Damage types

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Damage is any means by which a unit's current health can be reduced. Heroes, creeps, ancients, Roshan and fountains are all capable of dealing damage.

Damage Sources[edit]

Damage can be dealt by attacks, abilities and items. Attack damage is the damage dealt per attack, and is displayed on the sword icon in the HUD. Heroes start off with a base damage (not listed on heroes pages, see official site) plus 1 extra damage per point of primary attribute. As heroes level up, they gain primary attributes and therefore gain damage. Items that grant increased "Damage" increase attack damage, and do not affect abilities and items. Abilities and items can also deal damage. These are generally fixed. However, some abilities can be upgraded with Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, while others scale with hero stats, conditions or enemy hp etc.

Damage Types[edit]

All forms of damage in Dota 2 are classified by damage types. There are 3 primary damage types: Physical, Magical, and Pure. Physical Damage can be reduced by Physical Armor or Damage Block, Magical Damage can be reduced by Magical Damage Resistance, while Pure Damage cannot be reduced by either armor or magical damage resistance. All 3 primary damage types have some interaction with other damage-related game mechanics as noted in the table below. There are two additional damage types that can reduce a unit's current health: HP Removal and Negative Regeneration; however, these two types are unaffected by almost all other damage-related game mechanics.

Game Mechanic Damage Type's Interaction with the Mechanic
Physical, Attacks Physical, Abilities Magical Pure Other
Armor reduced reduced normal normal normal
Damage Block reduced reduced normal normal normal
Magical Damage Resistance normal normal reduced normal normal
Ethereal no effect no effect amplified normal normal
Evasion may miss normal normal normal normal
Blind may miss normal normal normal normal
Pseudo-Evasion may miss may miss may miss may miss normal
Damage Amplification depends* depends* depends* depends* normal
Damage Reduction depends* depends* depends* depends* normal
Anti-Magic Shell normal normal absorbed normal normal
Invulnerability no effect no effect no effect no effect no effect
Spell Immunity normal depends** depends** depends** normal

* The source of amplification or reduction must affect the correct damage type. For example, Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord only amplifies magical damage; it has no effect on physical or pure damage. Pure damage can be amplified or reduced by items or abilities that affect all damage types, such as Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence, or Borrowed Time icon.png Borrowed Time (with upgraded aura from Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter).

** By itself, Spell Immunity does not interact with any damage type. All spells are rated as to whether or not they can pierce spell immunity independent of their damage type. Thus, spell immunity only governs if a spell will have any effect, not how much damage it will inflict. To receive no effects from a spell, the spell must not pierce Spell Immunity and the target would require both Spell Immunity and 100% damage reduction of the damage type the spell inflicts.


Physical Damage can be inflicted by regular attacks from all units (including structures), and by certain abilities. Physical damage is modified by both armor and damage block, is unaffected by magic resistance, and cannot affect ethereal units.

Physical damage is further divided into attack type categories that modify damage based on the target's armor type. All physical damage is affected by both armor and armor type. For example, piercing damage deals 150% damage to unarmored units (such as lane creeps) but only 50% damage to heroes. Such resistances are applied in addition to resistance from armor value. A full list of the attack types of creeps and summoned units can be found here. (Table of attack and armor types)

The only exception to this is damage from cleave, which is reduced by armor type and damage block but not by armor value. Practically speaking this means armor is worthless against cleave damage. Splash (from ranged attacks) is reduced as normal.

The abilities Guardian Angel icon.png Guardian Angel and Cold Embrace make their targets completely immune to physical damage, although they can still be targeted by attacks and abilities.

Effective Physical Damage by Attack Type and Armor Type[edit]

Armor Type
Unarmored Light Medium Heavy Fortified Hero
Normal 100% 100% 150% 125% 70% 75%
Pierce 150% 200% 75% 75% 35% 50%
Siege 100% 100% 50% 125% 150% 75%
Chaos 100% 100% 100% 100% 40% 100%
Hero 100% 100% 100% 100% 50% 100%

Balance Changelog[edit]


  • Changed piercing damage to heavy armor to 75% from 100%


  • Chaos damage now does 40% damage to fortified (down from 50%)


  • Chaos Damage now does same as hero damage to structures, 50% instead of 100%

Physical Damage Abilities[edit]

Certain spells deal physical damage instead of magical. Physical damage from abilities are treated as Hero damage, and deals full damage to all units except for structures and siege creeps. Damage from abilities can be reduced by armor value and damage block, but will not trigger abilities that check for attacks such as Counter Helix icon.png Counter Helix. Such abilities cannot be evaded, except with Pseudo-Evasion. The following abilities deal physical damage:

Acid Spray icon.png Alchemist - Acid Spray* Unstable Concoction icon.png Alchemist - Unstable Concoction
Mana Break icon.png Anti-Mage - Mana Break Counter Helix icon.png Axe - Counter Helix
Wild Axes icon.png Beastmaster - Wild Axes* Shadow Walk icon.png Bounty Hunter - Shadow Walk
Quill Spray icon.png Bristleback - Quill Spray* Return (Centaur) icon.png Centaur Warrunner - Return
Searing Arrows icon.png Clinkz - Searing Arrows Poison Touch icon.png Dazzle - Poison Touch*
Shadow Wave icon.png Dazzle - Shadow Wave Exorcism icon.png Death Prophet - Exorcism*
Diffusal Blade icon.png Diffusal Blade (3150) - Feedback Earth Splitter icon.png Elder Titan - Earth Splitter**
Echo Stomp icon.png Elder Titan - Echo Stomp** Sleight of Fist icon.png Ember Spirit - Sleight of Fist
Omnislash icon.png Juggernaut - Omnislash Diabolic Edict icon.png Leshrac - Diabolic Edict*
Feast icon.png Lifestealer - Feast Entangling Claws icon.png Lone Druid - Spirit Bear - Entangling Claws
Necronomicon warrior mana burn icon.png Necronomicon - Necronomicon Warrior - Mana Break Vendetta icon.png Nyx Assassin - Vendetta
Eye of the Storm icon.png Razor - Eye of the Storm Backstab icon.png Riki - Backstab
Roshan bash icon.png Roshan - Bash Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade (2800) - Shadow Walk
Bash icon.png Slardar - Bash Slithereen Crush icon.png Slardar - Slithereen Crush
Headshot icon.png Sniper - Headshot Land Mines icon.png Techies - Land Mines*
Suicide Squad, Attack! icon.png Techies - Suicide Squad, Attack! Meld icon.png Templar Assassin - Meld
Anchor Smash icon.png Tidehunter - Anchor Smash Fury Swipes icon.png Ursa - Fury Swipes
Nethertoxin icon.png Viper - Nethertoxin The Swarm icon.png Weaver - The Swarm

* Damage cannot be reduced by damage block.

** Half of damage dealt is physical.


Magical Damage is caused primarily by spells, although not all do magic damage. Magic damage is reduced by magic resistance, and deals higher damage against ethereal units. The majority of abilities in Dota 2 deal magical damage.

All abilities not explicitly listed under another damage type section inflict magical damage.


Pure Damage is a damage type that is not reduced by magic resistance or amplified by magical damage amplification like Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord or Ancient Seal icon.png Ancient Seal. It also fully ignores armor and damage block. However, it can be reduced or amplified by skills which reduce/amplify every damage type, like Dispersion icon.png Dispersion or Soul Catcher icon.png Soul Catcher. Pure damage affects spell immune units (since spell immunity doesn't block damage by itself), but that does not mean that a spell with pure damage can target spell immune units (eg Brain Sap icon.png Brain Sap deals pure damage, but cannot be cast on spell immune units). It does not affect invulnerable units. The following abilities deal pure damage:

Mist Coil icon.png Abaddon - Mist Coil* Brain Sap icon.png Bane - Brain Sap
Nightmare icon.png Bane - Nightmare Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail (2200) - Damage Return
Blood Rite icon.png Bloodseeker - Blood Rite Rupture icon.png Bloodseeker - Rupture
Doom ability icon.png Doom - Doom Impetus icon.png Enchantress - Impetus
Midnight Pulse icon.png Enigma - Midnight Pulse EMP icon.png Invoker - EMP
Sun Strike icon.png Invoker - Sun Strike Laguna Blade icon.png Lina - Laguna Blade**
Summon Spirit Bear icon.png Lone Druid - Summon Spirit Bear*** Mystic Snake icon.png Medusa - Mystic Snake****
Spiked Carapace icon.png Nyx Assassin - Spiked Carapace Purification icon.png Omniknight - Purification
Arcane Orb icon.png Outworld Devourer - Arcane Orb Stifling Dagger icon.png Phantom Assassin - Stifling Dagger
Sun Ray icon.png Phoenix - Sun Ray Meat Hook icon.png Pudge - Meat Hook
Sonic Wave icon.png Queen of Pain - Sonic Wave Glaives of Wisdom icon.png Silencer - Glaives of Wisdom
Desolate icon.png Spectre - Desolate Dispersion icon.png Spectre - Dispersion
Psi Blades icon.png Templar Assassin - Psi Blades Chakram icon.png Timbersaw - Chakram
Timber Chain icon.png Timbersaw - Timber Chain Whirling Death icon.png Timbersaw - Whirling Death*****
Laser icon.png Tinker - Laser Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows (875) - Soul Release
Wave of Terror icon.png Vengeful Spirit - Wave of Terror

* Mist Coil deals pure damage to the caster, but magical damage to the target.

