Skeleton King

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This article contains content that has been removed from the game or store. It exists solely for archival purposes.
This page is about the old hero. For the current one, see Wraith King.
Skeleton King
Skeleton King.png
22 + 2.9
18 + 1.7
18 + 1.6
Level Base 1 16 25
Hit Points 150 568 1423 2259
Mana 0 234 572 988
Damage 54‒56 76‒78 121-123 165‒167
Armor 3.52 6.04 9.89 14.55
Attacks / Second 0.58 0.69 0.85 1.04
Movement Speed 300
Turn Rate 0.4
Sight Range 1800/800
Attack Range Melee
Missile Speed Instant
Attack Duration 0.56+0.44
Base Attack Time 1.7
Collision Size 24

Ostarion the Skeleton King is a powerful melee strength hero, capable of taking plenty of damage before dying. His ultimate allows him to rise again, acting like an Aegis of the Immortal, making him especially difficult to kill. He also has a nuke that deals reliable damage and stun, and he is able to stay in his lane longer because of his passive lifesteal aura. He can become a hard carry in later stages of game depending on his farm.


Skeleton King Ostarion, the Skeleton King
 "Play Bone is strongest where it's mended."
Role: Pip tank.png Durable / Pip carry.png Carry / Pip disabler.png Disabler
Lore: The victim of a longevity spell that backfired, the Skeleton King Ostarion has built an empire from the bones of his enemies. He lives only to extend his reach, for as long as he is perpetually building and adding to his domain he cannot die. The walls of his palace are formed of fired bone; the streets are paved with bones of every sort of creature and every enemy; and even the wood and other natural features of his land have been swept away and replaced with replicas formed of bone. From the Ivory Forest to Ostarion's towering Throne of Bone, nothing happens in the Empire of Bones without the full knowledge of its Skeleton King.
Voice: Dave Fennoy (Responses)


Hellfire Blast
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged.
Hellfire Blast icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
Skeleton King fires a sphere of hellfire at an enemy unit, dealing damage and stunning, then dealing damage over time and slowing the target.
Cast Range: 525
Base Damage: 50/100/150/200
Damage over Time: 15/30/40/50
Move Speed Slow: 20%
Slow Duration: 2
Stun Duration: 2
Cooldown 8 Mana 140
Ostarion calls on his hellish lineage, laying waste to his opponents.


  • Deals 80/160/230/300 total damage.
  • 2 seconds stun, then 2 seconds slow and damage

Vampiric Aura
Vampiric Aura icon.png
Ability Affects
Aura Allies
Nearby friendly melee and ranged units gain HP based on their damage dealt when attacking enemy units.
Radius: 900
Lifesteal: 15%/20%/25%/30%
Skeleton King's blade drains the marrow of bones into his own kingdom.


  • Fully stacks with other life-steal effects and with orb effects.

Mortal Strike
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be used by illusions. Play
Mortal Strike icon.png
Ability Affects
Passive Self
Skeleton King gains a chance to deal bonus damage on an attack.
Proc Chance: 15%
Critical Damage: 150%/200%/250%/300%
Can be used by illusions. Red critical numbers are before illusion and armor reduction.
The power to crush a skull.


Blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be purged. Cannot be used by illusions. Play
Reincarnation icon.png
Ability Affects
Passive Self
Skeleton King's bones reform after death, causing him to resurrect when killed in battle. Upon death, enemy units in the area will have movement and attack speed slowed by 50%.
Slow Radius: 900
Effect Delay: 3
Move Speed Slow: 50%
Attack Speed Slow: 50
Slow Duration: 4
Cooldown 260/160/60 Mana 140
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Slow does not affect magic immune enemies.
Conspirators of the Skeleton King wonder why he never stays dead.


  • Skeleton King won't revive if he doesn't have enough mana.
  • If Skeleton King has an Aegis and Reincarnation off cooldown, Reincarnation will trigger first.
  • Revives with full HP and Mana.
  • Slows movement and attack speed of enemies in a 900 radius by 50% for 4 seconds
  • Will revive even if silenced on death.

Recommended items


  • Buying a Clarity at the start will give you more opportunities to set up kills early on with Hellfire Blast.
  • A Magic Stick can sometimes be the difference between a death and a successful Reincarnation.
    • Upgrading the Magic Stick into a Magic Wand will give you some much needed stats as well as extra charges.
  • A Helm of Iron Will can be built into an Armlet of Mordiggian later on and gives extra survivability in the form of armor and HP regeneration.
  • Power Treads increases your damage per second; attribute switching can also make your limited mana pool go much further.
  • Armlet of Mordiggian is your main DPS item. It's also easy to negate the HP drain because of Vampiric Aura.
  • Desolator makes your physical damage go much further, especially against weakly armored targets.
  • Black King Bar negates your one main defensive weakness: being chain-stunned and then bursted down after Reincarnation.
  • Assault Cuirass increases your DPS by increasing your attack speed and reducing enemy armor; it also increases your team's survivability.
  • Abyssal Blade not only gives some HP and a decent damage boost, it also gives you a bash and another stun on top of Hellfire Blast.
  • Heart of Tarrasque gives you more HP, HP regeneration, and damage.
  • Heaven's Halberd gives you evasion against enemies who rely on their physical attacks, and lets you cut off an enemy carry from their primary source of damage for a bit.
  • Monkey King Bar increases your damage, counters enemies with evasion items such as Butterfly or Heaven's Halberd, and lets you interrupt channeling spells.
  • Divine Rapier is a powerful item to get due to it not dropping if Reincarnation activates upon death.


  • Hellfire Blast is a very good nuke, allowing you to disable and slow at the same time. A perfect tool for ganks and team fights, it has a relatively low cooldown, so spam it if you have enough mana.
  • Learning Vampiric Aura during laning phase will shift the creeps equilibrium and you'll be forced to farm and fight under enemy tower. Good for pushing, but hurts your farm and puts you and your allies in disadvantageous position.
  • Always make sure to save some mana for Reincarnation, if you have less than 140 mana, you will not reincarnate. Soul Ring is handy for this purpose.
  • Hellfire Blast is usually maxed first and Reincarnation is taken as soon as possible. It's also recommended to take one or two levels of Stats on early levels to improve Skeleton King's mana pool and health, as both Mortal Strike and Vampiric Aura are not useful in lane (Due to the 6.79 patch Skeleton King has more base intelligence and has more mana to work with. This allows you to level up mortal strike earlier, increasing your dps for possible team fights).
  • Armlet of Mordiggian and Soul Ring are commonly built for Skeleton King because Vampiric Aura allows him to heal up quickly after taking damage from these items. With both items, at very low health, you can activate Armlet, then Soul Ring, then quickly deactivate and reactivate Armlet for what is essentially a free Soul Ring use.
  • Activating Phase Boots and Drum of Endurance at the same time will give you enough mobility to chase and kill.
  • Grabbing a Force Staff can help make up for Skeleton King's lack of mobility, and it allows him to jump closer to his targets to make up for the short range of Hellfire Blast.
  • Divine Rapier is a very strong item on Skeleton King, allowing him to take advantage of his great survivability (from Reincarnation and Vampiric Aura).
  • Refresher Orb is situational, as it allows you to potentially Reincarnate twice in a fight allowing you to be that much more useful in a team fight.
  • Although picking up the Aegis of the Immortal may seem redundant on Skeleton King, it is recommended if he is his team's main carry. This way, he has 3 lives to expend, and unlike Reincarnation, the Aegis doesn't require mana.
  • Try to initiate and tank as much damage as possible in team fights. If you are the last to die, nobody will be able to help you when you proc Reincarnation!
  • An alternate build known as wizard skeleton king is actually very viable. Due to the low cool down on Hellfire Blast, by choosing to forgo any points in critical strike for stats, as well as building arcane boots it is possible to have enough mana to constantly spam your stun. Moving from here directly to a dagon makes you a formidable ganker, and allows you to knock out targets in teamfights with less worry of dying compared to a typical nuker due to Reincarnation. Another benefit of this build is that it is very rare to not have enough mana for your ult.


  • In DotA, Ostarion was known as King Leoric. Leoric was a recurring boss in the Diablo franchise, another game made by Blizzard.[1] He is an iconic boss in Diablo; he reprises his role in Diablo III, through the alias "Skeleton King."

Update history

December 10, 2013 Patch

  • Skeleton King icon.png Skeleton King: Removed for pressing ceremonial reasons.
  • Later replaced with Wraith King icon.png Wraith King.

June 14, 2013 Patch

June 05, 2013 Patch

November 30, 2012 Patch

February 16, 2012 Patch

  • [Undocumented] Added injured animations for Skeleton King icon.png Skeleton King.
  • [Undocumented] Added chase animations for Skeleton King icon.png Skeleton King.

