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21 + 1.8
21 + 1.5
16 + 1.9
Level Base 1 16 25
Hit Points 150 549 1100 1746
Mana 0 208 598 1053
Damage 33‒41 54‒62 78‒86 110‒118
Armor -1 1.94 5.37 9.78
Attacks / Second 0.58 0.71 0.85 1.04
Movement Speed 305
Turn Rate 0.5
Sight Range 1800/1800
Attack Range Melee
Missile Speed Instant
Attack Duration 0.5+0.3
Base Attack Time 1.7
Collision Size 24

Slark the Nightcrawler is a melee agility hero that utilises his abilities to spring onto enemy heroes and slip out unhindered. He is a very mobile ganker, but remains attribute-wise below most other carries unless he is able to steal away attributes with his abilities. Once he does, though, only a few heroes can hope to be as fearsome as the Nightcrawler - extremely mobile to the point of ever-presence; his strikes only hitting harder and faster.

Slark can quickly leap forward onto enemies with Pounce to leash them and bind them from escaping. His Dark Pact releases a delayed purge that breaks even the most powerful disables. This gives him one of the most flexible abilities to start and end fights in the game. He is also capable of stealing attributes by attacking his victim to boost his own attack damage temporarily with Essence Shift which can rapidly shift engagements in his favor, even when merely performing hit-and-run maneuvers. Slark's ultimate, Shadow Dance, allows him to remain unseen even while attacking for a short duration and allows him to move quicker when not under the watch of enemy eyes to strike in and out of enemy ranks unhindered.


Slark Slark, the Nightcrawler
Play "If I'd known I'd end up here, I'd have stayed in Dark Reef Prison."
Role: Pip tank.png Escape
Lore: Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-breed are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, and sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together--but somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef.
Voice: Tom Chantler (Responses)



Dark Pact
Blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Cannot be purged. Play
Dark Pact icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
No Target Enemies Magical
After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging most negative debuffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.
Cast Time: 0+0
Damage Radius: 325
Effect Delay: 1.5
Total Damage: 75/150/225/300
Cooldown 9/8/7/6 Mana 55/50/45/40
Slithereen are capable of quickly regrowing appendages, in case of critical injury, to save their own lives.


  • Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact deals 7.5/15/22.5/30 damage within 325 radius in 0.1 second intervals, starting 1.5 seconds after cast.
  • Slark himself takes 3.75/7.5/11.25/15 damage from Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact in the same intervals.
  • Applies a strong dispel on Slark in the same intervals, right after each of its damage instances.
  • The self afflicted damage from Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact can be reduced or amplified, but can never kill Slark.
  • The visual effects and sounds during the 1.5 seconds delay is only visible and audible to allies.
  • The visual effect of the damaging pulses are visible even when Slark is invisible.
  • Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact ends 2.5 seconds after it is cast.

Blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Cannot be purged. Play
Pounce icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
No Target Enemy Heroes Magical
Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit takes damage and is leashed to Slark, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.
Cast Time: 0+0.53
Leap Distance: 700
Latch Radius: 95
Leash Radius: 325
Damage: 50/100/150/200
Leash Duration: 3.5
Cooldown 20/16/12/8 Mana 75
Time in the Dark Reef made Slark a dangerous assassin; aggressive and fearless.


  • Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33.
  • Always jumps for the full distance, unless an enemy hero gets within 95 radius of Slark during the jump.
  • Can latch on enemy heroes up to 795 range away (700 max distance + 95 latch radius).
  • Slark can turn, cast spells and use items during the jump of Pounce icon.png Pounce, but cannot attack.
  • When latching on a unit, Slark is automatically ordered to attack the target.
  • The more the leash gets stretched, the slower the affected unit can walk away from the center, eventually coming to a full stop. It directly affects the target's movement speed.
  • The following spells are not able to break the leash: Leap icon.png Leap, Skewer icon.png Skewer and Pounce icon.png Pounce.
  • When the leash expires while a position changing effect is ongoing, it will instantly cancel the position changing effect.
  • Pounce icon.png Pounce destroys trees within 100 radius around Slark upon landing.

