| The Dire
18 + 2.6
19 + 2.1
16 + 1.8
| Hit Points
| Attacks / Second
|Base Attack Time
Crixalis the Sand King is a melee strength hero with one of the highest area of effect damage outputs in the entire game. All four of his abilities can affect multiple enemy units, and can combo quite well with each other. He is one of the most versatile Heroes in the game as he can push, initiate, support, roam, gank, and even semi-carry if he does well. Late game his effectiveness diminishes as none of his abilities scale, but he can still function to support carries with Burrowstrike and Epicenter's slows. He is also versatile enough to be able to go to any lane with at least moderate success. He works well as a participant in a dual lane or trilane, but can also solo very effectively against melee enemies as Caustic Finale inhibits enemies from approaching the creeps. His main role in the team is to deliver a devastating initiation, delivering both stuns and slows to the enemy team. Crixalis is also very effective at escaping and dodging with two low cost, low cool down abilities that disjoin projectiles and can escape enemy damage. Burrowstrike allows him to tunnel underground and resurface in a short line, dealing damage and stunning all targets it hits. Sandstorm is used as escape mechanism and to do area of effect damage. Caustic Finale serves as a strong harassing tool against enemy melee heroes or as a followup after he Burrowstrikes a creep wave, allowing him to farm quite effectively. Finally, his ultimate, after a short channeling time, delivers a vast amount of area of effect damage and slow centered around himself, which necessitates a safe way to channel the ability like the purchase of a Blink Dagger. A Sand King that is played effectively is one that grinds the entire enemy team into dust.
| Crixalis, the Sand King
| "Play I will show you fear in a handful of sand..."
|| Initiator / Disabler / Nuker
|| The sands of the Scintillant Waste are alive and sentient--the whole vast desert speaks to itself, thinking thoughts only such a vastness can conceive. But when it needs must find a form to communicate with those of more limited scope, it frees a fragment of itself, and fills a carapace of magic armor formed by the cunning Djinn of Qaldin. This essential identity calls itself Crixalis, meaning 'Soul of the Sand,' but others know it as Sand King. Sand King takes the form of a huge arachnid, inspired by the Scintillant Waste's small but ubiquitous denizens; and this is a true outward expression of his ferocious nature. Guardian, warrior, ambassador--Sand King is all of these things, inseparable from the endless desert that gave him life.
|| David Scully (Responses)
- Hit units will fly for 0.52 seconds before the real stun is applied.
- Can be used during the damaging phase of Epicenter.
- Sand Storm can be used to dodge projectiles.
- Because of Epicenter's channeling time the invisibility from Sand Storm is directly removed if activating the ultimate.
- However, Sand Storm (and any other ability) can be used after the channeling of Epicenter was successful.
- Sand Storm can deal 500/2000/4500/8000 damage in total to a single unit.
- Sand Storm does damage twice per second, but results in 25/50/75/100 damage per second.
- Exploding units leave no corpse.
- Mechanical units take damage if in radius, the debuff however does not apply to them.
- Does not work on denies (the buff is not placed on allied units).
- The slow goes through magic immunity, but the damage does not.
- Sand King channels for 2 seconds before activating this ability. Stopping the channeling will waste the cooldown and mana required for the ability.
- The pulses are centered on the Sand King's current location, not where he first casted the spell.
- The radius of the pulses is 275 / 325 / 375 / 425 / 475 / 525 / 575 / 650 / 675 / 700 / (775 / 825*)
- While casting the spell works like any other chanelling ability and can be interrupted.
- If the channeling was successful the damage pulses can not be interrupted anymore.
- Any items and abilities (e.g. Sand Storm) can be used with the ult (after a successful channel).
- Should Sand King die during the damage phase all remaining pulses will be cast at his last location.
- Deals a total of 660/880/1100 (880/1100/1320*) damage to a single unit.
 Recommended items
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- Starting Items: Sand King is a mean, lean ganking machine who has many options for a role. Crixalis can lane anywhere, or even not lane at all, while still being effective until midgame and early late game. What role you choose should determine what starting items you buy. Generally, the Sand King's fragility is balanced by the survivability his abilities offer him. Because of this, having enough mana is usually very important so buying Clarities is very common. Even with Sand King's escape abilities, having some HP regen is a good idea. Most of the function from stat boosters will come from the respective items they build into. Three branches to build into a Magic Wand or two Gauntlets of Strength to build an Urn. If supporting, an Animal Courier, Observer Ward, and/or Sentry Ward would be a good choice. If Sand King takes the middle lane, he can save some gold for the later purchase of a Bottle. Because of the extreme variability Sand King has, so too are what he can choose for his starting items.
