Clinkz is a carry with both insane snowballing potential and powerful late game scaling.
He's an "assassin" type of carry who excels at picking off single heroes by popping out of invisibility with his very high burst damage.
He can gank, he can push, and he can ball out of control really hard if he manages to have a good early game. Unlike other hard carries, he's mainly about farming heroes - not creeps.
While being a pretty simple and straightforward hero (fairly noob-friendly), his ability to "snipe" heroes who are sitting out of position added to his very high early burst damage in lane make him a lot of fun to play.
This guide will give you a collection of builds and playstyles on this hero (as you will see there isn't a single one - instead there are several options depending on what you are up against). It focuses on the early-mid game decisions because as you'll see that's the most important turning point for Clinkz.
There are two main item builds on Clinkz, one that focuses on rushing Bloodthorn, and another based on armor reduction with Medallion of Courage + Desolator.
Have a nice read!
+ Insane damage output
+ Late game carry with very high ganking/snowball potential
+ Good lane presence. Strong harassing ability and high damage output in lane.
+ Great map control with Skeleton walk. Can move and gank anywhere on the map including enemy jungle.
+ Extremely strong pusher. Can take down towers in seconds and split push like no other.
+ Surprisingly tanky for an AGI hero thanks to his ultimate (can gain up to +880 HP!)
+ Punishes split pushing. Hard.
+ Decent escape with *max movement speed* on top of invisibility. Can often escape even when detected by dust/gem/sentries.
+ Does really well against most heroes. Has very few true counters : Slardar, illusion heroes, and..that's it really. Good pick in almost any game.
- Extremely squishy in the early game. Very easy to burst down in lane, 2 stuns = dead Clinkz.
- Attack animation is literally dumpster tier. Takes a million years to fire a bow for some reason.
- Ghost scepter, blademail, force staff and heaven's halberd ruin your fun.
- Extremely item dependent
- *huge* mana issues, lacks mana even with a big INT item like orchid or sheepstick
- Purely single target damage. Can't deal with illusions.
- Questionable teamfight presence, especially in early-mid game.
- Completely momentum dependent. Cannot recover from a bad start.
- No, seriously, he absolutely needs a good start and good early farm in the first 15 minutes otherwise he's useless.
Clinkz is a carry who is very good at ganking, but he's not a dedicated ganker. The difference is that he's extremely farm-dependent and absolutely needs a good start in the first 15 minutes of the game to be effective. Clinkz needs to freefarm a lane, really. No matter what build you go for, there's no way around it : you need a good farming position.
Here are the possible laning situations you can have :
Safe lane carry (dual lane or trilane)
Almost always the best option for Clinkz. Clinkz in competitive DotA is exclusively played as a safe lane carry. Being able to freefarm the safe lane for ~15 minutes allows you to get your main items like Orchid Malevolence very quickly, with a possible Hand of Midas on top.
Having support(s) in your lane is always great because Clinkz has high damage but no disable, so imagine all the kills you can get with a support with heavy disables like Lion.
Solo safe lane
Clinkz doesn't necessarily need babysitting in lane. He can solo the safe lane perfectly well, which leaves room for supports to roam, do an aggressive trilane, have a jungler, etc. Clinkz can solo easily against most solo offlaners and dual lanes.
Aggressive trilane or dual offlane
Clinkz has very high damage output in the early game so he's a decent option if you want to run an aggressive trilane with disablers like Vengeful Spirit, Ogre Magi, etc. Just beware that he's pretty squishy so it only works if you're not facing a lot of burst damage.
Searing Arrows make Clinkz a decent solo mid. He wins a lot of 1 vs 1 matchups because of his harassing ability and his ability to get "free" last hits.
The only thing he really struggles against is heavy burst damage, so be weary of mids with heavy nukes and get early HP items if needed (treads, bracer, raindrop). Roaming supports can also cause you problems so always watch out for mid lane ganks.
All in all he's a pretty solid solo mid and most of the mids with no escapes are on your food list when you hit ~level 6.
Solo offlane? Really?
Let's be straight here : Clinkz is not, and has never been, an offlaner. Don't confuse him with his archer sister Windranger. Also don't confuse him with Bounty Hunter. There's a lot of reasons why Clinkz offlane is just not viable against any kind of competent players :
Clinkz needs a lot of things from his items, that's the reason why he's so item dependent! A brief list of what he needs :
||Damage and mana regen to spam Searing Arrows. Get the basilius first.|
||Optional if facing dual offlanes and/or spell spammers like Undying, Bristleback, etc.|
Yep, plain boots and arcane boots are the only boots that make sense on Clinkz. There are several reasons.
