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


22 Votes

Now you see me....Now you dont! A guide to updated riki

December 26, 2015 by KoDyAbAbA
Comments: 32    |    Views: 136590    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

Build #1:my build

DotA2 Hero: Riki

Hero Skills

Smoke Screen

3 9 13 14

Blink Strike

2 4 7 12

Tricks of the Trade

1 5 8 10

Cloak and Dagger

6 11 16


15 17 18


Riki, also known as the leader of the much feared "2K MMR stomper gang"which also includes very very "OP" heroes such as Sniper, Ursa and Pudge.

In this guide, I'm going to try and remove this misconception from the minds of the readers and introduce them to the depth of this seemingly easy hero.

Riki,The invisible Assassin

Riki is an agility hero infamous for his skill Permanent invisibility, which, well, gives him permanent invisibility :P.

He's a little blue guy who excels in picking off out of position supports and squishy carries.The biggest mistake due to which Riki snowballs out of control; lack of positioning and a general dearth of Sentry Warders and stunners in a typical pub game.

As a hero that greatly benifits from Agility items, players usually make glass cannon rikis, rushing mask of maddness into Skull Basher into something, which is an entirely wrong way to play the hero.

Pros and cons


  • Very high damage output.
  • Permanent invis wrecks face in pub games.
  • Insane gap-closing powers with Blink Strike.
  • Has better than average presence in lane due to Smoke Screen.

  • Very very squishy.
  • Countered by sentry wards and Gem of True Sight.
  • Very low strength and strength gain.
  • No solid disable.


This is, by far, the most underrated skill in Riki's kit. people tend to skip this skill, maxing it last.What this decision does is, it reduces riki's Survivability by a very large extend, also hampering his kill potential. Smokes Screen provides us with a 250 AoE 6 second silence on a measly 11 second cooldown at level 1 at trivial a mana cost of 75.For comparison, a level one Silence from [{Death prophet]] costs you 80 mana and silences only for 3 seconds, which is 3 seconds less than Smoke Screen. Apart from reducing his survivability and killing prowess, Smoke Screen also serves as a very potent escape and pushing tool as the 70 % miss chance affects creeps.

So,basically what you do is you push the lane, and then near the enemy tower, you put your Smoke Screen, effectively preventing the enemy creeps from hitting your creeps, giving your team a lot more time to take down the tower.

This same principle can be used to prevent your towers from being pushed.This something that i almost never see because people just refuse to think when playing some heroes :c.

mana cost:75/80/85/90

Plain and simple, this skill enables riki to blink behind the targeted enemy and deal bonus damage apart from the agility bonus (Since riki will appear behind the target).It is an amazing chase tool with a very low cooldown.

Please remember that this is exactly like Phantom Assassin's blink, meaning that you can use it on an ally too in the case that you have to escape or reach someplace fast.

Mana cost:50

The most misunderstood skill in the whole game.People usually max this skill in hopes of dealing tonnes of damage... and then proceed to build Mask of Madness> Skull Basher on the hero. Seriously just read the description, its not that difficult. it scales off AGILITY.Its simple,stack agility; hit fast, hit hard and win game.
please note that the damage applies only when hitting from the back (duh), but here's the catch;backstab works on an 105 degree radius from the back, implying that you can hit from the heroes side and still proc [{Backstab]].

The second part of the skill is pretty straight forward, it gives you permanent invis.We max this skill first because it increases your damage as well as reduces fade time.

so basically, this is what the skill doe :

Agi multiplier:0.5/0.75/1/1.25
Fade time:6/5/4/3

Holy molly this skill is amazing.It renders riki invincible and hits every hero in the radius of this skill from behind, once every second over a duration of 6 seconds when maxed, resulting in a total of 6 backstab attacks if the target stays inside the circle for the full duration.

This is huge, because when paired up with some awesome team-fight disable like ravange or say, Reverse Polarity, you will be doing humongous amounts of damage to the entire enemy team.

Also, please remember that doing literally anything cancels Tricks of the Trade. yeah. You cant use your items, skill or issue a move command.Everything you do cancels your ultimate.

Max Channel Time: 4/5/6
Radius: 475
Mana cost: 75
Cooldown: 70

Item progression- normal

Early game

you start with a Stout Shield to protect you from any harass that might be inflicted on you in laning stage, 3 iron branches cuz gg branches OP :3 along with a set of tangoes to heal you in case of nuke dropping by pesky supports.

