Ish'kafel the Dark Seer is a melee intelligence hero with versatile abilities that allow him to assist allies and greatly change the conditions of combat. His Vacuum in particular affects enemies in a large area and is a powerful crowd-control. It not only disorients and damages enemies, but also pushes them into a small area to follow up with area spells or to trigger other abilities, such as his Wall of Replica ultimate that turns the very power of enemies against them in the form of illusions that replicate their statistics. His other spells focus on buffing allies with speed, or in the case of his Ion Shell, granting an aura that radiates damage onto enemies who venture within it.
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- With a Stout Shield and healing items, Dark Seer can go to kill neutral creeps almost immediately.
- An advanced jungling tactic involves Smoke of Deceit. By combining it with Ion Shell, Dark Seer can jungle without taking any damage from creeps, as the only thing that removes the invisibility is proximity to an enemy hero or auto attacking a unit. In this way, Dark Seer can stack a single camp multiple times, cast Ion Shell on himself, pop Smoke, and stand at the camp until the creeps have been killed. Because of the steep cost of Smoke, it is advised that players do not use it without stacking camps first. As of the July 26th patch neutrals will now run away when attacked by an invisible enemy, players can still choose to use this method of jungling by chasing the creeps while invisible or casting on a weak neutral but the method will be far less efficient compared to before.
- If laning, be sure to harass enemies with Ion Shell by placing it on their melee creeps (for melee heroes) or ranged creeps (for ranged heroes). Additionally, placing Ion Shell on the second allied melee creep to arrive at the creep line is a good way to push the lane as well as create a moving damage-dealing creep that will chase enemy heroes.
- Be sure to take at least 1 early point of Surge, as it can help escaping ganks and chasing, as well as giving more mobility.
- When chasing, self-cast Ion Shell and run next to the enemy without attacking, using Surge if you need to catch up. Even better, use surge to body-block enemy heroes (that is, get in front of them to hinder their movement) and deliver auto-attacks without moving out of range of the Ion Shell.
- Wall of Replica is usually leveled after you've maxed both Ion Shell and Vacuum, as early game illusions don't deal much damage. Additionally, the relatively high mana cost at lower levels can be prohibitive, as you won't be left with much mana to cast other spells.
- AoE spells, especially those that require positioning, greatly benefit from Vacuum, as you can place all of them together to ensure a hit.
- Using Vacuum on enemy heroes to send them through your Wall of Replica will disallow foes from preventing illusions, as well as causing guaranteed damage from passing through the Wall.
- Due to Vacuum and Ion Shell's instant cast, your usefulness in large team fights permit Dark Seer to synergize extremely well with heroes such as Enigma and Jakiro. Make sure to cast these abilities with Black Hole and Ice Path/Macropyre/Liquid Fire to maximize AoE damage and maybe turn the tide in battle.
- Mekansm is a strong pickup on Dark Seer, as it makes him tankier and he can very quickly farm one up.
- A Bottle can also be used to sustain high mana use, if the Dark Seer is put midlane. It has the added benefit of rune control as most runes are useful for Ion Shell harass.
- Dark Seer's response, "Play No, I will not calm my beard." may be a response to Beastmaster's and Clockwerk's rival hero taunts, both voiced by Sam A. Mowry.
- Dark Seer's Vacuum's description is based on the military term, center of gravity ,which is a concept developed by Carl Von Clausewitz, a Prussian military theorist, in his work On War.
 Update history
- Updated ability icons for Dark Seer and Dragon Knight.
- Fixed two ledges (below the two rune spots) where you could get units stuck with Telekinesis and Vacuum.
- Fixed Wall of Replica illusion creation timing (affects instantly dying illusions mainly).
- Updated vision values on these abilities: Unstable Concoction, Phantasm, Waveform, Storm Hammer, Mirror Image, Spirit Lance, Requiem of Souls, Spectral Dagger, Venomous Gale, Earthbind, Dream Coil, Shackleshot, Wall of Replica, Flamebreak, Deafening Blast, Ghost Ship.
- Fixed Ion Shell damage interval and it triggering Cold Snap.
