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5 Votes

Community Guide to Riki (Core)

May 11, 2020 by Hades4u
Comments: 1    |    Views: 88789    |   

Core Riki

DotA2 Hero: Riki

Hero Skills

Backstab (Innate)

Smoke Screen

4 13 14 16

Blink Strike

1 3 5 7

Tricks of the Trade

2 8 9 11

Cloak and Dagger

6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

Tricks of the Trade applies a basic dispel
-3s Tricks of the Trade Cooldown
=4s Blink Strike Replenish Time
+0.3 Backstab Multiplier
-3s Smokescreen Cooldown
+50 Tricks of the Trade Agility Increase
+8% Cloak and Dagger Movement Speed
+50 Smoke Screen AoE

Community Guide to Riki (Core)

May 11, 2020


Hey everyone, welcome to this community Riki guide. In this guide, we'll be going over all the essential info you'll need to get started with Riki. This guide is aimed at lower level play or for players unfamiliar with the hero.

This guide was written with contributions from community members like you! Thank you to the following DOTAFire members (and redditors) for contributing to this guide:

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions if you have feedback on the guide. Without further ado, let's get started!



Smoke Screen - This is your main tool for debuffing enemies in fights. As it both silences and causes enemies to miss their attacks, it's good against both casters and basic attackers. It lasts for 6 seconds, so you can place it near your tower when the enemies are pushing to buy some time to defend. Smoke screen is often underestimated early game, so use it to trade when you have spare mana during laning.

Place Smoke Screen according to your target's actions. If you jump onto a hero, center it right on top of them and immediately use your disabling item ( Diffusal Blade / Abyssal Blade). If they are running away from you, cast it slightly ahead of your target to make them run through the whole cloud.

Smoke screen also silences enemies which means it's useful against heroes that rely on skills such as Storm Spirit or Invoker. You can use the miss rate to effectively trade with enemies that rely on basic attacks as well.

Blink Strike - Blink Strike always positions you behind the target. If you're facing enemies with predictable spell animations, like Lina or Jakiro, you can dodge their spells as soon as you see them start casting. It can also be beneficial to gain an edge in 1v1 skirmishes since it gives you a window of time to attack freely while your opponent has to turn.

Blink Strike can also target allies, making it a useful tool for escaping or repositioning. As of the Outlanders update, Riki has 2 charges of this ability, so in chase situations you can use the first charge to blink to an ally or a minion to gap-close, then use the second charge on your target, giving Riki reliable follow-up to ganks if he has both charges available.

You can last-hit with Blink Strike without breaking the invisibility. As soon as you teleport, immediately cancel the attack with "Stop" button (S by default). It takes some training, but it's very useful to farm and harass enemies without revealing yourself. Blink Strike can be used on spell immune targets as well.

Tricks of the Trade - This ability makes you invulnerable and hidden, allowing you to use it to dodge AoE spells and projectiles. You can even cast and immediately cancel it if you just need to disjoint and move on. The attack interval is static and doesn't depend on your attack speed. Proc effects are very efficient combined with this ability.

This ability allows you to effectively attack enemies without taking damage. However remember that attacks are randomly decided and as such any hero within the AoE can be attacked. The attacks are done from behind and apply the bonus damage from Cloak and Dagger.

Be mindful that you will always be in the center of the AoE after the spell ends and AoE damage after the phase can still damage you if well-timed. Examples are Sun Strike and Split Earth.

Start ganks/fights by attacking, purging and Smoke Screening the enemy, then follow up with a Blink Strike, autoattack and Tricks of the Trade after a Force Staff is used, or Blink Strike out if a Ghost Scepter was used. Cancel your E randomly rather than the whole duration to make it more unpredictable, allowing for easier escape.

Cloak and Dagger - Your ultimate is a passive that makes you invisible after a short fade time. Riki also deals bonus damage based on his agility when attacking from behind.

The invisibility is broken upon attacking, but not by using skills or items. Since the ultimate is a passive, Break can cause it to be disabled for the duration of Break (e.g. Silver Edge, Nethertoxin).

Watch for Sentry Wards placed in lane, since they'll make you vulnerable while farming. Clear enemy sentries to improve your laning pressure and safety. Use creep aggro during laning to determine where the enemy sentry ward is, and where the AoE ends. Also pay attention to which wards get dewarded to understand which parts of the map are sentried. When escaping, try running to and standing on TOP of a ward.

Always look out for enemy true sight carriers, and even Dust of Appearance cool down if multiple dusts were used at the same time.

Max Priority


Smoke Screen has a static 6 second duration, so a value point in it at level 4 will be enough until midgame. But please, do NOT skip it completely. The spell is downright broken even at grade 1, and will save your life or net you a kill in many situations.

Max Blink Strike first, as it will speed up your farm and give you much needed mobility and catch. Cloak and Dagger can be skilled second since you won't need the lower cooldown until mid game. Rank up ult whenever possible, talents likewise.


+20 Attack Speed - A good boost to your damage per second, increasing your attack speed. Both talents are useful at level 10, feel free to go for the extra health regeneration if you feel like it would make your life easier throughout the early-mid game!

+20 Damage - While lowering Smoke Screen's cooldown by 4 seconds is a good way to reliably increase your impact in fights, for a core Riki, it just makes more sense to pick up damage here. Feel free to take the cooldown talent if you're playing support.

