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38 Votes

Grand Magus Compendium - Radiant Kirby (by Culling)

September 11, 2015 by Culling
Comments: 41    |    Views: 157778    |   

Comprehensive Rubick (Support)

DotA2 Hero: Rubick

Hero Skills


1 4 8 9

Fade Bolt

2 3 5 7

Arcane Supremacy

10 12 13 14

Spell Steal

6 11 16


15 17 18

Grand Magus Compendium - Radiant Kirby (by Culling)

September 11, 2015


Hello and welcome to my guide on Rubick! The current patch that this guide is effective for is 6.81b, September. I go by the name Dionysus in-game. Rubick is the first DotA hero who I've written a guide on. I've been playing DotA since 2005, when it was still a MOD for Warcraft 3. Usually when I play MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games, I pick the tanky bruiser role. I instead chose Rubick as my first hero to write on because his kit is so unique and his ultimate reminds me of Kirby and Rogue. If you enjoy playing a support/nuker who can displace foes and bolster his allies, then Rubick is your hero. I hope you can read the whole guide; thanks for spending time here.

Rubick's Adventure

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please leave them below in the posting section. You may be referenced in the guide if your suggestion is used somewhere on here.

About Rubick

Rubick's Role:

Rubick the Grand Magus is a Radiant Intelligence hero who can be built either as a pure support or a nuker support. Many players regard Rubick as being the best counter-initiator in the game who punishes heroes that carelessly start a fight without regard to consequence. Valve has classified Rubick as aDisabler andNuker. Oddly enough, he has NOT been listed as aSupport. Curse-Gamepedia actually lists him as aPusher. He has 1 passive aura and 3 active spells (one of which opens the possibility to using a 4th active spell). I would classify his spells as such:

Telekinesis - 1st Skill


Fade Bolt - 2nd Skill


Null Field - 3rd Skill

Null Field =Durable

Spell Steal - Ultimate

=Disabler orNuker orSupport

Rubick's Difficulty:

In terms of difficulty, Curse-Gamepedia has ranked Rubick at a difficulty level of 20 out of 30. In several categories, I would rate him as such (on a scale of 1 - 5, 1 being easiest to grasp):

Hero / Item Knowledge: 5 - You must have a detailed knowledge of all spells and items.
Map Awareness / Knowledge: 4 - You must know much about warding, trapping spots, and support play.
Positioning / Reflex: 4 - You must know much about teamfight positions, ability timing, and juking.
Farming Ability: 1 - You don't need to know anything about farming - even though you have 1 Area-Of-Effect skill, you will mostly fulfill the support role.
Micro-management: 1-5 - The amount of skill required to micro-manage (control other units) will vary, depending on the matchup you're going against.
Survival Ability: 3 - You just need a base knowledge of survival and sustainability because you have innate defense with your passive and your Crowd Control skill isn't hard to master.

Rubick's Lore:

Any mage can cast a spell or two, and a few may even study long enough to become a wizard, but only the most talented are allowed to be recognized as a Magus. Yet as with any sorcerers circle, a sense of community has never guaranteed competitive courtesy.

Already a renowned duelist and scholar of the grander world of sorcery, it had never occurred to Rubick that he might perhaps be Magus material until he was in the midst of his seventh assassination attempt. As he casually tossed the twelfth of a string of would-be killers from a high balcony, it dawned on him how utterly unimaginative the attempts on his life had become. Where once the interruption of a fingersnap or firehand might have put a cheerful spring in his step, it had all become so very predictable. He craved greater competition. Therefore, donning his combat mask, he did what any wizard seeking to ascend the ranks would do: he announced his intention to kill a Magus.

Rubick quickly discovered that to threaten one Magus is to threaten them all, and they fell upon him in force. Each antagonist's spell was an unstoppable torrent of energy, and every attack a calculated killing blow. But very soon something occurred that Rubick's foes found unexpected: their arts appeared to turn against them. Inside the magic maelstrom, Rubick chuckled, subtly reading and replicating the powers of one in order to cast it against another, sowing chaos among those who had allied against him. Accusations of betrayal began to fly, and soon the sorcerers turned one upon another without suspecting who was behind their undoing.

When the battle finally drew to a close, all were singed and frozen, soaked and cut and pierced. More than one lay dead by an allys craft. Rubick stood apart, sore but delighted in the weeks festivities. None had the strength to argue when he presented his petition of assumption to the Hidden Council, and the Insubstantial Eleven agreed as one to grant him the title of Grand Magus.

Rubick in Original DotA:

Rubick was added to the original DotA on the last week of April 2011, as part of the 6.72 DotA Patch. He shared his model with the Warcraft character Medivh. More than a year later, he joined the roster of DotA 2 on the June 20, 2012 Patch. Around February 2014, ziedota decided to blog about Rubick's history. He has been a favorite pick of many players ever since.

Pros / Cons

Here is my opinion on what the strengths and weaknesses of Rubick are:


+ Coolest lookingINT hero on Radiant side
+ Has some awesomely styled capes
+ Works well with many different allies
+ Nice attack range of 600
+ Can trap players on ledges from Level 1 - good rune scout
+ Longest "knockup/lift" effect in the game ( Telekinesis), owning Toss and Walrus Punch
+ Great wave-clear and AoE potential ( Fade Bolt)
+ Only built-in defensive aura (Null Field) - LOL to Magical, Composite, and Universal damage
+ Possible 40% self magic resistance (58% with Pipe of Insight)
+ Only ability-copy hero in the game ( Spell Steal) - copy 96 Ultimates and 268 Regular Actives
+ Fast cast times, meaning he can cast a superior version of someone else's spell
+ Unpredictable in teamfights, especially in the hands of a good player
+ Very popular hero among beginners and pros alike (7th most popular support as of August 2014)

- 5th lowestINT gain of INT heroes (mana-hungry in the early stages)
- 6th lowestSTR gain of INT heroes (meaning he's squishy as ****)
- MediocreAGI gain compared to other INT heroes
- 4th slowest Movement Speed @ 290
- 2nd slowest Turn Rate @ 0.5
- No escape skills like a Blink or Shadow Walk
- No innate health or mana sustain
- Cannot be accessed in Random Ability Draft mode
- Cannot normally solo Roshan
- Playing Rubick requires that you know the effects and timings of every single active spell

Base Skills

Below, you will see an in-depth look at Rubick's 4 basic abilities as well as the 364 other abilities (268 basic, 96 ultimate) he can use through copying:

In-Depth Abilities (click this 3 times if you load slowly)

Stolen Spells

Here is the complete look at the 364 abilities (268 basic, 96 ultimate) that Rubick can steal and use altogether. I've organized this into 6 main sections to make it easier to read. Miniature icons are not stolen skills in their own right, but they instead represent secondary actives available with a primary stolen skill ( Poison Sting is an exception, being a stolen passive together with Plague Ward). Additionally, you will also see 7 additional sections about certain skills below:

Radiant Agility (55 spells)

The 53 Aghanim Heroes

Spells for Refresher Orb

Healing Spells

Reusable Active Spells

New Button Active Spells

Health-Draining Spells

Spells to NOT Steal/Use

Spell Tier List

Spell Steal Ranking:

Let's make the distinction of what we call these 'powers' that DotA heroes can use. I tend to refer to actives as Spells, while I tend to clump up passives and actives together in the terms Abilities or Skills. To make it easier deciding which spells to prioritize, I thought I'd make a Spell Steal ranking which observes several factors: (1) how well the spell does in teamfights, (2) how well the spell does for Rubick, and (3) how much utility or damage potential the spell can offer. The 96 ultimates will have their own ranking list, while the 268 basic abilities will be in a different ranking list.

