively slow down your farming potential, so be mindful.

Skills and Talents

Kurthifa’s skill build is flexible and offers many options on how to play her.

Crimson Impact is a good spell to have during the laning phase, as the lunge distance is consistent it only needs one level in many lanes. In lanes with multiple enemies the extra points are valuable for a higher amount of attack speed and overall damage since in one on one, trading 20% of your health for 8-14% of it in damage on one enemy is underwhelming. Otherwise this spell would be maxed last, as it is a lot more useful as there are more teamfights and Kurthifa has more health.

Run Through is a powerful skill to have as a value point, as it does a lot of things and is your primary disable. It is the preferred spell to max in 1 on 1 lanes because the crit is useful as a nuke and it is your only spell that costs mana so you can spam it many times to crush your enemy in lane.

Mortality Rush is potentially a very strong skill. It grows a lot stronger as the game goes longer, but offers a fair amount of use early game in laning, as it can easily provide 10-40 more damage for last hitting and denying. The spell may be worth putting additional levels in if the enemies have less nukes and disables as it can allow Kurthifa to maximize her damage output in the lane. Normally however, it would be maxed second or possibly third.

Retribution is a huge power spike and should be skilled whenever you can. There is no reason to wait on increasing its level, as the health cost does not go up.

Talent Choices:

Level 10: Health vs Lifesteal. For Kurthifa, Health pool is more potential damage with all her abilities while Lifesteal gives her an impressive ability to go toe to toe with many early activating heroes at that part of the game. The Lifesteal also has strong synergy if she is buying an Armlet as it will give her sustain.

Level 15: Health Regen vs Attack Speed. This is another sustain vs damage talent, the health regen can be useful for sustaining if you are not relying on lifesteal, as Retribution and Crimson Impact deal a bunch of damage to Kurthifa. The attack speed is straightforwardly good for farming and fighting in general.

Level 20: 2 Run Through Charges vs Double Mortality Rush damage. Run Through offers more disable, escape, and potential burst damage with the critical hits. The improved Mortality Rush is a massive boost to damage. For the most part, this one is utility vs carry.

Level 25: Armor Corruption vs Retribution Stun. Armor Corruption fits well with Impact, Run Through, and Mortality Rush and can be incorporated into an armor reduction strategy or draft. Kurthifa is very strong if she can bring down the armor of her foes. The Retribution Stun is very useful in nuker and utility builds to disrupt the enemies and becoming a very annoying disabler and is much better if you are not the main carry.

Combos and Counters

Ideal Allies:

Last Chance Hit Point Heroes:
Heroes that allow Kurthifa to stay alive at very low health and able to output her peak damage for a while. If she has lifesteal she may even make a recovery (though not with Wraith King aghs).

Aggressive Combo Heroes: Healers are extra good here as it allows Kurthifa to keep moving forward with her mobility spells, but essentially a hero that helps Kurthifa play aggressively early game in lane can snowball her hard. A lot of initiators count here as well.

Armor Reduction: Kurthifa is a hero that is natural as an armor reducing hero. These synergistic picks can make her a massive threat through the midgame and lategame.

Damage/Speed Boosters: Kurthifa likes heroes that make her attack faster or hit harder. She has a lot of strength and it does not inherently provide huge amounts of damage. Damage boosters make her less reliant on being low on health to use Mortality Rush.

Good Against:

Man-Up Heroes: Manly as many of these heroes are, they are at a disadvantage in close combat against Kurthifa as she can fight them to low health, can suppress the lifesteal or regen they usually rely on to fight, and nuke them for huge amounts of damage as she gets low on health. Even if they are stronger than her, she can use her two mobility skills to disengage.

Short Ranged Agility Carries: These heroes are usually at a disadvantage against Kurthifa. She is tanky and thus hard to DPS down and having a nuke that she uses when she’s low on health lets her overpower most of these heroes. She is good against evasion (as all her spells pierce it) and is a good armor reducing hero (which counters most of these heroes), which nullifies a lot of standard agility carry tools.

Mobile Heroes: As Run Through has a latch and a root, the Crimson Knight can counter these heroes by taking away their mobility and leading into bursting and stunning them to death with Retribution.

Lifesteal, Healer, and Regen: As Run Through provides a powerful regeneration suppression aspect to it, many heroes that rely on huge amounts of regeneration or lifesteal get hurt badly by it. A lot of heroes that benefit from these types of skills (like DK, Necro, and Timber) also counter Kurthifa however, as seen below.

Worst Enemies:

Damage Dampeners: These heroes weaken Kurthifa’s damage output, which limits her ability to tear apart her enemies. Anyone who applies Break also applies here in the same manner as her passive is the source of most of her attack damage.

Root Kiters: Most slowing based kiters are not a threat since Kurthifa has Crimson Impact and Run Through where she cannot be slowed. But root based kiting is a nightmare for her and often can lead to her death as she will not be able to use two of her spells its almost akin to a silence.

Scaling Burst Damage: Kurthifa has a lot of health in many of her builds and as her health gets lower she gets more powerful. Many nukers can blow her up before she does any real damage and generally she eventually counters them as her health pool gets larger, but ones that scale will be able to do so even into the late game. These are some of her biggest threats.

Low Health Killers: Similar to the scaling burst damage, these heroes specifically counter being low health. They finish her off before she can do her best work at low health.

Story and Cosmetic Stuff

(Design by Yun A Nam, not made for this concept)

Spoiler: Click to view

Interaction with Other Heroes:
Spoiler: Click to view

Voice Sample: Based on Dorothea from Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Spoiler: Click to view

Equipment Slots (7) and Default:
Head: Kurthifa’s Locks
Chest: Kurthifa’s Plate Mail
Shoulder: Kurthifa’s Pauldrons
Legs: Kurthifa’s Greaves
Weapon : Kurthifa’s Longsword
Off Hand: Kurthifa’s Shortsword
Taunt: None

Set ideas:
Master-At-Arms of the Dragon Hunters
Spoiler: Click to view

Relative Size Comparison:
Check out the original forum version of Kurthifa (as the Cutlass, a completely different hero) here

Quick Comment

You need to log in before commenting.

[-] Collapse All Comments

Sort Comments By
BloodArena (1) | July 7, 2020 9:49pm
Reduce her turn rate while an enemy is latched, to make it more realistic. And maybe her movespeed too.
Cuttleboss (28) | September 8, 2020 5:40pm
BloodArena wrote:
Reduce her turn rate while an enemy is latched, to make it more realistic. And maybe her movespeed too.

I think Run Through as a skill is complicated enough, and I don't feel it is overpowered so it seems unnecessary to do that.
It would indeed more realistic though, no doubt about that.
Loading Comments...
Load More Comments

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved