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36 Votes

Wraith King - Lord of Trainwrecking by E1 Mariachi [7.02]

February 11, 2017 by E1Mar1ach1
Comments: 43    |    Views: 454579    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3
Build 4

Carry / DPS

DotA2 Hero: Wraith King

Purchase Order

Starting Items (Stout or Quelling)

Healing Salve
Quelling Blade
Stout Shield
Iron Branch
Iron Branch

Farming Alternatives

Hand of Midas

Boots Options

Power Treads
Phase Boots

Initiation / Gap Closing

Blink Dagger

Mid Game Alternatives

Echo Sabre
Skull Basher
Armlet of Mordiggian
Drum of Endurance
Black King Bar

Late Game Extensions

Abyssal Blade
Assault Cuirass
Monkey King Bar
Eye of Skadi
Sange and Yasha
Heart of Tarrasque
Boots of Travel
Moon Shard

Anti-Mage? Is that you?

Soul Ring

Sample Item Build

Power Treads
Blink Dagger
Assault Cuirass
Abyssal Blade
Town Portal Scroll

Hero Skills

Wraithfire Blast

1 3 5 7

Vampiric Aura

2 8 9 11

Mortal Strike

4 13 14 16


6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

+25% Vampiric Aura Lifesteal
Reincarnation Casts Wraithfire Blasts
No Reincarnation Mana cost
2x Skeletons Spawned
+35 Skeletons Attack Damage
+15 Strength
+1.5s Wraithfire Blast Slow Duration
+20 Attack Speed


Ostarion is a versatile hero, who can theoretically be set in all positions (#1 to #5). His simple but effective abilties allow him to viably support, tank or dps carry, while he fits none of this per se and is alway a very situational pick depending on the teams' compositions.



For untold years, King Ostarion built a kingdom from the remains of his enemies. It was an obsessive's errand, done to pass the long eternities of a monarchy that seemed fated never to end. He believed that as long as he built up the towers of his palace, he could not die. But eventually he learned that he had been deluded...that bone itself could perish. Deeply mistrustful of flesh, he sought a more permanent way of extending his reign, and at last settled on pursuit of wraith energy, a form of pure spirit given off by certain dark souls at death. Should he infuse himself with Wraith Essence, he thought he might create a body as luminous and eternal as his ego. On the millennial solstice known as Wraith-Night, he submitted to a rite of transformation, compelling his subjects to harvest enough souls to fuel his ambition for immortality. No one knows how many of his champions died, for the only survivor who mattered was the Wraith King who rose with the sun on the following morn. Now he rarely spends a moment on his glowing throne--but strides out with sword drawn, demanding a fealty that extends far beyond death.

This guide is dedicated to Ostarion, The Skeleton King -- may the memory of the true king never fade D:

(c) dwindlekin @ deviantart


Greetings again, fellow DOTAFire members and visitors,

welcome to my guide to Wraith King, formerly known as Skeleton King in DotA 2, formerly known as King Leoric (from WC3-DotA/Blizzard titles). This one is my 3rd full length guide to be published as usual exclusively on DOTAFire with an ingame build order to come for those, who trust in the build(s) I will provide.

This guide is based on the newest update: "The New Jouney" version 7.01 , so I will be discussing past changes only, if they have an impact on the understandability of the guide itself or happended very recently.

Ostarion is pretty versatile, though at the first glance he has a rather simple skill set. With a solid stun, build-in crits and lifesteal (aura) and his signature ultimate Reincarnation he can be brought to multiple uses, but can be countered in multiple ways too. Once you get ahead in farm or build properly, Ostarion can be a crushing nightmare to his foes from mid to late game.

The thing about Wraith King making him so special, is his play style. There is a special feel to it, going in and manfighting the **** out of some clowns, resurrecting and punching the rest of them to ashes with a bad *** sword. What makes Ostarion superior to other big blade carriers is the consciousness of being a unkillable train rolling over the enemy team, leaving a trail of havoc, devastation and gore behind. So get ready to roll, 'cause the train is departing -- CHOO CHOO, CRIT CRIT :D

I am E1 Mariachi, DotA player on a regular basis with way over 4k games played in DotA 2 and I can call Wraith King one of my favorite heroes. I now have a dotabuff statistic of 71.19% win rate with Wraith King, though usually being a mostly a support player.


This guide was released at ... . Future Changes and Changelogs will be added. I'll add a To Do list with things I am planning to add anyway soon too.


March the 26th 2015:
  • Overworked the General Thoughts and Role section in terms of formatting and added a few tips on 6.83 metagame support Ostarion.

  • Added a mechanics subchapter to Vampiric Aura and Mortal Strike sections dealing with the behaviour of the general ingame mechanics (, which haunted me as nightmares last nigh D: true story).

  • Build formatting and typo corrections as suggested by KoDyAbAbA and Terathiel.

  • Added Lion and Keeper of the Light to the counter section due to mana drain abilities as suggested by SatomiCappucino and added Naga Siren.

  • Renamed Item Justification chapters in order to clarifiy and unify the terms .

March the 28th 2015:
  • Added a brief preview section in order to be shown at the starting page since the guide appears to be charted under the top 5 (Thanks for upvoting, community!)

  • Minor formatting changes to the combo & counter section.

  • Added a Na'Vi.XBOCT match (Na'Vi vs Alliance - The Summit 3) played yesterday to the analysis section.

  • Added real spoiler code for the ending of the competitive matches provided.

March the 29th 2015:
  • Ran the raw text through MS.Word to correct most typos after feedback from Unscathed.

  • Switched Vladmir's Offering from tank and added it to the support item build suggestions and included a justification and explanation.

  • Added heroes and a subsection to the combo & counter chapter.

April the 12th 2015:
  • Added a skilling alternative for saving up 1 point of Reincartnation until level 11 in the skill sequence justification as suggested by Sanvitch.

  • Added a item suggestion disclaimer in the carry / general item build section in order to clarify the suggestion choices.

April the 14th 2015

  • Added a shortened version of the carry build with explanations as a Dota 2 ingame guide. If you are interested, look it up or subscribe to it.

April the 28th 2015

May the 2nd 2015

  • Added the new 6.84 items Moon Shard to the carry late game items and Solar Crest to the tank build mid game options and included a explanation.

August the 10th 2015:
  • Revisited and checked for changes. Up to date.

September the 25th 2015

  • Included 6.85 Balancing Update with a buff to the Aghanim's Scepter upgrade (duration, activity when reincarnating) and a buff to Wraith King's base damage (+7) and a fix to vampiric aura, which will now not show the lifesteal effect when Wraith King is in the fog of war.

December the 20th 2015

  • Adapted to the 6.86 Balance of Power Update with a buff to Vampiric Aura (finally toggleabitly). Changes to item recommendations might come soon.

December the 21th 2015

March the 5th 2016

  • Added datdota item stats overview.

April the 25th 2016

  • Included the 6.87 Gameplay Patch with its slight buff to Mortal Strike on non hero units. New and reworked items included .

June the 14th 2016

February the 7th to 10th 2017

  • Reworked the guide to adapt it to the 7.01 New Journey Patch including talents.

  • Adapted guide to the 7.02 Gamplay Patch including changes to two talents.

General Thoughts on The King Thing

The difficutly about Wraith King is not understanding his abilities or technically handling him proper, but to understand what role Ostarion can suit in a particular set up and how to build and choose a lane adequate to that.

But always keep in mind: There is no game, where you exlusively fulfill one role! You always tank a lot, deal some dps and provide stuns and your huge Reincarnation slow. But the role you primarily choose to focus decides about your farming, ganking and building priorities and which lane you want to start in.

Wraith King is by nature not pure hard carry (lack of attack speed due to low agility growth), not pure tank (lack of real tanking mechanics like Bristleback) and not pure support (lack of a more hard disables or utility). But you have to look at it the other way around. Like my mama told me: You can be whatever the f**k you want!.

With the right item choices and amount of farm, you can be a solid allrounder who can fill into more than one role and all positions. DotA 2 itself says for some good reason, that Wraith King is Carry, Disabler, Durable. A bit of everything -- and in my opinion that is the fun part. Especially his ability to easily catch up in farm and item independentness makes him a nasty enemy in all kind of match ups.

But fact is: Wraith King has the all time 7th highest winrate with 54.81% recorded by dotabuff (55.32% in 6.83), so there got to be something to Ostarion. Maybe it is his rather simple but effective set of abilities and his huge potential of tanking while dealking vast amounts of physical damage.

The current metagame (6.86) so far uses Wraith King as a core hero and Radiance carrier, but overall he has received little attention. This might be due to the last patches buffing supports overall, which leads to Ostarion struggling even more as he is weak against disabling and kiting.

Consider giving Wraith King a try and find you own style in building, playing and mastering him. One thing is for sure: You are going to have a **** load of fun knuckling up some pubtrolls with cheesy criticals to the face! And pop Reincarnation when you're done! And beating up some clowns again! Ahhhh... plain joy.

Role Possibilities of Ostarion

Wraith King is pretty versatile, since his skillset does not set him up only for a certain, but a multitude of possible roles and lanes. The role Ostarion has to fit in depends on the enemy team and your team's set up.

