19 + 1.5
13 + 0.8
27 + 3.6
Dragonus the Skywrath Mage is a ranged Intelligence hero equipped with tremendously powerful nukes, able to enhance magical damage and thus scales well into late game. However, he is a proverbial glass cannon; while he can bring superb amounts of damage, he is dangerously vulnerable and will most likely meet a swift end if the player isn't careful. Arcane Bolt is his main spell; its damage is based on his current Intelligence level. Concussive Shot blasts the nearest enemy hero, along with nearby units around the foe, slowing them down. The Ancient Seal marks the target with magic amplification and silence, leaving the target vulnerable to magic and unable to cast spells. Skywrath Mage's ultimate Mystic Flare is one of the most dangerous nukes in the game. Enemy heroes caught in this field will suffer massive damage. Its power is split equally among enemy heroes within its radius; if it is used on a single hero, it will deal its full damage potential. His spells are most effective when targeted on a lone hero and thus suffer decreased effectiveness when used on groups.
| Dragonus, the Skywrath Mage
| Play "Those who tangle with the Skywrath risk a fall from starry heights."
|| Support / Nuker / Disabler
|| A highly placed mage in the court of the Ghastly Eyrie, Dragonus lives a troubled existence. Sworn by birth to protect whomever sits within the Nest of Thorns, he hates the current Skywrath queen with all his soul. As a youth, high-born, he was a friend and companion to the eldest Skywrath princess, Shendelzare, first in line for the Nest. He had loved her warmly and unshakably, but as his studies took hold, his mind turned to arcane learning and the mastery of Skywrath sorcery.
Obsessed with matters aetherial, he missed the mundane signs of courtly treachery that hinted at a plot against Shendelzare, and lost his chance to foil it. When the court was shaken by a swift and violent coup, he emerged from his studies to discover his oldest and dearest friend had been lost to him. The Nest of Thorns now belonged to Shendelzare's ruthless younger sister, and Dragonus could do nothing. The magic of the Skywrath Mage serves only the sworn protector of the Skywrath scion, so to act against the Nest would render him helpless. He clings to his post, believing it to be the best hope of one day restoring his true love to her rightful place. Meanwhile, his secret is known only to the goddess Scree'auk, whose magic it was transformed Shendelzare from a crippled physical creature into an embodiment of pure vengeful energy.
While he dreams of restoring his beloved queen to the Ghastly Eyrie, he dreams even more desperately of restoring Shendelzare herself to a fully healed physical form. The duplicity of his role at court tortures him, for he is a noble and good-hearted creature; but the worst torture of all is imagining the hatred that Vengeful Spirit must hold in her heart for him.
|| TJ Ramini (Responses)
- The bolt travels at a speed of 500 and can not be disjointed.
- Checks Skywrath's intelligence upon releasing the projectile.
- This means that the projectile's damage is set upon launch and does not adapt when losing or gaining intelligence.
- This is how much damage Arcane Bolt deals with a certain amount of intelligence (before reductions):
- Level 1 (27 Int): 103/123/143/163 damage
- Level 6 (45 Int): 132/153/173/193 damage
- Level 11 (61 Int): 157/177/197/217 damage
- Level 16, Level 1 Attribute Bonus (83 Int): 192/212/232/252 damage
- Level 21, Level 6 Attribute Bonus (111 Int): 237/257/277/297 damage
- Level 25, Level 10 Attribute Bonus (133 Int): 272/292/312/332 damage
- Also provides the same vision at the target's location for 3.34 seconds upon successfully hitting it.
- Concussive Shot interrupts Skywrath Mage's channeling spells upon cast.
- Concussive Shot travels at a speed of 800 and can be disjointed.
- Disjointing it, or becoming invulnerable upon impact will completely nullify the effects, including the area slow and damage.
- When no valid targets are nearby, the spell does nothing, wasting the cooldown and mana when cast.
- The area damage and slow fully affect creeps and summons in range.
- Also provides the same vision at the target's location for 3.34 seconds upon successfully hitting it.
