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Samukobo's guide to Riki, the backstabber

April 19, 2013 by samukobo
Comments: 6    |    Views: 14343    |   


Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

Vanilla Build

DotA2 Hero: Riki


Purchase Order

Starting Items

Laning phase

Core

Late Game Items/Luxury

Situational

Always carry 1 or 2



Hero Skills

Smoke Screen

2 12 13 14

Blink Strike

1 3 5 7

Cloak and Dagger

4 8 9 10

Tricks of the Trade

6 11 16

Talents

15 17 18

Changelog

  • 4/18/13: Samukobo starts writing the guide.
  • 4/19/13: Samukobo finishes the builds, 2 introductions, Pros/Cons, Skills, Items, and Item build explanation
  • 4/20/13: Samukobo finishes the guide and creates a to do list for tomorrow. Samukoo also realizes he hasn't slept yet.

Introduction to Samukobo

First of all, I would like to introduce myself, and explain why I am writing this guide. I would also like to say that English is not my native language, literally any sort of grammar or spelling correction would be appreciated. ( I don't mind grammar Nazis- I'm one of them too!) This is my first guide and I am not used to formatting, so suggestions here and there (especially about the walls of text) will most likely be accepted. Also take note that I also appreciate any kind of suggestion in the form of constructive criticism and will consider it, test it out and will eventually add it to the guide/reject it and state my comments.
I am not a pro player of any sort, just a regular player trying to get to the high skill bracket as of now amidst the awful state of my teammates. Now, the reason I have decided to make a guide for Riki is the fact that all of the guides are dead at the moment, including the best rated guide by Sarcryn, which also is still useful, but is outdated and does not feature any other skill builds and items other than the skill build and items for Riki that everybody knows. Furthermore, this guide is aimed at intermediate players or at least players that understand the concept of Riki Now, without further ado, here is the introduction to Riki.

Introduction to Riki, the Stealth Assassin

Quoted:
Good Assassins never die. They just... fade away.

Lore


Riki was born middle child to the great dynasty of Tahlin. With an older brother groomed for the throne, and a younger brother coddled and kept, Riki, the small middle son, seemed born for the art of invisibility. It was an art he cultivated, and one which ultimately saved his life on the night that his people were betrayed and his family slaughtered. Of all the royal line, he alone escaped-small and agile, unassuming, using smoke as cover. He cut his way out of the royal grounds, using the advantage of surprise, quietly slitting the throats of one enemy warrior after another. Now free of his royal responsibilities, Riki uses his talents in service to a new trade: Stealth Assassin. He silences his enemies, sharpening his skills, hoping to one day take revenge on those who killed his family and robbed him of his birthright.

Hero role and characteristics


Riki is a melee AGI carry hero that is greatly known for stomping pubs using his ultimate, Permanent Invisibility. Though he is heavily countered by Gem of True Sight, Sentry Wards and Dust of Appearance mostly in the mid game due to him being a squishy hero in terms of HP (he has high armor though), given the right farm, teamwork and team composition, he can carry very well even without his ulti, due to him having one of the best attack boosting He is one of the most common pick in pubs due to most pub players not comprehending the idea of "shutting down a carry" and "countering invisible heroes".

Pros / Cons

Pros
  • Invisible
  • Incredibly high DPS at most stages of the game, especially mid game
  • Has one of the best (if not the best) silences in the game
  • Needs relatively less farm compared to other carries
  • Barely has any mana problems

Cons
  • Invisible
  • Generally Squishy
  • Has no real disable
  • Has no reliable escape mechanism
  • Needs perfect balance between 2 main jobs