- [Undocumented] Updated model and textures for Dark Seer.
- Fixed Ion Shell showing the visual connecting effect on invisible targets.
- Fixed turn rates for the following heroes: Lifestealer, Alchemist, Clockwerk, Bounty Hunter, Dark Seer, Dazzle, Ancient Apparition, Brewmaster, Chen, Silencer, Lone Druid, Spectre and Spiritbreaker.
- Fixed Vacuum tree aoe destruction being too big.
- Fixed Brewmaster's primal splits creating illusions from Wall of Replica.
- Fixed Vacuum continuously pulling new units in the aoe for a period of time after initial cast.
- Fixed Vacuum disable/pull duration lasting too long.
- Made Dark Seer's illusion effect more differentiated from a normal illusion effect.
- Made all known illusions draw with a creep style healthbar. This does not effect enemy illusions, but does apply to Dark Seer's Wall of Illusion illusions.
- Changed how Dark Seer's illusions look — smaller and illusion color for both teams.
- Fixed being able to Surge magic immune allies.
- Added more movement lines for Dazzle, Dark Seer, Dragon Knight, Furion, Huskar, Riki, Skeleton King, Slardar, Spectre, and Jakiro.
- Fixed Wall of Replica not providing vision.
- Fixed Ion Shell being dispelled during Bladefury.
- Fixed Vacuum to allow pulling of units through buildings.
- Fixed Vacuum to properly stun vacuumed units while they are being moved, so it will now interrupt channels such as teleports.
- Vacuum now destroys trees around the targetted area.
- Added Dark Seer.
- Dark Seer now resumes his previous movement if he casts Surge on himself.
 Balance changelog
- Ion Shell cooldown reduced from 10 to 9.
- Vacuum cooldown increased from 24 to 28.
- Vacuum cooldown increased from 22 to 24.
- Vacuum cooldown increased from 19 to 22.
- Movement speed decreased from 305 to 300.
- Vacuum cooldown increased from 16 to 19.
- Vacuum cast range decreased from 550 to 500.
- Vacuum AoE decreased from 275/375/475/575 to 250/350/450/550.
- Vacuum no longer pull invulnerable units.
- Wall of Replica illusions take 300% damage (up from 250%).
- Wall of Replica Aghanim bonus no longer creates allied illusions.
- Wall of Replica Aghanim bonus now increases illusion damage from 70/80/90 to 100/120/140% instead.
- Ion Shell duration increased from 15 to 20.
- Ion Shell AoE from increased 225 to 250.
- Ion Shell cooldown increased from 7 to 10
- Ion Shell damage increased from 30/45/60/75 to 30/50/70/90.
- Wall of Replica illusions are now semi-transparent to enemy players.
- Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c
- Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.
- Wall of Replica illusion damage improved from 70% to 70/80/90%
- Added an Aghanim's Scepter upgrade (and visual effect):
- Creates illusions of allied heroes as well as enemy heroes. Allied illusions deal 50% damage.
- Rebalanced all Melee heroes between 100 and 128 range to be 128 range
- Dark Seer previously had 125 range.
- Vacuum cast range decreased from 800 to 550.
- Vacuum damage decreased from 60/120/180/240 to 40/80/120/160.
- Ion Shell cast on an already affected unit will replace the old buff instead of stacking.
- Wall of Replica damage dealt when affecting an enemy hero increased from 125 to 150.
- Wall of Replica image damage increased from 60% to 70%.
- Ion Shell manacost increased from 60/80/100/120 to 70/90/110/130.
- Wall of Replica no longer replicates allies.
- Wall of Replica now deals 125 damage each time it affects an enemy hero.
- Wall of Replica illusions damage improved from 35% to 60%.
- Improved Vacuum cast range.
- Lowered Ion Shell cooldown (15->7 cd).
- Vacuum no longer goes through magic immunity.
- Vacuum now drags the units in over 0.3 seconds rather than instantly.
- Improved Surge duration from 2/3.5/5/6.5 to 3/4.5/6/7.5 seconds.
- Improved Dark Seer's cast animation point.
- Increased length of Wall of Replica slightly.
- Surge no longer purges target
 See also