- Early Game: If the team decided to let Sand King take middle lane, he should get to Bottle fast as it makes ganking a whole lot easier for him. In other circumstances, the first item to get on Sand King is Boots of Speed. The movement speed bonus is very important for an early game ganker-slash-roamer, especially if the player decides to use a no lane Sand King. A Bracer or two can be the next item as the HP and mana boost are fairly great bonuses. Rolling Magic Stick is optional and should really depend on who the enemy Heroes are, rather than who the player will be laning against. This is especially true since a good Sand King will be all over the map roaming anyway.
- Core Items: If the ganks the player is making are fairly successful, and he can survive well enough with just the use of his Bottle (if he did carry one), rushing to Blink Dagger before, or even outright skipping Bracers is very common. After grabbing dagger, Sand King is all set and ready to just dominate the early stage of the game. The next item to get is the boots upgrade, and Arcane Boots are easily the best boot choice for Sand King. He requires a lot of mana in fights and these give him the most mana and help out mana hungry allies.
- Luxury Items: Sand King is so powerful with just dagger and the boots upgrade that he can even contribute to the team without getting any luxury items and just focusing more on warding and ganking until late midgame. Though successful ganking means that the player will be having excess gold even after doing all that. The items to look forward to on Sand King is Black King Bar (BKB), Shiva's Guard, Veil of Discord, and Aghanim's Scepter. BKB is just great on Sand King especially because he can score Epicenter pulses on enemies without fear of being interrupted by abilities. Shiva's Guard is also a very great item on any initiator Hero, and especially Sand King who can use well with the armor and mana bonuses of the item. Veil of Discord is the cheapest way to increase the damage from your ultimate, and all of the other magic damage from your teammates. Scepter also increases the damage from your ultimate, but only for you, but makes Sand King tankier and gives you more mana. The choice between the two can come down to how much gold you're making and how often you're dying. Blademail is another outstanding item on Sand King as enemies are decided with whether they should eliminate Sand King while doing his Epicenter, or tank the Epicenter to avoid damaging themselves with the reflect. Both ways give great results, and the mind game put up by the item means they will be focused more on trying to survive than eliminating your team - one of the greatest ways to pseudo-tank. Heart of Tarrasque is another great item on the Hero. The regen coupled with your Sand Storm means you can stay in the fight for almost an indefinite amount of time.
- Unmentioned Items: The amplified magical damage coupled with his Epicenter means he can beat the whole enemy team to a pulp in a single move, while your own team can gain benefit from the extra damage bonus as well. Linken's Sphere is also a great item on Sand King since the regen and attribute bonuses mean that he can survive longer without going back to river and taking runes frequently, and the spellblock is just a great bonus all in all. Pipe of Insight is another good item for Sand King, but it shouldn't be taken if another good candidate can do it for the player. A second disable such as Orchid Malevolence or Scythe of Vyse are also great items, but other support Heroes should be getting it anyway. Urn of Shadows is also a very viable item for a middle lane Sand King or one who wishes to keep ganking.
- If laning against one or more melee heroes, Caustic Finale can destroy their ability to farm by making sure each time an enemy creep dies, it causes area of effect damage.
- Blink Dagger is a commonly built item for Sand King, used to initiate after channeling your Ultimate. The combo of Ulti+shift click blink is a strong way to enter team fights with the element of surprise and deal a ton of area of effect damage.
- Epicenter's potential damage is high. A full blast of level 3 epicenter will result in 1100 magical damage (before magic resistance) dealt to all heroes within its AoE.
- After initiating, Sand Storm will protect you from auto attacks as well as deal damage to any enemy who stays in the area.
- In early game, hitting each creep once with Caustic Finale, followed by Burrowstrike will deal large damage in that area and can potentially kill any enemy hero who happens to be there.