1) Treads are pointless. You don't need more attack speed, you have Strafe for that.
2) Phase boots are semi-decent, but they don't give mana. It's better to have the mana to use Strafe + Searing Arrows than to have raw damage. So better use that money to buy mana items.
3) Clinkz loves his early Boots of Travel so the upgrade is way more natural.
At that stage of the game, basically anything that doesn't give you mana is wasted gold.
Midas is an occasional pickup on Clinkz in passive competitive games, but in pubs its usefulness is pretty questionable. Sure it increases your farm and experience, but on the other hand going Midas delays the moment when you can start getting kills by a lot. And by the time you come online, 1) enemies will be more likely to have ways to dispel orchid, and 2) the enemy team will start 5-man pushing, meaning that there's nothing left to gank.
Only recommended when you are your team's main carry and if you're freefarming, so you can get it at 7 mins maximum so that it doesn't delay your core.
Please no "comeback Midas" nonsense on Clinkz, it's terrible.
Extremely cheap item that solves a big part of your mana issues.
Soul Ring completely covers the mana cost of using Death Pact followed by Skeleton Walk. Being able to cast Death Pact on cooldown with no mana cost is a huge help.
Also covers the mana cost of your Strafe + Searing Arrows combo.
Soul ring is awesome on Clinkz because it allows you to play him effectively without having to buy an expensive mana regen item.
||Medallion gives more early burst damage than any other item. Armor reduction combined with your extremely high physical damage kills enemy heroes extremeely fast. It's the best pickup if you want to get early kills.|
Orchid Malevolence is the traditional build on Clinkz. It gives you pretty much everything you need : good DPS, lots of mana regen, and a good disable that also amplifies your burst damage.
Orchid is a really good pickup against these kind of heroes :
- Heroes with escape mechanisms : the likes of Ember Spirit, Puck, Slark, Queen of Pain, Timbersaw, etc. Silence them and they can't escape.
- Disablers : the likes of Lion, Earthshaker, Bane, Shadow Shaman, Pudge, etc. The silence makes ganking them extremely easy, because they can't stop you with their stuns.
But the true power comes when you upgrade it to Bloodthorn, which you should do immediately. Bloodthorn gives the best DPS for the money you can get, as long as enemies can't purge it. That's why you should rush it ASAP, before purge items come online on enemies.
Later in the game you can use Nullifier to prevent enemies from purging it with items.
Armor reduction is the best way to amplify your damage, especially because of Searing Arrows damage which gets amplified by armor reduction but not by crits.
Solar Crest + Desolator is enough to reduce enemies' armor around zero, which ensures maximum cost-effectiveness.
Boots of Travel is an absolute must if the game goes late. Allows you to be a permanent threat to the enemy base by TP'ing to a lane and split pushing. You can take down towers/rax in seconds if the enemy team ever makes the mistake of 5-manning mid while their sidelanes are pushed.
Boots of Travel 2 gives you global ganking presence, so don't hesitate to get upgraded BoTs early, it's totally worth it.
Ever tried ganking an invisible hero without dust? Yeah it doesn't work :)
Clinkz is supposed to get solo kills so you can't count on your team, just buy your own dust.
It should be pretty obvious why a Clinkz is a far better hero for running around the map and warding than a Crystal Maiden.
Typically ask your supports to buy wards and place them. Ward the enemy jungle for easy ganks. Ward your jungle for counterganks. And place aggressive wards to escape gank atttempts when split pushing.
If your supports aren't doing their job you can just buy wards yourself, they will pay for themselves in free kills anyways.
||The best mobility item on Clinkz. Allows him to catch up with fleeing heroes and have an escape when split pushing. Also the active is pretty useful in teamfights.|
||The illusions benefit from the HP and damage from Death Pact (since it is considered base damage), so it's not a bad synergy. But the only real reason to buy this is to purge things, typically Dust of Appearance, Track and Corrosive Haze.|
||The best item to deal with Phantom Lancer and illusion heroes in general, as well as megacreeps.|
||A good item, but generally you buy other stuff (e.g skadi) over this.|
||Buy this when 6-slotted.|
You can dominate jungle creeps, which get bonus HP, and then Death Pact them for more HP and damage than a normal creep. You can even get a satyr for the mana regen aura. The stats from the item itself are not that great, but it does give you regen which allows you to jungle.