Tier List: Ultimates (96)

Core Items

The Definitive Build:

Since we're through the lengthy discussion on skills and whatnot, items are the next big topic. You will always start out with 625 Gold, unless you selected Rubick at random, which will give you 825 Gold. In most cases, you will be playing in the Bottom Lane as aSupport to assist your alliedCarry. Otherwise, you will be playing in the Middle Lane as aNuker and Ganker. Let's look at the two starting builds you can open with:

Starter Alternative 1: Bottom Lane

Starter Alternative 2: Middle Lane

Early Game to Middle Game

Late Game (Guideline Build)

7 Slotting

Other Items

To change up your build a bit, you can use these alternatives to replace Mekansm and Refresher Orb if you'd like. Also, after this section are the items which I don't think will benefit Rubick. The items are ordered from cheap to expensive:

Alternative Items

Items to NOT Buy/Use


Rubick's Skill-Build:

So you might be wondering why we skill up Rubick the way we do. Rubick is quite a level dependent hero at least until level 7. We pick up Telekinesis at level 1 because Rubick is the type of hero who does not need burst/nuke damage at the start of the game. If you pick up Fade Bolt at level 1 instead, you will have no chance at contesting the rune when it spawns at 0:00. After level 1 however, there is no disagreement on the fact that Rubick must skill up Fade Bolt at the respective levels of 2, 3, 5, and 7. As your only damaging skill pre-level 6, you must prioritize Fade Bolt for the two vital tasks in lane: (1) waveclearing enemy creeps and (2) harassing enemy heroes. Since the mana cost of Fade Bolt is 150 at all levels, I generally recommend reserving Fade Bolt use once you're level 3 for efficiency's sake. For the levels in-between Fade Bolt, you can just fill in with Telekinesis at levels 4, 8, and 9 for the additional disable utility and Spell Steal at level 6 to open up Rubick's playstyle. From there, you're free to decide the build depending on the enemy matchups - either put points into Null Field or attributes if the enemy team emphasizes magical or physical damage. Mandatorily, you should level up Spell Steal at to decrease cooldown and increase duration.

Rubick's Laning:

You'll have to pick betweenBottom Lane or Middle Lane, depending on what your team needs. For both lanes, it's vital that you know how to deny creeps. Denying is the act of killing your own creeps or towers when they drop below a 50% / 10% health threshold. Denied creeps will reward 36 EXP to nearby enemies while towers will reward 100 - 160 gold, depending on the tower's tier. Back on topic, let's take a look at what it means to reside in either one of these lanes:

Bottom Lane

Middle Lane

Rubick's Runes:

Runes are special consumable items that give you a powerful effect for 30, 45, or 70 seconds depending on the type of rune. They spawn either in the middle of the north riverside OR in the middle of the south riverside. The initial spawn time of a rune will be 0:00. After that, runes will spawn every 2 minutes on one of the sides. The rune types will always be different from the previous and successive ones. You may refill a Bottle by storing a rune inside for 2 minutes; when those 2 minutes are over, the rune will automatically be used. My recommendation of runes for Rubick will be in this list. If you plan on going into middle lane, it will primarily be your job to ward around rune areas and obtain them. Here is the list of runes:

Rune Ranking


Observer Ward and Sentry Ward are perhaps the 2 most important consumables you could purchase as Rubick, if not the most important in DotA 2. It is immensely important that you know about their item information as well as how to use them. Here are their profiles:

Observer Ward Profile

Sentry Ward Profile

Rubick's Teammates:

Rubick's Good Allies

Rubick's Bad Allies

Enemy Matchups

The Study of Matchups:

If you've played DotA 2 or any other MOBA game, you probably realize that matchups are not necessarily black and white. The advantages and disadvantages around certain heroes or groups of heroes are not quantifiable in a simple way. Even though we can make an outrageous theory thatStrength heroes counterIntelligence heroes (due to stable damage and high health pools),Intelligence heroes counterAgility heroes (due to crowd control and burst damage), andAgility heroes counterStrength heroes (due to evasion and critical strikes), it would be a mistake to make this assumption. DotA 2 is such a radical game that not only incorporates a base-level game theory like roshambo, but it evolves outward to include playstyles, skill builds, item choices, lane partnerships, whole team compositions, and random number generation to make matches dynamic. If we do want to go back and play on the idea of rock-paper-scissors when considering matchups, I'd like to propose an idea which expands it further so you can understand the complexities within analyzing counters. This is my Roshambo-DotA theory:

The DotA Attribute Triangle

Now that we know and recognize this as being just simply the Attribute Combat Triangle, there are also other variants of roshambo such as in Item Choices or more importantly, Hero Roles. For instance:
Disablers,Nukers, andRoamers will always prey onCarries in the early game. You can't relegate this fact - this is an issue of timing in the game. With principles of karma in mind, the opposite will be true in the late game.
Initiators will (for a fact) get countered byCounter-Initiators. This is our case. Rubick is an Intelligence hero who dominates otherINT heroes and counter-initiates againstinitiators. How can we be so sure of this claim? Look at the last two abilities in his kit - Null Field and Spell Steal. Rubick's playstyle stresses that the player who plays him must exercise patience, execute precise timing, and coordinate teamplays to win.

When to pick Rubick:

Now that you know a bit more about the chemistry of DotA 2 and Rubick, let's look at when the appropriate time to pick him is.

Pick Rubick:
+ When you understand that your role will prioritize supporting your teammates over assassinating enemies.
+ When there are at least 2Initiators on the enemy team.
+ When your team has already chosen aLaner for top lane and the jungle.
+ When there is a weakMiddle Laner on the enemy team.
+ When you lack a flexibleLane Support on your team.
+ When you lack a reliableDisabler on your team.
+ When you need to apply more AoE damage together with aNuker on your team.

Don't Pick Rubick:
- When you are feeling particularly kill-hungry and lazy to ward for the team.
- When there are noInitiators or only 1 or 2 Semi-Initiators on the enemy team.
- When there is a strongMiddle Laner on the enemy team who emphasizes auto-attacking.
- When your team needs a strongPusher to shove the lanes and keep the enemy team preoccupied to roaming.
- When your team already has a solidLane Support andDisabler to provide the team assistance when it needs it.
- When there are manySilences and Orchid Malevolence / Black King Bar Core Buyers on the enemy team.
- When there are 2 or more(Ranged) Carries on the enemy team who lack an interesting Ultimate.

Rubick's Actual Matchups:

While you can depend on DotaBuff to give you a reliable idea of Rubick matchups, here's an in-depth look at select heroes themselves and strategies to deal with them.

Rubick as a Counterpick (18 heroes)

Neutral Matchups

Counterpicks against Rubick (25 heroes)

Tips and Tricks

Gaming Terminology:

Seeing as this is an in-depth guide to Rubick and DotA 2, I thought it would be useful to provide a small reference for terms you will encounter when you play DotA. Well seasoned gamers can probably skip this section, as they will already be familiar with these terms. For those who aren't, I suggest you take a quick glance and familiarize yourself with these definitions:

Glossary of Gaming Terms

Item/Ability Tips:

Here are some tips and tricks for using shop items and Rubick abilities:

Item Tips and Tricks

Other Tips and Tricks

Cosmetic Sets

Rubick Gear:

Wandering Harlequin's Regalia Set

Councilor's Complete Raiment Set

Spellbinder's Shape Set

Inscrutable Zeal Set

Peculiar Prestidigitator Set

Resonant Vibrance Set

Garb of the Cruel Magician Set

Alternate Weapons

Other Equipment


Rubick Hero Info

Rubick's Valve Page
Rubick's Curse-Gamepedia Page
Rubick's DotaBuff Page
Rubick's DotaCinema Page
Myzzrym's The Secrets of Rubick Reddit Page

Rubick Counterpicking/Matchups


Rubick Past Guides

Rubick the Grand Magus by GhostofGuns on PlayDotA
An Initiate's Guide to Rubick by ROSHANPAI on PlayDotA
A Guide to Rubick: Grand Magus by Masterja on PlayDotA

Rubick Training

Rubick Skill Trainer on WonderfulFailure (I highly recommend practicing skill knowledge with this.)

