23 + 2.8
18 + 2.25
16 + 1.6
Balanar the Night Stalker is melee strength hero known for being one of the strongest initiators and gankers in the game once night falls.
Unlike other heroes in the game, Night Stalker's strength greatly changes depending on the time of day. While he is not a very great threat in sunlight, he becomes a living nightmare when the moon rises, as all of his basic abilities become much stronger. He has a mini-stun and slow in Void, which allows him to hound and nuke down lone enemies who are unfortunate enough to encounter him. He also has the ability to silence his foes with Crippling Fear, which drastically increases in duration at night, preventing spell casters and even carries from retaliating against him. His passive, Hunter In the Night, greatly boosts Night Stalker's movement and attack speed at night, allowing him to easily move around the map and pursue and tear apart his prey. And finally, his ultimate, Darkness, summons instant nighttime and destroys enemy night vision, making even the strongest enemy heroes prey. A terror in darkness, Night Stalker is the embodiment of heroes' nightmares, and one of the last things they will ever wish to encounter alone at night.
| Balanar, the Night Stalker
| Play "I'm the beast of bedtime tales."
|| Carry / Initiator / Durable / Disabler / Nuker
|| 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.
|| Tony Todd (Responses)
- Mini-stun lasts 0.1 seconds.
- Also uses the night values during the 10 seconds night time from Eclipse.
- 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.
- Also works during the 10 seconds night time from Eclipse.
The appearance of the game clock changes when Darkness is cast.
- Two Gauntlets of Strength greatly increase Night Stalker's base damage, as well as give him more HP to survive enemy harass.
- Clarity allows Night Stalker to maintain his early mana pool, particularly since his base intelligence is so low. Keeping his mana up can allow Night Stalker to get last-hits with Void safely.
- One each of Tango and Healing Salve are generally recommended in most any lane that Night Stalker is put in.
- Magic Stick is a very important item on Night Stalker, as he is very aggressive and must have mana to cast his spells when tower-diving. None of his spells cost more than 150 mana, so having a Magic Stick with full charges guarantees that Night Stalker will always have enough mana to cast something if he needs it.
- Boots of Speed are critical for Night Stalker to pick up before the first nightfall. As Hunter in the Night increases his base movement speed by a certain percentage, increasing Night Stalker's base movement speed will grant him unparalleled mobility at night.
- 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.
- Magic Wand is very good to buy on Night Stalker for all the same reasons as Magic Stick. In addition to the stats, instantly replenishing your HP and mana by 255 can drastically increase your resilience and ability to cast spells.
- 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 can be combined with level 3 or higher Hunter in the Night to boost Night Stalker's movement speed to the maximum possible 522.
- Vanguard greatly increases Night Stalker's resilience by increasing the size of his health pool and giving him damage block, which can be useful early in the game when diving towers for kills. The increased health regeneration also helps him to stay topped up between ganks.
- Town Portal Scroll is important to carry on Night Stalker at all times, as it can allow him to move around the map to react to gank opportunities more easily.
- Heart of Tarrasque greatly increases the size of Night Stalker's health pool, making him much harder to bring down in fights. The extra strength gives him more base damage as well, and the passive health regeneration allows him to always begin fights at full health, allowing him to be more active on the map.
- Assault Cuirass gives Night Stalker both offensive and defensive power. The extra armor makes him much tankier, synergizing well with his high strength growth, and the attack speed bonus combines with the enemy armor reduction to greatly improve Night Stalker's physical damage output.
- Black King Bar makes Night Stalker immune to most crowd control and disables in teamfights, while giving him more HP and attack damage. It allows him to bring down key targets without worrying about being disabled.
- Aghanim's Scepter is a very powerful item to build as it removes terrain restrictions on Night Stalker's night vision, allowing him to take full advantage of his mobility and giving him a critical edge in situational awareness, particularly when Darkness is active. It also gives him more HP and mana, making him tankier and giving him more mana to cast his spells.
- Armlet of Mordiggian gives Night Stalker many useful bonuses at a very cost-effective price. The +25 strength from the active boosts both his attack damage and HP, drastically increasing his DPS alongside Hunter in the Night, and the health loss can be mitigated with Urn of Shadows.
- Heaven's Halberd can be used in conjunction with Crippling Fear to completely prevent an enemy from fighting back. It also provides a chance to proc Lesser Maim on an enemy, further slowing their attack and movement speed on top of Void.
- 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.