Essence Shift
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Cannot be purged. Cannot be used by illusions.
Essence Shift icon.png
Ability Affects
Passive Enemy Heroes
Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.
All Attributes Lost per Attack: 1
Agility Gained per Attack: 3
Duration: 15/30/60/120
With each strike at his adversaries, Slark's knowledge of their weaknesses improves.


  • Essence Shift icon.png Essence Shift steals the stats before the attack damage is applied.
  • Successive attacks do not refresh the duration of the stolen/lost spells. Each attack's stats has their own duration.
  • The status buff and debuff icon show the number of current stacks and show the duration of the last stack.
  • On each attack, the attacked hero lose 19 maximum health, 0.03 health regen, 0.14 armor, 1 attack speed, 13 maximum mana, 0.04 mana regen and 1 attack damage.
  • The current health and mana percentages stay equal. Does not directly reduce current health and mana.
  • Slark continues to gain agility, even when the attacked hero has no more stats left to steal.
  • When Slark dies, he loses all the stolen stats, but the affected enemies don't get theirs back.
  • When the affected enemies die, they gain their stats back, but Slark does not lose the stolen stats.

Shadow Dance
Not blocked by Spell Immunity. Cannot be purged. Cannot be used by illusions. Play
Shadow Dance icon.png
Ability Affects
No Target Self
When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming immune to detection. Attacking, casting spells, and using items will not reveal Slark. Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.
Cast Time: 0+0
Fade Time: 0
Move Speed Bonus: 30%/35%/40%
Max Health as Regen per Second: 3%/5%/7%
Active Duration: 4
Cooldown 60 Mana 120
The hidden Thirteenth is a slippery foe.


  • Slark gains or loses the health regen and movement speed bonus 0.5 seconds after getting in or out of enemy vision, or activating Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance.
  • If Slark is damaged by a neutral creep, the health regen and movement speed bonus are lost for 2 seconds.
  • When activating Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance, Slark is guaranteed to regenerate 12%/20%/28% of his maximum health, if he doesn't get damaged by neutral creeps.
  • Restores health in form of health regeneration, so it regenerates 0.3%/0.5%/0.7% of max health in 0.1 second intervals.
  • Can restore 100% of Slark's health within 34/20/15 seconds.

Recommended items[edit]

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Reason given

Starting items:

  • Getting a Stout Shield early in the game allows Slark to sustain more harassment from enemy and stay in lane longer. It is later built into a Poor Man's Shield from side-lane.
  • Healing Salve and Tangoes can help Slark to regenerate his health without the need of returning to base, losing his needed farming.
  • Two Iron Branches provide good stats and can be built into a Magic Wand.


  • Magic Stick can be crucial in many situations, giving a burst of much-needed mana or health.
  • Boots of Speed is a must-have for any hero, allowing Slark to gank easier early-game.
  • Poor Man's Shield gives Slark agility points, therefore increasing his last-hitting and denying in lane. It also saves Slark from harassment in lane.
  • An Orb of Venom is a cheap but powerful item to slow enemies and inflict damage overtime, giving an advantage to Slark's early ganks.

Core items

  • Power Treads is a boot of choice for Slark. It gives him attack speed and a boost to attributes that can be switched to survive teamfights.
  • Magic Wand is an upgrade to Magic Stick. Gives nice stats, and save more space for other items
  • Sange and Yasha works great in conjunction with Slark's skill set allowing you to easily chase and attack enemy heroes due to the passive maim. In addition to the slow, Sange and Yasha also provides additional move speed, attack speed, and a much needed strength and agility boost to your attributes.
  • Town Portal Scroll should always be carried at all times. It can either allow Slark to arrive at teamfights faster, or help him escape in a pinch.

Situational items

  • Drum of Endurance provides Slark with attributes that he needs while giving you extra Movement speed and Attack speed to help close the distance on foes. A must to give him the early game advantage he needs to snowball.
  • Black King Bar's spell immunity offers great survivability in team fights.
  • Butterfly offers bonus attack speed, armor, damage, and Agility, and its evasion gives you more survivability. It can be activated to provide a boost of movement speed to make chasing or escaping much easier.
  • Vladmir's Offering can be built if you want the benefit of the auras and use a different Unique Attack Modifier but still have lifesteal.
  • Eye of Skadi grants Slark both incredible survivability and killing power. Its wealth of attributes provide Slark HP, mana, armor, damage, and attack speed - all superb boosts to Slark's lackluster base attributes. Not to mention, its ever-useful Unique Attack Modifier which slows enemies on-hit greatly helps Slark to stick to his targets.
  • Shadow Blade provides a good source of attack speed and additional invisibility to improve your ability to gank and escape.
  • Abyssal Blade is an extremely useful item on Slark that combines very well with Slark's high agility and attack speed, which can constantly proc bashes. It also provides him with extra attack damage and a strong active ability.



  • Shadow Blade is an often picked item for Slark, as it gives you another escape and immediately activates Shadow Dance's passive, assuming the other team has no detection.
  • Slark is most often played as a Mid hero, as Midlane maximizes his Ganking potential early, assuring he will become dominant by late game. However, Slark is fairly unique in that he can excel in every lane, if up against the right heroes, and can even be played as a solo offlaner thanks to Pounce.
  • Pounce is good for both chasing and escaping enemies. It can be used like a blink dagger to jump into, from, or through otherwise impassable terrain to great effect.
  • Dark Pact is a wonderful tool for purging the negative debuffs placed on him. When used at the right time, during the delay, the waves emitted from Slark will also remove the incoming debuffs about to be placed on him, allowing you to "dodge" or shorten their duration.
  • Unlike most purges, Dark Pact can purge stuns from Slark - bear this in mind if you have been targeted by a slow moving projectile stun (such as Sven's Storm Hammer or Alchemist's Unstable Concoction) and time your activation of Dark Pact to remove it as it strikes. With enough practice you can time it to almost completely nullify their usage.
  • Dark Pact also offers Slark a very interesting kind of advantage against certain defenses. The burst from Dark Pact is calculated as 10 attacks very quickly after another, meaning that Slark can use it against buffs like Living Armor, which offer protection but only defend against a set number of damage instances before disappearing.
  • Dark Pact is a great way to finish off an invisible unit that has been leashed, as the AOE damage affects invisible prey.
  • When being chased, try to get out of sight from the enemy, be it around trees, up hills, et cetera. The passive from Slark's ultimate will activate when out of enemy sight and give you a boost to move speed and HP regen for a short moment before sight is regained. This can be the difference between life and death.
  • If timed right, Pounce can be used to dodge some projectile spells such as Sniper's ultimate, as Slark is invulnerable during his jump (note that some disables can catch Slark mid-air, though no damage will be dealt).
  • A helpful side effect of Shadow Dance's passive is that Slark gains a weak form of detection. If you find that you've suddenly lost your movement speed and health regeneration bonuses while seemingly alone, it means one of three things. First, it can mean enemies are lurking around in the area that you can't see and you should be extra cautious- a gank may be incoming. Otherwise, if your enemies are all accounted for, it means the enemy has wards in the area, and you should let your team know this so they can react accordingly, or deward. Lastly, if Bloodseeker has leveled his Thirst, Slark's ultimate will be disabled while he has low health as it reveals Slark's location to his foes. This makes Bloodseeker one of the most effective counters to Slark in the game. But building an Urn of Shadows can remedy this, as you can get a steady +400 health from each active in early levels, which assures you the ability to get "off the grid" and continue your ganks after level 6.