  • The Core Carry:

    Since Ostarion has built-in a critical strike with Mortal Strike and a lifesteal (aura) with Vampiric Aura he has already two great mechanics, which other heroes need to buy separately with Daedalus and Helm of the Dominator or Vladmir's Offering. Though lacking a complex set of abilities, Wraith King shows up with Wraithfire Blast stun and a huge Reincarnation giving him a second chance at manfighting plus setting up further fighting with the AoE slow applied upon use of the ultimate.

    Depending on item build and team setup, Wraith King 1st position carry often is able to manfight down the enemy main carry in mid and late game, if ahead. In super late game, where most heroes are six-slotted, Wraith King gets weaker to hard agility carries due to their high armor and attack speed. But he can still be able to keep up and take matters into own hands, if drafted into a good set up and given the right items and utilities.

    Since Ostarion is not the classic agi-carry, you usually do not play a 4-protect-1-strat like Eastern teams have always run with e.g. Spectre or Naga Siren. This is because Ostarion lacks flash farming abilities and huge amount of split push and relies on meleeing down all other the enemy heroes by hand. In my opinion it is best to set up a carry Wraith King into a team, that can utilize his tankiness and the Reincarnation slow to set up for something bigger.

    I added a shortened version of the carry build as an ingame client guide for DotA 2, if anyone is interested, go look it up.

  • The Tank:

    Since Ostarion is a strength hero with a pretty high strength gain of 2.9/lvl and a second life from Reincarnation he also fits into playing the tank and soaking up a lot of spells and dps. You usually want to play the "tank" and risk dying, when you play 2nd or 3rd position and you have other main (preferably ranged) damage dealers you want to prevent from getting focused or you want so set up for a well drafted wombo spell combo. In this case you have to tank up with armor and/or health and may have to pick up a situational Blade Mail to counter nukes and high dps glass cannons.

    If you decide to run Ostarion mainly as a tank, the offlane can be a good choice since you will not need 6 slots of damage items, but only a few tank core items, and can risk not getting free farm due to hard laning. Depending on the enemy set up, you can run a solo, dual or tri offlane with Wraith King.

  • The Support:

    Wraith King can be played as a support too, because he starts with a 2 second stun plus 2 second slow at level 1. Additionally to that Ostarion contributes his great Vampiric Aura to the team, granting a lot of survivability and rosh potential. Since you won't buy classic intelligence support items, your item build pretty depends on the situation and the amount of farm you get as a 4th or 5th position, but you will be a relevant damage dealer anyway, though playing support role. Getting utility items like Heaven's Halberd and auras is always great when playing support.

    Since Ostarion provides a fast farm mechanic with Vampiric Aura, he can be granted farm space and a Hand of Midas, if matters are taken to the later game stages. This allows even a not-core Wraith King to often overcome the 3rd position offlaner in farm.

Lanes and Woods

As Wraith King can be set on different positions in the team, he can be send to alternative places for the laning stage.

  • Safelane:

    When you run Ostarion as the main carry, you have to grant him safelane farm since he and his percentage based skills ( Mortal Strike, Vampiric Aura) scale only with damage items. If Wraith King enjoys a good laning stage, he is most likely to have huge impact from mid game on. The safelane farmer position is the spot to go for Ostarion as a rule of thumb. In the current meta of 6.83, where mid is often used by a secondary ranged carry such as Shadow Fiend setting up Ostarion as a tanky safelaner is a good way to go.

  • Jungle:

    Jungling with Wraith King is possible due to Vampiric Aura, though kind of hard and slow, if started at level 1. In my opinion setting up Ostarion as initial jungler is not viable. More useful is it to let Wraith King transition into jungle after getting some levels from lane experiences. Transitioning into woods can either be useful to leave the lane to a under leveled support or when Wraith King himself is the support and the carry does not need to be babysit anymore.

  • Offlane:

    Offlaning as Wraith King has become a little bit more famous in the meta of the last patches, but is not often seen now. Solo offlaning is pretty hard since Ostarion has only Wraithfire Blast and no real escape mechanism, so it depends on the enemy safe lane constellation, if you want to risk getting solo xp on the offlane for an fast level 6. Going solo off is only viable in cases where you are not in permanent danger of getting shut down and zones out, because Wraith King needs at least a fast level 6 and in the best case Power Treads or even more.

    Going for a dual or aggressive trilane off is a viable thing, since Wraith King can contribute a crucial stun/slow and push into the enemy tower with Vampiric Aura while being tanky enough to go for some aggression. In my opinion this is the preferable alternative to solo offlaning. Depending on how much pressure you have to put on the enemy safe lane farmer, going as an aggressive trilane can work out pretty good.

  • Mid:


Base Stats

source: dotabuff (09/25/2015)

The strength gain of 2.9 is a pretty big deal placing Wraith King next to bad boys like Ursa or Chaos Knight, while there are only 8 heroes with a bigger growth. The agility growth is at the bottom half of the range, so armor and attack speed have to be provided mainly by items. The intelligence growth is rather poor, what makes sustaining enough mana over the course a hard job. With 6.85 Wraith King received a nice base damage buff by +7, rendering him more dangerous in lane and making it easier to last hit.

The Skill Set of Wraith King


Here I will be explaining the effect of the single skills of Wraith King. Since only Reincarnation is somehow more complex I will not waste many words on explaining the obvious other abilities of Ostarion.

The description includes an explanation of basics of Lifesteal Mechanics and Critical Strike Mechanics, with a focus on the topic of the stacking these effects.

Wraithfire Blast

1. Data


Target Unit
Enemy Units

Wraith King sears an enemy unit with spectral fire, dealing damage and stunning, then dealing damage over time and slowing the target.





















Stun Duration





Slow Duration and %

20% for 2s

20% for 2s

20% for 2s

20% for 2s






Damage over Time





2. Description

Wraithfire Blast is a 2 second stun that is followed by a 2 second 20% movement speed slow. It deals scaling initial damage on impact.

The part most people oversee is that Wraithfire Blast deal a certain amount of damage over time in 2 ticks while the movement slow is applied.

Vampiric Aura (incl. Lifesteal Mechanics)

1. Data


Allied Units
Nearby friendly units gain hit points based on their damage dealt when attacking enemy units.











Lifesteal Percentage





2. Description

Vampiric Aura is an aura that applies passive lifesteal allied units in a pretty big 900 AoE. This can generally apply to allied heroes, creeps and other non-mechanical/structural units.

Since 6.86 the Vampiric Aura can be toggled to affect all units listed above or to allied heroes only. This is a big comfort change I have been looking forward to for a long time. Now the lifesteal can be toggled in lane to heroes only mode to prevent the lane from pushing. Usually you tended to skip Vampiric Aura to keep the lane equilibrium stable, which is not necessary anymore.

3. Lifesteal Mechanics

To estimate the use and potential of Vampiric Aura you might want to get some basic knowledge on the lifesteal mechanics in current DotA 2. For some of you this might be crystal clear, for some a sealed book.

Please note: Since these mechanics are quite not plain simple and I'm no native English speaker, please comment me, if I have some misconceptions of the workings of the mechanics.

I. Sources:

Lifesteal as an effect can be granted by different sources. We have to divide between Unique Attack Modifiers (UAM) / Orb Effects (Orbs) and on the other hand passive buffs granted by abilities and auras.

II. Stacking:

Lifesteal can stack, but only under following terms & conditions:

  • Unique Attack Modifier / Orb Effect lifesteal does not stack with any other UAM/Orb lifesteal source (including themselves). It does stack with other not UAM/orb sources of lifesteal.

  • Other sources of buff based lifesteal from passives / auras do stack . They do not stack with itself though, since these are buff based lifesteal effects and two buffs of the same kind cannot be placed upon one target

  • In an theoretical example this can result in: Satanic 25% (Orb) + Vampiric Aura 4 30% (Passive/Aura) + Vladmir's Offering Aura 16% (Passive/Aura) + Open Wounds 4 30% (Pseudo) = 101% per hit. As Broodmother or Legion Commander you can reach an even higher percentages with these items.

III. Calculation of Percentage:

As lifesteal is a percentage based effect, you need to know which is the base value the percentage is derived from.

  • You lifesteal from the effective damage dealt, not from you raw damage output. This means you have to take reductions into account. These reductions include: Damage Block e.g. from Stout Shield, Damage Reduction by Armor, Damage Reduction by Mana Shield. Armor reduction by Assault Cuirass or Desolator is placed before lifelaching, so armor reductions increase the amount of life leached.

  • Since you lifesteal with your effective damage output, this includes Critical Strikes as from Mortal Strike or Daedalus. The critical damage is calculated before lifeleach, so you leach accordingly more, when a critical strike procs. This explains why there is a certain interaction between Vampiric Aura and Mortal Strike.

  • The AoE damage dealt by cleave / splash attacks such as from Battlefury or Tidebringer is not source of lifesteal, but the damage on the hit on the main target.

Mortal Strike (incl. Critical Strike Mechanics)

1. Data



Wraith King passively gains a chance to deal bonus damage on an attack.






Proc Chance





Critical Damage

150% (200% on non-hero units)

200% (300% on non-hero units)

250% (400% on non-hero units)

300% (500% on non-hero units)

2. Description

Not much to talk in this section. Mortal Strike gives a 15% chance to proc a critical strike that deals scaling damage from 150% to 300% of the physical damage of Wraith King.