Being invisible is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's an OP concept that lets you do whatever you want with your opponents and suddenly turning what they think is a 4v5 teamfight into one of your rampage by silencing them and then slicing their bodies up. On the other hand, it's something that can be useless by 300 gold (or even for just 50 mana or so, assuming the opposing team has Track and/or Amplify Damage) and causes you to fall into absolute panic, because even though permanent invisibility is on, they can see you. And even if you try to run, they will look for you, they will find you, and they will kill you.
Damn that was a horrible pun.
Jokes aside, besides the invisibility, I would like to discuss 2 of the pros/cons: first off, the relatively small need of farm compared to other carries. Like Phantom Lancer who only needs his Tranquil Boots and Diffusal Blade to be effective (besides levels of course), Riki only needs Power Treads and 1 AGI boosting item Diffusal Blade or Yasha, depending on which build you used, to be able to kill squishy enemies in 4 hits. After that, you can pretty much just choose to either build items that apply to 1 or more of the following:
  1. Boosts your agility to further amplify your DPS, such as Eaglesong
  2. Gives you more survivability, such as Vladmir's Offering
  3. Boots your damage output regardless of your agility and gives you additional effects, such as Skull Basher
Next, the perfect balance between 2 jobs I mentioned was farming and participating in teamfights. While Riki is still a carry so he still needs farm, he should also participate in teamfights, as they are a riskier yet larger source of income for him, not to mention Smoke Screen can be absolutely gamebreaking when used correctly. Riki should gank less unless it has a guaranteed large award that is larger than just sitting in lane with a Town Portal Scroll ready to engage once a teamfight brews. Solo ganks for those heroes jungling near you (while they shouldn't be) are highly recommended, especially if that hero is a Drow Ranger or Sniper who didn't do so well early game and is trying to get back on track by getting income form the jungle. Keep in mind that you should only do this if the hero is relatively near you, is not impossible to kill (don't solo someone 6 levels ahead of you) and most importantly does NOT have invisibility detection and allies around.

Skills

Smoke Screen


Ability type:
Targeting Type:


Active
Enemy Units

Throws a smoke bomb down in the area, silencing opponents and causing them to miss on most of their attacks. Also slows by 25% at all levels.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana Cost

75


80


85


90

Cooldown

13


13


13


13

Casting Range

425


425


425


425

AoE

250


275


300


325

Duration

6


6


6


6

Effect

40% miss, -25% IAS and MS, Silence


50% miss, -25% IAS and MS, Silence


60% miss, -25% IAS and MS, Silence


70% miss, -25% IAS and MS, Silence


Notes:
  • Does not silence castable items.

This skill is what makes you a fearful ganker and it is your second most important skill in teamfights. Though it is quite hard to get even 3 heroes in the AOE when against a half decent team, the sheer utility of this spell is what makes it worth the AOE. It could work against casters in a teamfight by silencing them. It could work against DPS heroes in a teamfight by making them lose IAS and accuracy. It could be used in escaping, or even escaping. And lastly, it could be used as a psychological weapon (this is effective against pubs, especially inexperienced players).
How?

If an even slightly fed/farmed Riki activates Smoke Screen, the initial reaction of people who actually know what the skill does is to try to get out of the spell, despite the slow. Therefore:
  1. Inexperienced players will panic for a while, furiously right clicking their base to just get out because Riki just reduced their HP to 50%.
  2. Experienced players on the other hand, will initially try to go out and will resume what they were doing assuming that their teammates can also stay calm like them.

This causes confusion within the enemy team, and therefore giving your team the chance to disable and kill either the inexperienced players who are trying to flee or the experienced players who will initially try to fight (if they haven't noticed some of their teammates fleeing) then flee. The first choice is recommended to increase the chance and number of kills. Lastly, take note that this skill should be used more on squishy disablers rather than carries in an engagement, and that mind games are not proven to be effective against a team with proper coordination and communication (hence, the effectiveness against pubs)

Generally, 1 early point is enough for this skill as the duration does not scale. Heowever, remember to max it out once you have maxed all of your other skills unless you are running the 3rd skill build provided.

