Balanar the Night Stalker is a unique Hero in that he is affected by the time of day during the game. During daytime, his vision is lower than usual, he is slower in both movement and attack speed than a hero of an equal level. Once the sun goes down, Balanar's real power is unleashed, as both his physical power and abilities are enhanced greatly.
His Void is a slowing nuke that keeps enemies crippled longer at night. Crippling Fear is a silence with a relatively low cooldown (something rare on a Strength hero) that gains even additional potency at night, later in the game it can go on to become the second longest silence in the game. Hunter in the Night is what defines the Night Stalker, gaining supernatural attack and movement speed, but only at night. Darkness literally takes back the night from the day and allows him to achieve his full potential regardless of which time of day it actually is, all the while reducing the enemies field of vision and increasing the duration of the night if used during daytime.
- Night Stalker has no equipments currently.
- Night Stalker is best played as a mid hero. His excellent base damage and high base armor allow him to get last-hits and denies fairly reliably, and benefits greatly from solo experience as he can take advantage of the levels once the first night hits. As well, being mid gives him the option of ganking either top or bottom without the need for a Town Portal Scroll, as he can reach either lane easily and quickly due to Hunter in the Night.
- During the night, most heroes have below average vision, rendering them ineffective in chases and giving enemies a chance to hide in a blind spot. Night Stalker, however, is at home in this time and has full vision, allowing him to effectively chase without getting obscured on his sight, as well as easily escape enemies due to being able to see their pursuit paths. With Aghanim's Scepter, he gains full unobstructed vision, allowing him to see through trees, elevated terrain and even inside Roshan's pit.
- Void is the best ability to max early, as the damage nuke and slow allow you to use it to deal burst damage to a target, as well as slow them down enough to catch up to them and deal tremendous right-click damage. Its low cooldown also means that you can potentially use it twice or more in a gank or teamfight.
- When laning, it is best to avoid leveling Void beyond level 1 even if you have a skill point to spend. The ability deals 90 damage at level 1, enough to get last-hits at range, and leveling it up will increase its mana cost. Therefore, it is wise to save the skill point until you are ready to begin ganking and need the damage to kill an enemy hero.
- Remember that Void will mini-stun its target, so you can use it to cancel channeled abilities. Against smart opponents, it is wise to wait to cast it until the enemy attempts to use their Town Portal Scroll, as using it to initiate a gank can cause them to teleport immediately, ensuring their escape if you do not have the DPS to kill them or an item that disables.
- Crippling Fear is a very powerful spell with only one level, as it can silence and induce miss on a target for 5 seconds during nighttime. As such, you should always get one point in it during the laning phase but wait to max it out until after Void and Hunter in the Night are both at level 4.
- Hunter in the Night empowers Night Stalker's attack speed and movement speed superbly during the night, making him a very powerful ganker during the earliest parts of the game.
- With +50 movement speed from most boots, level 4 Hunter in the Night will give Night Stalker a movement speed of 465. A 16% movement speed bonus added on top of that, whether from Phase Boots' active ability or Sange and Yasha, will boost his movement speed to 520, nearly Haste speed. Use this to your advantage to chase enemies down or escape with near impunity.
- Darkness will reduce the enemy's vision range for its duration, affecting heroes as well as buildings and wards. As it costs no mana to cast, you are free to use it whenever the situation requires it.
- Remember that Darkness will reduce all enemy vision to a maximum of 675. This means that heroes with abnormally high night vision such as Luna and Slark will have their vision reduced by almost two-thirds, giving your team a significant advantage against them.
- Because time continues to pass for the duration of the ultimate, you should cast it whenever it is off cooldown during the daytime. By doing so, you effectively reduce the amount of daytime there is in the game, as it will be night when it should be day while time passes. At level 16, the enemy team will only have 90 seconds of daylight out of the 8 minute cycle, effectively reducing daylight to 18.75% of the time.
- At night, you should reserve your ultimate for until your team is preparing for a gank. While the enemy will suspect that your team may be up to something, reducing their vision range will also affect any Observer Wards that they have placed, meaning that they will be only barely more than 40% effective. This can allow your team to move under the cover of darkness and bypass Observer Wards that do not explicitly cover travel paths.
- Night Stalker will greatly benefit from being on the same team as Luna. Her Lunar Blessing will give him bonus damage and her Eclipse will turn the time of the day to night for 10 seconds. This 10 seconds is often significant enough for the Night Stalker to set in and go for the kill.
- Night Stalker can benefit from building other items not noted under Situational items:
- Bottle is a must for Night Stalker if he is played as a mid. As he has a small mana pool, getting a rune will replenish a large fraction of his mana, allowing him to cast his spells to their utmost during a gank. Even in the late game, his high mobility from Hunter in the Night and superior night vision allows him to spot and grab both runes in quick succession while roaming.
- Orb of Venom can be a useful attack modifier to build on Night Stalker, as adding 12% movement speed slow to Void's 50% can greatly reduce the target's chances of escaping.