3. Critical Strike Mechanics

Like lifesteal also critical strikes have their own mechanical behavior, requiring some math to be understood properly. If you have no idea on the workings, you might want to dive into some basics.

Please note: Since these mechanics are quite not plain simple and I'm no native English speaker, please comment me, if I have some misconceptions of the workings of the mechanics.

I. Calculation of Output:

  • Critical Strikes as from Mortal Strike are considered physical damage. The raw physical damage output of a critical strike is displayed as the red number, when a crit procs on a hit. This is not equal to the amount of effective damage, because the (critical) damage can be reduced by Armor Value and/or abilities.

  • Critical Strikes chances (like e.g. bash proc chances, block chances, chain lightning proc chances too) are subject to pseudo-random distribution (PRD). This means it is not a statistically independent "dice-roll" random chance (real random distribution). The whole formula is kind of too in-depth for this section. But you can keep in mind it makes percentage based effect occur / proc more consistently, making the random effect less luck based than mathematically correct. PRD results in a random effect occurring less likely on multiple hits in a row, but more likely after multiple hits not proccing the effect.

II. Stacking

Multiple sources of critical strikes such as Daedalus and Mortal Strike do not stack independently, but stack with diminishing returns.

  • Theoretically two crits can occur on the same hit (in the below case in 4.5% of all hits). In dota critical strike chances do not stack independently. They stacking with diminishing returns. This means that the higher critical percentage overrides the lower one (in this case Mortal Strike with 300%), if both crits would proc.

  • In example of Daedalus and Mortal Strike Ostarion has a chance of:

    10.5% to proc Mortal Strike
    25.5% to proc Daedalus, 6.86
    4.5% to proc both, in which case Mortal Strike as the higher percentage gets applied
    Conclusion: Buying Daedalus leads to getting 25.5% chance of a Daedalus crit, though you paid for 30% :3


1. Data



Wraith King's members regroup after death, allowing him to resurrect when killed in battle. Upon death, enemy units in a 900 radius will be slowed.

Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.

















Slow Duration




Movement Slow




Attack Slow




Slow Delay




2. Description and Proper Usage

The Reincarnation ultimate is the signature ability of Ostarion allowing him to resurrect after death, when a) the ability itself is off cooldown and b) Wraith King has enough 160 mana. This has implications on how to play Ostarion properly. With a small delay upon death a huge movement and attack speed slow is applied to all enemies in a 900 AoE for 5 seconds, which can set up a whole enemy team for big AoE spells or further dps.

The Reincarnation gets activated upon death, when Ostarion has enough mana left and cannot be prevented in any way else (e.g. not by silences as Doom).

If you possess the Aegis of the Immortal and your ult is off cooldown, Reincarnation will trigger before the Aegis. This way you can save up the Aegis.

Aghanim's Scepter upgrade Reincarnation effect (6.84/6.85):

Allies who are in an 1200 AoE around Wraith King become Wraiths after being killed for now 7 seconds (6.85), delaying their death. After this 7 seconds duration, the affected allies will die and the original killer will receive the kill reward. The affected allies can move and attack like they were alive.

The Aghanim's Scepter upgrade has a similar effect to Shallow Grave for all allies who die in the AoE with the only difference that allies will die without any further damage instance, but will die if they dropped to 0 HP before.

Note that the Aghanim's Scepter effect does not get interrupted by Reincarnation being triggered and performed since 6.85.

  • The Cooldown Part:

    At level 1 Reincarnation has a whopping CD of 260 seconds. 260! That's actually over 4 minutes or mortality that hurt Ostarion like hell. You know how long 4 minutes of laning can be. At level 1 you usually keep this as your get out of jail free card for ganks and should try to save it up for this situations. This means not popping Reincarnation just for some lasthits.

    At level 2 you have to start to make active use of your ult and the slow it provides: Situations that would end up in being killed have to be reevaluated taking Reincarnation into account. Don't run for your life, if you are not sure to get away with it and you have a chance to make or assist one or more return kills by using your ultimate. Same applies to ganking as Wraith King. If you and your teammates can get kills and stay alive by soaking up some spells and damage before reincarnating, go in first and make use of the big AoE slow and start backing off after.

    At level 3 with an CD of one minute Reincarnation can and should be used at every occasion you can trade it for some kills or other objectives. If you hesitate to waste your ultimate you are basically just a tanky dude with a stun, so start looking at Reincarnation as an ability that has actively to be used.

    But be warned: You have to calculate, if your team is going to be able to follow Reincarnation up with enough damage and cc to prevent you from permanently dying. If it's most likely that you get killed twice in the process and your team does not kill the majority of the enemy team, don't go waste Reincarnation in the first place. It is basically a matter of trading your ult for the chance to get something out if it, so always be aware of what to get and what to lose in the certain situation.

  • The Mana Part:

    Watching and saving your mana pool is a main duty as Wraith King since he has a pretty small mana pool and low intelligence gain. This is not so hard since you only have one active ability with Wraithfire Blast that costs 140 mana on all levels. So if you have less than 300 mana, you will not be able to stun an enemy and have your ultimate ready right after. I know it can be tempting to stun, if an enemy kites you and gets away, and people in public matches will flame at you "USE STUN WK NOOB PIDARAS". But remember: Better one kill less than on the sidelines for quite a while, if you die.

Skill Builds Justification

source: dotabuff

As usual I disclaim, that the builds are not to be understood as fix sequences. You may have to adapt to the situation you are put in, but as a general rule of thumb the sample skill sequence is effective in any case and a pretty common build. But try to get the reasoning behind this way of skilling Wraith King since there can be situations getting Lifesteal or Crits earlier or later in the game is more useful than following a fix route.

If you are interested in checking popular Ostarion skill builds and their win rate, take a look at Dotabuff's statistics for this purpose. Also you can look up high level Wraith King players and match up win rates, which is a nice gimmick.

Build #1: Safelaning / Carry

There are many possible ways of skilling Wraith King when laning, depending on the lane set up and your support pulling constantly or not and the overall map usage. But there are some rules that can be considered set:

  • Reincarnation:

    You want to level your ultimate as soon as possible at 6, 12 and 18 to get the cooldown shorter, because you never know when you have to make use of Reincarnation.

  • alternative is to save the level 6 skill point and try to get to level 12 in order to skill Reincarnation straight to level 2. You might want to do this to not trigger the 260 seconds level 1 cooldown and then having it on cd, when you reach level 12 and can achieve the shorter level 2 cooldown time. You can proceed like this, if triggering Reincarnation beforehands offers no benefits for your team and there is no chance of turning the fight / gank around with support of your teammates.

  • Wraithfire Blast:

    You have to skill Wraithfire Blast first to be able to contest runes or get active early and max it out as soon as possible since it provides a stun, a slow and relevant damage, that scales pretty well with leveling up and becomes a real nuke for low HP pool enemies.

Note: Statistically there is no measurable difference of win rate between maxing Mortal Strike or Vampiric Aura first, so you can adjust your skilling to the situation you get put into. Also skipping one of these for one or two points into stats in lane is pretty common and successful. That said consider the following part situational advice:

  • Vampiric Aura:

    You do not have to hesitate to skill Vampiric Aura, because not it can be toggled to affect heroes only. This allows to keep the lane equilibrium as you like it.

    Usually you get 1 level of Vampiric Aura at level 2, because it is a cheap to stay at full health, while trying to gear up. The 15% of lifesteal usually are enough for farming and early fights. If you max this or Mortal Strike first depends pretty much on the needs of your team, because they both provide similar effective benefits for Wraith Kind himself.

    If you feel like you do not need lifesteal for hp sustaining purposes, because you do not take harass and/or have enough hp consumables left, get stats at level 2 instead, which is not uncommon and buffs up Ostarions laning phase a little bit.

  • Mortal Strike

    In most cases you put one value point into Mortal Strike at level 4 for the crit chance. Mortal Strike Since Mortal Strike does not have much effect as long as you do not have any serious damage output, you usually max it out after Wraithfire Blast, when the crits start becoming somewhat relevant.

    You can also leave skilling Mortal Strike for later levels over all and go for another level of Vampiric Aura or Stats, if you need more survivability in lane or woods.

Build #2: Offlaning / Tank

If going on the offlane, the skill build does not change much. Maxing Wraithfire Blast and Reincarnation as soon as possible is done for the same reasons like on safe lane. You may have to vary, when to pick levels in Vampiric Aura and Mortal Strike.

If you take a huge bunch of harass you may have to get Vampiric Aura at level 2 and 4, if you do not get zoned anyhow, you can skip it for stats or crits, but usually one value point is worth it, though the lane tends to push, but the support are most likely to pull the wave anyway. In order to tank up I consider maxing Vampiric Aura before Mortal Strike useful from level 8 on.

If you go for a agro trilane, I suggest getting Vampiric Aura at level 2 and 4 to compensate for possible aggression and kill attempt, when pressuring the enemy safelaner.

Build #3: Support

As before the maxing of Wraithfire Blast and Reincarnation is set, especially when relying on these tools as a support. Depending on the lane situation you might have to adapt your Mortal Strike - Vampiric Aura skilling and maybe skip these for stats.

