Riki the Stealth Assassin is a melee agility hero that uses stealth in order to surprise enemies and quickly kill them. His trademark ability, Permanent Invisibility, allows him to sneak into the shadows to hide and slip by without giving himself away. This allows him to close in on the enemy and drop his devastating Smoke Screen, which cripples fighter and spellcaster alike. Blink Strike allows Riki to chase with impunity, and Backstab makes running from him even more dangerous.
Riki's invisibility is both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness. On one hand, it makes him able to surprise enemies and farm with very little concern. On the other hand, without invisibility he has no real defense. His early game priority is reaching level 6 quickly. Once he has permanent invisibility, he still has to watch out for revealing items such as Dust of Appearance and Gem of True Sight, as well as abilities that Silence him and prevent him from going invisible. If he stays alive and picks off lone enemies, he can quickly get out of control.
Smoke Screen provides a powerful Silence and gives enemies a high miss chance, as well as slowing them down. If targeted properly, it can hold an enemy down long enough to finish them off. However, enemies must stay in the area to be affected. A good strategy is to throw a Smoke Screen in the enemy's path, rather than where they are presently. Blink Strike is Riki's chase and escape ability. It operates like other Blink abilities, in that it allows Riki to teleport to a target quickly. However, Blink Strike must target a unit. It helps catch up with fleeing enemies, jump into fights quickly, and escape from situations by targeting allies. Blink Strike pairs well with Backstab, because it teleports Riki behind the enemy. Backstab causes any attack from behind to deal additional damage, and allows you to absolutely flatten weaker enemies. If they turn to run, Riki suddenly hits for much more. Finally, Riki's Permanent Invisibility allows him to go completely invisible after a short delay. If Riki's enemies don't have any form of detection, this lets Riki escape with ease and roam freely. If they do, Riki has to rely on his cunning and speed in order to get the drop on enemies, and get out alive.
 Recommended items
- It is usually recommended to get Permanent Invisibility as soon as possible.
- Although chasing enemies might be useful, it is recommended not to be too reckless. If Riki is revealed, he can go down very quickly.
- While Permanent Invisibility lets Riki effectively scout enemy heroes, remember that Riki scales primarily with gold and EXP. Extended periods of just following foes while invisible without acquiring kills can lead to Riki falling off in usefulness.
- Blink Strike can target allies and enemies. Jumping to a friendly unit can be useful in case Riki needs to escape.
- Although it is not mentioned, a Heart of Tarrasque can be a good item for Riki; his Permanent Invisibility allows him to slip away and let the passive regenerate him without fear of interruption.
- An early Orb of Venom will give Riki a good slow that may help with early kills. Remember to sell it if you buy a Diffusal Blade as the UAMs don't stack.
- If you having a hard time gaining last hits, try to only gain experience. This can be done by only standing in XP range or if you already have Permanent Invisibility you can gain XP even more safely.
- Only upgrade the Diffusal Blade when it's out of charges, as you buy the Diffusal Blade for the slow primarily. This will allow for more kill potential as well as more escape (in that you can purge debuffs).
- In DotA, Riki was called "Rikimaru"; Rikimaru is also the name of a main character in the Tenchu game series.
- Riki's fun/alternate name was Riki Martin, which is a pun on Ricky Martin, a famous Latino pop singer.
- Riki's line upon dying, "PlayGood assassins never die…they just fade away." is a reference to the General Douglas MacArthur quote, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."
- Riki's line, "There are none so stabbed as those who will not see" is a reference to "A christmas Carol" where a blind woman says, "I am not so blind as those who will not see".
 Update history
- Fixed some ability Backswing timing issues ( Kunkka, Clockwerk, Timbersaw, Meepo, Pudge, Spirit Breaker, Sand King, Riki, Nyx Assassin, Lion, Pugna, Shadow Demon, Batrider).
- Fixed an issue with Permanent Invisibility on respawning.
- Fixed sometimes not attacking his Blink Strike target immediately.
- Fixed being unable to cast for a brief moment after using Blink Strike.
- Fixed Blink Strike not guaranteeing a backstab proc.
- Fixed a new bug with Riki's Blink Strike causing it to not attack right away.
- Fixed Backstab on wards.
- Added more movement lines for Dazzle, Dark Seer, Dragon Knight, Furion, Huskar, Riki, Skeleton King, Slardar, Spectre, and Jakiro.
- Fixed the Backstab sound sometimes playing when it wasn't proccing.
- Fixed Backstab working on mechanical units.
- Fixed Smokescreen working on Ancients.
- Fixed the timing on Blink Strike damage.
- Backstab's bonus now increases properly when leveled up.
- Fixed Backstab working on denies.
- Fixed Riki's backstab angle being too narrow.
- Scaled Riki down 10%.
 Balance changelog
- Smoke Screen cooldown reduced from 13 to 11.
- Backstab now works when attacking allied units.
- Base HP regen increased from 0.75 to 1.5.
- Smoke Screen cast range increased from 425 to 550.
- Riki is no longer revealed out of Permanent Invisibility when he casts spells or uses items.
- When he starts his attack from Blink Strike, he will be revealed.
- Permanent Invisibility fade time decreased from 3/2.25/1.5 to 3/2/1.
- Backstab damage bonus increased from 0.25/0.5/0.75/1.0 to 0.5/0.75/1.0/1.25 of agility.
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75.
- Blink Strike cooldown rescaled from 30/20/10/5 to 20/15/10/5.
- Smoke Screen cast range increased from 350 to 425.
- Smoke Screen cooldown decreased from 15 to 13 seconds.
- Base agility increased by 10.
- Changed SA's Blink Strike to move him behind the target.
- Slightly reduced Rikimaru's cast animation time.
- Smoke Screen interrupts teleportation once again.
 See also