The Stout Shield is quickly upgraded to Poor Man's Shield to reduce the damage that you take by a decent proportion while increasing your agility which is always a welcome addition.The Magic Wand is a very important item on Riki early on as he needs that burst of hp and mana to survive ganks as well as pull off that last Blink Strike to kill the enemy or Smoke Screen which can turn the tide in a gank.brown boots no explanation needed here.

Core items

: power treads are the preferred choice of boots for [[riki because of the 36 attack speed that the items grants you (when on agility).This item also gives you enough health to run away from that surprise gank, or enough mana to get off that crucial smokescreen or Blink Strike.

is core, i repeat core on Riki due to the massive amount of agility that it gives,the mana break it provides and the insane slow it gives you. Diffusal Blade fills the need of a solid disable that is an inherent weakness of riki]. the mana break is especially effective against heroes which have a dire need for mana but are mana-starved.[[Riki can quickly burn through their mana, leaving them quite helpless early game. The purge provided by this item is invaluable to Riki as it slows the enemies and removes any debuffs that they might have placed on you including Track, amplify damage and Dust of Appearance.

GOOD NEWS:The update of 6.83 dictates that Diffusal Blade shall no longer be a UNIQUE ATTACK MODIFIER,meaning that lifesteal now stacks with Diffusal Blade.KA-CHING MOTHERF***ERS.

This is a huge, I mean HUGE buff to Riki as now he gets the benifits of lifesteal along with the mana burn/purge from Diffusal Blade,enabling him to make a Satanic for the late game which also makes him pretty tanky when coupled up with his massive agility derived armor.
here is a list of very important purgable buffs/debuffs in game:
  • Track from Bounty Hunter
  • Amplify damage from Slardar
  • Dust of Appearance
    {*] Ancient Seal from Skywrath Mage
  • Enrage from Ursa (this will completely remove his extra damage!)
  • Frostbite from Crystal Maiden (completely remoeves any utility that [[crystal maiden *might* provide)
  • Laser from Tinker (removes the blind)
  • Hex from Lion
  • Hex from Shadow Shaman

    :After completing your Diffusal Blade, you must rush Black King Bar.The reason is simple,you are squishy.In order to survive a teamfight,in which he is always targeted first,this item is necessary. Black King Bar gives you a decent strength gain,some damage and magic immunity, making it an overall good item for Riki.

    & :After making Black King Bar you can either go Skull Basher if you think that you can sustain without the lifesteal, or you make Helm of the Dominator for the lifesteal. You might ask, why not some other form of lifesteal? The answer is that you CAN make other forms of lifesteal.This is our preferred choice of lifesteal because it can be made into a Satanic which is hardcore :{D.

    Core extension

    : Monkey King Bar is a very good item on riki because of its insane synergy with attack speed, making it proc like crazy,greatly increasing your DPS.Also useful to counter any attempts at making Butterfly or heavens halberd to shut you down.

    : This item gives you an overall of 97.5 damage while increasing your attackspeed by 60. It also gives you a qctive ability which gives you 20% move speed and a chance to evade a little more than once every 3 attacks. Very good item to purchase if the enemies are not purchasing Monkey King Bar's(which they will) or if your are ROFL-stomping the game.

    : Gives the biggest damage boost in the game,second only to the Divine Rapier (which is a dumb item).What's not to like?please note that the critical strike does not apply to backstab damage!. Yeah, I know, its sad.

    Abbysal blade: awesome item. gives you a stun that pierces Black King Bar.I mean, that's huge! You can potentially deny the enemy of 2 seconds of bkb time!.Also, very good damage :D

    : one of the best disables in the game, supplemented by your invisibility means that the enemy is not going anywhere for a long time, allowing you to deal a ****-tonne of damage.It also , serves as a perfect set-up for your allies to come in with additional disables, pretty much ending the matter right there.

item progression-utility and aura carrier.

Some times you can pick Riki on the number 3 spot when running a ganking lineup or otherwise.In this approach, you won't be getting as much farm as you are supposed to be getting, so you will concentrate on having solid utility for your team. Ring of aquilla gives you solid damage and mana regeneration for your team. Drum of Endurance is one of the most cost efficient items in the game, giving you a solid mid game presence with its amazing bonuses.Vladimir's mask for your carry and that damage boost. Then you proceed to make your core Diffufsal blade so that you can do some decent damage yourself and it also gives you unparalleled utility in the form of a very potent slow and mana-break.

The situational items have to made according to the rival draft and playstyle.

Remember that in this kind of playstyle, Riki won't be getting gold via kills, rather he will be gaining gold and exp via incessant ganking and general team oriented plays.

item progression-offlane

In the offlane, you can't make the normal items simply due to the fact that you cannot last hit effectively. So what you do is, you make items which can be made relatively easily and give you much more survivability and utility.

Core items

is a very good item on Riki as, combined with his more than normal movement speed and good chasing potential, Sange and Yasha gives you a decent combination of survivability,damage and movement speed which makes your mid game a bit more solid.

cuz we gotta go vroom vroom :D. but honestly, a good combination of movement speed,health and attack speed which is very good for Riki

Core extension

after that, you break down your Sange and Yasha to make Heavens halberd which gives you an amazing anti carry disable and slow, while increasing your survivability by a lot; and also make the Manta Style.

Manta Style and Diffusal Blade together make a formidable combination as your illusion also get the mana feed back ability from Diffusal Blade, increasing your damage by a lot while giving you a decent escape/extra purge.You can also do the good old
illusion Riki switcheroo in which you bait enemy spells with your illusions which also get invisibility like you!

euls scepter of divinity is honestly, an underrated item on Riki.It functions similarly as Diffusal Blade,having a similar purge, only that the cool-down is longer and you cannot slow the enemy.The speed bonus is always welcome :D


Early game

In terms of skill choices, Riki has a choices in front of him. If he is offlane against a high harass lane, he should opt from permanent invisibility to somewhat increase his survivability while forcing supports to buy sentrys/dust.

In the safelane Riki can skill backstab to facilitate last hitting and denying farm to the enemy carry as the extra damage from backstab is applied during denying your own creeps too.

In very rare cases, Riki can also skill Smoke Screen as a decent one can serve as a good disable in early gank attempts if put near clutch positions.

As a Riki, one must play a bit passively early game as he is pretty squishy and has no reliable escape before level 6.At level 6, you can gank mid lane for an easy kill when combined with a stun.After hitting level 6, Riki should start working on his Diffusal Blade,starting with the Blade of Alacrity, which gives us a decent boost to his damage output.

The brass tacks

Riki is a surprisingly good aura carrier as you can cast all active abilities without breaking invisibility,which is why you are the preferred Vladimirs mask carrier for your team.As a Riki who did not get much farm, you are invaluable in setting up ganks for your team due your amazing ganking capability with a single item; ( Diffusal Blade ). You can essentially shut down the enemys team mid game when coupled with any stun (preferably strength heroes like Tiny, Sven and powerful offlaners like Centaur Warrunner and Tusk.).

What this does is, other than drastically increasing your early-mid game presence, it also gives you a teammate with identical farm who can handle the game in your absence (if you are dead, pushing some other lane, running away from a bad confrontation,went #YOLO into enemy team,etc,etc)

The above mentioned is necessary because after all, you are not a very hard carry, and having a backup Sven-ska or Tiny to deal that massive AoE physical damage while taking advantage of your unnaturally large AoE silence is always good news :D.

General gameplay guidelines

Supports are generally Riki food as they are very squishy, therefore vulnerable to backstab and Blink Strike damage which Riki can supply aplenty.

Do not, I repeat,Do Not mess with stunners.They are your bane of your existence. Outside of your Black King Bar which is made for the sole reason to save you from stuns and silences, you cannot hope to outlast stuns and other disables as you are too ******* squishy.Just stay away from them in fights or kill them in your silence.

In the late game, you kind of fall off due to the purchase of Monkey King Bar or Black King Bar by the enemy carries, completely destroying any presence you might have had against them. In this phase of the game, you must focus on quickly killing the supports,thereby reducing any disables that may turn the tide of that 50-minute fight.

your combo.

This is your basic combo when ganking an enemy:
Walk near the enemy hero, hit him once, use smoke, hit him again, blink in , hit, hit, blink again, hit,hit, smoke again, hit,hit, use last blink (for level 6), hit, hit.Then hit him some more. If after 1-1.5 minutes the hero is still standing, you should probably hit off like a jack ***ed ape.

rinse and repeat combo boyz.

Euls scepter of divinity

oh, and purge any stuff they might have put on you. Thats about it.

Euls sceptre of divinity is an amazingly good item for you, mainly because it acts as a cheap secondary purge/lifesaver, but also due to the movespeed bonus and mana regeneration, making you less reliant on your team for mana and incessantly ganking the enemy team till their battle-plan is in tatters and their integrity is shattered by your murderous rampage,leaving decimated bodies which once contained the souls of their carries.

*Dramatic stare into the horizon*

What not to do when playing riki.