As a support you want to skip skilling Mortal Strike in order to provide max Vampiric Aura for you allies and yourself (skilling at level 4 and from 8 on). This is logical, because as support you lack of damage output in the early game stages and do not benefit from crits at this time.

Build #4: Initial Jungling

The only case in which you skill build really messes up is, when decided to go woods from level 1 on. Anyway max your Reincarnation anyway for the case of getting unwanted visitors in the woods you call your home.

You usually spent you first 5 levels into Vampiric Aura and Mortal Strike to maximize your lifesteal, when punching neutrals. Always keep in mind to cut away single trees to be able to "choke point jungle farm", meaning to face only one creep melee to avoid additional damage while the other creeps roam to find a way.

You may have to get Wraithfire Blat at level one, if you cannot contest the Bounty Rune otherwise. In this case you progress like above with Vampiric Aura at level 2.

After maxing out the Vampiric Aura at level 7 you should start to max Wraithfire Blast in order to participate in ganks and counter-ganks. Getting the last 2 levels of Mortal Strike usually can wait for last, but is situational after all.

Talent Tree Progression

1. Options






Alternative 1

+10 Intelligence

+50 Wraithfire Blast DPS

+20 Strength

+20% Vampiric Aura Lifeleach

Alternative 2

+15 Damage

+15 Movement Speed

+40 Attack Speed

No Reincarnation Mana Cost

2. Justification

  • Level 10

    The level 10 talent options are not that impactful yet, but still worth considering which way to go. If you are playing a support role, you can opt for the +10 intelligence, which results in additional 96 mana, which is almost one additional stun. In any other case I would opt for the plus damage. Considering Mortal Strike, this will never be a bad choice when expecting physical engagements.

  • Level 15

    At level 15 the 7.02 patch brought a change that makes it necessary to reconsider the alternatives. Now there is extra 50 Wraithfire Blast damage per second. Since the damage over time is dealt over 2 seconds, this effectively is + 100 magic damage giving quite a buff to the nuke in addition to the stun. This can be an option for midgame teamfights, but does not quite feel overwhelming. Then there the +15 movement speed option, which also will not really cut the edge for Wraith King in my opinion. So this pick mainly depends on your specific needs. If you feel like your problem is a slightly too low movement speed, you should go for the 15ms. In a regular game even this little movement speed bonus will not prevent you from getting kited a lot, so for me the guaranteed Wraithfire Blast dps buff is a solid option.

  • Level 20

    At level 20 Wratih King's talents start to really matter. If you are playing as a damage dealer you want to opt for the 40 attack speed, which is almost a full Hyperstone (55). If you are playing as a tank, you are more likely to get the +20 strenght bonus, which gets close to a full Reaver giving an extra of 400 hp and 20 damage. If you are playing 4th or 5th role, you have to choose the latter too, because attack speed isn't what you are primarily looking for.

  • Level 25

    Level 25 is where stuff gets really exciting. Both option are huge. If you play 1st or 2nd position carry, the enemy team will most likely try to mess with your mana with Diffusal Blade or counter picks like Mana Burn abilities. In this case you can only opt for the free Reincarnation. Without Reincarnation Wraith King simply is not viable, even more if your team relies on you as a carry or tank. Even if you arent playing core, you should consider this talent, because Reincarnation is the only huge AoE spell Wraith King has to offer.

    If you have no mana problems at all and there are more relevant physical damage dealers in you team, the 20% extra lifeleach on top of Vampipric Aura is a huge boost for team survivability. This is even more than a regular Vladmir's Offering (15% melee) and adds up with Vampiric Aura to a whopping 50% lifeleach.

Carry and General Item Justification


Datdota Item Stats for 6.86


Disclaimer for the builds suggestions

Since a majority of the items on the different builds are somehow situational, I only included the most fitting and common ones or these I prefer.

There are a lot of items which I provided only on one build, because they fit there the best in my opinion. This does not mean that there won't be situations, where the specific item can be the best counter item for certain situation or heroes (e.g. Heaven's Halberd vs Phantom Assassin or Blade Mail versus carry Lina). So please do not consider these item build suggestions as fix and final, but general rules of what might be proper picks in general. I tried to provide enough items and explanantions as possible, but tried to not overextend the item suggestions on the different builds since most items can be viable pick ups on any one of them.

Starting Items

Quelling Blade is a nice tool to ensure maximal lasthits even in a busy lane. As Wraith King you may want to get a farming item such as Hand of Midas and you want it to get as soon as possible. The extra plus of Quelling Blade for Ostarion is, that it becomes useful for jungling, what you are sooner or later doing anyway, so you cant be wrong getting it.

If you expect a lot of harass or creep wave tanking you can get a Stout Shield instead or later on for jungling. This is situational, get it as you feel you need it additionally or alternatively.

The Healing Salveand Tangos are the regen Wraith King will need since he has to get all the lasthits possible.

The Iron Branches give nice stats Ostarion can need in lane. It should be turned into Magic Stick sooner or later. You need the stick burst regen to regain mana as you drop too low due to man burning or wasting :3. If you face a fast caster like Bristleback or Zeus in lane, get the stick after Boots of Speed or even earlier.

Farming Alternatives

Hand of Midas is the go to item, if you know you are facing late game and neither your team or the enemy is going to force matters in midgame. Then Hand of Midas boosts your item progression and you have to gear up for late game engagements and manfighting. Timing for Midas should be before 10 minutes on the safelane, preferably between 6-8 minutes inclusive Boots of Speed before hands.

Maelstrom is an item that kind of better fits into early to midgame since it provides cost efficient damage and a farming mechanism with the Chain Lightning Proc. Upgrading it into Mjollnir is pretty nice since the bonus attack speed ensures more crits from Mortal Strike and bashes, if combined with Skull Basher. If you can get this in time go for it. Consider this the mid-way between full greed mode with Hand of Midas first and full combat mode with Skull Basher first. If it gets later in game, you can build straight Mjollnir for the attack speed and start with the Hyperstone.

Boots Options

In my opinion there is no alternative of boots to Power Treads on Ostarion. Attack and movement speed combined with the +8 attribute switching is just too good to opt for anything else. The Treads switching can often safe your life or allow you to stun once more without losing Reincarnation, keeping them idle on strength to improve the overall performance.

The other only serious alternative are Phase Boots, but to trade the benefits of Power Tread for Phase doesn't feel right. You try to prevent getting kited by other mid or late game items such as Skull Basher, Sange and Yasha or Drum of Endurance, if needed. I won't say Phase Boots are not viable, everyone has to find his own taste in footwear :3.

Initiation / Gap Closing

In many games you will find yourself unable to initiate a fight, because you do not even get into range to cast Wraithfire Blast or the enemy just runs away before you reach them for melee business. The bad thing about this is, that usually you want to fight in front to make the enemy think about wasting spells on you to trigger Reincarnation.

In these cases Blink Dagger is the go-to item. You can blink into melee range and stun them for 2 seconds hitting. The 2 second slow of Wraithfire Blast gives another chance to proc some bashes. Against hit and run heroes like Sniper, Tinker, Clinkz, Drow Ranger and this sort of glass cannons Blink Dagger is a must. If you face a lot of stuns or slows that easily kite you for the duration of 2 lives, you should go Blink Dagger too, to be able to crit some of these casters down in the first place.

Mid Game Alternatives

The 6.87 new Echo Sabre seems like a really good pick for Wraith King on paper. With its 2650 cost, it is one of the cheaper mid game items and has a pretty easy build up. The stats are all around a nice mid game package for Ostarion. Strenght, AS, a little bit damage for the dps plus a little int and mana regeneration boost for Reincarnation.

The really interesting part is the new passive though. The 5 second cooldown echo strike lets Wraith King hit twice. When it procs, it applies a 100% MS/AS slow, which is a great mechanic for a melee attacker suffering a lot from kiting. This is somewhat of an conservative alternative to Skull Basher. We will see how effective it will be in the long run.

Skull Basher should be considered a base item on Wraith King. Everything the item offers is very welcome for Ostarion. The minor strength stats improve his base attribute. The +10 raw damage increases the regular dps and Mortal Strike crit damage.

The main thing though is the Bash chance: You are very vulnerable to getting kited once the manfighting has begun, so Skull Basher helps you to keep victims in place for further punching. There are few games I won't get Skull Basher at all. The possibility of upgrading to Abyssal Blade is great, because this is one of the best late game items on Wraith King

With 6.86 the Skull Basher is way more about procing a bash than before, because the passive damage bonus was reduced and the bash damage bonus incresed (same for Abyssal Blade and Monkey King Bar. This leads to a little bit more of randomness, which is quite fine for me.

Combo: Get this in combination with Mjollnir. The +80 attack speed will make the bash proc way more often.

So remember girls: When Skull Basher is up and ready it is freaking HAMMER TIME!

Armlet of Mordiggian is nice on Wraith King since his Vampiric Aura is able to compensate the HP loss by manfighting non-structural enemy units. Over all it delivers a lot of early fighting presence and easier farming. You can get this straight after Power Treads if you need early team fight capabilities since it is a bit cheaper than e.g. Skull Basher or Maelstrom. This can be the case, if the enemy won't let you farm a lot of luxury or you have to search fights after laning. Later on in late game you are most likely to sell Armlet of Mordiggian to get slots for the big items, so get this early enough or leave it behind. You can opt for Armlet instead of Hand of Midas in early action match ups.