Blink Strike


Ability type:
Targeting Type:


Active
Unit

Teleports to a unit and strikes it if it is a foe, dealing bonus damage.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana Cost

50


50


50


50

Cooldown

20


15


10


5

Casting Range

700


700


700


700

AoE

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Duration

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Effect

Deals 30 extra damage


Deals 60 extra damage


Deals 90 extra damage


Deals 120 extra damage


Notes:
  • Damage type: magical
  • Bonus damage is dealt before Riki's regular attack.
  • Teleports to the back of the target, forcing a backstab on the next attack.
  • If the target is an ally, no damage will be dealt.

Your main offensive spell. This spell is especially important in the early game (laning phase) engagements. It can also be used as an emergency escape mechanism by targeting your allies. I've personally seen a lot of people do this- please do NOT use this for farming. It's a waste of mana, really. Besides early game engagements, it has various uses like chasing down heroes, escaping, entering a teamfight to use Smoke Screen, or simply amplifying your damage output. Not much can be said about this skill, really- it's your method of closing in, or getting away. It's not much of a reliable escape mechanism however, as it relies on your allies to actually be there.

Remember to max this out first. The damage output isn't really that impressive, but the 15 seconds off the cooldown timer is well worth the levels.

Backstab


Backstab Ability type:
Targeting Type:


Passive
N/A

If Riki attacks from behind, bonus damage is applied based on his current agility.

Level

1


2


3


4

Mana Cost

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Cooldown

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Casting Range

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

AoE

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Duration

N/A


N/A


N/A


N/A

Effect

Deals 0.5x the Agility of Riki to the targe


Deals 0.75x the Agility of Riki to the target


Deals 1.0x the Agility of Riki to the target


Deals 1.25x the Agility of Riki to the target


Notes:
  • Damage type: physical
  • Bonus damage from Backstab can't be evaded.

The skill that truly makes you a carry. This gives you the DPS, and that unbelievably satisfying animation and sound. Nothing can be said about this passive except that it only procs when attacking a unit from behind (mechanical units and structures are excluded) and that you should always use it unless being behind a unit puts you into a really bad position. Remember that it doesn't have to be the unit's back- this is hard to explain, but as you play Riki, you'll find out that backs aren't that small. So just consider your position, get behind an enemy, then right click. It's that simple.

This is a personal story, but the first time I saw this skill, it was underwhelming. So I just want to clarify for people who were mistaken like me (this mistake was mostly due to the description on playdota) but it applies a percentage of Riki's agility as BONUS DAMAGE. And believe me, when you build agility items on a hero with high starting agility AND an agility gain of 2.9, the damage output is massive.

Anyway, take an early point on this skill, then max it directly after Blink Strike.

Permanent Invisibility


Permanent Invisibility Ability type:
Targeting Type:


Passive
N/A

Riki fades into the shadows, staying permanently invisible except while attacking or using abilities. While silenced, Riki will be visible.

Level

1


2


3

Mana Cost

N/A


N/A


N/A

Cooldown

N/A


N/A


N/A

Casting Range

N/A


N/A


N/A

AoE

N/A


N/A


N/A

Duration

N/A


N/A


N/A

Effect

3 second fade time


2.25 second fade time


1.5 second fade time


Notes:
  • Riki will not auto attack enemies when invisible.

The skill that shapes what Riki is. All there is to this spell is if Riki does not attack, use skills or items for a given amount of time, he turns invisible. That's it. Just remember that you and your allies should always search for invisibility detection in the enemies' inventories. This skill really is simple.

Skill this at the respective levels. The fade time really feels different, and it may save your life time to time if the enemy doesn't get any detection.

Skill Build Explanations

Build 1



This is the vanilla build. It's safe, it works, and it's effective. The point of this build is to get 2 levels in Blink Strike and 1 level on his other skills besides his ultimate. After that, proceed to max Blink Strike, Backstab, Smoke Screen, and then get stats while getting Permanent Invisibility at the respective levels. Riki's skill build is almost always this, and I recommend it if you're new to Riki.

Build 2


This is my personal build. Take note that I will explain myself and take suggestions but please don't tell me to change it, It's my personal build. Anyway, the only difference between this and the vanilla build is that you get Backstab at level 1 instead. (the main difference is on the item builds) Now, what does this do? This adds attack damage if you consider Riki's starting agility and my starting items here. This will give Riki around 80+ attack damage at the start of the game with Backstab, which surpasses every single hero in terms of starting damage even when considering passive skills (except bashes, but they're not really consistent) so basically you get the effect of a Quelling Blade that applies also to heroes and is free at the cost of sacrificing a level 1 Blink Strike, which you'll never use anyway unless it's for harassment, which is not recommended.

Build 3


I would first like to state that this skill build is highly risky, but it gives you a certain attack boost. Do not use this unless you are under a very specific situation. This situation is either when you desperately lack offensive powers for some reason, you can't farm properly because of dying, and your team has sufficient disables to the point that you don't even need Smoke Screen, you just need to take out the enemies faster. When you are not in that situation, don't use this. It is way too risky. However, I would be personally pleased if someone gave some more merits to this skill build, as I really like it.

Build 4


This Build uses a unique item build. Any skill build from the past 3 may be applied to this build.

Items

Starting Items









Cost: 596 gold

The starting items for Riki do not have much variation. This gives you generally everyhing you need: Some AGI for lasthitting power later to be turned into another item, some stats to last longer, and heals. Unless you buy an Animal Courier because your team has 5 carries, or a Ring of Protection beacuse you're running my fourth build, buying anything else is not recommended.

Laning Phase (all possible items)




Cost: 450 gold or 1400 Gold

You should have of these in the laning phase. The first if you want to rush an item, the second if you don't. Any other boots are unacceptable on a Riki, unless it's really late in the game and you need Boots of Travel.



Cost: 985 Gold

This gives you some nice stats, some damage, some armor, and the mana regen isn't that bad either. It is often overlooked in favor of 2 Wraith Bands, but this is argurably better and more cost-efficient. Lastly, it only takes 1 item slot. So which is better? This and a Town Portal Scroll, or 2 Wraith Bands for almost the same price? The first choice obviously trumps the other.



Cost: 550 Gold

Let's be honest here. The only true merit to this item is the fact that it diverts from the 2 Slippers of Agility -ies that we buy as a starting item. The damage block is nice too, but Riki has high starting armor anyway, and it doesn't block nukes, the Bane of Riki's existence.

Mid game/Core (General Items)





Cost: 3300 Gold (+850 with upgrade)

This is it. THIS is what makes Riki what he is. One of the highest Agility boosting Items in the game, and that's mostly the only reason you're really getting this.It does have some very useful extra features though. The mana burn only matters when you have Manta Style, but is still a mana burn nontheless. The extra damage is very good, and the intelligence also helps, but the best feature of this besides its agility is its active, Purge. This allow you to take away buffs, loads of mana and other positive things from 1 opponent. A LOT of times. It IS charge based, but that doesn't really matter because by the time the charges run out, you'll have another item that boosts your DPS by a huge amount. This active also slows, allowing you to nullify that Repeled Sven with his God's Strength on. Just make sure to use it sparingly.



Cost: 2050 Gold

A rather overlooked item for Riki. True, Diffusal Blade Grants a lot of bonuses compared to this item. But there are some things that this item has that personally makes me feel that this item is in fact better than Diffusal Blade.
  • It costs around 2000 less when compared to the fully upgraded Diffusal Blade
  • It is composed of relatively easier-to-farm parts
  • It is further upgradable to Manta Style, giving more late game options
  • It gives more attack speed compared to Diffusal Blade
  • For 2000 less, you get 10 less in terms of agility. 10 agility is quite a lot when boosting Riki's DPS, but that can be compensated by a couple of levels which could be obtained quicker if Riki is online faster; and here we are again at the price.
  • It gives huge permanent mobility. If Riki gets Power Treads, then he will have 390 movespeed with Yasha, allowing him to chase down most heroes down coupled with Blink Strike.
Granted, it doesn't have the additional 10 agility, active, mana burn, and mana. But Riki rarely even needs the latter 2, and the active is limited. I can therefore conclude that the only advantage Diffusal Blade has over Yasha is a limited active, and a small amount of agility easily gained by a few levels, as opposed to Yasha having the advantages of a lower price, more attack speed, more late game options and more mobility. And besides, in a really good match, farming up 4150 is tedious, boring and slow. Riki is all about speed. Need I say more?

