Shadow Shaman

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Shadow Shaman
Shadow Shaman.png
19 + 1.6
16 + 1.6
21 + 3
Level Base 1 16 25
Hit Points 150 511 1005 1613
Mana 0 273 884 1469
Damage 26‒33 47‒54 94‒80 139‒146
Armor -1 1.24 4.88 9.42
Attacks / Second 0.58 0.68 0.83 1.02
Movement Speed 285
Turn Rate 0.4
Sight Range 1800/800
Attack Range 500
Missile Speed 900
Attack Duration 0.3+0.5
Base Attack Time 1.7
Collision Size 24

Rhasta the Shadow Shaman is a ranged intelligence Hero mostly used as a pusher and disabler, wielding abilities that make pushing lanes more efficient. When his abilities are used in intelligent combos, he has one of the longest disables in game. He is also capable of disabling multiple enemy heroes, allowing him to initiate encounters as well. Though very supportive in nature, until the late game Rhasta is capable of killing lone enemy heroes with the use of his entire skill set; meaning he is more difficult to gank than most other supports. Playing Rhasta well requires good knowledge of target priority and timing; and some minor micromanagement. His peak is mid-game, but he can continue to wreak havoc on enemies all throughout the match.


Shadow Shaman Rhasta, the Shadow Shaman
Play "I am the intermediary between life and death."
Role: Pip pusher.png Pusher / Pip disabler.png Disabler / Pip ganker.png Nuker / Pip roamer.png Support
Lore: Born in the Bleeding Hills, Rhasta was just a starving youngling when picked up by a travelling con-man. For two pins of copper, the old con-man would tell your fortune. For three, he’d castrate your pig, for five, he’d circumcise your sons. For a good meal, he’d don his shaman garb, read from his ancient books, and lay a curse upon your enemies. His strange new youngling, part hill troll, part…something else, worked as assistant and lent an air of the exotic to the con-man’s trade.

Always one step ahead of cheated customers, one town ahead of a pursuing patronage, the two trekked across the blighted lands until one day the con-man realized that the little youngling could actually do what he only pretended at. His ward had a gift—a gift that customers valued. And so the youngling Rhasta was thrust before the crowds, and the trade-name Shadow Shaman was born. The two continued from town to town, conjuring for money as Shadow Shaman’s reputation grew. Eventually, the pair’s duplicitous past caught up with them, and they were ambushed by a mob of swindled ex-clients. The con-man was slain, and for the first time, Rhasta used his powers for darkness, massacring the attackers. He buried his beloved master, and now uses his powers to destroy any who would seek to do him harm.
Voice: Gary Schwartz (Responses)



Ether Shock
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Play
Ether Shock icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
Creates a cone of ethereal energy that strikes multiple enemy units.
Cast Time: 0.3+1.23
Cast Range: 600
Starting Radius: 200
Max Distance: 500
End Radius: 300
Number of Targets: 1/3/5/7
Damage: 140/200/260/320
Cooldown 8 Mana 95/105/135/160
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked completely if Linken's holder is primary target. Not blocked for secondary targets.
Originally used to open shows with the travelling con-man, Rhasta's lightning display shocks adversaries in more ways than one.


  • Can hit units up to 1000 range away (200 starting radius + 500 distance + 300 end radius).
  • The complete area is shaped like a cone infront of Shadow Shaman.
  • Unlike other cone-shaped spells, this one starts traveling at the edge of the starting radius instead from center.

Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Play
Hex (Shadow Shaman) icon.png
Ability Affects
Target Unit Enemies
Transforms an enemy unit into a harmless creature, disabling their attacks and abilities.
Cast Time: 0+1.13
Cast Range: 500
Duration: 1.25/2/2.75/3.5
Cooldown 13 Mana 110/140/170/200
Rhasta often ended performances by turning himself into a chicken - now, the humiliation is shared.


  • Because hex changes base move speed and doesn't actually apply a slow, all speed effects are calculated using the 100 base speed.
  • For example:
    • a hexed unit with no speed bonuses has 100 move speed
    • a hexed unit with +10% from Yasha icon.png Yasha has 110 move speed
    • a hexed unit with +50 from Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed has 150 move speed
    • a hexed unit with both Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed and Yasha icon.png Yasha has 165 move speed
  • Hex instantly destroys illusions, but not summoned units.
  • Shadow Shaman's hex transforms the target into a Play chicken.

Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Cannot be purged. Play
Shackles icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit / Channeled Enemies Magical
Magically binds an enemy unit so that it cannot move or attack, while dealing damage over time.
Cast Time: 0.3+0
Cast Range: 400
Max Channel Time: 2.75/3.5/4.25/5
Damage per Second: 40
Cooldown 16 Mana 140/150/160/170
A self-defense incantation, Rhasta developed shackles after his master was slain in the Bleeding Hills.


  • Checks for invisibility on the target once upon cast. If it is invisible (this includes fade time), it will also provide true sight over it.
  • Deals 4 damage in 0.1 second intervals, starting immediatly as the channeling begins, resulting in 28/35/43/50 damage ticks.
  • Can deal up to 112/140/172/200 damage (before reductions).
Mass Serpent Ward
Shadow Shaman Mass Serpent Ward.png
Duration 45
Hit Points 135/150/150
Damage 40-45/55-60/70-75
Armor 0
Collision size 8
Sight Range 1200/800
Attack Range 600
Missile Speed 900
Attack Duration 0.3+0.4
Base Attack Time 1.5
Bounty 26-38
Experience 31
Notes Unit type: ward

Splash damage

Mass Serpent Ward
Partially blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Cannot be purged. Play
Mass Serpent Ward icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Point Enemies Physical / Magical
Summons 10 Serpent Ward to attack enemy units and structures. The wards are immune to magic, and have a small area of splash damage that increases per level.
Cast Time: 0.3+0.97
Cast Range: 550
Number of Wards: 10
100% Splash Radius: 50/75/80
40% Splash Radius: 75/100/110
20% Splash Radius: 150/200/220
Duration: 45
Cooldown 120 Mana 200/350/600
Partially blocked by Spell Immunity. The Splash damage is blocked.
Can be Improved by Aghanim's Scepter (* shows the improved values). Increases ward damage.
Snake charming was a big part of the Shadow Shaman's act; now Rhasta can empower the Snakes to do his bidding.


  • The wards are always summoned in the same formation.
    • 8 wards are forming a 3x3 square around the targeted point. The center of the square is empty. The square fits in a 90 radius circle.
    • The last 2 wards are placed at the top left and right corner of the square, sticking out to the left and the right of it.
    • All 10 wards are placed with 22 a range distance from each other. Together with their collision size, the gap inbetween each ward is 6.
    • This means that any unit trapped within the center of the square cannot move out, unless it is phased.
    • The wards' facing angle is set equal to Shadow Shaman's Facing angle upon cast.
  • The serpent wards will automatically attack the closest enemy unit within their attack range.
  • It is possible to manually select an attack target for the serpent wards.
  • It is also possible to stop them from attacking by ordering them to stop, however this only works when the auto-attack option is turned off.
  • Serpent Wards have a lower target priority than other units and heroes, so they are attacked by towers and creeps as last.
  • The serpent wards attack damage type is physical, while the splash deals magical damage. Both are sourced to the wards, and not to Shadow Shaman.
  • The serpent wards attack damage is not reduced by damage block abilities.
  • This is how much damage all 10 wards deal with their splash in the areas around the attack target (before reductions):
    • 100% splash:400-450/550-600/700-750 (850-900/1050-1100/1250-1300*) damage
    • 40% splash: 160-180/220-240/280-300 (340-360/380-400/500-520*) damage
    • 20% splash: 80-90/110-120/140-150 (170-180/190-200/250-260*) damage

Recommended Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Healing Salve and Tangos are generally required when playing safe lane support. If playing mid, it is better to forgo the Healing Salve and aim for a fast Bottle icon.png Bottle.
  • Clarity is essential in ensuring that you have mana to cast your disables in the laning stage. Being able to get off both of your disables in a gank go a long way towards ensuring successful kills.
  • Iron Branches are good for cheap stats, and can be sold for inventory space or built into a Magic Wand.
  • When playing as a support, ensure that the Animal Courier is purchased at the start of the match.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick ensures that Rhasta has burst regen available when needed. 150 mana is enough to cast Hex (Shadow Shaman) icon.png Hex if it is level 2 or lower, same for Shackles icon.png Shackles.
  • Boots of Speed are important in allowing Shadow Shaman to close the gap with a target and disable them. Acquiring Boots before your opponents can often make the difference between getting a kill.
  • Bracer gives Rhasta some more HP, which is something he needs badly as he is very squishy otherwise.

Core items:

  • Magic Wand has all the benefits of Magic Stick, as well as more stats and a higher amount of burst regen. It is important no matter whether Shadow Shaman is played as a core or support.
  • Arcane Boots increases the size of Shadow Shaman's mana pool and gives him some burst mana regen; Rhasta often casts his spells as a combo, so he tends to run out very quickly if not furnished with a means of mana regen.
  • Aghanim's Scepter should generally be considered a core item on a farming Rhasta, but luxury for a support Rhasta. The upgrade it grants Mass Serpent Ward icon.png Mass Serpent Ward greatly increases the amount of damage they can do, allowing Rhasta to make short work of heroes that have been boxed in or obliterate towers alarmingly quickly.
  • As a support, Shadow Shaman should regularly purchase Observer Wards in order to provide map vision for his team.
  • Town Portal Scroll is extremely important on all heroes. In Shadow Shaman's case, showing up to teamfights, ganks and counter-ganks to cast his disables can change the tide of battle.

Situational items:

  • Refresher Orb allows for two instances of Mass Serpent Wards, which is hugely useful for siege damage and encounters.
  • Bloodstone is a very powerful item on Shadow Shaman as it greatly alleviates his mana dependence and gives him more HP for increased survivability. This can allow him to do more in teamfights before running out of mana or dying.
  • Shiva's Guard gives Shadow Shaman a much larger mana pool, as well as armor for survivability. The active can be used to slow enemies down on top of his other disables, further contributing to his teamfight potential.
  • Necronomicon is very powerful on Rhasta as he can use the warriors either to help his Mass Serpent Wards during pushes, add more firepower to a teamfight, or focus down a Shackle victim while Rhasta channels.
  • If playing as a support, try to purchase the Flying Courier as soon as possible so that your team can benefit from faster item deliveries during the laning stage.



  • Shadow Shaman is a very powerful initiating disabler and pusher, who can fulfill both roles as a support or core. His farm priority mainly dictates how effective he can be in either role, with small differences in how he is played.
    • As a support, Shadow Shaman should focus on babysitting his team's safe lane carry and setting up kills with his disables. As he has two hard disables, getting close enough to the enemy off-laner can often ensure a kill if his teammates have enough damage output.
    • In general, if Shadow Shaman is played as a core, he is placed mid where he can get fast levels to make use of his spells early on. A mid Shadow Shaman should focus on maxing out Ether Shock to farm and harass, and attempt to get kills on the enemy mid once he is level 6.
  • Rhasta's spells have a very high mana cost. Build up your mana pool and mana regeneration with items or you may find yourself unable to cast anything in critical situations.
  • Ether Shock icon.png Ether Shock is a powerful damage nuke that must be unit targeted, hitting nearby enemy units according to its level. It is very inefficient at level 1, and should generally not be casted until at least level 3. Depending on how Shadow Shaman is played, it should either be maxed first for the nuke damage or secondary to his disables.
    • The high damage and low cooldown on Ether Shock allows Shadow Shaman to make quick work of creep waves and neutral camps, giving him a way to flash-farm and earn gold quickly while simultaneously pushing lanes.
  • Hex (Shadow Shaman) icon.png Hex is a potent disable since it will instantly hard-disable its target and eliminate their evasion as well as ability to cast spells or use items. In general at least one early level should be taken, but other levels may be forgone in favor of other abilities depending on the build.
    • Hex should always be the spell you use to initiate a gank, as its instant cast time prevents your target from reacting. This will further give you and your teammates a window with which to add further disables.
  • Shackles icon.png Shackles is a powerful channeled disable that can stun its target for up to 5 seconds. As with Hex, at least one early level should be taken to maximize Shadow Shaman's disable potential.
    • Priority between Hex and Shackles should depend on team composition, however Shackles is generally the better disable to max out first as its mana cost scales better. If your teammates have reliable damage output, holding the target in place for up to 5 seconds can allow them to deal large amounts of damage. However, keep in mind that unlike Hex, Shackles can be interrupted by silencing or stunning Shadow Shaman, so it is not as useful if there is a nearby enemy who can interrupt you.
    • Remember that Shackles deals weak damage over time on top of the stun duration. As such, it can add a measure of damage to a gank that Hex cannot.
  • Mass Serpent Ward icon.png Mass Serpent Ward summons ten snake wards that deal piercing damage to their targets. Serpent wards can make short work of incoming creep waves and deal tremendous amounts of damage to enemy towers over their long duration.
    • One of the most important features of Mass Serpent Ward is the box figure they are placed in. This allows Shadow Shaman to place the wards right on top of an enemy hero, trapping them in place if they do not have any mobility spells or items to displace themselves.
    • Rhasta's Mass Serpent Wards can be commanded. Beginners often neglect to control them, but even if Rhasta is dead he can have a big impact on a fight with intelligent use of his wards.
  • Depending on his farm priority, Shadow Shaman can build many items useful to himself and his team.
    • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger should be considered a core item on Shadow Shaman, no matter what role he is played in. Blink Dagger allows Shadow Shaman to instantly jump next to a gank target and disable them with Hex, preventing them from reacting during ganks. It should be rushed as quickly as possible as a core, and given priority to obtain as a support.
    • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is an inferior but potent substitute for Blink Dagger. The extra intelligence gives Shadow Shaman more mana, and the active can be used on enemies and allies, not just on Shadow Shaman himself. Purchased as a supplement to Blink Dagger, it can also be used to break Linken's Sphere on a particularly slippery enemy player, or on Roshan prior to casting other disables.
    • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows can be useful on a ganking Shadow Shaman over a Bracer. It gives him the same amount of strength, making him less squishy, and the mana regen helps to maintain his mana pool. As he is a very strong disabler, Shadow Shaman can roam and get charges as a gank initiator, using the charges for additional damage in later ganks or to keep himself and his teammates at full HP for more pushing potential.
    • Medallion of Courage icon.png Medallion of Courage is a very useful item, as Mass Serpent Wards deal physical damage. Placing the armor debuff on an enemy after boxing them in with the wards will make short work out of almost any hero. As well, the active can be used on teammates to give them more armor, or on Roshan to make taking the Aegis easier.
    • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a powerful item on Shadow Shaman. The item itself grants Shadow Shaman more mobility, rectifying his poor base movement speed, and gives him more intelligence as well as powerful scaling mana regen to fuel his costly and spammable spells. Most importantly, however, the active can be used to disable an enemy from range and then place Mass Serpent Wards on top of them, easily boxing them in.
    • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos is a good utility item to purchase. It gives Shadow Shaman more intelligence, allowing him to cast spells more often, and the additional HP makes him less squishy. The long range on the active also allows Shadow Shaman to slow enemies from a great distance, adding yet another disable to his repertoire.
    • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse is a very powerful late-game item to purchase. On top of the extra stats, much larger mana pool, and scaling mana regen, the instant Hex can serve as a complement to your innate spell, giving you the ability to hard-disable a single target for up to 12 seconds.


  • The name Rhasta is based on the Rastafarians, a follower of a religious movement in Jamaica known as Rastafari. In DotA, his hero model and dialogue had a strong Jamaican influence and style. But in Dota 2, his theme and style has undertaken a more Native American influence, mostly evident in his attire and accent.
  • Rhasta is also a Persian name and word that means "truth" or "path".

Update History[edit]

December 17, 2014 Patch Update 5

  • Fixed the damage source of the Mass Serpent Ward icon.png Mass Serpent Wards' splash damage to be the wards, instead of Shadow Shaman

March 28, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Shackles icon.png Shackles doing a little less damage than intended.

February 28, 2013 Patch

  • Updated Shadow Shaman icon.png Shadow Shaman's attack sound.
  • Updated Ether Shock icon.png Ether Shock's visual effects and sound.

November 08, 2012 Patch

August 02, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added Teleport animations for Beastmaster, Bounty Hunter, Broodmother, Clinkz, Lifestealer, Necrolyte and Shadow Shaman.
  • [Undocumented] Added Spawn animations for Beastmaster, Bounty Hunter, Necrolyte and Shadow Shaman.

July 12, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Ether Shock ignoring Linken's Sphere.

April 19, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Corrosive Skin affecting Serpent Wards.

April 12, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added a haste rune run animation for Shadow Shaman.

March 22, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Serpent Wards having instant attack point (instead of 0.3).

March 08, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added idle injured animations for Shadow Shaman.

February 16, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added injured animations for Shadow Shaman.
  • [Undocumented] Added chase animations for Shadow Shaman.

January 12, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Ethershock hitting units in the FoW.

November 17, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Ether Shock hitting invisible units.

November 10, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Voodoo not being blocked by Linken's Sphere.

August 06, 2011 Patch

  • Veno wards and Shadow shaman wards all use the smaller hull size. This should prevent them from blocking narrow paths.

August 05, 2011 Patch

  • Added lifetime indictator for Rhasta's Wards.

August 03, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Lion's Mana Drain and Shadow Shaman's Shackles to properly handle getting purged.
  • Fixed Shadow Shaman's wards and Venomancer's Wards not being able to attack Roshan.

August 02, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Shadow Shaman's wards not drawing.

July 16, 2011 Patch

  • New Serpent Ward model

June 10, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed cast point issues with Shadow Shaman, Lion and Tinker.

May 26, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Lifesteal from leeching off of wards (like rhasta's wards).

March 03, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed more bugs with Ether Shock search area.

February 12, 2011 Patch

  • Added Shadow Shaman VO.

February 09, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed Ether Shock search distance.

February 04, 2011 Patch

  • Added tooltip durations to Shadow Shaman's abilities.

Balance Changelog[edit]




  • Mass Serpent Ward icon.png Mass Serpent Wards:
    • Ward count increased from 8 to 10.
    • Changed ward placement structure.


Basic version damage numbers also normalized a bit from 39-43/54-58/69-73 to 40-45/55-60/70-75.


  • Base damage increased by 5.
  • Ether Shock icon.png Ether Shock target count rescaled from 3/4/6/7 to 1/3/5/7.
  • Ether Shock icon.png Ether Shock damage rescaled from 80/160/240/320 to 140/200/260/320.



  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter version of Mass Serpent Wards no longer increases ward count. Instead, the damage of the wards is increased to match previous damage output.






  • Increased Rhasta's movement speed a bit.


  • Shackle's duration from 3/4/5/6 to 2.5/3.25/4/4.75 and damage 40dmg/sec to Shackled target


  • Balance tweaks done to the following heroes (Don't panic, these are mostly VERY minor, but you guys like to know, so here):
    • Broodmother, Sven, SA, Enigma, Ursa, Tinker, Tiny, Sniper, Troll, Rhasta, Bristleback, Dragon Knight, Venomancer, Viper, Spiritbreaker, Bounty Hunter, Jugg, VS, Zeus, Weaver, Tide Hunter, Enchantress and Silencer.


  • Slightly increased cooldown on rhasta wards
  • Reduced duration of Rhasta's Hex from 2/3/4/5 to 1/2/3/4


See also[edit]