- Satanic gives Night Stalker more armor, HP and damage, giving him survivability, more DPS, as well as lifesteal to keep him at full HP. The active allows him to heal himself back up to full health in the middle of a teamfight, so long as he is not disabled, making him a much bigger threat.
- Moon Shard gives Night Stalker lots of attack speed, making him a powerful threat even in the daytime. The passive night vision bonus boosts his already great night vision, allowing him to spot enemies from extreme ranges.
- Lotus Orb gives Night Stalker a blend of self-sustain and survivability through the HP and mana regen as well as the additional armor. The active can discourage enemies from casting targeted spells on him, making him a bigger threat in teamfights and preventing gank targets from easily disabling him to escape.
- Night Stalker is a strong initiator and ganker when it is nighttime on the map. As two of his abilities greatly increase in duration and one is completely inactive in the day, Night Stalker depends greatly on darkness in order to be effective.
- Unlike other heroes in the game, Night Stalker has below-maximum sight range in the daytime, with only 1200 compared to most other heroes' 1800. However, he more than compensates for this by possessing 1800 night vision, a value only equaled by a few other heroes in the game and more than double the rest. This means that while Night Stalker is relatively easy to sneak up on and gank in daylight, he possesses powerful situational awareness at night, which can allow him to use his abilities to the utmost.
- Because of his reliance on levels to be effective in the early game, as well as need for items to take advantage of his passive, Night Stalker is best played as a core hero.
- In many situations, Night Stalker can be a very strong solo mid-laner. His excellent base damage and high base armor allow him to get last-hits and denies fairly reliably, and he 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.
- As he can be very strong with just early levels, Night Stalker can be a relatively strong off-laner. His high base strength and armor, along with respectable base damage allow him to survive relatively easily in the off-lane, and use his early levels to punish the enemy's safe-lane once the first night comes.
- Void is a damage nuke that mini-stuns its target upon cast and greatly reduces their movement speed, preventing them from running away easily.
- Void is the best ability to max early, as it will deal nuke damage to the target, mini-stun them, and then slow them down to allow Balanar to easy get within attack range with Hunter in the Night. Its low cooldown also means that the spell can be used twice or more in a gank or teamfight.
- When laning, it is best to avoid leveling Void beyond level 1 even if you have skill points 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 the additional damage is needed in order to deal damage to enemy heroes.
- Remember that Void will mini-stun its target, so Night Stalker can use it to cancel channeled abilities, particularly Town Portal Scroll. Against smart opponents though, it can be wise to wait to cast it until the enemy attempts to use their Town Portal Scroll, as using it to initiate a gank can give them a window to begin channeling an escape, since Night Stalker does not possess any other interrupting disables.
- Void's low cooldown makes it a strong spell for breaking Linken's Sphere on an enemy. This can pave the way for allies to cast additional disables on the target, or for Crippling Fear from Night Stalker himself.
- Crippling Fear allows Night Stalker to inflict an enemy with a powerful silence and miss chance, which increases greatly in potency at night.
- Crippling Fear has relatively poor scaling, as it gives Balanar a 5 second silence with one point but only increases slightly in duration with subsequent levels. It is wise to only spend one skill point in the ability early on, but leave it at level 1 until both Void and Hunter in the Night are maxed out.
- In fights with multiple enemies, it is important to cast Crippling Fear on the right target in order to prevent the enemy from retaliating. Try to target Crippling Fear on an important enemy caster in order to remove them from the fight for at least 5 seconds, as it can prevent them from hindering your team during a fight.
- Depending on the situation, Crippling Fear can be a powerful spell to cast on the enemy's carry. While most carries will build Black King Bar in order to ignore disables, catching an enemy without a BKB with this spell will not only silence them, but will prevent them from easily retaliating with their attacks.
- While it is very weak in the daytime, Crippling Fear can still buy a small window of opportunity if cast on the right target. Even though Night Stalker is relatively weak during daytime, he can still disable the enemy with his spells if forced to.
- 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.
- Because it can greatly boost Night Stalker's hunting prowess, Hunter in the Night is best maxed out second among his abilities. The greatly enhanced movement and attack speed is crucial for allowing Night Stalker to chase down and tear apart enemies with his attacks.
- 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 Darkness costs no mana to activate, Night Stalker is 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 Balanar's team a significant advantage against them.
