Damage manipulation

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Refraction icon.png

There are several ways to affect the final value of a damage instance. Damage can be manipulated on both ends, from the dealing unit (outgoing damage) and the receiving unit (incoming damage). Armor and magic resistance are the most common damage manipulators, affecting incoming physical and magical damage respectively (no similar trait exists for pure damage). They usually reduce damage, but can also amplify it if their values are negative. Spell damage amplification is the main trait for amplifying (but not for reducing) outgoing spell damage (no similar trait exists for attack damage). Besides these, there are some other ways to manipulate damage, ranging from amplifying damage, reducing damage and even negating damage completely.

Sources of damage manipulation[edit]

Amplifying incoming damage[edit]

Damage amplification causes afflicted units to take additional damage.

Besides these, other ways to amplify damage is by reducing armor for physical damage or magic resistance for magical damage.

  • Bloodrage icon.png
    Close Damage Amplification: 25%/30%/35%/40%
    Far Damage Amplification: 12.5%/15%/17.5%/20%
    Duration: 9/10/11/12
    Amplifies for half the value when the dealer and receiver are more than 2200 units apart from each other.
  • Penitence icon.png
    Damage Amplification: 18%/24%/30%/36%
    Duration: 8
  • Illusion icon.png
    Based on the ability the illusion is created by, it may take more damage than the hero it is based on.
  • Soul Catcher icon.png
    Max Damage Amplification: 20%/30%/40%/50%
    Duration: 12
    Amplification gets spread evenly amongs all units debuffed on cast.
  • Guardian Sprint icon.png
    Damage Amplification: 15%
    Duration: 12
  • Flesh Golem icon.png
    Max Damage Amplification: 20%/25%/30%
    Min Damage Amplification: 1%
    Max Radius: 200
    Min Radius: 700
    Amplification gets linearly stronger based on distance to Undying, reaching max amplification within a 200 radius.

Amplifying outgoing damage[edit]

Besides spell damage amplification, Bloodrage is the only ability able to amplify outgoing damage.

  • Bloodrage icon.png
    Close Damage Amplification: 25%/30%/35%/40%
    Far Damage Amplification: 12.5%/15%/17.5%/20%
    Duration: 9/10/11/12
    Amplifies for half the value when the dealer and receiver are more than 2200 units apart from each other.

Reducing incoming damage[edit]

Just like how damage can be amplified, it can also be reduced.

Besides these, other ways to reduce damage is by increasing armor against physical damage or magic resistance against magical damage.

  • Borrowed Time icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 0% (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 50%)
    Radius: 0 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 900)
    Duration: 4/5/6 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 5/6/7)
    When upgraded, reduces damage allies take within the radius and turns it into heal for Abaddon.
  • Bristleback ability icon.png
    Rear Damage Reduction: 16%/24%/32%/40%
    Side Damage Reduction: 8%/12%/16%/20%
    Reduces damage for Bristleback when taking damage from his rear or sides.
  • Backdoor Protection icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 25%
    Illusion Damage Reduction: 75%
    Reduces damage from all sources (more from illusions) while under Backdoor Protection. Also reduces damage from illusions by 50% while not protected.
  • Stampede icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 0% (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 40%)
    Duration: 4
  • Illusion icon.png
    Based on the ability the illusion is created by, it may take less damage than the hero it is based on.
  • Overcharge icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 5%/10%/15%/20%
    Reduces damage for Io and a Tether icon.png Tethered ally.
  • Ghostship icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 40%/45%/50%
    Duration: 10
    Reduces damage for all buffed allies, making them take that portion of damage later.
  • Duel icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 0% (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 100%)
    Duration: 0 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 6/7/8)
    When upgraded, reduces damage for both participants to all damage except from each other.
  • Mana Shield icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 60%
    Damage Absorbed per Mana: 1.6/1.9/2.2/2.5
  • Burrow icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 40%
  • Dispersion icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 10%/14%/18%/22%
  • Enrage icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 80%
    Duration: 4
  • Gravekeeper's Cloak icon.png
    Max Layers: 4
    Damage Reduction per Layer: 8%/12%/16%/20%
    Layer Recharge Time: 6/5/4/3
    Passive, loses 1 layer when taking player-based damage. Layers recharge after a short time. Also affects Visage's Visage Familiar icon.png Familiars within range.
  • Winter's Curse icon.png
    Damage Reduction: 100%
    Radius: 500
    Duration: 3.25/4/4.75
    Reduces damage for the frozen target and those cursed to attack their ally.

Reducing outgoing damage[edit]

These abilities are able to reduce outgoing damage.

Stacking damage reduction & amplification[edit]

Armor and magic resistance work separately from other damage manipulators. This means they always stack multiplicatively with any other listed ability.