+475 Blink Strike Cast Range - The mobility increase is massive. You basically get a 1275 range blink on a 4 second cooldown. Juicy, right? And even with a very Agility-heavy build, Backstab multiplier will give you ~60 bonus damage at most. This can't really compete with all the pros extended Blink Strike range gives you.

-6s Tricks of the Trade Cooldown - The Smoke Screen area increase is very strong, but I believe it's best to go for the Tricks of the Trade cooldown reduction instead to boost your damage output in fights and also make yourself harder to kill. If you feel like your Smoke Screen has had significant impact throughout the game up to this point, feel free to go for the extra area talent instead!


Starting Items

Start with health sustain and Slippers of Agility for damage/lasthitting power. Circlet is nice to pick up early since it builds into Wraith Band, but you can replace it with a couple Iron Branches if you need to buy Magic Wand for your lane.

Early Game

Quelling Blade is essential for securing last-hits in lane. Orb of Venom is a strong item for harassing. You can easily get on top of enemies with Blink Strike, then use the orb to slow them while you chase. Wraith Band provides some cheap early game stats while you build up your first couple core items.


Power Treads offer the most raw DPS out of all the boots options. Remember to switch to Strength to give yourself a little extra HP when you're in danger of dying, and switch to Intelligence to regenerate mana if you're low. Most of the time you can sit on Agility though.

Diffusal Blade is core on Riki as it offers both a slow and an on-hit effect (for Tricks of the Trade). Use the active to slow your target and trap them inside your Smoke Screen for as long as possible. This is a great tool for ganking and it also offers great stats for Riki.

Yasha is a big stat-stick that's perfect for a roaming agility hero like Riki. You can upgrade it into Sange and Yasha later, or Manta Style if the situation warrants it.

Skull Basher improves your sticking power and makes it harder for enemies to fight back, since they'll be repeatedly stunned. Upgrade to Abyssal Blade once you've finished your other essential items.


Manta Style allows you to dispel Dust of Appearance so you can restealth when you're spotted, which is super useful. It also disjoints projectiles when cast. You can use the mirror images to farm in multiple places at once and cause more havoc in fights. You can also use your illusions as Blink Strike targets to reposition.

The other Yasha upgrade. You'll lose some of the utility from Manta Style but you'll have access to a big passive stat-stick and the maim effect, which will improve your ability to stick to targets.

Spell immunity will be a necessary defensive tool in many games. Keep an eye on the enemy team comp for disables and nukes that you can block with BKB. This item also increases your rather meager health pool, so it's never a terrible choice, though sometimes you can safely skip it.

Speeds up your farm and can be applied (up to) once per strike of Tricks of the Trade. You can upgrade this to Mjollnir later in the game. In bloodier games where you're fighting and ganking a lot, skip this in favor of better PvP items.

Crucial to counter enemies with evasion, otherwise there are better options. Keep an eye on enemies with evasion abilities like Blur or items like Butterfly. If you see an Eaglesong or Talisman of Evasion on an enemy agility carry, you'll want to start building MKB immediately so you can finish it by the time the enemy finishes Butterfly.

A useful item for team fighting, as it increases the duration of Tricks of the Trade and allows you to cast it on allies. This greatly improves the reliability of your E, though this isn't the best right-click item. If you'll be relying more on E for team fighting rather than picking people off or autoing in fights, pick this up and press E on one of your melee teammates when they go in.

Another farming tool with a nice on-hit proc of AoE damage. This is a great item to pick with teammates with AoE setup abilities like Black Hole, since you'll be able to shred the enemy team with AoE procs of Tricks of the Trade once they're close together. Not a great 1v1 item though, so keep in mind your dueling power won't be as great if you spend your gold here.


A useful counter to items like Aeon Disk and Ghost Scepter that will prevent you from finishing off priority targets. Also useful for killing mages that rely on items like Force Staff, Glimmer Cape and Scythe of Vyse for safety. Also adds another short slow to your arsenal.

Upgraded Skull Basher with an extra chunk of durability. This'll give you a third blink and a guaranteed stun on any target within your range. This makes you nearly impossible to escape and lets you set up kills for your teammates as well. It's also nice to have a reliable interrupt for channeled abilities if you need it.

This item is especially useful against basic attackers, but it's a solid damage item for any Agility hero, albeit a bit expensive. This is a good choice for one of your final item slots if you don't seem to need any other important items.

The slow effect from this item pierces Spell Immunity, making it one of the more reliable ways to CC enemies and keep them inside your AoE spells. You'll be getting well-rounded stats, which mostly means you'll be tankier compared to buying a DPS item like Butterfly. If you don't need to be a massive damage dealer for your team to win fights, this is a pretty safe option for the late game.

Extra Gold?

Moon Shard can be consumed for extra attack speed once you're at full items. An ally can also purchase it for you if you're still working on your main build, so don't buy it if your teammate already used one on you.

Boots of Travel and Boots of Travel 2 are great assets in the late game since they'll let you cross the map very quickly, especially after a death and/or a buyback. The higher movement speed is also pretty nice. Late game you'll have a ton of DPS items and Power Treads won't be as crucial to your damage, so feel free to switch them out once you have enough gold.


Thank you for reading this Community guide to Riki! If you'd like to contribute to this guide, please leave me a comment in the Discussion tab with your feedback or send me a Private Message if you'd like to contribute regularly to guides like this. Everyone who contributes to one of these Community Guides will be credited in the guide.

If you liked the guide, don't forget to vote and leave me a comment with your thoughts! If you have any suggestions, criticism or other feedback, comments of all sorts are appreciated. Good luck in your Riki games!

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