- An effective early game combo involves using Burrowstrike on an enemy so they end up facing away from you and then immediately casting Epicenter. If done correctly, the enemy will be unable to stun you out of the channel phase and it will almost guarantee a kill. You should discontinue this around mid game, as you will need to save your ultimate for teamfight situations.
- The philosophy behind Sand Storm is that the enemy will grow bored of waiting for you to end its channeling, or will be too busy with the rest of your team to care about you. Note that while you cannot be hurt by autoattacks during its channeling, area of effect spells affect you fully. In the cases where the enemy has an AOE stun such as Lina's Light Strike Array or Invoker's Deafening Blast, it might be better to use Burrowstrike as an escape tool.
- In a very old version of DotA, there was a bug where the final pulse of Crixalis's Epicenter would cause 10,000 points of damage. The only unit that was able to survive this was a super beefed up Pudge that was used to measure the amount of damage dealt by the ability.
- Sand King's line, "Like sands in the hourglass, these are the days of defeat" is an allusion to the soap opera Days of our Lives's introduction line, "Like sands in the hourglass, these are the days of our lives."
 Update history
February 07, 2013 Patch
- Fixed some ability Backswing timing issues ( Kunkka, Clockwerk, Timbersaw, Meepo, Pudge, Spirit Breaker, Sand King, Riki, Nyx Assassin, Lion, Pugna, Shadow Demon, Batrider).
July 26, 2012 Patch
- Neutrals can now be damaged by Sandstorm.
May 24, 2012 Patch
- Adjusted Sand King's texture.
May 10, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Primal Split's Wind element being unable to Dispel Sandstorm.
March 01, 2012 Patch
- Added rival death-taunts and other miscellaneous lines to flesh out dialog set for Sand King.
February 16, 2012 Patch
- [Undocumented] Added injured animations for Sand King.
- [Undocumented] Added chase animations for Sand King.
January 12, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Repel causing Burrowstrike to fail if used during the movement period.
- Fixed Refresher Burrow Strike not hurting affected units.
November 17, 2011 Patch
August 13, 2011 Patch
- Sandstorm will no longer damage neutrals.
August 05, 2011 Patch
- He is now stunned for the duration of his burrow strike so he doesn't walk out of short ones too soon.
- He now plays burrow_in at the begining of his ability and the burrow_out when the impale projectile finishes its course.
- Fixed the fly time 0.8 -> .52
- The stun time was starting at the begining of the vertical motion but it's supposed to start when the unit lands. Changing the stun time 1.65 -> 1.65 + 0.52.
July 16, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Epicenter and Caustic Finale being purgeable.
- Fixed burrow strike not respecting linken's and magic immunity rules when doing the close hit checks
July 08, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Epicenter from ending when sandking dies
July 01, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Caustic Finale working on magic immune units like Rhasta Wards.
- Fixed Caustic Finale buffs being created by illusions.
February 12, 2011 Patch
- Sandking's channel for his Ult is now a two beat tail slam "tell".
February 04, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Burrowstrike to apply damage when the units land on the ground.
- Fixed Sandstorm not going away when invisibility is broken.
- Fixed Burrowstrike to deal damage when the units land.
January 30, 2011 Patch
- Fixed cases where creating a linear projectile directly on yourself would cause it to get stuck. This includes fixes to Fissure, Ghost Ship, Dragon Slave, Arrow, Impale, Waveform, Illusory Orb, Meat Hook, Burrowstrike, Wave of Terror, and Power Shot.
 Balance changelog
- Sand Storm damage increased from 20/40/60/80 to 25/50/75/100.
- Epicenter attack speed slow is now same as movement speed slow. (10%->30%)
- Invisibility fade delay when exiting Sand Storm improved from 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.5 to 1.5.
- Sand Storm now has a smoother damage interval (1 to 0.5, total damage is the same).
- Epicenter's slow is no longer blocked by magic immunity.
- Caustic Finale's buff duration increased from 2 to 8 seconds.
- Base Armor increased from 1.66 to 2.66.
- Strength gain from 2.3 to 2.6.
- Caustic Finale's buff duration from 0.25 to 2 seconds.
- Sand Storm cooldown from 40/35/30/25 to 40/30/20/10.
- Added Sand King to Aghanim's Scepter. Adds an extra pulse and lowers cooldown (+1 Pulse, -20 cd)
- Increased Sand King's armor a bit.
- Lowered Sand King's base armor.
 See also