Quoted:
Are you telling me to skip Diffusal Blade in favor of Yasha? You idiot!

I personally take both. It's just that I get Yasha first to get Riki online faster.



Cost: 2050 Gold

When you say "survivability for Riki", this is what it means. Forget the armor, the HP regen and mana regen (they're still good for you, though) 16% lifesteal and 15% bonus damage, baby! Did I mention Riki has huge base damage because you build his agility for DPS? This item is core if you don't think what Riki's survivability at that point is enough. Don't let the supports get this, unless they're stalking you and you never get out of the AOE. You REALLY need that lifesteal, especially if you're going build 4. My personal testing states that you don't really need it however. But it offers a much safer playstyle for Riki.



Cost: 2600 Gold

THIS ITEM IS YET TO BE TESTED. DO NOT TAKE IT COMPLETELY SERIOUSLY. This item has gained popularity on carries in general since its recent buff, it has not been tested that much on Riki however. But that doesn't mean it's a bad item. Coupled with an item ( Vladmir's Offering) that can nullify the 40HP loss per second (It's actually 32- the item grants you 8 HP regen. That doesn't count the HP regen you get from the other items and Vladimir's Offering's lifesteal), this item provides HUGE benefts for its low price. That's 40 damage, 25 attack speed, 25 Strength, 5 armor and 8 HP regen, for the price of a whopping 2600 and an HP loss that can be easily nullified. It also allows you to do "the" pro move, toggling it on and off to gain virtually infinite health in an escape situation.

Luxury Items (DPS)








These are your basic choices when you need DPS. Of these, Skull Basher (or Abyssal Blade), Manta Style, and Butterfly are recommended the most because they fit in well with Riki's general playstyle and prior item choices. The others won't hurt anyway: get any of them depending on the situation, but Manta Style and Butterfly are almost always the 2 best choices. I will also include Battlefury as an honorary mention (as I have heard it's quite a good item from a fellow player). The honorary mention list also includes Heaven's Halberd if you make Sange and Yasha then upgrade it to that and Manta Style. Take note that almost any effect can stack with Backstab, as Backstab is not a unique attack modifier.

Luxury Items (Survivability)







These are your basic choices when you need suvivability. Any of these can qualify, but the best would have to be Black King Bar as it blocks most nukes that can kill Riki. If you just need raw HP, get Heart of Tarrasque or Satanic. If you for some reason need armor (or are just after the attack speed and minus armor aura) then get Assault Cuirass. Otherwise (which is most situations), just get your Black King Bar.

Rejected Items




You don't need to be a genius to realize you don't need more invisibility items. Never get this. Case closed.





You get the point. You're not a support. Don't get any support item besides Vladmir's Offering.





You're not an INT caster.





The idea of these items on Riki are just plain wrong. Never get these, as you will find no use for them at all.

Item Build Explanation

Build 1


The vanilla build's point is to rush Diffusal Blade as fast as possible while possibly getting items such as Power Treads and Vladmir's Offering along the way. After that, basically anything goes as the build's focus is on the mid game, where Riki shines most. This build is very standard, but it's guaranteed to work almost every single time.