Combo: Get this together with Heart of Tarrasque if you want permanent benefits without HP drain.

Drum of Endurance is a cost efficient stat item granting a nice aura and a useful active. Usually you will find yourself picking up other early to mid-game items, so you won't additionally waste more slots on this. In games you really do not need a Blink Dagger Drums can be an option for charging in and tanking up a little bit.

Combo: Get an additional Sange and Yasha to maximize you move speed bonus for the some serious racecar-roaming. Wooosh!

Though many players do not agree on this one, I really do not consider BKB core on Wraith King, but more likely to be a situational item. The presence of Reincarnation makes you able to soak up a lot of spells and, and if you get a damage item instead the enemy will have to put focus on you to prevent taking a severe beating. In my opinion tanking some spells before reincarnation is part of the job, I run very well with this mentality. For the same amount of gold you can get fighting items like Skull Basher or Desolator, which make you a real thread in fights.

There are matches, you cannot afford not getting BKB. This can be the case if, a) you get man burned by Anti-Mage or Diffusal Blade; this has to be prevented, because without mana you are just another carry. The other case is, when b) the enemy has an immense amount of cc not allowing you do any harm or c) you rely on your damage only and you are being focused down.

Late Game Extensions

Abyssal Blade gets the first mention in this section, because it's upgraded from the Skull Basher, when you have a big bunch of spare gold for the Sacred Relic. The use of this bad guys is pretty obvious, but situational: Get close to the top priority target and drop the Overwhelm at him to further lock and chop him down like a rotten tree. The vast amount of raw damage makes Wraith King hit & crit like a truck. You can get this, if you need to badly shut down an enemy caster like Enigma or Zeus or a glass cannon like Sniper. If you just want to improve you overall combat better opt for some of the great items below.

Another great item on Wraith King is the Assault Cuirass. The attack speed gain is a big deal, when it comes to crits and bashes. The plus armor for Ostarion is top notch versus enemy physical dps dealers. Since Wraith King is already pretty tanky HP wise, gearing up with armor is the way to get more effective hit point (EHP). The armor modification aura is a huge buff to your physical damage performance as a team.

Combo: If you opt for AC, consider getting Desolator for further armor penetration. This applies even more, when you have already other minus armor mechanics in your team like Medallion of Courage or Weave. This enhanced you effective damage due to the EHP of the enemy getting lowered.

If you are interested in some examples of EHP calculation, check out the Armor / EHP section in my Dazzle guide I linked in the last section of this guide.

Statistics: Assault Cuirass on Wraith King has currently a win rate of 77.40% recorded on dotabuff.

Mjollnir is another huge way to go for Ostarion. The chain lightning procs and the static charge active are nice fighting and creep wave clearing tools. The minor bonus damage is welcome, but not so beastly. The main thing about Mjollnir is the huge amount of +80 attack speed. Since Wraith King heavily relies on proc chances with Mortal Strike and Skull Basher, lifting the attack speed greatly boosts you manfighting capabilities. Get this, if you want to dish out maximal aggression and stun lock sequences.

Another case you opt for Mjollnir is, when you face illusion based enemies like Phantom Lancer or Naga Siren since the chain lightning helps clearing the illusion armies way easier. Since Battlefury is pretty uncommon, this is the way to AoE fighting.

Statistics: Wraith King with Mjollnir has the second highest item win rate recorded on dotabuff with 73.76%.

Desolator delivers a big damage boost and the armor reduction of 7 for 15 seconds. This is a great item since the armor reduction works wonders, when manfighting heroes. This gets even more attractive, when paired with more armor reduction mechanics in a minus armor strat. If you already have enough lockdown and the other utilities you need and want some raw damage and an increase of your effective damage, go for this one.

Like always Monkey King Bar is the situational item, for the case of evasion on enemy heroes, especially Phantom Assassin and versus Smoke Screen. The huge damage plus and the attack speed buff are pretty nice to get in addition to True Strike.

In the current meta of 6.83 almost every carry build Eye of Skadi. And that is for good reason. The amount of stats is great for Ostarion. Not only his strength increases his tankiness and base damage, but the bonus intelligence and the Point Booster part boost Wraith King's mana pool big time (+325 mana from int and +250 raw = +575 mana =~ Reincarnation + 3x Wraithfire Blast). The Cold Attack passive is a great mechanic to buff Ostarions manfighting ability by slowing move and attack speed.

But care: The Cold Attack is a unique attack modifier (UAM), so do not stack this with Desolator. Stacking Eye of Skadi with Maelstrom is viable, because chain lightning is a UAM only, when it procs. Vampiric Aura is not a UAM, but a passive / aura.

Sange and Yasha is a item into the direction to the so called "Race car" build, since the Yasha part buffs the movement speed. The Maim chance of Sange delivers an additional catch up mechanic. Another pro argument is, that it's pretty easy to build from cheap parts. But after all beyond that Sange and Yasha do not offer much more for the gold it costs. If you got Blink Dagger and Skull Basher it probably might not be worth it. Considering getting S&Y is more likely, when leaving Blink Dagger and not getting Drums of Endurance

Heart of Tarrasque is a viable choice to tank up HP wise and gain some strength as your main attribute. I personally prefer getting Assault Cuirass over Heart for tankiness purposes, since it offers more offensive stats. You may consider Heart of Tarrasque, when the enemy team has an arsenal of burst damage. This is more likely a "tank" build item, but is a viable choice for carry Ostarion anyhow.

Boots of Travel are needed, if you get six slotted, so clear one slot from Town Portal Scroll. You can get this in advance, if you suffer from lacking movement speed earlier, but get some combat items up beforehand.

If you go for late game dps carry the new 6.84 item Moon Shard consisting of two Hyperstones and a 300 gold recipe is a highly interesting pick, if you come close to being full slotted. With +120 it grants the most attack speed a single item can provide. As attackspeed in general is great on Wraith King to proc more Mortal Strikes and bashes with Skull Basher this can be an option to Mjollnir, if you did not get Maelstrom in the first place. The possibility to consume it for permanent +60 attack speed is a nice gimmick when reaching the item slow cap and going ultra late.

Anti- Anti-Mage Item

Soul Ring is a really situational pick up and should be bought, if you got hard countered by a manaburner such as Anti-Mage. The temporarily 150 mana plus a Magic Stick charge can deliver you enough mana to activate Reincarnation, though your mana has been burned in the fight before. If the worst case happens, this are 800 gold, that are totally worth getting spend.

Why don't you suggest this item I've seen on Twitch? Downvote!

I know some of you waited for this mention, because some people take Refresher Orb as a serious luxury item, some think it is for trolling purposes only. Fact is, it can refresh Reincarnation to be used again, if you have a big enough mana pool. Fact is too: It is 5225 gold for rather little offensive potential beneath its active. Getting this one is in my eyes more of a pub stomp/troll thing. If you really want to get a use out of building it, you already have to be able to do some serious impact and items in order to make it worth is to spend so much on reviving again. Also at level 3 Reincarnation has a pretty low one minute cooldown. I won't say it has no use to it, but I doubt it is worth getting this over any big combat item.

The thought of Refresher Orb gets even more funnier, when adding a Divine Rapier to the mow. Since you do not drop the Diving Rapier on Reincarnation with Refresher Orb you could revive two times in a row still wielding the Rapier. But this is the point, where the whole thing has become trolling / gambling for me. It is not complete nonsense theoretically, but in what kind of match you are going to do this and spent over 12.000 gold for this stuff in order to win the safest way?

Crystalys and Daedalus's critical chances do stack with Mortal Strike , but they do not stack independently, but with diminishing returns, meaning in cases both would occur Mortal Strike 4 overrides Daedalus. So you get a little less than you paid for. For more information on critical strike mechanics, look up the Mortal Strike chapter.

But after all math, there are anyway items that suit Wraith King better because they provide some useful utility or mechanic and not raw damage increase. But I know and accept there might be people looking at this differently.

Fact is Vampiric Aura's lifesteal stacks with different lifesteal aura such as from one Vladmir's Offering and with one orb lifesteal from Helm of the Dominator or Satanic / Unholy Rage, which is pretty bad ***.

The Helm of the Dominator has the problem, that you already have huge amounts of lifesteal on level 4. You better go buff up your combat mechanics in order to maximize the lifesteal you already possess.

A hard one is Satanic. This is because of the Reaver part providing a big strength gain rendering you beefy as hell and the Unholy Rage active making you unkillable in manfight mode.

The reason I do not buy or recommend buying Satanic is that you already have Reincarnation, so there is less need for Unholy Rage as a lifesaver. Plus it is one of the costly items ingame with over 6000 of gold cost. Getting Assault Cuirass, Mjollnir or Abyssal Blade all provide some utility you do not already somehow have got skill wise. But in the end it might be a possible item for Wraith King.

Why not to get Vanguard is more simple: You just do not need the early to mid-game tankiness it provides, because you already are tanky due to your strength growth and other item choices. You are not the squishy Anti-Mage or Spectre in early game, which might have to get one, so don't act like it.