- Power Treads can be useful to consider on Night Stalker over Phase Boots, as attribute switching can allow Night Stalker to extend his mana pool and improve the value of his Bottle, as well as retain some measure of attack speed during the day when Hunter in the Night is not active.
- Blink Dagger is an extremely powerful item on Night Stalker, as it greatly extends his reach when initiating. As he has abnormally high night vision, Night Stalker can spot targets from very long distances, allowing him to instantly close the gap on a foe who isn't even aware of his presence.
- Vladmir's Offering is a good support/utility item to pick up for your team, as it augments the attack power of all nearby allies and gives them armor. As well, it can provide lifesteal for your melee carry as well as yourself, giving you more survivability in a teamfight. As an item for Night Stalker himself, it gives him mana regen and allows him to maintain his HP by lifestealing when farming neutral camps.
- Sange and Yasha provides many useful benefits, as it increases Night Stalker's attack speed, damage, health, and movement speed by large amounts. In particular, the constant 16% movement speed bonus means that he can move at almost maximum speed at night without relying on Phase Boots' active ability, which can only be active for 4 seconds out of 8.
- Many of Night Stalker's responses that refer to his vampiric qualities make reference to Bram Stoker's Dracula, a film adaptation of the classic novel starring Gary Oldman.
- Night stalker's line "If I ever get my claws on that bird," is likely a reference to the rooster, a bird which heralded the coming of dawn with its cry. The rooster was sacred to the sun-god Helios.
- In an earlier version DotA, there existed a hero similar to Night Stalker called Void Demon. His first ability "Time Void" had similar effects to the present Void ability, except it also stunned the target for 5 seconds. Void Demon also had an ability similar to Omniknight's Degen Aura, though it had a larger radius of 600 units. His third ability was a pushing spell called "Quake" which was useful for destroying towers. Finally, his ultimate was called "Mass Haste". This aura gave Void Demon and nearby allies benefits similar to Night Stalker's Hunter in the Night, except that it had no conditions and enabled Void Demon and his team to hunt Heroes relentlessly both day and night. Ultimately, Void Demon was replaced with Night Stalker as his skill set was deemed too powerful.
- Fixed Nightstalker's run animation during nights
- Updated Night Stalker Darkness sound and made it global for teammates.
- Added Night Stalker Darkness graphic to day/night clock.
- [Undocumented] Added new attack sounds for Night Stalker.
- [Undocumented] Added spawn animations for Earthshaker, Night Stalker, Shadow Demon, Tidehunter, Tinker.
- [Undocumented] Added teleport start and end animations for Earthshaker, Pudge, Night Stalker, Shadow Demon, Tidehunter, Tinker.
- [Undocumented] Added Haste Rune Run animations for Night Stalker and Pudge.
- [Undocumented] Added the following animations to Night Stalker: Injured Run, Injured Idle, Victory and Defeat.
- Added duration buff for Darkness.
- Fixed Hunter in the Night working on Illusions.
- Updated suggested item build.
- Hooked up Nightstalker's day->night->day transition animations.
- Fixed his model going into reference pose if the time of day transitioned while he was dead.
- Added Night Stalker VO.
- Fixed Night Stalker's Void not mini-stunning on apply.
- Fixed Night Stalker's Crippling Fear doing 0 damage on apply and thus disabling blink dagger.
- Enabled Night Stalker (model and effects work-in-progress).
- Base attack damage increased by 4
- Crippling Fear mana cost reduced from 90 to 50
- now sets all enemy vision to a maximum of 675, instead of reducing it by 25%
- This includes Wards, Buildings, etc
- no longer pauses the day/night timer
- duration from 40/60/80 to 50
- cooldown reduced from 180/150/120 to 160/120/80
- now sets all enemy vision to a maximum of 675, instead of reducing it by 25%
- Hunter in the Night attack speed increased from 45/55/65/75 to 45/60/75/90
- Darkness duration increased from 25/50/80 to 40/60/80
- Darkness now also affects the vision of buildings.
- Crippling Fear's miss chance increased from 40% to 50%.
- Hunter in the Night attack speed rescaled from 30/45/60/75 to 45/55/65/75.
- Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c
- Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.
- Hunter in the Night
- Movement bonus rescaled from 15/20/30/35 to 20/25/30/35%.
- Attack speed bonus rescaled from 20/35/55/75 to 30/45/60/75.
- Rebalanced all Melee heroes between 100 and 128 range to be 128 range
- Night Stalker previously had 100 range.
- Base damage increased by 10.
- Crippling Fear's miss chance from 10/20/30/40% to 40%.
- Void now slows for 2 seconds during daytime.
- Added Nightstalker to Aghanim's Scepter. Gives unobstructed vision at night.
- Improved how the manacost scales on Crippling Fear.
- Nightstalker's Crippling Fear now has a minor effect during the day
- Improved Nightstalker cast animation time
- Lowered Darkness cooldown from 240/210/180 to 240/210/150
- Nightstalker strength improved
- Minor armor buff (usually 1) to most melee heroes
- Nightstalker's Base Attack Cooldown improved to 1.7 like most other heroes. Small armor boost as well.
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