Build 2


My personal build's focus is to rush Yasha as fast as possible and then build Diffusal Blade after getting Power Treads at the start for maximum offensive power. After that, I get Skull Basher followed by a Manta Style or Butterfly, depending on my gold capacity. You would notice that this build has no defense at all, but I personally play on pubs where noone even cares about invisibibility detection so at max level, if I survive for 1.5 seconds, I live. thus the low need for survivability. If faced by a competent opposing team, I will absolutely get Vladmir's Offering and/or Black King Bar for defensive purposes, but normally this build suits me just fine. (My skill build is static though)

Build 3


This Build uses a unique Skill Build and can apply any of the other item builds.

Build 4


The most unique build of the bunch. This build focuses on being tanky compared to the average Riki with Armlet of Mordiggian and [Vladmir's Offering]] while still dealing moderate damage using Yasha, and getting STR based items later on while boosting Riki's damage output. While it may lack the explosive DPS of the other builds, it compensates by turning Riki into something resembling an STR carry while still maintaining some of his power. This build is yet to be furtherly tested and can not guarantee results, but is still a very interesting build, if I may say so myself.

General Gameplay

Choosing Your Lane


What you want to do after getting your items is head over to a dual lane or a trilane, preferrabbly on the safe lane. Riki is not very versatile when it comes to laning as he is not capable of solo laning and does not have any reliable disables. So he basically needs ranged babysitters to help him make it through the early game, perhaps with a kill or two. Just make sure to never solo a lane, much less go mid. Remember: you are NOT Bounty Hunter, you are Riki. So do NOT solo, and make sure you're the only carry in your lane.

Early Game


Farm. Just farm until you get your Power Treads and at least 1 core item. Depending on your build, abuse your Backstab to get more accurate last hits compared to other players. And most importantly, do NOT harass. That's your babysitters' job. Tell them to hit the enemy heroes, not the enemy creeps. (Trust me, I hate players that do that. Especially when they're support)That pushes the lane and it makes it difficult for you to get farm. You COULD potentially get first blood though. If the chance for first blood arises, go for it. A 500+ gold start is excellent for Riki. Just make sure you don't get stunned near their tower and die.

Mid Game


It is hard to grasp where the balance between farming and ganking as Riki is. Perhaps it is more on the ganking side, because most people have quite a lot of success there. Riki is definitely one of the best in tems of solo ganking a lone hero, but other than that, ganking is not advised. You are a carry after all. However, as I previously mentioned, being in almost all the teamfights is important. You get online far sooner than most carries, especially those hard carries out there like Faceless Void and Phantom Assassin. Abuse that factor.

Late Game


If you've done things right with the right teammates, then you should be far ahead of any other hero in the battlefield right now due to you abusing your huge mid game potential. If so, end the game as fast as possible. Best case scenario, the game ends before you even reach level 20. If not, then don't panic- you still rock in the late game. Just make sure to shut down their potential keys to success and never, EVER lose a teamfight. After winning teamfights, just push your way to victory.

After the Game


Did you win? Then congratulations! Did you lose? Well then blame your team you can do better next time! Now test out another build or more importantly: watch your replay. There is ALWAYS something you did wrong. You can NEVER be perfect at DotA, and you know that. Did you miss a lot of creeps because you roamed by didn't get any hero kills? Did you forget to use Smoke Screen and lost a teamfight because of that? Did you get killed there because you forgot to check Kunkka's inventory and never realized he had a Gem of True Sight? The possibilities are endless. Another thing you could also do is look for professional Rikis- there aren't that many, but you can certainly learn a thing or two from them.

To Do List

  • Friends, Foes, and Lane Partners
  • Add Replays
  • Add Detail into the General Gameplay Section by using photos from a match
  • Improve the overall layout and color
  • Further Testing of the Armlet Build
  • Do better jokes

Notes

  • Most of the information on the skills provided in the skills area are from playdota.com and dota2.com and the section will be 100% credited for the sites, excluding the personal insights provided and the slight word editing (Rikimaru to Riki, etc)
  • Excuse my bad puns.

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