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85 Votes

Nessaj - The Chaos Bringer

May 25, 2012 by borodin
Comments: 62    |    Views: 607175    |   

Ganker 4 Life

DotA2 Hero: Chaos Knight

Hero Skills

Chaos Bolt

1 3 5 7

Reality Rift

2 4 6 8

Chaos Strike

12 13 14 15


10 11 16


9 17 18



Hello and Welcome to The Chaos Knight Guide by K1LLerFA1th. Here I will show you how to own the battlefield of Ancients and gank like a BOSS so lets get started:

The Chaos Knight has one of the highest damage potentials among strength heroes. He is capable of dealing out a lot of punishment with his powerful critical hits and illusions. In addition, he offers good mobility and a strong stun. Chaos Bolt, as indicated by its name, is a strong but random ability. It deals a random amount of damage over a set range, and stuns the target for a variable length of time based on the level of the skill. It can either be very effective or mediocre, depending on the Chaos Knight's luck. Similarly, his critical strike has a fairly low chance of activating, but the damage payoff is the highest of any non-ultimate critical hit. The Chaos Knight is quite mobile for a strength hero. His Reality Rift instantly teleports you, any images you have and the target unit to a random point along the line between the two of you, while giving Chaos Knight a damage bonus. Finally, the Chaos Knight's can use his Phantasm skill, which summons several illusions of the caster. Each illusion deals the full damage of the Chaos Knight. The amount of pain these images can dish out is among the highest physical damage potentials in the game, especially with Critical Strike. If surrounded by these phantasms, just hope Nessaj's luck doesn't hold.


20 + 2.9
14 + 2.1
16 + 1.2

Affiliation: The Dire
Attack Animation: 0.5 / 0.5
Damage: 49 - 79
Casting Animation: 0.4 / 0.2
Armor: 3.96
Base Attack Time: 1.7
Movespeed: 325
Missile Speed: Instant
Attack Range: 128 (melee)
Sight Range: 1800 / 800

Pros / Cons


- Excellent movespeed, 2nd highest in the game
- Decent armor
- Good stats


- Damage is too random (though still high)
- Melee
- Very mana intensive

Abilities - Basics

Chaos Bolt

Throws a mysterious bolt of energy at the target unit. It stuns for a random duration and deals random damage.
Range: 500
Stun Duration: 1-2/1-3/1-4/2-4
Damage: 1-200/50-225/75-250/100-275
cooldown: 10
mana cost : 140

Stun duration and damage appears above targeted unit's head (visible to allies and enemies).

Reality Rift

Teleports you, any images you have and the target unit to a random point along the line between the two of you. Gives you bonus attack damage for one attack.
Range: 550/600/650/700
Bonus Damage: 25/50/75/100
Bonus Duration: 1.2
24/18/12/6 70
Teleports Chaos Knight to a random point on the line between the units (between 30% and 80% of the distance).
Teleports the target unit to the same location as Chaos Knight, offset by 25 units towards Chaos Knight's original position.
Any illusions of Chaos Knight owned by the same player as Chaos Knight within a 1400 radius are also teleported to Chaos Knight's new position.
Chaos Knight and the target unit are made to face each other, and Chaos Knight and all teleported illusions are issued an attack order against the target unit.

Chaos Strike

Chaos Knight's mojo gives him a chance to deal bonus damage.
Critical Chance: 10%
Critical Damage: 1.5/2/2.5/3

Summons several copies of the Chaos Knight from alternate dimensions. The illusions deal full damage, but take double damage.
Duration: 24
Number of Illusions: 1/2/3
cooldown: 140
mana cost: 125/200/275

This ability removes most buffs from Nessaj.

Abilities - An explanation

Bolt is maxed earlier than Reality Rift in order to maximize ganking potential. Each level of Chaos Bolt increases the average stun duration by .5 seconds, starting from 1.5 seonds. The first 3 levels of Chaos Bolt inrease the maximum duration (as well as decrease the probability of getting shorter stuns), while the last level grants you some consistency by guaranteeing a 2 second minimum.