Nope. Though dreaming of a huge mana pool might be a nice fantasy, this is not cost efficient on Wraith King, because you are no caster. It's just Wraithfire Blast and one Reincarnation mate. Just no.

If you go racecar, why not with Manta Style? Because you benefit more from the Sange part in S&Y due to being a strength hero. The lesser maim chance and the strength bonus serve better for Wraith King's needs. Illusion farming or split pushing is not a big thing as Ostarion either.

If going really late and getting six-slotted you might have taken a glance at the greenish thingy behind the shopkeeper's counter called Butterfly. The cause why I don't get it is, that Wraith King get no damage from agility due to it not being his main attribute. The big evasion chance is huge for late game, but is counterable too plus Heaven's Halberd provides evasion and is a great anti-carry item on Wraith King. Like Satanic this was a hard one, but by this time I am convinces there are better options. If you run him as the one and only dps source, it might be something, but you usually try to prevent being solo when it comes to dealing damage.


What the f***!?!?

Tank Item Justification

Usually all items that are good for Wraith King carry, work on a tank too. So I did not copy paste all of them into the build, but you are most likely to pick one or two damage items sooner or later.

In order to get tanky and set up fights front row for another carry or team fight abilities, there are some special "tank" items, that you can choose from, because they improve the tankability of Ostarion.

Starting Items

The Starting items are pretty the same like as carry, but you usually opt for a Stout Shield and do not get Quelling Blade, because when going for the offlane, you expect harass. Get the HP consumables for sure since you cannot rely on leaching with Vampiric Aura, when you maybe get zoned out a lot.

Boots and Initiation

As a tank there is no real alternative to Power Treads in my opinion. You just want to get the +8 strength bonus and be able to switch attributes when it comes to having enough mana. You can think about Tranquil Boots being viable like on e.g. Axe, but if you go tank creeps and fight, you will be able to leach with Vampiric Aura, which can be maxed out earlier for this purpose.

For Blink Dagger applies the same as for the Build #1 and even more. As the tank you might have to initiate fights on your own, if you lack set ups like Ravage, so you have to be able to get into the dirty work straight and there is no better way than blinking in on a squishy target trying to burst it down. You probably will not get out with Blink Dagger again, but if you decided to use Reincarnation, the fight hopefully is safe once you are back in business.

Mid Game Tank Choices

Blade Mail is a nice item, of your team's composition force you to tank into fights from midgame on in order to get kills. This way you have the chance to get close and avoid instant burst damage (or at least reflecting it). And you want to get as close to the enemy team as possible in order to trap all of them in the Reincarnation slow AoE as a set up. With Blademail the enemies have to think twice before bursting you down on distance, but do not use it when you get kited, only when you get focused.

The other alternative, when facing a caster army, is Pipe of Insight. The magic damage resistance is a huge deal for tankiness purposes plus the active grants you team safety against big AoE ultimates, that would otherwise ruin you team fights.

For BKB applies the same reasoning as above. You can get this to prevent getting disabled before you even reach melee range. It usually do not stack this with Blade Mail, because they have the same kind of purposes somehow, but in some games you cant afford not to get BKB in order to do your job.

Solar Crest is another new 6.84 item that I find very well designed and interesting. For now I think it can be useful especially as a tank or support Wraith King. Though some players consider Solar Crest a supportive item, I included it for now in the tank build, because of its stats granting mainly tankability.

Stats wise it grant 30% evasion and 10 armor, giving quite some midgame tankiness, if you go against physical dps. The mana regen is quite nice regarding your mana needs fore Reincarnation.

The Solar Crest's real strength is its active, that can buff up an ally (carry) with the evasion and armor bonus defensively when your team engages or weaken an ally by -10 armor and giving him a 30% miss chance, which is crucial to enemy carries who rely on high dps autoattacking. This is actually a pretty nice mechanism when running with an Assault Cuirass for late game, since you already provide armor modification which would synergize with Solar Crest's active.

Late Game Tank Luxury

AC still is the best tank item for a beast like Wraith King. This is the go-to item, if you need to get beefy. The armor modification aura enhances your team's overall physical dps output and protection.

The Eye of Skadi is a huge tankiness boost and also provides offensive potential to Wraith King. The downside of this is the high gold cost of the Ultimate Orbs. I usually prefer Assault Cuirass over Eye of Skadi, but it is viable no matter what.

The Heart of Tarrasque is the go to item, if you face a lot of magical damage sources, which Assault Cuirass cannot help you deal with. If you look for raw tankiness, HoT is never wrong, but consider:

Heaven's Halberd is a great item on Wraith King as a tank. The disarm allows Wraith King to get close to the enemy dps carry and do some work or can save an ally's life, when focused with physical damage. The Sange Lesser Maim chance is a nice tool to prevent getting kited, when hunting down enemies. Also the evasion and the strength bonus are great in order to tank up and manfight on front row.

After the latest patches I finally include Radiance as a tank item suggestion though I would consider it a situational item, because it add a different playstyle to Wraith King. Now that Radiance also provides a miss chance of 17% in its AoE it is quite worth considering this as a build option. While Radiance does offer this as an anti physical damage effect, it still does not provide any further tankiness by itself. For almost the same cost you can get an Assault Cuirass, which not only debuffs the enemy, but also buffs your team and grants Ostarion a nice armor bonus. Decide wheter or not to buy Radiance based on the enemy teams strategy and lineup.

Radiance is often paired with Blade Mail for a good reason. This build gives Ostarion an enormous teamfight presence even if he gets shut down and kited pretty hard. The Radiance burn damage comes even to more effect as Reincarnation allow you to come back into the fight while Blade Mail scares enemies off from focussing / bursting you down in the first place as you enter the teamfights.

Additional Damage Items

In most cases you will get one or two damage / carry items in order to be a real threat while tanking in and causing panic. But since you should prioritize early ganking and leaving the majority of farm to the 1st position carry, you won't be able to afford the "big items" in time. Also there might be games where you already have an advantage and are tanky enough for the damage output of the enemy at a certain time.

This is why I suggest early aggression items like Armlet of Mordiggian, Desolator or Skull Basher as an situational addition to pure tanking items. Also these items provide you with minor tankiness themselves or increase your lifesteal percentage by higher damage.

Catch-Up- Hand of Midas

If you did not succeed in winning the off or safe lane, you might have to get a Hand of Midas in order to be able to keep up the farm level of the enemy, if the game is most likely to go late. This can speed up your jungle farming abilities and grant you levels and gold for late game extensions.

Supportive Item Justification

When run as a support Wraith King you will not stack huge amounts of gold, you are most likely not to get six-slotted. Since this is the case, decide what utility your team needs in the match up.

Starting Items

The HP consumables are for compensating for harass taken while zoning an enemy or taking some early jungle camps, while you might have to get one Clarity in order to be all time ready to engage on the offlaner or a ganker.

Getting Animal Courier and Observer Wards is you duty, if no other support assists you with that. If you only have to buy one or none of these you can opt for more consumables, Iron Branches or a Gauntlet of Strength.

If the other support is so kind to provide all the support stuff you can go and opt for Boots of Speed. This renders you able to melee harass enemies out of xp range easier and helps a lot, if you decide to go for walk to mid lane for some Wraithfire Blast ganking activities.

Boots Alternatives and Positioning

Power Treads are pretty useful even on a support for being able to attribute switch,, if there is no need for Arcane Boots.

When going support Arcane Boots is a real option. I would not get Arcane Boots just for your own mana regulation, but if your team or your carry is very mana depending (especially in lane) and no other support does provide Arcane Boots getting these instead of Power Treads can be a good deal, but consider this rather situational.

Same for Blink Dagger like before. You may have to get into position to throw Wraithfire Blast and help with some punching. If you find yourself unable to use some stuns due to lack speed or you want to gank more efficiently, get it, if you can afford to skip an early supportive item and got some gold from successful ganks.

As a support Force Staff can be an alternative to Blink Dagger, since it provides more utility by allowing to reposition not only yourself in and out of fights, but to move allies and enemies alike. I find myself rather rarely picking up Force Staff, but in games with a lot of slows and tick-damage maybe from Poison Sting this can be a viable choice. Also you might have to escape out of the danger zone when having popped Reincarnation, since you are not able to tank or manfight due to lack of big items and being under leveled.

Mid Game Supportive Choices

Urn of Shadows is a cheap item that works great on Wraith King. The early bonus strength lets Ostarion tank up a little while the mana regen provides enough mana for Wraithfire Blast on a regular basis without visiting the fountain. The active part about it is a nice feature adding up with the Vampiric Aura and granting a lot of sustain in lane and fights.

Mekansm is a nice item for a support in every case, if it can be build early enough to have cost efficient impact. You should try to build Mek out of a Buckler as soon as possible since the AoE armor boost can enhance early ganks. When brought up by 15 to 20 minutes, Mekansm has a relative high impact on early game objective taking like tower pushed or taking Roshan. The complete Mekansm provides some stats that are welcome and a little armor boost to get able to get in and out of the danger zone.

Pipe of Insight is most likely to be an alternative to Mekansm since you have to get it up considerably soon. As already explained, get this one, if you team is weak against big AoE magic damage spells like Freezing Field.