42 damage, 440 HP and 27 attack speed for 2k gold, it's worth it, even though you'll have to put this in your backpack eventually to not waste a slot and it will have a longer cooldown than your ulti which is impractical.
It's better if a teammate buys this not you.
Popularized by EternalEnvy, Blink Dagger Clinkz can be really strong in the right situations.
A few of the things it can do :
- Chasing down any hero. Nobody can walk away from your Strafe anymore, just blink to catch up. Also counters juking in the trees. This allows you to snowball really hard if you're ahead. Even heroes who can dispel the silence from orchid like Anti-Mage can't run away anymore.
- Escaping and kiting : blink is actually a solid escape item and it allows you to kite melee heroes around easily.
- Split pushing : For the same reason Nature's Prophet buys blink, when split pushing it allows you to blink to the trees to dodge ganks and then TP out.
However, since Hurricane Pike is a thing, pike is generally better than blink.
Solid DPS from the agility and the feedback, and the active is one of the strongest slows in the game. Ganking with the diffusal slow is extremely effective against heroes with low mobility and few disables.
Not as good as the main items, but the mana burn can be pretty useful against certain heroes.
Typically the way of playing Clinkz is all about roaming the map, searching for isolated heroes to gank, and split pushing towers with Strafe if you see the enemy team grouping up.
Clinkz is a pretty poor teamfight hero in the early-mid game until he gets his Black King Bar essentially. Best avoid taking early teamfights if possible, pushing towers and looking for solo kills on defending heroes is the better option most of the time.
To gank efficiently, start by eating a jungle creep with Death Pact, Skeleton Walk to sneak near your target, use your disables (orchid, diffusal...), activate Strafe and burst him down. Don't forget ulting a creep before every gank, you really need the bonus damage and HP.
Use Death pact on lane creeps if you can't find jungle creeps nearby.
When you start getting some farm going and a recommended BKB, you can start joining teamfights. In teamfights, always try to focus high priority targets. Skeleton Walk gives you almost free initiation on any hero (if you don't get caught by sentries), so choose your target carefully. Best option is to focus key teamfight heroes in the enemy team, the likes of Earthshaker, Witch Doctor, Invoker, Silencer, Omniknight, Venomancer, Zeus...you get the idea : silence them if you have orchid and try to burst them quickly, it gives a big advantage to your team if you manage to take them out before the fight starts.
Try to circle around and initiate from the back of the teamfight, not only are you far less likely to get caught by sentries, but you can get a free jump on enemy supports/initiators which is much more valuable that attacking that Wraith King who's standing at the front. Blink Dagger gives you better initiation without fear of sentry wards.
Countering your counters
Always look at enemy heroes' inventories. Watch out for these items, since a lot of items are serious threats :
- Dust of Appearance : Reveals you, but you still keep your high movement speed from Skeleton Walk. If you don't get chainstunned you can usually still run away. It's still a problem though so watch out. Manta Style and Black King Bar dispel dust.
- Gem of True Sight : not really an issue for Clinkz as long as you notice which hero has the gem in time. Gem has a fairly short range that's easy to escape with your Skeleton Walk movement speed. Gem holders hardly live for more than a few minutes anyways so be sure when he dies to drop the gem in your base and never touch it again. Just make sure that your teammates don't walk around with the gem, especially when the enemy team doesn't even have invisible heroes...
- Necronomicon : Generally the bane of invisible heroes. Luckily Clinkz can escape their true sight radius with his high movement speed. Can still be an issue in teamfights though.
- Sentry Wards : Sentries are the only form of invisibility detection that can really be a problem. During the laning stage, watch for sentries in the enemy inventories. They are likely to place them in lane to prevent you from sneaking up on them. If they do, no problem, just keep farming the lane. Always look at enemy supports' inventories for sentries especially before a teamfight starts. Don't go straight in when starting a teamfight, it's likely that you walk in sentry range, instead wrapping around and "backstabbing" the enemy supports from behind the enemy lines makes you far less likely to get caught in sentry range. And if you do, you can just pop Black King Bar and manfight.
Also watch out for dewarding sentries. This can lead to some pretty ******** deaths : you walk through the entrance of the enemy jungle, and out of nowhere you get stunned and bursted down. Why would they ever have a sentry there? To deward of course!