December 16, 2011 Patch

  • Buying an item while dead no longer puts it in the main inventory. Fixes an exploit of buying items while dead with Aegis or as Skeleton King icon.png Skeleton King and respawning with the item.

November 17, 2011 Patch

November 03, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed loss of vision while reincarnating.

October 27, 2011 Patch

October 20, 2011 Patch

July 01, 2011 Patch

June 10, 2011 Patch

  • Fixed bug that could result in invisible Lina icon.png Lina and Skeleton King icon.png Skeleton Kings.

January 18, 2011 Patch

  • Characters with a 0.4 turn rate such as Skeleton King icon.png Skeleton King and Earthshaker icon.png Earthshaker now turn around faster.

Balance changelog


  • Base Intelligence increased by 5.
  • Removed Mortal Strike icon.png Mortal Strike active.
  • Vampiric Aura icon.png Vampiric Aura now provides full effectiveness on ranged units.
  • Reincarnation icon.png Reincarnation:
    • Slow increased from 30% to 50%.
    • Slow AoE increased from 700 to 900.


Has a passive and active component. Passively gives you a chance to land a critical strike. Can be cast to temporarily steal HP from a target enemy hero. When the active is used, the critical strike is temporarily disabled for the drain duration.
Passive Crit Damage: 1.25/1.75/2.25/2.75
Passive Crit Chance: 15%
HP Drain: 20% of Max (Not Lethal)
Drain duration: 7
Cast Range: 550
Manacost: 30
Cooldown: 25

Note: This doesn't affect max hp, just temporarily drains then returns it.



  • Reincarnation icon.png Reincarnation
    • Slow duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds.
    • Cooldown decreased from 300/220/140 to 260/160/60.


  • Reincarnation icon.png Reincarnation
    • Now does a 700 AoE 3 second 30% slow around the area where he respawns.
    • Delay decreased from 5/4.5/4 to 3 seconds.


  • Hellfire Blast icon.png Hellfire Blast damage redistributed to some on impact and some dps.
  • Reincarnation icon.png Reincarnation
    • Scoreboard now displays Skeleton King's ultimate cooldown time.
    • Skeleton King will be automatically selected for you after he reincarnates.


Hellfire Blast icon.png Old Hellfire Blast:
Stun Duration: 2
Damage: 100/150/200/250
Cooldown: 8
Manacost: 140
Hellfire Blast icon.png New Hellfire Blast:
Ignites the target on fire, dealing damage over time. Stuns the target for a brief period followed by a movement speed reduction.
Stun Duration: 2
Slow Duration: 2
Slow Amount: 15%
Damage per second: 30/45/60/75
Cooldown: 8
Manacost: 140
Note: The dps duration is the full 4 seconds.



Replaced Abilities

Mortal Strike (6.78-6.79)
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Can be used by illusions. Play
Mortal Strike icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemy Heroes HP Removal
Wraith King passively gains a chance to deal bonus damage on an attack. When activated, Mortal Strike steals a percentage of the max HP from the target hero, giving it to Wraith King for the duration, and returning it after. While Mortal Strike is active, the passive component is disabled.
Proc Chance: 15%
Critical Damage: 125%/175%/225%/275%
Max health Drained: 20%
Drain Duration: 7
Cooldown 25 Mana 30
Can be used by illusions. Red critical numbers are before illusion and armor reduction.
The power to crush a skull.


  • The current Mortal Strike icon.png Mortal Strike was reworked into this version in 6.78, and reverted back to the current version in 6.79.
  • The sound and particles play upon start of the attack, not when the attack lands.
  • Does not affect the target's and Skeleton King's maximum health. It only drains health based on a percentage of the target's maximum health.
  • Only the critical strike from Mortal Strike is disabled for the duration. Other sources of crit still fully work.

Hellfire Blast (Pre 6.68)
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Play
Hellfire Blast icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemies Magical
Skeleton King fires a sphere of hellfire at an enemy unit, dealing damage and stunning.
Cast Range: 525
Damage: 100/150/200/250
Stun Duration: 2
Cooldown 8 Mana 140
Ostarion calls on his hellish lineage, laying waste to his opponents.


  • This ability got reworked into the current Hellfire Blast (later renamed into Wraithfire Blast icon.png Wraithfire Blast) in the 6.68 gameplay patch.




See also