6.84 Change: Pipe of Inishgt now provides a 10% magic resistance aura in addition to its active, which is a pretty big buff.

It sounds kind of strange but Vladmir's Offering can be a viable pick up on a tank Wraith King. Since it is no orb, but an passive aura buff lifeleach effect Vladmir's Aura and Vampiric Aura stack on melee heroes as on Ostarion himself. You can get this, if you run other carries who can benefit greatly from higher lifesteal, and the aura buffs granting extra damage, armor and mana regeneration.

6.84 Change: Vladmir's Offering's aura does now prvovide 10% lifesteal to ranged allies, which is a huge thing, so consider getting this for your carries twice.

Especially (melee) late game carry heroes who benefit from extra life steal and extra damage, but do not get life steal items themselves, can be further buffed up by Vladmir's Offering (e.g. sometimes Terrorblade, Naga Siren, Anti-Mage, Spectre.

Wraith King in general is a great Gem of True Sight carrier due to his ability to not lose it upon death, when Reincarnation is used. Overall his tankiness makes him predesigned to carry a gem, not only as a support, but in any case needed.

Late Game Supportive Luxury

Shiva's Guard gets the first mention in the late game chapter, because in my opinion this is the go-to support item for the later stages of the game since it provides everything Wraith King needs: A lot of armor to get tankier, a lot of intelligence to enhance your mana pool and the great Arctic Blast active. Ostarion is a good carrier since he will most like be able to get closer to the enemy team and catch them in the slow AoE.

Rod of Atos also provides a bit of tankiness by raw HP and intelligence for mana purposes. The Cripple active is a situational tool that you might want to get, if enemy targets tend to kite you and your team. Since Rod of Atos and Shiva's Guard have similar purposes, better choose one of these depending on what utility is more useful in the specific game.

Scythe of Vyse is maybe the ultimate support item with the downside of being pretty expensive. If your team badly suffers lockdown for a single enemy carry, going for Hex is always a good choice. The intelligence and mana regen are great, but almost a little bit too much for Ostarion since he has no high mana cost spells. The Ultimate Orb part stats are welcome anyway.

Orchid Malevolence is somewhat of the little, cheaper brother of hex, but having a slightly different purposes and giving more aggressive boni. Orchidas is the way to go to prevent blinking heroes or Storm Spirit from getting away or prevent high impact spells to be used against your carry. The granted intelligence an mana plus attack speed and damage is a great all-round bundle for Wraith King as a support giving him an even more aggressive push.

Picking up Heaven's Halberd is never wrong as a support facing a high physical dps carry. Since it provides a big amount of tankiness due to the Evasion and the Sange part, it is a welcome tool on Wraith King giving him more team fight presence when running as a support.

Necronomicon is over all a great pick up on Wraith King if he does not hunger for more pure damage or tankiness, this is why I consider it to be a more supportive item. I gives Ostarion a little bit of split pushing power and some multi target team fight presence which he lacks otherwise. The parts give Ostarion some nice intelligence and strength, both welcome to Wraith King.

6.84 Aghanim's Scepter

Now Reincarnation has a Aghanim's Scepter upgrade as described before. As long as I had no chance to test this ingame, I will list Aghanim's Scepter as a separate item.

For now I consider this a good item for tank 7 support Wraith King. It allows allies to live and fight on for 5 seconds after death within the 1200 AoE. This can be a useful effect for high dps carry allies as they will be able to dish out damage for 5 further seconds instead of dieing. Especially this can be great for high dps glass cannnons like Drow Ranger or Sniper who can put out huge amount of damage in this time. Usually enemies would try to burst these horoes down before they can do too much harm. Aghanim's Scepter assures a certain damage output, if not disables for the whole duration.

This has no real use, if you are the 1st position dps carry since you do not profit very much from support living on for 5 seconds before finally being killed, since their skill will most likely not come off cooldown in the duration.

Catch-Up- Hand of Midas

If you are support and want to switch into getting relevant as a melee threat in late game and ensure big utility items, Hand of Midas is the mechanic to get there. Since Ostarion is easily able to pick up fast farm anywhere on the map, you can transition with Midas into getting geared up for late game.

Jungle Item Progression

The starting items are the common melee jungler starting build that you need in order to farm woods efficiently. Then building Power Treads is a must to increase you lifesteal that keeps you alive. Since you are getting levels into Vampiric Aura buying Tranquil Boots for jungling like e.g. Axe is no real option in my opinion.

How you want to progress item wise from there on depends on the role you want to play, and can follow the other builds provided. If you have a good timing going for an catch-up- Hand of Midas can be an option in order to reach carry potential in late game, if your team needs the dps. Another option is ganking lanes after getting Power Treads and trying to progress from ganks and tower gold.

Combos and Counters

(c) Shifty44 @

The Best Friends of Wraith King

Omniknight is a good ally to know at your side since his complete arsenal is built to buff you impact. While Purification can keep Ostarion alive in fights and lane, the real bad boy is Repel: It allows skipping Black King Bar even against caster armies and ensures Wraith King to do his work with the blade for straight 8 seconds. Also cast upon revival after Reincarnation Repel can ensure further aggression or a safe retreat. The Degen Aura is a nice tool, when chasing down foes in early game. Guardian Angel is not only a great ability over all, but can give Ostarion a chance at critting down a high physical dps target, which usually would win manfighting, such as a farmed Phantom Assassin.

Crystal Maiden is the perfect girl for a King and a great companion in the unholy army. The Frostbite set up is a god-sent gift making target punching bags, but the real deal is Arcane Aura, granting huge mana regen that brings tears to the eyes of the Bone King, when no one is looking. This is a classic solid thing especially for safelane, if you do not prefer other supports for utilizing their abilities for special purposes.

I am not only a big fan of the highly under picked and underrated Rider of the Storm called Disruptor, but I think his skills combine very well with Wraith King's way of doing stuff. Glimpse and Kinetic Field are great set up abilities preventing long chases plus the Kinetic Field + Static Storm combo is a paradise for Ostarion to dish out some harsh criticals.

Hint: I am such a fanboy of Disruptor, that you guys have a good chance of witnessing my next guide dealing with this guy :).

As you guys may have noticed my Dazzle guide here, I am convinced of his big potential, when it comes to boosting physical dps. Poison Touch is a great gap closer, while Shadow Wave provides huge lane sustainability. Shallow Grave can stretch Wraith King's first or second life span by a huge time, giving him to chance to proc some nasty crits, maybe ripping apart one or two more clowns. But Weave and Medallion of Courage are, where the music is playing: These mechanics boost you physical dps by reducing enemy armor and lowering their EHP. When accompanied by Dazzle going for Assault Cuirass and Desolator should have a high priority to get maximal armor modification, making hard carries melt under your crit like butter!

KOTOL GIFF MANA! More true than ever, because you need it like hell. Plus the Reincarnation into Illuminate plus Blinding Light is actually a pretty nice combo. Keeper of the Light might not be the strongest companion for Wraith King, but he does work and does it good.

These small guys can help dish out a lot damage from early on with their high amount of Stuns and Disables.

Mean Counters to Wraith King

Wraith King has the lowest win rate against these three bad guys. And what do they all have in common? You guessed right: THEY F***ING MANA BURN D:. Mana Break and EMP are natural counters to Reincarnation.

Phantom Lancer and Naga Siren usually combine two things, Ostarion is weak against: Illusion armies and manaburn from Diffusal Blade.

Silencer is kind of a counter to Ostarions due to the Curse of the silent manaburn, which is pretty bad especially in early game, if you only have Wraithfire Blast to cast. Also the disarm possibility of Last Word is a thing, that hurts Wraith King badly, though Global Silence cannot prevent Reincarnation to pop.

Lion and Keeper of the Light belong to this section too, because of Mana Drain and Mana Leak being painful for Ostarion in the same way. Especially last hitting in lane can be a torture, if these guys are after you.

These are the reasons to pick Wraith King last or at least be sure they will not pick any of these to hard counter you.

This guy again. Omniknight. Just for the reason of Guardian Angel negating all the punching damage. If used at the right time, when Wraith King initiates a fight or engages after an initiation, this can f**k up a whole team fight, because it is most likely to waste a complete life of Ostarion without getting any work done. He has a win rate advantage for a reason. Omniknight may be a nice target for some Abyssal Blade action, just for the cause of making the mean Omnitian shut up.

Razor is a mean counter to many physical dps carries and Wraith King is no exception this. Ostarion is considerably weak to the damage steal by Static Link due to his vulnerability to kiting and lack of mobility once started to fight. This disgusting ability even pierces spell immunity. If you rely on Ostarions damage as a carry, Razor can mess up you match. If you only run Ostarion as a tank, you are relatively fine getting Static Linked and prevent your main carry from getting debuffed.

When you play public matches, you are most likely to see this white-bearded, gun-slinging, MoM-popping dwarf guy Sniper on a regular basis. If he is played with proper positioning, being cautiously and is provided with a lot of map vision, you are going to have a hard time. Since Wraith King is pretty easily kited, Sniper and his company will not let you get close to him with Headshot and Take Aim. This is the Blink Dagger games I was talking about. You need to sneak up to him and Blink imitate on him from midgame on to stop his further progression. You usually go all out burst damage versus core Sniper in order to three-shot him with Skull Basher / Abyssal Blade and Desolator plus Blink Dagger or else you won't have much impact later on.