- Heaven's Halberd : you use Strafe, and suddenly you sit there doing nothing because you can't attack for a huge time. Extremely annoying item, and you can't even purge the disarm! Get a BKB, and use Nullifier.
- Town Portal Scroll : Clinkz has no stun and the hero you're ganking can just TP out in your face. Thankfully you generally have enough DPS to finish him off before that. Scythe of Vyse and Nullifier counter TP's.
- Force Staff : You Strafe a hero, and he just forcestaffs out of your range (or gets forcestaffed by a teammate). Nullifier deals with that, so does having a Hurricane Pike of your own.
- Ghost Scepter : You Strafe a hero, he instantly turns immune to physical damage for 4 seconds and just walks away like he doesn't care. Extremely annoying item.
You can't just wait around for 4 seconds. Get a Nullifier.
- Glimmer Cape : Same thing. Get dust or Nullifier.
- Blade Mail : A problem for obvious reasons. Nullifier and Satanic are the two counters here.
I think you get the message here.
|This is your friend.|
Aggressive supports / disablers
Supports with good disables and/or burst damage are your best friends in lane. A good disable + Searing Arrows damage often results in a kill.
Crystal Maiden deserves a special mention because of Arcane Aura. You really need that mana regen.
Vengeful Spirit is also an amazing friend because of her armor reduction and the ability to save you later in the game.
Clinkz cannot initiate teamfights and relies completely on his team for proper initiation. Good teamfight heroes are always a huge help.
Chen creeps have the highest creep HP in the game so Death Pact them for crazy stats. He can't even get mad because it makes perfect sense for you to use his creeps as a food storage XD
While some heroes can be a bit annoying to deal with, Clinkz actually has extremely few true counters.
There's always a bigger fish
Slardar just ruins your fun. Not only does Corrosive Haze reveal your invisibility and puts your armor below zero, but he can chase you down with the combination of his sprint and the Blink Dagger he always builds. There is just no escape against that guy.
Illusion heroes are pretty tough to deal with because Clinkz is purely single target.
- Phantom Lancer is a complete nightmare since you can't target him. Gatting a Mjollnir is the best option against him.
- Chaos Knight is a big problem also because he can disable you hard with his Reality Rift + Chaos Bolt.
- Naga Siren is not that bad because you can kill her individual illusions pretty fast, but Ensnare prevents you from moving and turning invisible for 5 seconds.
- Terrorblade has no way to disable you and you can gank him pretty well so he's not on this list.
And...that's pretty much it for your counters.
Here's a few heroes you need to be weary about. While not really counters to Clinkz, they can still cause you a few problems.
All these guys are pretty good at picking off Clinkz and chasing/disabling him.
- Bounty Hunter : He's not really a counter to Clinkz. Sure he has true sight but he also has no way to disable you. He's a pretty easy pickoff for you. Buy Manta Style if you hate Track that much.
- Zeus : a bit the same as Bounty, sure his Lightning Bolt reveals invisibility, but he can't disable you when you run away and he's a pretty easy gank, or you can just split push and he can't stop you. Besides you can silence him in teamfights with orchid and make him useless.
- Lion : For some reason pub players have problems with this hero and think he's a counter to everything...seriously, just silence him with orchid : silence makes him useless, and he dies in a few hits. And buy a BKB.
- Chen : Clinkz and Chen essentially counter each other. You can eat his creeps and get crazy stats from them, but seriously, when a Chen lineup starts 5-manning at the 20 minute mark and pushing your base, you're the one crying not him. Don't pick Clinkz thinking he's a great Chen counter, he's not.
Clinkz is a carry with a lot of mobility and the ability to constantly roam the map looking for pickoffs. He has a very strong lane presence and can generally win his lane easily as long as he doesn't get bursted down with nukes or chainstuns.
His very high damage output allows him to instantly burst any single hero he comes across, however he can have issues against larger groups and strong teamfight heroes. He makes for his limited teamfight presence by his ability to split push towers in seconds, being a constant threat to the enemy base. Eventually he starts becoming a threat in teamfights as well.
The most important part in playing him is getting a good momentum going in the early game, which will determine your success later on. Despite being very simple, he can be pretty fun and challenging to play especially with the number of different builds possible on him.
Thanks for reading. I will happily reply to any kind of constructive feedback so don't hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments.
Credit to Kyfoid for being the voice of a generation. This guide is a tribute to him.
The credits for the pictures go to :
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