** Laguna Blade deals pure only when upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, else it deals magical damage.

*** When the Spirit Bear dies, Lone Druid takes 10% of his max hp as pure damage.

**** Mystic Snake deals pure damage to units turned into stone by Stone Gaze icon.png Stone Gaze, and magical damage to all others.

***** Whirling Death deals pure damage if it cuts trees within its 300 radius on the same cast, else it deals magical damage.

Other Health Affecting Sources[edit]

HP Removal and Negative Regeneration are two other ways to lose health. However, they are not attributed as damages types and thus not interrupt Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve or Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger. They also do not trigger on-damage effects such as Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace.

HP Removal[edit]

Most sources of HP removal are not lethal, the only exception being False Promise icon.png False Promise. The following abilities use HP Removal:

Culling Blade icon.png Axe - Culling Blade* Ghost Ship icon.png Kunkka - Ghost Ship**
False Promise icon.png Oracle - False Promise** Sunder icon.png Terrorblade - Sunder
Soul Rip icon.png Undying - Soul Rip***

* Culling Blade kills the target by dealing the threshold number in form of HP removal to the target. Unlike other spells which use HP removal, Culling Blade's killing blow is reflected by Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail
** The delayed damage is dealt in form of HP removal
*** Soul Rip takes health in form of HP removal from all units counted towards the damage/heal.

The following abilities cause HP Removal to the caster:

Armlet of Mordiggian icon.png Armlet of Mordiggian (2400) - Unholy Strength* Bloodstone icon.png Bloodstone (4900) - Pocket Deny*
Burning Spear icon.png Huskar - Burning Spear Overcharge icon.png Io - Overcharge
Fire Spirits icon.png Phoenix - Fire Spirits Icarus Dive icon.png Phoenix - Icarus Dive
Sun Ray icon.png Phoenix - Sun Ray Soul Ring icon.png Soul Ring (800) - Sacrifice

* Unholy Strength and Pocket Deny do not cause the user to lose health while invulnerable.

Negative Regeneration[edit]

Negative regeneration works identical to HP removal. The only differences are that it can kill a unit, which will give kill credit (experience and gold) to the unit who afflicted the target with the negative regeneration, that it is treated as damage by Borrowed Time icon.png Borrowed Time, and is delayed by False Promise icon.png False Promise. Currently, only Heartstopper Aura uses this damage type.

Heartstopper Aura icon.png Necrophos - Heartstopper Aura

Deprecated Damage Types[edit]

The following damage types were removed in patch 6.82 to simplify the game mechanics.


Composite damage (also known as mixed damage) was a physical damage type that was reduced by both armor and magic resistance. It went through magic immunity and did not affect ethereal units. This damage type was used by Acid Spray icon.png Acid Spray, Wild Axes icon.png Wild Axes, Diabolic Edict icon.png Diabolic Edict, Summon Spirit Bear icon.png Summon Spirit Bear (the backlash damage), Land Mines icon.png Land Mines and Suicide Squad, Attack! icon.png Suicide Squad, Attack!. All of them now deal physical damage, except for the backlash damage from the Spirit Bear, which is now pure damage.


Universal damage was a magical damage type that went through magic immunity, was reduced by magic resistance, and dealt higher damage to ethereal units. This damage type was previously used by: Pulverize icon.png Pulverize, Doom ability icon.png Doom, Echo Slam icon.png Echo Slam (initial damage only), Midnight Pulse icon.png Midnight Pulse, Laguna Blade icon.png Laguna Blade (when upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter), March of the Machines icon.png March of the Machines, and Flaming Fists icon.png Flaming Fists.

All of these abilities were reworked. These abilities: Doom ability icon.png Doom, Midnight Pulse icon.png Midnight Pulse, Flaming Fists icon.png Flaming Fists, and Laguna Blade icon.png Laguna Blade (when upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter) all now inflict pure damage that pierces Spell Immunity. And these abilities: Pulverize icon.png Pulverize, Echo Slam icon.png Echo Slam (initial damage), and March of the Machines icon.png March of the Machines all now inflict Magical Damage that does not pierce Spell Immunity.

External Links[edit]