Though Sniper is a mean foe, I personally like to pick Wraith King into a Sniper and show some balls in melee range. This may not be the smartest pick to go for since e.g. Phantom Assassin are way more elusive, but it is a public match revenge thingy I got going for me, which is nice :D.

Undying is not a real hard counter to Wraith King, but he is a hard opponent to lane against especially as a strenth hero relying on his main attribute. Reason for this is mainly his Decay, lowering Ostarions given tankiness and taking away his base damage output at the same time. The Tombstone's zombie slow strikes into Ostarion's vulnerability to being slowed and kited in fights. Later in game Undying becomes less of a threat like he uses to, but once your laning is messed up the damage is done, if you want to go for core.

Viper is a lane winner. He wins against Wraith King in a mean manner too, if placed against him. The ability of Viper to keep opponents out of melee range and slowing them down in general is a real threat through out all stages of the game. Getting Viper Striked is the end of engagements. In order to properly do versus Viper is, setting him up with combos in lane and later on is a must and relies on a lot of coordination. Dodging a Viper you meet in lane in order to have a acceptable early game is no dishonor at all!

Heroes bowing to Wraith King:

In general there are no heroes that are hard countered by Wraith King since he does not provide any special utility abilities, which would be able to. This is why I won't add a list of heroes being countered by Wraith King.

But on the other hand Reincarnation is a kind of counter to getting shut down in one turn of events. Heroes that rely on bursting you down in one take like Faceless Void with Chronosphere are better off not engaging on you since this would trigger Reincarnation and set him up for further beating.

Wraith King does better versus Spectre than many other carries, because of his huge amounts of life steal from Vampiric Aura fully compenstate for the damage return of Dispersion (22% at level 4). Also picking off Wraith King with Haunt + Reality is rather impossible since Ostarion's Reincarnation leaving enough time for allies to react. But after all Diffusal Blade is a real problem.

Also melee engage / initiation heroes like Pudge, Spirit Breaker or Centaur Warrunner are pretty much unhappy with engaging on Wraith King since he is best in manfighting at melee range.

Analysis of Competetive and Very Highskill Picks


In this section I will provide you some matches, which I find representive for how to play and build Wraith King properly. I try to add the MatchID for ingame Replays or a Youtube VOD, so you can watch it whenever you like to, if you are interested.

As you can see in statistics of datdota Wraith King actually received a lot of attention in TI4 - 2014 being the 12th most picked hero with a win rate of 47.7% out of 44 matches. He also witnessed some competitive picks this year (DAC 2015, ESL One 2015). As for now in patch 6.86 (BoP) Wraith King is a lower tier pick and very situational so far. He is mostly played as a core and often with Radiance and Blade Mail.

Carry Wraith King by Alliance.Loda vs. Cloud 9 (ESL One 2015 Frankfurt - European Qualifiers)

MATCH-ID: 1341322129

Draft in this order:

Cloud 9:


This is actually a very interesting match due to a lot of facts you can learn from on how to make proper use of Wraith King even in competitive DotA 2.

Support Wraith King by EHOME.Inflame vs. Hellraisers (DAC 2015 - Group Stages)

MATCH-ID: 1198246785

Actually EHOME.Inflame gave Wraith King some picks in the Dota Asia Championships (DAC) 2015 and its Qualifiers, so if you like to look up some of his great games, check the datdota link on top of this chapter.

Draft in this order:



This game actually gets ultra-late game finding an end at 71 minutes ingame. It is actually very interesting since Wraith King transitions between roles as the #4 position.

  • In this match Wraith King got picked 4th by EHOME.

  • The lane set up in this match for EHOME seems kind of messes up. They run a Medusa mid vs. Beastmaster and Batrider offlane versus solo Slark. This leaves the safelane to Lycan, Ancient Apparition and Wraith King facing an aggressive trilane with Doom, Dazzle and Rubick.

    And again, we see the metagame of this versus put the #1 position carry into the midlane with Medusa and leave the safelane and jungle to the secondary carry / split pusher Lycan.

    Ostarion starts as a support roaming the map for ganks in mid and offlane. This roaming might be the reason for him to start with Boots of Speed first instead of more consumables.

    The aggressive trilane and rotations by Beastmaster to the EHOME safelane causes the T1 tower to fall and Lycan to transition into jungling. This leaves the pushed in safe lane to be farmed by Ostarion getting pretty nice stats of 2/1/3 in the process. This allows him to pick up a catch-up- Hand of Midas pretty fast at 16min.

  • EHOME.Inflame goes for the following skill build:

    1 - Wraithfire Blast
    2 - Stats
    3 - Wraithfire Blast
    4 - Vampiric Aura
    5 - Wraithfire Blast
    6 - Reincarnation
    7 - Wraithfire Blast
    8 - Vampiric Aura
    9 - Vampiric Aura
    10 - Mortal Strike
    11 - Reincarnation
    12 - Vampiric Aura
    13 - Mortal Strike
    14 - Mortal Strike
    15 - Mortal Strike
    16 - Reincarnation
    17+ Stats

    As you can see EHOME.Inflame maxed Wraithfire Blast and Reincarnation as soon as possible too.

    Since they are facing a lot of aggression versus a aggressive trilane EHOME.Inflame pick up a level Vampiric Aura at 4. This is addressed to lane sustain reasons and allowing him and Lycan to farm some neutral camps. This need for regen leads to him getting Vampiric Aura to 3 at levels 8 and 9 before picking up one value level of Mortal Strike at level 10. At level 12 the aura is maxed out leaving the rest for Mortal Strike.

  • EHOME.Inflame starts with a different set of item:

  • EHOME.Inflame progresses on his item build with getting:

    ~10 min

    ~16 min

    ~23 min

    ~41 min

    ~46 min

    ~55 min

    This is example for Wraith King support turning into a semi-carry with Abyssal Blade in the late game. He starts with Power Treads and picks up a late catch-up- Hand of Midas after receiving safelane farm.

    EHOME.Inflame is picking up the obligatory Blink Dagger in order to proper participate in fights versus HR's main carry Slark. In this stadium of the game he is still considered to be support, but catching up in farm with his Midas.

    In order to boost the split push strategy based around Lycan he gets Necronomicon 3. After seeing the game getting into the late to ultra late game, he picks up a damage / lockdown item with Skull Basher looking to finish the Abyssal Blade to disable HR's supports Dazzle and Rubick and the elusive Slark, who has a huge amount of farm being 5-slotted by this time.

    This match shows Wraith Kings versatility, when it comes to switching from one role to another. Starting as a roaming support with Boots of Speed only for 10 minutes, being granted safelane and wood farm transitioning into a lategame semi-carry having the 3rd highest gpm.

  • Spoiler: Click to view

Support / Tank Wraith King by EG.Zai vs. Secret (The Summit 2 - LAN Finals)

MATCH-ID: 1076708742

Draft in this order:



This is actually a game from 07/2014 showing the old EG with Arteezy and Zai versus the then Secret with N0tail. Please no SALT guys, I know some of you are not happy with the recent roster changes, but follow the players that you have put in your heart and do not care too much about the labeling.

Carry Wraith King by Na'Vi.XBOCT vs. Alliance (The Summit 3)

MATCH-ID: 1354131679

Draft in this order:



In Loving Memory of Skeleton King

(c) TheClaudioAmericano @ deviantart

Due to copyright problems with Blizzard (Diablo 1, 3 and Warcraft 3) the beloved Skeleton King has passed away and changed his suit to reincarnate as Wraith King. The **** part about this is, that the new model now has a this green color theme, instead of the bad *** bone and red Skeleton King style.

This seems to have made visual artists so mad, that they only develop ****ty cosmetics for Wraith King. Then they tried to show some love with an immortal sword, which sadly is frost blue and does not fit to the green color pattern in any way.

Not like I care much about cosmetics, but Skeleton looked like a damn Rockstar. Playing Wraith King makes you feel like a rockstar, but ingame you look like green smurf with ADD D: So let's pray for the revival of the original Skeleton King.

Feedback and Shoutout

As this guide is still "under construction" and I'm no native English speaker, I am honestly and really happy about constructive criticism about it on all levels. Please let me know about incorrect facts, wrong spelling and misconceptions, because I want to get this guide at an enjoyable and useful level.

As you may have noticed, if you read my other guides, I have made some differences by not using so much colorized text and adding some dotabuff statistics. If you have an opinion about this, tell me how you liked it and what I can take into account when creating another guide. I appreciate feedback since it is the only way to improve.

If you liked this guide, maybe you are interested in studying one of my other guides for Dazzle or Undying.

Finally --- I want to thank the DotA community as a whole, especially tutorial makers, guide authors, lets players, casters and positive minded players. Without a community with such passion for the game of DotA, I would be called a fuc***g noob today for a reason.

Thanks for reading, especially for reading the full guide and for giving feedback.

Shoutout to|Pr0 and Pokemongo,

E1 Mariachi

In the end of the day every queen knows, there is only ONE King, ONE Lord, ONE Swagatron on the map. It's Ostarion.
(c) keterok @ deviantart

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