Honestly there are a lot of mistakes that one makes when playing riki, so I have decided to make this section for highlighting them:

  • Do not over-extend, you can't even survive a 2 man non-stun gank.
  • Don't try to initiate without Black King Bar, you won't life through it.
  • Always carry TP scrolls.
  • Check for Dust of Appearances and Gem of True Sights on the supports,better safe than sorry!.
  • Always remember, you can purge everything off you, even if it doesn't work; no big deal you tried :).
  • Never get cocky, you never know when a single stun may take you out of a fight.
  • Don't target the tanks, take out the squishys.
  • Beware of Monkey King Bar pickups, they radically change your play style.
  • Even though Dagon will help you pwn noobs, you can't go beyond 35 mins on that build, when the enemies will have Black King Bars,completely nullifying any damage you might have had.

Friends and Foes

Basically anyone who can stun, slow or silence the enemy so that you can go downtown :D

: This guy gives you everything i mentioned above, and more.
He can chain stun the enemy, follow it up with a slow, give you bonus movement and attack-speed, and soak up a LOT of hits.Me like this <3.

: Slows the enemy, heals you while damaging the enemy, gives you a free Black King Bar, negates that nasty carry damage. What's not to like?

: A very high skill combination, but the results are devastating for the enemy team.This combo utilizes the combination of two heroes, one who lacks damage, and one who lacks a disable to make a very potent mixture of damage,survivability and mobility. When coupled with good warding, this duo can suddenly gank badly-positioned supports and carries alike and destroy them. Very good combo, but very hard to execute due to the absence of a solid disable before the purchase of Skull Basher.

: So, lets see, A long ranged and long duration stun with an AoE move speed and attack speed slow, a very potent movement slow in a different ability, a scouting tool, and bonus attack speed. Lets just say that Riki and Beastmaster have a very good synergy with each other.


This team is most likely your ultimate counter:
no seriously. Mass stuns, low cooldown nukes;any disables in general are hard counters to Riki:

: this guy, is your bane. Two very potent disables and one of the heaviest nukes in the whole ******* game.Uh, and he also takes away your precious mana ;_; . Very difficult to play against, has to be neutralized first if you don't have Black King Bar.

: A hard early game and a moderate late-counter here. Tracks you to effectively nullify your invisibility effect.Purge track, Trap in silence and kill.

: one of the best disablers and harassers in the game. Leave him and his lane alone, or kill him. Only two choices here bro.

: Tracks you, has a decent nuke. Use diffusal, ez gaem.

: nothing much to say here.

: early game counter. Just run away.

: They buy sentry? you buy sentry. ez.

: A bit tricky. The tankiest guy will have gem, who you cannot kill, so you have to play cautiously.

Rejected items.

mask of maddness : Even though this is a item which is widely procured by a majority or Riki players, its not good.It is slightly effective in low level pubs simply due to e general lack of stuns/nukes picked and what i like to call "rikiphobia".Just hit the blue piece of **** when he's on Mask of madness and watch him melt like butter on freshly baked gingerbread.

Dagon : only good when you are playing with people who look at the keyboard when casting skills. 'nuff said.

: Why not right? gives you highest agility in the game right? WRONG. Why waste money on Ethereal Blade and get a nuke which you have no use for, when you can buy a Butterfly and do what you are meant to do? Only good when you have poor supports with huge nuke potential (very situational) or when you want to somewhat extend after wasting all your gold on dagon

Important please read.

Even though I have condemned the Mask of Madness into Skull Basher build, you must understand why I have done this. What this build does is, it gives you a above decent damage output and semi-reliable disable, which, as I already emphasized, is Riki's inherent weakness. But what this build also does is,it makes Riki so weak that he can hardly survive a solo hero nuking combo without dropping below 40%. Riki, in the end, is an assassin, he must have enough survivability to kill a person and sneak away right? that is why I recommend the Diffusal Blade into Black King Bar build as it gives you very high consistent damage and above decent survivability, which is key to thriving as an assassin.

Things to do.

Add stuff.
Add videos.
argue with people.


Many times, when playing Riki you are greeted by the general "he's a noob" response.I don't like this kind of attitude.Sure, he is a easy hero and easy to stomp with. That doesn't mean that he does not have any depth at all. In my guide, i have tried to change this perspective of players against this hero and hope that you will accept him without any misgivings from the future :).

I hope that this guide is to everyone's liking.Please feel free to give suggestions and keep the arguements going!
If you really liked my guide, please check out my other guides

Quick Comment (34) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (34) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

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