- Deals damage in 0.1 second intervals, starting 0.1 second after spell cast, resulting in 24 damage instances.
- This is how much damage Mystic Flare deals when hitting a certain amount of heroes (before reductions):
- 1 hero: 25/41.66/58.33 per interval, 600/1000/1400 total
- 2 heroes: 12.5/20.83/29.16 per interval, 300/500/700 total
- 3 heroes: 8.33/13.88/19.44 per interval, 200/333.33/466.66 total
- 4 heroes: 6.25/10.41/14.58 per interval, 150/250/350 total
- 5 heroes: 5/8.33/11.66 per interval, 120/200/280 total
- Healing Salve and Tango are basic regen items that should be purchased no matter what lane Skywrath Mage is placed in. They can also be used to sustain lanemates who are constantly getting harassed by the enemy.
- Three Clarities ensure that you won't run out of mana while laning. Due to how spammable Arcane Bolt is, having the mana to use it consistently can allow you to harass and zone out your lane opponents.
- Three Iron Branches give a helpful boost to all your attributes for a cheap price, and later build into a Magic Wand should you need one.
- Arcane Boots should be purchased as quickly as possible, as they expand the size of Skywrath's mana pool and allow him to replenish a portion of it occasionally (as well as that of his allies).
- Magic Stick gives Skywrath some burst HP and mana regen. The HP regen is crucial given his very small health pool, while the mana regen can allow him to cast one or two more spells in an emergency.
- Null Talisman provides an assortment of stats, most important among them intelligence, giving Skywrath Mage more mana, more damage, and increasing the strength of Arcane Bolt.
- Magic Wand grants all the same benefits of Magic Stick, along with attributes and larger charge storage. If Skywrath is given low farm priority, building one of these is cheap and effective.
- Rod of Atos boosts Skywrath Mage's health and intelligence, both of which are extremely important. Its active ability can slow a target from a very long distance away, and stacks with Concussive Shot, allowing him to drastically slow a single target down to minimum movement speed.
- Void Stone is a very strong intermediary item to get on Skywrath, as his base intelligence and intelligence growth per level are among the highest in the game. The scaling mana regen allows him to maintain his mana pool at all points of the game, and can build into many useful situational items.
- Town Portal Scroll is important on all heroes. Because Skywrath Mage possesses such strong nuking power, being able to appear at any fight can greatly increase the odds of his team getting at least one or two kills against the enemy.
- Ethereal Blade, while expensive, serves dual purposes for Skywrath Mage. Used offensively, the active ability can inflict tremendous nuke damage to an enemy due to Skywrath's high intelligence gain and weaken their magic resistance, stacking with Ancient Seal to increase the target's vulnerability to his nukes. Used defensively, it can provide Skywrath with immunity to physical damage for a short time, though it can be left as a Ghost Scepter if farm is an issue.
- Force Staff is a strong utility item on any support, and synergizes with Skywrath Mage's needs. It provides him with instant mobility, allowing him to re-position to cast his spells against the enemy, or to aid in escaping from enemies; it can be used to this end on allies as well. The item's bonus intelligence gives Skywrath more mana, base damage and strengthens Arcane Bolt, and the HP regen keeps his meager HP pool topped up.
- Aghanim's Scepter is a powerful item in that it allows Skywrath Mage to deploy multiple instances of Mystic Flare in a short amount of time, so long as he has the mana pool to back it up. Beyond level 16, he can effectively double or even triple its damage output instantly by placing them all on the same spot, greatly increasing his kill potential in fights and ganks.
- Bloodstone is a very powerful item on Skywrath Mage, and can be built up by disassembling your Arcane Boots. It grants him a greatly increased HP and mana pool and powerful mana regen, increasing his staying power in fights and keeping up with the mana cost of his spells.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a good utility item that is also cheap and easy to build. It provides Skywrath with more intelligence and scaling mana regen, and the increased movement speed allows him to chase and flee much more effectively, compounding his already impressive base movement speed. The active can be used as an interrupting disable, something that Skywrath Mage otherwise lacks, or can be used to give himself temporary invulnerability (such as to prevent himself from being damaged by an enemy Blade Mail) while also purging debuffs from himself (such as silences).
- Shiva's Guard gives Skywrath Mage a large amount of intelligence as well as powerful survivability against physical damage. The aura can help him to contribute more in teamfights, and the armor can help keep him alive for longer as his agility gain is among the worst in the game.
- Veil of Discord grants Skywrath Mage with benefits across the board, particularly his armor. The active can weaken enemies' magic resistance and make them more vulnerable to his magic nukes, as well as those of his allies, making it a powerful utility item that can be built up from an already-purchased Null Talisman.
- Scythe of Vyse is a costly item, but one which is very strong on any support hero. The great amount of intelligence and attributes greatly benefits Skywrath Mage, and the scaling mana regen allows him to sustain his mana pool. Most importantly, the active is a very strong hard-disable that can set up kills for his spells, or for allies to focus the target down.
- Dagon synergizes with Skywrath Mage's ability to nuke down targets by giving him even more magic damage and increasing his intelligence.
- Octarine Core allows Skywrath Mage to take advantage of his tremendous nuking power and spammable spells. The item gives him more intelligence, as well as mana and HP, increasing his battlefield presence. The cooldown reduction and spell life-leech allows him to use Arcane Bolt much more frequently and increases his survivability by replenishing his HP as he deals damage to the enemy with his spells.
- Skywrath Mage is a very strong nuker whose spells allow him to deal tremendous amounts of magic damage to enemy heroes. However, he is also one of the most frail heroes in the game as well, as his extremely low strength and agility gives him very little HP and armor, resulting in severe vulnerability against physical damage. The combination of low HP and high nuke damage also renders him vulnerable to reflected damage, meaning that enemies who buy a Blade Mail can cause him to connive in his own destruction if they have more HP than him. Purchasing a Euls Scepter of Divinity can counter heroes who purchase a Blade Mail.
- Due to the long cast range on his spells, Skywrath is capable of casting his spells on enemies safely from behind his allies, in order to mitigate his frailty. As such, positioning is very important as inadvertently getting too close to the enemy can result in his demise. His high base movement speed and near-instant cast animations allow him to take advantage of his long range, however his moves must be planned and calculated as his slow turn rate counteracts this.
- Skywrath Mage has the second-highest intelligence growth in the game, which means that his mana pool is often large enough to accommodate all of his spells. However, beware that this can be turned against you depending on the enemies you are facing, as certain abilities are particularly effective against Skywrath Mage, such as Nether Ward, Mana Void and Mana Burn. Plan for counters against such situations if needed, and be prepared to purchase items such as Black King Bar to shield yourself from such abilities.
- Skywrath Mage's combination of high movement speed and powerful nuking ability make him a strong roamer and ganker once he reaches level 6, as he can kill most enemies in the early game with his spells, especially if combined with a partner with disables. As he requires experience and gold to avoid falling off in the late game, getting early kills can help him to remain a powerful threat throughout a match.
- Arcane Bolt is a low-cost spammable targeted nuke that scales with Skywrath Mage's intelligence. It is a very strong harassment spell that also serves as a substitute for physical attacks.
- In the laning stage, Skywrath Mage can use Arcane Bolt to easily harass his lane opponent out of the lane, as its low mana cost and low cooldown allow him to use it extremely frequently. As well, due to being a spell it does not draw aggro, so it can be cast without fear of inadvertently pushing the lane. However, beware that consistent use of Arcane Bolt will quickly build up charges for enemies' Magic Sticks, so balance your use of the spell accordingly or try to cast it from within the fog of war if possible.
