Riki the Stealth Assassin is a melee agility hero that uses stealth in order to surprise enemies and quickly kill them. His trademark ability, Cloak and Dagger, lets him sneak up on his enemies from behind and deal massive backstab damage, and then quickly escape. This enables him to close in on the enemy and drop his devastating Smoke Screen, which cripples fighters and spellcasters alike. Blink Strike allows Riki to chase with impunity, while Tricks of the Trade makes quick work of his enemies during teamfights.
Bio[edit | edit source]
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
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. He still has to watch out for revealing items such as Dust of Appearance and Gem of True Sight, as well as abilities that prevent him from going invisible. If he stays alive and picks off lone enemies, he can quickly get out of control.
Riki's Cloak and Dagger allows him to go completely invisible after a short delay. If Riki's enemies do not 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. It also enables him to deal incredible damage from behind based on a multiplier of his agility (this is known as "backstab damage"). Blink Strike is Riki's chase and escape ability. It operates like other Blink abilities in that it allows Riki to teleport in and out of battle at will. However, Blink Strike is unit targeted, not point targeted, and as such cannot be used unless there are units around. It helps catch up with fleeing enemies, jump into fights quickly, and escape from situations by targeting allies. Blink Strike pairs well with the backstab damage from Cloak and Dagger, as it teleports Riki behind the enemy. 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. Finally, Tricks of the Trade is a devastating teamfight ability that deals backstab damage to all units in its AoE. This ability pairs well with large AoE disables such as Ravage, Reverse Polarity, and Black Hole.
Abilities[edit | edit source]
|Throws down a smoke bomb, silencing enemies, and causing them to miss most attacks, as well as slowing movement.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 550
Effect Radius: 250/275/300/325
Move Speed Slow: 25%
Miss Chance: 40%/50%/60%/70%
|Teleports behind the target unit, striking for bonus damage if it is an enemy.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Cast Range: 800
- The bonus damage is independent from Riki's attack damage and is instantly dealt to the target.
- Teleports Riki always behind the target.
- When targeting an enemy, Riki receives the
- This buff makes his next attack apply an ensured backstab hit with Cloak and Dagger, regardless of angle.
- This means when the target manages to turn around before Riki's attack hits, it still applies the backstab.
- The buff lasts for 1 attack, or for up to 1 second, whichever happens first.
- The buff is used up upon starting an attack, not upon landing it, so canceling or missing the attack wastes it.
- The 1 second duration allows Riki to use the ensured backstab against other units than the Blink Strike target if quick enough.
- Riki is ordered to attack the target if it is an enemy.
- Can be cast on allies without damaging them.
|Cloak and Dagger|
|Riki fades into the shadows, becoming invisible. Every time Riki strikes his enemy from behind, he deals bonus damage based on his Agility. When Riki attacks, he becomes visible.|
|Invisibility Fade Delay: 6/5/4/3|
Agility as Backstab Damage: 50%/75%/100%/125%
- Riki does not auto attack enemies while invisible.
- Riki turns instantly invisible after respawning, causing him not to be visible right after using Aegis of the Immortal.
- Casting spells or using items does not break the invisibility.
- The ability icon shows a cooldown whenever the invisibility is broken. However, this has only informative purposes.
- Backstab damage is applied when attacking and denying allies.
- A unit's back is considered to be within 105 degrees from the back.
- The damage can be reduced with e.g. Enfeeble or Static Link.
- The sound effect plays at the start of the attack, but the damage is applied on hit.
|Tricks of the Trade|
|Phases out of the world while striking every enemy from behind in a 500 radius once per second.|
|Cast Animation: +|
Max Channel Time: 3/4/5
Max Attacks per Unit: 4/5/6
- Tricks of the Trade disjoints projectiles upon cast.
- Certain items which do not cancel channeling spells (e.g. Shadow Blade or Shiva's Guard) do cancel Tricks of the Trade.
- Riki is invulnerable and hidden during Tricks of the Trade, turning him to an invalid target for every spell.
- Riki retains his collision size while channeling.
- Riki cannot cast this while rooted. On attempt, the player gets the error message "Can't cast this while rooted".
- Causes Riki to perform instant attacks on all enemy heroes within range once per second, starting immediately on cast.
- The instant attacks always trigger a backstab from Cloak and Dagger, if it is learnt.
- The visual effects indicating Tricks of the Trade's attack radius are visible to both allies and enemies.
- The radius is always centered on Riki and follows him even when he gets moved (e.g. Glimpse).
- However, the radius indicating visual effects on the ground do not follow Riki, and stay at the cast location.
Recommended items[edit | edit source]
- Tangos and Healing Salve compensate for poor starting HP, allowing you to stay in the lane longer and reach level 6 sooner.
- Slippers of Agility and three Iron Branches to increase early damage and both health and mana regeneration, while the slippers prepare for the shield and the branches set up for the wand later.
- Magic Stick replaces your consumables with an alternative source of recovery, particularly if the enemy team includes heroes that rely on abilities.
- Boots of Speed provide movement speed, allowing Riki to keep pace with fleeing heroes while Blink Strike is on cooldown.
- Poor Man's Shield gives Riki damage block, aiding escape from attempted ganks or providing the defense to land one last hit on an almost dead opponent.
- Power Treads give Riki increased attack speed as well as a further bonus to attributes.
- Magic Wand is an obvious upgrade from the Magic Stick and Iron Branches purchased earlier, freeing up inventory slots while retaining the attribute bonuses and healing ability.