Besides Borrowed Time icon.png Borrowed Time's aura, Ghostship icon.png Ghostship's rum and Mana Shield icon.png Mana Shield, all damage reducing and damage amplifying effects stack additively with each other. Borrowed Time, Ghostship and Mana Shield stack multiplicatively with them. Mana Shield also stacks multiplicatively with Borrowed Time and Ghostship. However, the damage reductions of Borrowed Time and Ghostship do not stack with each other, although both still react on the damage (Borrowed Time still heals Abaddon, and Ghostship's rum wear-off still counts the damage). The damage amplification which illusions usually have stacks multiplicatively with all other damage amplifying and reducing effects (considering they are able to affect illusions).

Examples of additive stacking (all values consider highest possible value, examples ignore armor and magic resistance, 100% is the base value):

100 + 40 + 50 - 20 = 170% damage

100 + 30 - 22 - 50 = 58% damage

100 - 80 - 20 = 0% damage

100 - 100 + 40 + 30 + 50 + 30 = 150% damage


Examples of multiplicative stacking:

(100 - 20 + 50) * 40% = 52% damage

  • Medusa affected by the same as above, but also additionally by Ghostship icon.png Ghostship takes:

(100 - 20 + 25) * 40% * 50% = 21% damage

(100 - 20 - 50) * 400% = 120% damage

Stacking outgoing damage manipulation stacks in the same way as incoming damage manipulation, i.e. additively. However, since incoming and outgoing manipulations happen at different times (outgoing happens first), they stack multiplicatively with each other.

Damage negation[edit]

Damage negation causes entire instances of damage to deal no damage to its target, however, the instance is still registered. This means, if something reacts on damage without having a minimum damage threshold, it still reacts on the negated damage.

  • Aphotic Shield icon.png
    Negated Damage: 110/140/170/200 (Talent 410/440/470/500)
    Duration: 15
    Can only negate a certain amount of damage before detonating.
  • Borrowed Time icon.png
    Duration: 3/4/5 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 5/6/7)
    Also turns the negated damage into heals for Abaddon.
  • Infused Raindrop icon.png
    Negated Damage: 120
    Charges: 5
    Can only negate magical damage. Can only negate a certain amount of damage per charge. Goes on cooldown upon negating an instance. Ignores damage lower than 50.
  • Spiked Carapace icon.png
    Duration: 2.25
    Can only negate 1 instance of damage from each player.
  • Guardian Angel icon.png
    Duration: 6/7/8 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 8/9/10)
    Can only negate physical damage.
  • False Promise icon.png
    Duration: 7/8/9 (Talent 9/10/11)
    The negated damage is dealt immediately once the buff ends.
  • Refraction icon.png
    Charges: 3/4/5/6 (Talent 6/7/8/9)
    Duration: 17
    Can only negate a certain number of damage instances. Ignores damage lower than 5.
  • Living Armor icon.png
    Negated Damage: 20/40/60/80
    Instances: 4/5/6/7 (Talent 8/9/10/11)
    Duration: 15
    Can only negate a certain amount of damage per instance. Ignores damage lower than 5.
  • Cold Embrace icon.png
    Duration: 4
    Can only negate physical damage.

Preventing on-damage effects[edit]

Many abilities react on damage a unit receives. In some cases, fully negating the damage causes them to not proc. However, some on-damage effects also react on 0 damage so they still may proc even when the proccing damage got negated.

The following abilities and effects do not react on damage when it gets fully negated (reduced to 0):

1 Includes all sources of lifesteal, except Feast icon.png Feast, Open Wounds icon.png Open Wounds and Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core's Spell Lifesteal, which are listed separately.

2 These work when the damage gets negated by Aphotic Shield icon.png Aphotic Shield.

3 These abilities have damage counters, which do not work when the damage gets negated.

5 Despite Living Armor icon.png Living Armor not reacting on damage which was already blocked by another source of damage negation, it still loses a charge per damage instance when the other source of damage negation was Aphotic Shield icon.png Aphotic Shield.


The following abilities still do react on fully negated damage:

1 Both cleave and splash damage from Empower icon.png Empower react on fully negated damage.

2 The damage of Dispersion icon.png Dispersion and the damage spread of Fatal Bonds icon.png Fatal Bonds are fully unaffected by any form of reduction, except for magic resistance and armor.

Min Health[edit]

Lina casting Laguna Blade on a low health Dazzle affected by Shallow Grave and Blade Mail. Lina takes the full Laguna Blade damage.

Min Health, just like regular damage negation, prevents a unit from dying. However, the way in which that is achieved is completely different. Instead of directly reducing or negating damage, this mechanic rather manipulates the health of the unit. This property (MODIFIER_PROPERTY_MIN_HEALTH) prevents a unit's health from dropping below the value it is set to. It does not affect the damage itself, meaning on-damage effects react on the full damage, and not how much damage was dealt effectively, so they can be triggered normally.

The following abilities use the Min Health mechanic: