62 Votes

Rikimaru Comes For You

February 19, 2012 by Laminatedweasel
Comments: 27    |    Views: 328578    |   

Ganking Not Tanking

DotA2 Hero: Riki

Purchase Order

Starting Items

Early Game

Mid Game

Late Game

Luxury Items

Hero Skills

Smoke Screen

3 10 13 14

Blink Strike

1 5 8 12

Cloak and Dagger

2 4 7 9

Tricks of the Trade

6 11 16


15 17 18



Disclaimer: This guide is my most common build for my most commonly used Hero for Riki. There are many builds for Riki, this is just my favorite and works very well for the way I play.

Riki is a powerhouse carry that you love to have as an assist to a gank and hate to play against. Riki's damage can get out of hand very quickly if he is allowed to free-farm a lane. Playing Riki is based upon effectively taking advantage of opportunities to strike down individual opponents and/or support team battles with targeted single-target damage and smoke.

Early Game

At the beginning of the game, Riki is an extremely fragile hero. Paired with his low damage, he's a prime target to be ganked before level 6 when he gains Permanent Invisibility.

Here are some guideline's for excelling in the early levels:

  • Focus on gaining experience, not last hits and denies. I know this is semi-counter
    intuitive, but getting to level 6 without dying is you main priority.
  • Don't attempt to jump any enemy hero's early on in the game unless it is a certain kill, Riki's damage is very low until he levels up his Backstab and his health pool is even lower.
  • Know enemy hero's ability to stun and slow in your lane and keep an appropriate distance.

The current starting game item build I use allows for Tangos and a Poor Man's Shield to be bought from the start of the game with just a single creep kill. Once you get that extra 40 gold, buy another Slippers of Agility at the side shop and keep on fighting.

Mid Game

By this point in the game, you should have at least bought a Diffusal Blade. This item, in addition to its superior amount of agility, has an extremely useful active ability that almost always guarantees a kill when used properly. By mid-game, even if the game isn't necessarily going your way, Riki tends to be one of the heros that still has the ability to pick off higher level characters.

Here are some guideline's for excelling in the mid-game:

  • Continue to farm as much as possible, Riki is a very item-dependent hero.
  • When you see a secluded hero, this is your opportunity to strike. Break stealth by using your Smoke Screen and immediately applying your Diffusal Blade's active ability purge on the target. This will force him to stay in your smoke cloud and remain silenced for his remaining few living seconds.
  • DO NOT initiate fights! People know Riki is a glass-cannon of sorts and he instantly becomes a primary target when spotted.
  • Stand behind your target at all times! The majority of Riki's damage is from his Backstab ability.
  • Remember your CQC "Stab, Retract, Stab, Retract".

Late Game & Dealing with True Sight

This phase of the game isn't too much different other than many obstacles people will begin to use to detract Riki from killing them the moment they are alone.

Here I will hit upon how to work with True Sight items and abilities.

Hero's with abilities to look out for:


Slardar - His ultimate, which is on a quick cooldown, gives a lengthy true sight for the other team on you so there is no running from that battle. If you feel the need to attempt to gank Slardar, make sure you know where on the map the enemy team is and that they are not going to lead you off on your way back to your base.

Bounty Hunter - BH's ultimate allows the other team to not only have a lengthy true-sight on you but also constant vision of you wherever you may be on the map. Bring an ally to kill Bounty Hunter as he is a difficult hero for Riki to kill unless he is under-leveled.

Bloodseeker - This isn't usually something you have to worry about, but when you get to extremely low health, Bloodseeker has much improved movement speed as well as vision and true-sight of you. Avoid this position by keeping your health above 20% at all times.

Zues - Although this usually isn't much of an issue, Zues's ultimate gives true-sight for a moment when it is used. Just try not to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when that is used.

Silencer - Although I have already mentioned above that any silence will take you out of stealth, I figured I would mention silencer's ultimate. His mapwide silence probably won't be used to detect Riki, but when it is used it can scare the **** out of you as you are stalking enemy movement. Quickly find someone where to lay low for a minute while the debuff subsides.

Check your enemies inventories before battles!

Items to look out for:

Dust of Appearance - This is a cheap item which will many times be the first reaction of the enemy to be able to reveal you. If you see an enemy has this item, know they will use it as soon as they see you. Have enough allied help nearby or at least have enough map awareness that you won't die after your kill.

Gem of True Sight - Obviously one of the most difficult items for Riki to deal with. Find out which of the players is carrying it and attempt to have that hero be the primary target for your team. With a true-sight gem in play, Riki's effectiveness as a carry is severely lowered. Once the gem is obtained throw it in your main rather than carrying it around, this will prevent this same situation from reoccurring upon an accidental death.

Sentry Ward - If they don't have a gem and you don't have the Dust of Appearance debuff, then you can generally assume they are using sentry wards. These are the easiest to deal with, as walking out of their range renders them ineffective. Rather than counter-warding to kill them, you are best off saving your money and just avoiding that general area for a while.

Orchid Malevolence - This item gives a 5 second silence and can be used as a way to prevent Riki to re-stealth after an attack. This isn't a very common go-to tactic used against Riki, but it is definitely a threat when playing against someone who knows what they are doing.


All in all, Riki is a very strong hero, and if nothing else quite an extreme nuisance to the other team. Try to avoid stacking stealthed heros on a team as this will guarantee the enemy team buying a plethora of anti-stealth items and making it much harder to gank as they will always be watching their back.

I hope this guide/build help's you learn the mechanics of the hero and allows you for once to be the one killing everyone as Riki instead of dying to him :)

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