- Diffusal Blade provides a way to weaken heroes receiving bonuses from buffs, as well as slow fleeing heroes and burn mana from casters. In a pinch, it can also counter use of a Dust of Appearance by purging himself. And using purge on an enemy under Smoke Screen allows for a long silenced duration in which you can backstab them or just fight them while they have an increased chance to miss.
- Though expensive, a Butterfly provides a huge increase in both survivability and damage, as well as attack speed. It also boosts your agility which scales well with Cloak and Dagger's backstab damage.
- Drum of Endurance is a good early/mid game pickup, makes everyone faster and gives you stats, couple with Orb of Venom for a better chasing power.
- Black King Bar allows Riki to effectively fight in teamfights and get kills against opponents that have strong disables.
- Sange and Yasha give great attribute bonuses, as well as an alternative slow method to save charges on, or use in place of a drained Diffusal Blade.
- Skull Basher allows Riki to cancel TPs with a lucky bash and continue to lockdown opponents once they have acquired a BKB, and upgrades into Abyssal Blade which allows for more reliable stuns.
Counters[edit | edit source]
Equipment[edit | edit source]
Tips[edit | edit source]
- Riki is an attribute-based carry, thanks to Cloak and Dagger's backstab damage. This means that it continues to get stronger and stronger as the game goes on, as long as you continue to farm, gank, and purchase the right items.
- Because of this, Diffusal Blade should be your first core item completed, it gives everything Riki needs: the agility scales well with and the active Purge helps you in many applications, purging Dust of Appearance from you, removing strong protections like Repel, Guardian Angel from enemies and purging them while inside of Smoke Screen, which is your main ganking combo. Always use all the charges before buying the recipe again and search to do the best use of them.
- With his new ultimate Tricks of the Trade Riki has a totally new window of possibilities while fighting, with more presence in teamfights since it is an area of effect skill similar to Sleight of Fist with a wide AoE and able to proc item effects from Skull Basher, Eye of Skadi, Monkey King Bar and Desolator.
- Do not walk straight up to enemies and deep into enemy territory and expect never to die. If they have any kind of detection Sentry Ward, then Riki dies very fast.
- As a result of this, make a habit of constantly checking the enemy's inventory for revealing items.
- His trademark skill Cloak and Dagger is the key that allows Riki to be one of the best support killers in the game. Since good supports always stay behind, you can flank the enemy team coming around from there and catching the supports as soon as a teamfight begins and the enemy team is so busy fighting yours that they do not realize that their supports are already dead. This strategy also applies to enemy initiators with game-breaking ultimates like Enigma or Magnus, as a good interruption can set victory in critical situations.
- Riki is exceptional at ganking lone heroes and picking them off one by one. He can snowball easily through just getting lots of kills even without farm. Try to get kills before the enemy starts grouping up, so they cannot punish you with detection items.
- Blink Strike can target allies and enemies. Jumping to a friendly unit can be useful in case Riki needs to escape.
- Heart of Tarrasque can be a good item for Riki; his Cloak and Dagger allows him to slip away and let the passive regenerate him without fear of interruption.
- An early Orb of Venom gives Riki a good slow that may help with early kills. Remember that neither Orb of Venom nor Diffusal Blade are UAMs, so they stack with other ones.
- Drum of Endurance is good on Riki if you can buy it yet in the laning phase, he has an average low movement speed of 340, Drum helps you with that, increasing your speed to 357. Coupled with Orb of Venom you have a better chasing potential, and the stats are always good.
- Manta Style gives good stats and allows Riki to remove debuffs such as Dust of Appearance without using Diffusal Blade charges.
- Due to the nature of Cloak and Dagger, a well-organised team may be efficient with buying Sentry Ward to keep vision of you. You may want to take it upon yourself to 'de-ward' your lane if needs be; if you are without a support, or so that your support can concentrate on other items.
- Save the early Orb of Venom and once the game reaches later stages you can upgrade to Eye of Skadi for one more reliable slow that penetrates BKB.
- You can take Cloak and Dagger as your first skill point and easily take the first Bounty Rune in either side of the river, unless the enemy has any form of detection.
- Riki is a key hero to catch slippery foes and heroes that are heavily reliant on their own active skills since he can approach without detection and use smoke to prevent them from using escape spells, so it is wise to pick him as a counter pick to many heroes like Slark, Juggernaut, Anti-Mage, Weaver or Storm Spirit. However, be careful of enemies carrying escape items, like Force Staff, Glimmer Cape, Blink Dagger or Shadow Blade/ Silver Edge.
- Be wary around more durable enemy heroes. Spell Immunity from Black King Bar allows enemies to ignore Smoke Screen and fight Riki, ignoring his backstab damage.
- Always scout the enemy jungle once in a while, you may encounter some enemy farming alone for an easy kill, also help high mobility heroes like Spirit Breaker or Nature's Prophet to set up a gank.
- Do not be afraid of enemies carrying Gem of True Sight, track down their movement and wait, sooner or later they are going to end up alone and when this happens do not hesitate, use the fog of war and approach them from the sides, go for the kill and recover the Gem.
- In some situations, the enemy team may have a lot of casters/disabling heroes, in that case do not skip the Black King Bar, you can farm one right after finishing your Diffusal Blade. It gives you a bigger opening in big teamfights to cut down enemies.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In DotA, Riki was named "Rikimaru", a reference to one of the main characters in the Tenchu video 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, Play "Good assassins never die… they just fade away.'", is a reference to a quote by General Douglas MacArthur, "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."
- Riki's line Play "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.".
- Riki's line Play "I speak softly, but carry a sharp knife." is a reference to the West African Proverb "Speak softly and carry a big stick.", popularized by U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt.
Gameplay[edit | edit source]
Audio[edit | edit source]
History[edit | edit source]