  • Slark functions a bit differently from most carries - while a standard carry capitalizes on sustained damage, Slark can take on more of a hit-and-run approach. You can maximize his Essence Shift's duration by continually harassing and retreating. Go for the kill once you think you have enough damage and attack speed to take down enemy heroes. Slark's base attributes are average at best, although with enough stolen Agility and damage items he can keep up with hard carries such as Phantom Assassin and Sniper.
  • Maximize Essence Shift's efficiency by taking objectives using his stolen attributes. After a large teamfight, it is not uncommon to find that Slark has stolen upwards of 50 agility, making quick work of untended towers or Roshan.
  • Vladmir's Offering is a great item on Slark for multiple reasons. First, it gives you much needed armour and mana regen. Second it gives you lifesteal and a small amount of HP regen, which is great for the survivability of a squishy ganking hero like Slark. Most important however, is the 15% boost to your base damage which, due to Essence Shift, is constantly increasing with each attack that Slark makes on an opponent. This drastically increases the effectiveness of Essence Shift over time.
  • Soul Ring provides a cheap source of instant mana, as Shadow Dance can easily regenerate the health cost when out of battle
  • If played as a midlane hero however, a Bottle can be a much better choice, healing you in combat situations and giving you mana when needed. Slark's passive speed boost from Shadow Dance also means he can out rune control most midlane heroes easily.
  • Orchid Malevolence offers all the mana regeneration you will ever need, bonus attack damage and speed, as well as the damage amplifying Silence ability. Together with Pounce, it will lock down any target almost completely. Note, however, that this item choice does not supplement your naturally low health at all. Orchid Malevolence is most useful against intelligence heroes that can easily burst-damage you down, such as Lina, and heroes that can escape from Pounce's leash, such as Anti-Mage and Queen of Pain.
  • Against Physical Damage dealers, such as Phantom Assassin for example, a Ghost Scepter works extremely well on Slark. Ghost Scepter gives you an added escape mechanism early along with much needed attributes, and builds into Ethereal Blade.
  • Ethereal Blade gives Slark a huge damage and attack speed boost, Some HP, Armour and Mana, and yet another nuke and slow that synergizes well with Slarks skill set. This is due to Ethereal Blade's nuke damage coming from how much agility Slark has, and thanks to Essence Shift this can be an absolutely devastating amount of damage, especially if followed up by a Pounce and Dark Pact. Note that Ethereal debuffed units take 40% additional magic damage, boosting the damage output from both of your other nukes. One might think this is counter intuitive, as Dark Pact deals self damage. However, if done correctly Slark can use Ethereal Blade, time his Pounce and Dark Pact so that Slark can do full extra magic damage to the ethereal unit, and then be able to physically attack the leashed unit for an almost guaranteed kill. Ethereal Blade's Active can also be used to catch up to and/or finish off fleeing foes that are out of Slark's reach, as the nuke has a very long cast range.
  • Skull Basher serves as a dual purpose item for Slark, giving him a passive bash and a huge damage boost, while also providing some HP. Late game Skull Basher can be upgraded into an Abyssal Blade for even more damage and HP and a guaranteed stun that goes through spell immunity.
  • Blink Dagger is a great item for Slark, allowing him to close distances to set up a well-timed Pounce. It also greatly helps him escape sticky situations, due to the duration of Shadow Dance being longer than 3 seconds, he can easily blink out towards safety.


  • Slark's murloc heritage was completely removed in transition to Dota 2 to avoid copyright issues, since the murloc are an existing race in the Warcraft universe.[1]
  • Slark's response, Play "Met you once, cut you twice." is a reference to the carpentry phrase, "Measure twice, cut once."
  • Slark's respawn line, Play "Griefer madness..." is a reference to the propaganda film, Reefer Madness. As well, a griefer is a role a player assumes while in a multiplayer game to deliberately irritate other players.
  • Slark's weapon, a Shiv, is the traditional prison weapon and is a reference to his backstory.

Update history[edit]

November 24, 2014 Patch

  • Fixed Slark losing his existing attack target when casting Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance

November 18, 2014 Patch

July 18, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Pounce icon.png Pounce's Leash getting dispelled.