Rubick Video Footage

DotaCinema's Hero Spotlight (YouTube)
DotaCinema's Hero Guide (YouTube)
locKifiedDotA's Radiant Jungle Guide (YouTube)
Myzzrym's Advanced Mechanics Guide (YouTube)
AlansGaming's Spell Steal Guide (YouTube)
Never Go Full Agility by Seriiox
Rubick Bomb by DotaCinema
The Rubick Feature by Natus Vincere on Na'Vi DotA 2
Rubick Cliff Abuse by Natus Vincere on Na'Vi DotA 2
5 Reasons To Pick Rubick by dopatwo (YouTube)
Dota 2 WTF Moments 14 on Dota Watafak
Dota 2 Pub Tale - Thievery on Dota2Mark
Purge from Team Zephyr on Purge Gamers (Feature Gameplay)
DoubleClickDota2 Rubick Videos (YouTube)
D2P.NEXUS's Did You Know? Episode 19 on Dota2PortalTV
D2P.NEXUS's Did You Know? Episode 21 on Dota2PortalTV
D2P.NEXUS's Learn Your Role - Initiators on Dota2PortalTV (not a Rubick vid, but you may find this useful)

Rubick Players

KuroKy from Natus Vincere on Na'Vi DotA 2
KuroKy from Natus Vincere on Know Thy Pro
Fy from Vici Gaming on Know Thy Pro

Dendi from Natus Vincere on Curse-Gamepedia
KuroKy from Natus Vincere on Curse-Gamepedia
ALWAYSWANNAFLY from Team Empire on Liquipedia
EGM from Alliance on Liquipedia
Fly from Fnatic on Liquipedia
Fogged from North American Rejects on Liquipedia
Fy from Vici Gaming on Liquipedia
Gio from Mineski on Liquipedia
Hugo from Zero Respect on Liquipedia
Ice from Titan on Liquipedia
KuroKy from Natus Vincere on Liquipedia
Reisen from MVP Phoenix on Liquipedia
Sag from RaTtLeSnAkE on Liquipedia
VANSKOR from Team Empire on Liquipedia
Waytosexy from Team Liquid on Liquipedia
Wimpmeat from Team Confidence on Liquipedia
WinteR from Orange Esports on Liquipedia

Rubick Theme Song

Ol' Dirty Magus - The Rubick Theme Song by PyrionFlax
DotA - The Original DotA Theme Song by Basshunter (YouTube)

My Other Guides

Random Facts

Rubick's Voice Commands on Curse-Gamepedia


Rubick is the one and only son of Aghanim in both DotA games.

Rubick owns a green version of Aghanim's Scepter.

Rubick is one of 3 left-handed INT heroes (the others being Nature's Prophet and Silencer.

Rubick calls Invoker the "Arsenal Magus" in some quotes, suggesting that to be the previous title.

Rubick references the famous Rubik's Cube puzzle in his quotes.


Thanks to Xyrus for his contributions to "Other Items".

Thanks to Pourquoi for his contributions to "Build" and "Core Items".

Thanks to Curse-Gamepedia for all the information resources used to supplement this guide.


09/08/2014 - Techies has been added to DotA 2. Sections including him have been updated.
05/03/2014 - Added a chapter entitled "Spell Tier List". Updated the "Allies" section.
04/25/2014 - Aghanim's Scepter upgrade added to Keeper of the Light and Shadow Demon.
04/19/2014 - Added a section on Reusable Active Skills and New Button Active Skills in "Stolen Skills".
04/17/2014 - "Stolen Skills" section updated. Added a section on 7 Slotting in "Core Items".
04/13/2014 - Added a section on Health-Draining Spells in "Stolen Skills".
04/12/2014 - Added a summary of Endgame Stats in "Core Items".
04/09/2014 - "Tips and Tricks" section updated. "Laning" section updated.
04/08/2014 - "Matchups" section updated.
04/06/2014 - Guide published.
04/04/2014 - Guide started.

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