Maxing Reality Rift next improves Nessaj's mobility by reducing the cd on Rift and dealing some extra damage. Due to Nessaj's high ms, only the first Rift is crucial to get within melee distance. Further Rifts help if you are being juked or if you were disabled and left behind. The last level is important because it lets you Rift twice during a normal gank.

Phantasm is put off until level 11 when you can get 2 images because it's too costly and ineffective early on. Illusion based heroes thrive on spawning many images at once (Naga Siren, Phantom Lancer and Terror Blade) to create confusion. With a high cooldown and only one image spawn early on, Nessaj cannot really be considered a standard image hero. You're better off improving your ganking skills to net kills for your team.

Stats at level 9 in the build is optional, but recommended over a single level of Critical Strike (the next take being 3 levels later), which is failry negligible (5.5% DPS increase). The stats help a little bit with Nessaj's mana issues in mid-game.


You get stats and plenty of healing for lane-staying, since you need to farm up your core to be a ganker/semi-carry. 3 Branches are superior to a second Gauntlet because it gives 3 agility and 3 intelligence as well. The branches will later be upgraded to make Magic Wand, while the Gauntlet will be turned into a Bracer.
Get a QB as soon as possible from the side shop to make farming easier.

Early Game:

As a strength hero who spends a lot of time ganking, Bottle and Wand go a long way towards supplying Nessaj's mana demand. Magic Wand provides invaluable burst regen during fights and Bottle prepares you for the next gank and allows you to use runes more effectively. Power Treads increase your DPS and HP; they also provide enough of an ms boost due to your innately high ms. Switching treads to intelligence mode should be kept in mind if it will allow you to get off an additional spell (note that your mana pool's percentage will remain the same during a switch, so it will often only give you a small amount of mana).


________________________________________________________________________________________Armlet is a solid extension item on almost any strength hero that plans on doing a lot of attacking. For strength heroes, it provides the most cost efficient damage in the game. For 2850 gold you gain an item that, when activated, gives you 65 damage, 15 attack speed, 25 str, 5 armor and 3 health regen. Of course when activated it also drains health, so be aware of this during long chases. Armlet should be your default extension item, unless you've farmed a lot early on and can immediately afford a high tier extension such as manta style. Even then, you may want to consider the Armlet due to the large DPS boost it provides.

- Note: Make sure you have Armlet on when you generate images through Phantasm or
Manta. They will gain the strength, but do not get the degen. If needed, you can turn
it off immediately after to avoid degen.
A powerful item on many heroes, Manta Style is an excellent exntension to the core items. It synergizes well with Armlet for images (see Armlet note above) and later with HoT or Satanic for further strength. Though the active ability is fairly mp intensive, the added stats and bonus move speed offset this disadvantage.

While Diffusal is not the best item on Nessaj (due to his ultimate's long cd), he can be a solid Diffusal carrier when it's needed to counter someone (e.g. Omniknight). Purge serves to counter the threat and greatly aids ganks with a slow to follow his Chaos Bolt. As an added bonus, Diffusal�s agility bonus boosts the DPS of your Phantasm images.
- Note: Melee images get the full benefits of feedback.
The Black King Bar is always a useful item, especially if the opposing team has a lot of nukes/disables. Coupled with Nessaj's large strength growth, magic immunity makes Nessaj extremely difficult to kill. It adds a decent amount of strength and damage as well.
With that being said, BKB remains situational due to Nessaj's role in fights. Chaos Bolt is significant even if you get stunned afterward. Stunning the real Nessaj doesn't stop the images from dealing 100% damage. Additionally, Phantasm and Manta both provide ways to remove negative debuffs and cause confusion about who the enemy should target to limit Nessaj's damage received. BKB should be considered when the enemy team has a large number of disables or when you are the main carry for your team.


Luxury Items:
Heart is always an option worth considering after you've gotten an extension item or two. A single heart gives you more than 1000 raw HP, a little extra damage, as well as 2% HP regeneration outside of battle. Coupled with Nessaj's excellent strength growth, Heart makes him a very tough hero to take down via damage alone.
Note that a HoT should never be rushed on Nessaj. The Reaver is expensive and hard to farm; rushing HoT holds him back from maximizing his prime: ganking and mid-game.

