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Night Stalker

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Night Stalker
Night Stalker.png
Strength
23 + 2.8
Agility
18 + 2.25
Intelligence
16 + 1.6
Level 1 16 25
Hit Points 587 1423 2240
Mana 208 546 962
Damage 61‒65 105-109 148‒152
Armor 5.52 10.53 15.88
Attacks / Second 0.69 0.9 1.12
Movement Speed 295
Turn Rate 0.5
Sight Range 1200/1800
Attack Range Melee
Missile Speed Instant
Attack Duration 0.55+0.55
Cast Duration 0.3+0.3
Base Attack Time 1.7
Collision Size 24

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.

Bio[edit]

Night Stalker Balanar, the Night Stalker
Play "I'm the beast of bedtime tales."
Role: Pip tank.png Durable / Pip initiator.png Initiator
Lore: Of the Night Stalker, there is no history, only stories. There are ancient tales woven into the lore of every race and every culture, of an impossible time before sunlight and daytime, when night reigned alone and the world was covered with the creatures of darkness--creatures like Balanar the Night Stalker.

It is said that on the dawn of the First Day, all the night creatures perished. All, that is, save one. Evil's embodiment, Night Stalker delights in his malevolence. He created the primal role of the Night Terror, the Boogeyman, and as long as there have been younglings, his is the specter summoned to terrify them. This is a role he relishes; nor are these empty theatrics. He does indeed stalk the unwary, the defenseless, those who have strayed beyond the lighted paths or denied the warnings of their communities. Night Stalker serves as living proof that every child's worst nightmare....is true.
Voice: Tony Todd (Responses)

Abilities[edit]

Void
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Q
V
Void icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
Creates a damaging void that slows an enemy unit and deals damage. Void also mini-stuns, interrupting channeling abilities. The slowing effect lasts longer at night.
Cast Range: 525
Damage: 90/160/255/335
Move Speed Slow: 50%
Attack Speed Slow: 35
Day Slow Duration: 2
Night Slow Duration: 4
Cooldown 8 Mana 80/90/100/110
Balanar creates a vortex of infinite night, tearing opponents violently into the eternal darkness that once was.

Notes:

  • Mini-stun lasts 0.1 seconds.
  • Also uses the night values during the 10 seconds night time from Eclipse icon.png Eclipse.

Crippling Fear
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
W
F
Crippling Fear icon.png
Ability Affects
Target Unit Enemies
Night Stalker horrifies the target enemy Hero, causing it to miss attacks and become silenced. The effect lasts longer at night.
Cast Range: 500
Day Miss Chance: 10%
Night Miss Chance: 50%
Day Duration: 3
Night Duration: 5/6/7/8
Cooldown 12 Mana 50
A vision of the twisted maw of Balanar etches itself into the minds of the poor souls unlucky enough to cross his path.

Notes:

  • The miss chance does not update when it turns day or night while the debuff is on. The value is set upon cast.
  • Also uses the night values during the 10 seconds night time from Eclipse icon.png Eclipse.

Hunter in the Night
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Cannot be purged. Partially usable by illusions.
E
G
Hunter in the Night icon.png
Ability Affects
Passive Self
Night Stalker is in his element at night, attacking and moving with great swiftness.
Move Speed Bonus: 20%/25%/30%/35%
Attack Speed Bonus: 45/60/75/90
Partially usable by illusions. Illusions will receive the increased movement speed, but not the increased attack speed.
The hunting prowess of Balanar improves as the night beckons.

Notes:

  • Also works during the 10 seconds night time from Eclipse icon.png Eclipse.
The appearance of the game clock changes when Darkness is cast.

Darkness
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Cannot be purged. Play
R
R
Darkness icon.png
Ability Affects
No Target Enemies
Night Stalker smothers the sun and summons instant darkness, so that he might use his powers at their fullest. While Darkness is in effect, enemy heroes, units, wards and buildings have their vision range reduced to 675.
Enemy Maximum Vision Range: 675
Duration: 50
Cooldown 160/120/80
Can be Improved by Aghanim's Scepter (* shows the improved values). Grants unobstructed vision in the night. The improved vision is fully independent from Darkness.
It is a humbling sight to see when the mightiest of warriors become afraid of the dark.

Notes:

  • If used during the day, exactly when it turns daylight and exactly when it is off cool down each time after, it can be used 2/2/3 times, effectively reducing the length of daylight each day to 140/140/90 seconds compared to 240 seconds of normal daylight.
  • In order for it to be used 2/2/3 times without losing night time, it must be used within 30/70/30 seconds into the day.
  • The vision limitation for enemies only occurs during Darkness nights. Regular nights and the night from Eclipse icon.png Eclipse doesn't limit vision when Night Stalker is in the game.
  • The vision limitation affects every non-neutral enemy unit, including buildings and wards. It also reduces the vision of spells.
  • The vision limitation is provided by a global aura and thus the debuff lingers for 0.5 seconds after Darkness' night ends.
  • The unobstructed vision from the Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgrade is not bound to any of Night Stalker's spells, so it will be active at every night, regardless of Darkness being leveled or not.