June 14, 2013 Patch

June 05, 2013 Patch

May 02, 2013 Patch

April 25, 2013 Patch

  • Enabled Bristleback icon.png Bristleback, Slark icon.png Slark and Skywrath Mage icon.png Skywrath Mage in Captain's Mode (Latest Version).
  • Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance:
    • Fixed ability giving Slark flying vision.
    • Fixed ability granting passive bonuses to Slark illusions.
    • Fixed an issue causing the ability's passive modifier to not update in the UI, despite being active.
  • Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact:
    • Fixed the ability continuing while Slark is dead.
    • Fixed a number of incorrect spell interactions with the ability.
  • Essence Shift icon.png Essence Shift counters on both Slark and enemy heroes will show the total duration ( i.e. the time that the most recent stack will expire.)
  • Fixed a number of horizontal movement ability interactions with Pounce icon.png Pounce.

March 28, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Pounce icon.png Pounce not initiating an attack order on the leashed target.

February 07, 2013 Patch

January 17, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Impale based stuns not getting removed by Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact.

December 13, 2012 Patch

December 06, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed some bugs with Pounce icon.png Pounce movement restriction.

November 15, 2012 Patch

  • Added Slark Slark!

Balance changelog[edit]


  • Pounce icon.png Pounce damage reduced from 55/110/165/220 to 50/100/150/200.


  • Pounce icon.png Pounce damage reduced from 60/120/180/240 to 55/110/165/220.


  • Slark is no longer visible inside Chronosphere during Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance.


  • Pounce icon.png Pounce damage reduced from 70/140/210/280 to 60/120/180/240.
  • Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance cooldown reduced from 65 to 60.


  • Added to Captain's Mode.


  • Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance:
    • Duration reduced from 5.5 to 4.
    • Cooldown increased from 25 to 65.
    • Can no longer be revealed by Truesight.
  • Removed from Captain's Mode.


  • Base agility increased by 6.


  • Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact cooldown decreased from 10/9/8/7 to 9/8/7/6.
  • Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance HP regen increased from 3/4/5% to 3/5/7%.


  • Pounce icon.png Pounce
    • Damage increased from 40/80/120/160 to 70/140/210/280.
    • Cooldown rescaled from 12 to 20/16/12/8.
    • Cast range increased from 400/500/600/700 to 700.
  • Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance
    • Regen increased from 2/3/4% to 3/4/5%.
    • Passive bonuses activation delay decreased from 0.7 to 0.5.


  • Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c


  • Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.



  • Strength growth increased from 1.0 to 1.8.
  • Agility growth reduced from 2.0 to 1.5.
  • Intelligence growth increased from 1.6 to 1.9.
  • Pounce icon.png Pounce
    • No longer hits non-hero units.
    • AoE increased from 85 to 95.
    • Speed fixed to be the same at all levels.
  • Essence Shift icon.png Essence Shift
    • Now reduces each stat by 1 on attacks (no longer reduces the primary by 2).
    • Agility bonus reduced from 4 to 3 per attack.
    • Duration increased from 15/30/45/60 to 15/30/60/120 .
    • Permanently reduces each stat of a hero Slark kills by 1 and he gains 3 Agi permanently.


  • Pounce icon.png Pounce cooldown reduced from 16 to 12.


  • Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact
    • Adjusted the timing. Instead of starting after 2 seconds and pulsing (damage and buff removal) over 0.5 seconds, it now starts after 1.5 seconds and pulses over 1 second. Same overall damage but now has a longer duration for the buff removal period.
    • Self damage is now dealt to himself as he deals it to the area around him instead of at cast time.


  • Base Agility decreased from 21 to 15 and increased starting damage by the same amount.
  • Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact cooldown reduced from 10 to 10/9/8/7.
  • Pounce icon.png Pounce damage rescaled from 50/75/100/125 to 40/80/120/160.
  • Added to Captain's Mode.


  • Pounce icon.png Pounce leash now gets removed if the target blinks or teleports away.
  • Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance passive no longer works if Slark is Doom ability icon.png Doomed.


  • Created.


See also[edit]


  1. [1], Murlocs, the race Slark belongs to in DotA1.