- The scaling nature of Arcane Bolt makes it a strong magic nuke at all stages of the game, as it is one of very few magic nukes that gains power alongside Skywrath Mage. Building powerful intelligence items boosts Skywrath's base damage, the size of his mana pool, and the amount of damage that Arcane Bolt deals, making him a strong threat the more farm he has. The scaling nature and low cooldown of the spell, 2 seconds at level 4, allows Skywrath Mage to use Arcane Bolt as an augmentation for his right-clicks, nuking down single targets very quickly as long as he has enough mana regen to keep up. This allows Skywrath to push creep waves or farm most neutral camps very quickly, giving him levels and gold.
- Keep in mind, prolonged use of Arcane Bolt can drain your mana pool alarmingly quickly, even if you have already purchased many intelligence items. Mana regen is a necessity if you want to be able to cast your other spells when they are needed.
- Unlike most other targeted abilities, Arcane Bolt cannot be disjointed, and will continue to follow its target and eventually damage them even if they blink away or turn invisible. You can use this to hunt down evasive targets, as the projectile provides flying vision as it homes in on its target.
- Concussive Shot is a highly flexible auto-target spell that has multiple uses. While it has a comparatively long cooldown, its slow has great utility.
- Its long cast range allows Skywrath Mage to use Concussive Shot to slow an enemy from a great distance away. As it also homes in on the closest available target and has an instant cast time, the spell can be used as an initiating spell to slow a target at the start of an engagement, a finisher to catch a fleeing enemy who has escaped beyond the range of your other spells, or as an escape by slowing the closest pursuer without breaking stride.
- If enemies are clumped up due to being affected by an ally's crowd-control spell (such as Vacuum, Berserker's Call or Reverse Polarity), casting Concussive shot into the group can allow you to damage and slow multiple enemy heroes with a single cast.
- Concussive Shot will not target illusions, making it a powerful hero detection tool. If you are facing an illusion-based hero such as Phantom Lancer, Chaos Knight or Terrorblade, using Concussive Shot will cause it to automatically home in on the real hero, provided that they are the closest target for the spell. If the spell fizzles, then it means that the hero is not present. This can also be used to counter Manta Style by pinpointing the real hero among the illusions.
- Ancient Seal is a long-ranged targeted silence ability. Its magic resistance reduction is the second-highest in the game, beat only by Pugna's Decrepify when cast on an enemy hero, making it an extremely strong way to augment the power of your magic nukes.
- Ancient Seal is a strong ability for countering enemy mages who rely on casting their spells to be effective in teamfights. Its long cast range allows Skywrath to silence them from relative safety, and increase the damage they take from Skywrath's spells in order to permanently remove them from the field.
- In the early game, it is recommended to level Ancient Seal once, as a 3-second silence can prevent gank targets from casting their escape spells or counter-disabling, on top of greatly increasing their vulnerability to allies' initiating magic nukes as well as those of Skywrath himself. A 30% magic resistance reduction is enough to almost completely negate most heroes' base magic resistance, allowing them to take almost full damage from allied magic nukes.
- Mystic Flare, Skywrath Mage's ultimate, consumes a significant fraction of his mana pool, but is one of the most devastating magic nukes in the game and has a very short cooldown for the amount of damage it deals. Properly used, it can allow Skywrath to kill almost any hero in the game when combined with his other spells.
- Mystic Flare's damage is unreliable, as it only deals damage so long as the enemy is within its small radius, which can be escaped as Skywrath does not have any disables that can completely immobilize a target, nor can he build any items that provide one. In general, it is best to set up your ultimate by casting Concussive Shot to slow the target first, and then add another slow or disable if possible (such as Rod of Atos or Scythe of Vyse) to reduce their mobility further. The best course of action is to let a teammate disable the target through a root, taunt or stun, so that they are unable to move at all for the duration of the ultimate.
- Keep in mind, Ancient Seal not only increases the damage that the target will take, but can prevent them from casting any escape spells that allow them to displace themselves outside of the field. If a stun is not available, then casting Ancient Seal on top of Concussive Shot can help to pin the target down.
- Remember that Mystic Flare distributes its damage evenly among all heroes in the field, but ignores illusions. As such, it is strong against illusion heroes (on top of Concussive Shot allowing you to reveal the true hero among the illusions), but also allows its damage to be more than halved by another enemy player or two stepping into the field to split the damage. This makes Mystic Flare unusual for an area-of-effect spell as it is strong for killing lone targets but is weak against groups of enemies.