Recommended items[edit]

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Reason given

Explanation:
Early-game 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.
  • Urn of Shadows is a very useful item on Night Stalker, as he is a very active ganker who can get charges easily. The extra Strength gives him more HP and damage, while the mana regeneration helps him to maintain his mana pool. Urn charges can be used to heal Night Stalker and his teammates after a successful gank, allowing him to quickly be ready for another, or to add extra damage to an enemy to secure a kill.

Core items:

  • Phase Boots provide Night Stalker with both a nice speed boost and extra damage, both of which synergize extremely well with Hunter in the Night. The extra damage is greatly augmented by the ability's attack speed bonus, while the active speed boost will increase Night Stalker's movement speed to 520, nearly the maximum possible speed.
  • Vanguard provides health regeneration, helping you to stay at high HP between ganks, and does a lot to protect you from towers if you wish to dive.

Situational items:

  • Black King Bar makes Night Stalker immune to most crowd control and disables throughout ganking situations while providing him more damage and survivability.
  • Assault Cuirass is an excellent item. Not only does its attack speed stack with Night Stalker's Hunter in the Night, it also provides armor for your allies while decreasing enemy armor.
  • Armlet of Mordiggian gives Night Stalker many useful bonuses, however the +25 Strength from Unholy Strength boosts both his attack damage and HP, drastically increasing his DPS since Hunter in the Night already provides a lot of attack speed. The health loss can be mitigated by using your Urn of Shadows once the teamfight or gank is over.
  • Heaven's Halberd can be used in conjunction with Night Stalker's silence to completely disable an enemy from fighting back.
  • Skull Basher, which can be upgraded into Abyssal Blade, can be used in conjunction with Night Stalker's naturally high attack speed during night to reliably proc a stun on an important target. This can allow Night Stalker to tear his targets apart with his high DPS while saving Void for another target if needed.
  • Heart of Tarrasque boosts Night Stalker's health regeneration and provides the greatest amount of Strength per item in the game. It can be used to remedy the degeneration of Armlet and heal Balanar after a long fight.
  • Aghanim's Scepter adds some much needed attributes and flat health and mana bonuses and grants Night Stalker unobstructed vision at night, allowing him to gank or counter-gank more efficiently.

Unmentioned items:

  • 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 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.

Tips[edit]

  • 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.

Trivia[edit]

  • 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 icon.png Void ability, except it also stunned the target for 5 seconds. Void Demon also had a ability similar to Omniknight's Degen Aura icon.png 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 icon.png 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.

Update history[edit]

December 17, 2014 Patch Update 2

  • Fixed Nightstalker's run animation during nights

December 17, 2014 Patch Update 5

May 24, 2013 Patch

  • Updated Night Stalker icon.png Night Stalker Darkness icon.png Darkness sound and made it global for teammates.

January 17, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Night Stalker icon.png Night Stalker's darkness indicator persisting across games.

January 03, 2013 Patch

  • Added Night Stalker Night Stalker Darkness icon.png Darkness graphic to day/night clock.

November 15, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Night Stalker Night Stalker losing his wings at night.

August 02, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added new attack sounds for Night Stalker.

July 26, 2012 Patch

  • [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.

April 19, 2012 Patch

  • Added duration buff for Darkness.

January 12, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Hunter in the Night working on Illusions.

December 08, 2011 Patch

  • Updated suggested item build.

September 09, 2011 Patch

  • Hooked up Nightstalker's day->night->day transition animations.

July 01, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed his model going into reference pose if the time of day transitioned while he was dead.

June 24, 2011 Patch

  • Added Night Stalker VO.

June 17, 2011 Patch

  • 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.

June 11, 2011 Patch

  • Enabled Night Stalker (model and effects work-in-progress).


Balance changelog[edit]

6.83

  • Base attack damage increased by 4
  • Crippling Fear icon.png Crippling Fear mana cost reduced from 90 to 50
  • Darkness icon.png Darkness
    • 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

6.82

6.81

  • Darkness icon.png Darkness now also affects the vision of buildings.

6.80

6.79

6.78

6.72d

  • Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c

6.72c

  • Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.

6.72

  • Hunter in the Night icon.png 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.

6.68

  • Base damage increased by 10.
  • Crippling Fear icon.png Crippling Fear's miss chance from 10/20/30/40% to 40%.

6.63

  • Void icon.png Void now slows for 2 seconds during daytime.

6.60

6.55

6.45

  • Nightstalker's Crippling Fear now has a minor effect during the day
  • Improved Nightstalker cast animation time

6.41

  • Lowered Darkness cooldown from 240/210/180 to 240/210/150

6.35

  • Nightstalker strength improved
  • Minor armor buff (usually 1) to most melee heroes

6.31

  • Nightstalker's Base Attack Cooldown improved to 1.7 like most other heroes. Small armor boost as well.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]