The natural upgrade to Helm of the Dominator. It doesn't boost your HP as much as a Heart, but has other benefits. It saves a slot (compared to having gotten HotD and getting Heart), provides you with 25% lifesteal, 5 armor, 20 damage, 25 strength and an active ability that makes your lifesteal go through the roof at a whopping 150% rate for the short duration of 3.5 seconds. It doesn't benefit Nessaj's illusions as much as Heart of Tarrasque, but it gives more offensive power, and - if you don't get disabled - more in-battle survivability. In general, Satanic should only be purchased in conjunction with Armlet and/or BKB for the following reasons:

    Lifesteal makes coping with the degen from Armlet a lot easier.
    Armlet will give away your main hero anyway when you use Phantasm; thus it won't matter if enemies can identify your main hero via the lifesteal as well.
    Satanic's orb will override Diffusal's orb.
    Satanic provides lesser benefits than HoT to your images. As such, getting Manta style suggests HoT as a luxury. With that being said, if you got both an Armlet and Manta, either choice is reasonable.
    BKB guarantees you the ability to use your 150% lifesteal for the full duration. In terms of in-battle survivability, Satanic combined with BKB is vastly superior to HoT on Nessaj (not the illusions).
rading in your Treads for BoT heavily boosts your pushing abilities. It also makes you faster than just about everyone else due to your chart-topping base ms. Do not get these early on as it will delay your strong mid-game too much.
Assault Cuirass should only be gotten very late in the game after having gotten at least one other luxury item. The only thing Nessaj's illusions benefit from here is the armor reduction aura. It grants +40 attack speed, +10 armor, an attack speed aura and 2 armor auras, giving +5 armor to allies and reducing enemies' armor by 5. Nessaj can use the attack speed since he hits hard but relatively slowly. The armor auras affect buildings as well, so it definitely assists pushing base towers and rax, which should be the goal at this stage of the game anyway. At this point in the game, you should really be trying to end it; one benefit of AC is that each of the item's in its buildup is useful. Unless the game drags very long or you're exceptionally fed/farmed, you probably wont get to finish this item.

A very fast Radiance on anyone is crazy. With that being said, Nessaj doesn't have a particularly easy time farming it or make himself a menace with it, so it doesn't make sense. You won't be able to fulfill your role as a ganker, because you'll have to be conservative so you don't lose any gold. You'll end up ricing too long, and you'll miss out on ganking mid-game, which is supposed to be Nessaj's shining time.
Usurping the orb effect that should be for either Lifesteal or Feedback is very bad. SnY's bonuses don't do much for Nessaj: He already has high movespeed as well as Reality Rift. Strength is covered by any of Armlet, BKB, Heart and Satanic. Manta gives more stats to your images than SnY, while being more useful. SnY is also expensive compared to better-suiting items like Armlet, Manta, even BKB. SnY is normally an item for heroes to fall back on, if they failed to farm the big item. However, all of Nessaj's core items have comparably affordable parts for the most part. On Nessaj, SnY does not become a fallback item, but rather, a more expensive, less effective, and orb-conflicting one.
Battlefury. Its stats make it seem like a good item for Nessaj, but it doesn�t work well on him for a number of reasons. Nessaj can use the mana regen, but because it�s percent-based and Nessaj has low intel gain (16 starting and only 1.2 gain!), he won't get much from it early on. While cleaved critical hits do make farming easier, Nessaj should not spend a lot of time farming - an item that encourages farming is bad for Nessaj. Battlefury provides no stats or attack speed, meaning you need another item to further enhance farming. Then there's the fact that Battlefury costs more than the modest core extensions listed for far lesser effect. Images gain nothing from it either; no cleave or direct damage. Mana problems can be handled with proper skill use and Bottle + Wand while Armlet or Manta provide better damage, making Battlefury a subpar item.
Due in part to Reality Rift, Basher might seem like a decent item on paper, but it's actually a poor investment on him. The bonuses granted by Basher are minimal compared to other items in the same price range. (Armlet, Diffusal, etc). Illusions do not gain any benefits from Basher; since the last remake, they do not even proc fake bashes (which used to prolong bashes, but not initiate it). Basher is only useful on a few heroes with high attack speed and chasing abilities. Nessaj's low attack speed and many more effective and higher-priority items make Basher a bad choice for Nessaj.