- One of Mystic Flare's greatest weaknesses is that Force Staff can be used on its target in order to almost immediately push them to safety. This makes Scythe of Vyse ever more invaluable as a disable tool and emphasizes the spell's single-target nature, as using the spell on an enemy who does not have any nearby allies prevents them from being Forced to safety, and Hex prevents the target from using items as well as spells, preventing them from using their own Force Staff on themselves.
- In general, Skywrath Mage benefits greatly from building items that grant intelligence, more mana or mana regen. However, there are a few cases where certain items can boost his effectiveness in other ways.
- Tranquil Boots are an unorthodox purchase on Skywrath Mage, as he needs mana regen and a bigger mana pool in order to be effective. However, Tranquil Boots can increase his survivability, as the bonus armor can greatly increase his survivability against physical damage since the hero himself will have barely any armor at all. The passive HP regen aids in keeping him in the field as much of his true damage comes from Arcane Bolt rather than his right-clicks, and the increased movement speed boosts his ability to roam and gank.
- Soul Ring can be a dangerous purchase on Skywrath Mage as it can heavily tax his already-low HP pool, however, it also provides passive HP regen, a small amount of scaling mana regen, and gives him on-demand mana for casting his spells, reducing the strain his spells put on his mana pool. As well, Soul Ring builds into a Bloodstone, which can be a useful item to have on Skywrath.
- Blink Dagger greatly increases Skywrath Mage's ability to position himself for casting his spells, allowing him to extend the range of his already long-reaching spells. It can allow him to get the drop on enemies and nuke them down with very little warning, or escape from pursuing enemies provided that he can activate it before taking player damage.
- Black King Bar does not synergize well with Skywrath Mage's ability to nuke down his foes, however it does provide spell immunity, allowing him to function in teamfights without worry of being interrupted or disabled. As well, the extra strength gives him some more survivability by giving him more HP.
- Boots of Travel is an expensive investment, but can drastically boost Skywrath Mage's mobility. Having constant access to teleportation allows Skywrath to return to base after depleting his mana pool on ganks, or re-position globally to show up to teamfights or ganks. As well, the increased movement speed allows him to ruthlessly chase down foes and blast them down with his spells.
- In the start of Vengeful Spirit's lore, the Skywrath are stated as being hateful and vengeful, yet Dragonus carries none of these traits, and is instead mild-mannered and tempered.
- In DotA, Dragonus's hero model was a Dragonhawk Rider, a unit of the blood elves. Skywrath Mage and Invoker were related due to them both being blood elves. Blood elves are also a playable race in World of Warcraft. 
- The Skywrath race did not exist in Warcraft universe; rather, it was created in the Dota 2 lore for Vengeful Spirit, and then grandfathered into DotA afterward. Skywrath Mage was one of the first heroes created in DotA following the opening of the beta for Dota 2.
- A silhouette of what appears to be Skywrath Mage can be seen in Bristleback's splash artwork, seemingly still having a beta model/texture.
- Reduced base agility from 18 to 13.
- Increased Ancient Seal cooldown from 11 to 14.
- Increased Mystic Flare duration from 2.2 to 2.4 (total damage stays same).
- Increased Ancient Seal magic resistance reduction from 18%/24%/30%/36% to 30%/35%/40%/45%.
- Increased base movement speed from 315 to 325.
- Increased Concussive Shot damage from 50/100/150/200 to 60/120/180/240.
- Increased Mystic Flare total damage from 600/900/1200 to 600/1000/1400.
- Increased base intelligence from 24 to 27.
- Arcane Bolt
- Increased bonus damage per intelligence from 1.5 to 1.6.
- Reduced manacost from 90 to 70.
- Reduced Concussive Shot cooldown from 20 on each level to 20/19/18/17.
- ↑ Blood elves, the race Skywrath Mage belongs to in DotA.