- Because time continues to pass for the duration of the ultimate, Darkness can be most profitably cast whenever it is off cooldown during the daytime. By doing so, you effectively reduce the amount of daytime there is in the game, as daytime will continue to tick down during the darkness. 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, reserve Darkness for until Night Stalker's team is preparing for a gank. While the enemy will suspect something once the ultimate goes up, 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 Night Stalker and his team to move under the cover of darkness and bypass Observer Wards that do not explicitly cover travel paths.
- Night Stalker's role as an initiator and ganker means that he can build many powerful items.
- Stout Shield is a very good starting item to purchase on Night Stalker, as he is a melee hero who can be easily harassed. The damage block can greatly increase his survivability in-lane, and can be later upgraded into a Vanguard.
- 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.
- Ring of Basilius is a good early item for Night Stalker. It gives him more armor and some bonus damage, making him more tanky and increasing his last-hitting power. The flat mana regen helps to keep his mana pool topped up, particularly given his low base intelligence. The item can be disassembled and recycled for components, or upgraded into a Vladmir's Offering.
- 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. It can be upgraded into an Eye of Skadi as needed, or sold for more inventory space for other items.
- 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 greatly extends Night Stalker's 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 mid-game 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 team, 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.
- Solar Crest is a strong utility item that gives Night Stalker armor and evasion, hardening his resistance against right-clicks, as well as mana regen to sustain his mana pool. The active can significantly reduce a gank target's armor and induce a miss chance that stacks alongside Crippling Fear, reducing their ability to fight back and increasing the damage they take from Night Stalker's right-clicks.
- 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 a constant 520 movement speed when combined with Hunter in the Night, greatly increasing his mobility.
- Silver Edge is a strong ganking item that gives Night Stalker a good combination of bonuses, and is particularly useful against enemies with powerful passive abilities. It gives him more damage output from his right-clicks, as well as more HP and a Lesser Maim proc. The Shadow Walk, combined with Hunter in the Night, allows him to gank while moving at 522 speed, inflicting bonus damage and a break on any enemies he finds.
- 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 Play "If I ever get my claws on that bird." is likely a reference to the rooster that crows when the game transitions from night-time to daytime.
- Night Stalker's deep and raspy voice is a possible reference to Batman.
- 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.
- Nightstalker's response "In the forest of the night" is a reference to the poem Tiger tiger by William Blake.
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 Darkness sound and made it global for teammates.
January 17, 2013 Patch
- Fixed Night Stalker's darkness indicator persisting across games.
January 03, 2013 Patch
- Added Night Stalker Darkness graphic to day/night clock.
November 15, 2012 Patch
- Fixed 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
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).
- Reduced Void night slow duration from 4 on each level to 2.5/3/3.5/4.
- Increased Void attack speed slow from 35 to 50.
- Increased base attack damage from 34-38 to 38-42 (total attack damage is now 61-65).
- Reduced Crippling Fear manacost from 90 to 50.
- Now sets all enemy vision to a maximum of 675, instead of reducing it by 25% (still affects all enemy units, including wards and buildings).
- no longer pauses the day/night timer.
- Rescaled duration from 40/60/80 to 50.
- Reduced cooldown from 180/150/120 to 160/120/80.
- Increased Hunter in the Night attack speed bonus from 45/55/65/75 to 45/60/75/90.
- Increased Darkness duration from 25/50/80 to 40/60/80.
- Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c
- Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.
- Increased attack range from 100 to 128.
- Hunter in the Night
- Increased movement speed bonus from 15%/20%/30%/35% to 20%/25%/30%/35%.
- Increased attack speed bonus from 20/35/55/75 to 30/45/60/75.
- Increased base attack damage from 24-28 to 34-38 (total attack damage is now 57-61).
- Increased Crippling Fear night miss chance from 10%/20%/30%/40% to 40% on each level.
- Reduced Void manacost from 90/112/130/145 to 80/90/100/110.
- Reduced Darkness cooldown from 240/180/125 to 180/150/120.
- Void now also slows movement speed by 50% and attack speed by 35 during daytime for 2 seconds.
- Reduced Darkness cooldown from 240/210/150 to 240/180/125.
- Crippling Fear now also silences and applies a 10% miss chance during daytime for 3 seconds on each level.
- Reduced cast animation from 0.5 to 0.3.
- Reduced Darkness cooldown from 240/210/180 to 240/210/150.
- Increased base strength from 21 to 23.
- Increased base intelligence from 14 to 16.
- Increased base armor from 2 to 3 (total armor is now 5.52).
- Fixed a rare bug with Darkness that caused permanent night time.
- Nightstalker can now attack flying units.