Gameplay Strategy

Nessaj should play conservatively during the laning phase. He should spend his time farming for his core. Nessaj should generally lane with a ranged ally. If his ally has a disable or slow, opportunities for kills can arise in lane.

Take advantage of opportunities that arise in lane, but play conservatively and do not force it; your mana pool is extremely constraining at this point in the game. You should lane at least until you have boots and bottle.

Once you have items somewhere between boots+bottle and your entire core, it's time to find yourself a target. Keep in mind that, unlike many other gankers, Nessaj has a very low mana pool and low burst damage. This should inform the ganks you go for; in particular, you should almost always gank with allies and only go for sure kills.

Abuse the fog of war and try to approach from behind. When you reach your destination, quickly analyze the situation: Important things to consider include allied slows/stuns/disables/nukes, the target's lane partner, the inventories of all heroes involved, enemies missing from the mini map and HP/mana levels (you can and should analyze these as you are traveling to the destination). Proceed by informing your allies of your intentions with a ping and target. Remember that managing mana is important; take only ganks that will grant your team a kill.

Be sure to bottle any runes you come across. While they're all useful, Double Damage and Illusions are the most helpful for ganks.

Try to enter a gank from areas of low visibility (hills, jungle, night). In most cases, you should Reality Rift in, attack once or twice and then cast Chaos Bolt. Obviously, you'll have to adapt as necessary to the enemy's disable or escape skills and to your allies' help. If you get unlucky with a short stun duration, use your judgment to decide whether or not to chase (incoming TPs, health levels, distance to tower). After a successful gank, stay and farm a few creeps while you look for your next victim.

When there are two targets, the gank is a little more tricky; again, analyze the situation. The only significant difference is that sometimes it is better to stun one opponent (to prevent interference - usually heroes with long/many disables or nukes) while attacking the other.

Beyond Ganking:
At some point, the game will move away from ganking. You will then have to transition into the role of a DPSer with a nice stun. Once you have a couple of levels of your ultimate, you can push down buildings with ease (preferably after one or more enemies have been killed). There are two ways to leverage this ability:

The first is to push with your team and threaten a building. In this case, you are trying to force a team clash. Once the team clash occurs, you should bolt someone and rift in. If possible, spawn your images just before this for maximum chaos, but ulting right after rifting is good too. If your team has sufficient initialization, save bolt for later. At this point, you don't do much beyond auto-attacking. The images do not last very long, but it is more than enough for a team fight and razing the building afterward.

The other option is to have your team push one lane while you push another. Your ultimate will allow you to easily destroy any undefended building you come across. If enemies do come, your images can be left attacking the building for heavy damage while you yourself escape. If it's a lone enemy, you can even stun them while you continue taking the building down. This strategy's most successful scenarios are: 1) all 5 enemy heroes go to meet your 4 allies (your team retreats while you raze a building); 2) more than one hero comes to deal with you (your team gains an advantage in the clash).

If your team does not have a harder carry than Nessaj, you should aim to end the game as early as possible - Nessaj is decent late-game, but mid-game is his strongest phase.

Allies & Enemies

Being the kind of hero that he is, CK's dependancy on other heroes in the game is quite generic, but notable
CK has an immediate disable, along with a positioning skill. Thus, ranged heroes with great nuking capabilities/disables but lack mobility is best used with him.
Facing them, your mana would be gone in a couple of seconds. It's true that CK is a decent DPS, but without mana you can't put it to good use at all. Be careful not to expose yourself
Supports with disables, especially strong delay disable is simply amazing with CK. They amplify your potential while you help them reach their full effectiveness with your own.
Well here he is, the universal counter presented in all guides. Sure you're hit a bit easier since you have lots of health, but Doom is just too strong a disable to even make that scarce anyways. However, you're fine if you can bait him to Doom prematurely (lol) or even the wrong target (Illusion bait)

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