Demnok Lannik the Warlock is a ranged intelligence hero who possesses many powerful teamfight spells capable of inflicting chaos upon the enemy team. Shadow Word is a highly versatile spell, as it allows him to support allies by healing them or harass enemies by dealing damage over time, giving him strong lane presence. Beyond the early game, Warlock can turn any teamfight in his team's favor as his other spells are strong when unleashed against multiple enemies. Fatal Bonds causes all enemies linked together to take bonus damage when one of their number takes damage, magnifying the strength of area-of-effect spells, while Upheaval can allow him to greatly slow any enemies caught in the radius of the spell, making it harder for them to maneuver in fights or escape. His ultimate, Chaotic Offering, summons a Golem after stunning all enemies in a wide area, allowing him to throw them into disarray. While unassuming and weak by himself, Warlock is a dangerous threat in any teamfight as his spells allow him to turn the enemies' numbers against them and sow chaos amongst their ranks.
| Demnok Lannik, the Warlock
| Play "Chaos comes at my command!"
|| Initiator / Support / Lane Support / Disabler
|| As Chief Curator and Head of Acquisitions for the Arcane Archives of the Ultimyr Academy, Demnok Lannik was tireless in his pursuit of lost, rare and forbidden tomes. No cursed temple was so foreboding, no cavern path so treacherous, that any concern for his own survival could dissuade him from entering if rumors hinted that some pamphlet of primordial lore might still survive in its depths. However, so often did his investigations trigger the wrath of protector entities, that he finally found it necessary to master the arts of magic. He bent himself to learning sorcery with the same thorough obsessiveness that marked his quest for incunabula, becoming the most powerful Warlock of the Academy in less time than most practitioners required to complete a course of undergraduate work. Almost as an afterthought, he carved a staff of Dreadwood and summoned into it a captive spirit from the Outer Hells. And anticipating the day when he will have recovered every last lost spellbook, he has commenced writing his own Black Grimoire. It will undoubtedly be instructive.
|| Sam A. Mowry (Responses)
- Shared damage is the same damage type as the source of the damage.
- Spreads the damage before it is reduced or amplified in any way on the receiving target.
- When for example Abaddon gets damaged while under the effect of Borrowed Time, the bonds still spread the damage, before Borrowed Time turns it into heals.
- This also goes for finishing blows. When for example a unit at 10 health is hit by e.g. 1000 damage, the bonds still spread 25% of the 1000 damage.
- The distance between the bonded units doesn't matter. Once bonded, they will always spread or receive the spread damage.
- The spread damage is always sourced to Warlock. If a unit dies to the damage done by Fatal Bonds, Warlock is credited, no matter who caused the damage which got spread.
- Upon cast, the spell searches for visible enemy units within 700 of the cast target and binds them instantly together.
- Links the closest units to the initial target, instead of randomly choosing targets within the search radius.
- The damage caused by Fatal Bonds does not cause aggro. Bonded Neutral creeps will not react on the damage.
- Increases the total damage output of every damage by 50%/75%/100%/125% when then maximum amount of units is bonded.
- Successive casts of Fatal Bonds fully stack and work independent from each other.
- Deals damage or heals in 1 second intervals, starting 1 second after cast, resulting in 11 instances.
- Can deal up to 165/275/385/495 damage to the target (before reductions), or heal for the same amount if cast on an ally.
- Successive casts of Shadow Word fully stack and work independant from each other.
- The longer the spell gets channeled, the stronger units will get slowed when standing inside the area.
- The strength of the slow is based on the channel duration, not on how long a unit stands in the affected area.
- The slow percentage increases by 3.5%/7%/10.5%/14% in 0.5 second intervals, starting 0.5 seconds after spell cast.
- So it takes 12.5/6.5/4.5/3.5 seconds for the slow to reach the 84% slow cap.
- The slow debuff is applied or refreshed in the same intervals.
| Warlock's Golem
- A Healing Salve is generally required in all starting item builds, whether to heal yourself or apply it to your carry. Shadow Word can replace the utility of Tango during the laning stage for replenishing small amounts of HP.
- As a support, a Clarity is recommended in order to take advantage of your spells when they are needed. A Clarity can guarantee at least one more additional cast of Shadow Word or any of your other spells.
- Ring of Protection is helpful for protecting Warlock against enemy harass damage, and allows you to build a Ring of Basilius from the Side Lane Shop.
- Iron Branches should be used to fill out the rest of your inventory, as the stats they provide can be very useful in the early game. They can be used to complete a Magic Wand, or build Mekansm components.
- Magic Stick is recommended for most heroes. In Warlock's case, his low base strength means that he is relatively easy to kill in the early game, so having the ability to heal yourself for 150 HP instantly is very helpful. The 150 MP also allows you to cast at least one more spell in a teamfight if your mana is low.
- Boots of Speed are important on any support. In Warlock's case, the flexibility of Shadow Word means that positioning yourself quickly to cast it on an ally or enemy can help to secure a kill on the enemy or save an ally from death.
- A Bracer provides additional attributes and bonus Strength to bulk up Warlock's small initial health pool, greatly increasing his survivability in fights.
- Ring of Basilius is useful for providing armor and mana regen during the laning stage, which aids in survivability and replenishing mana for casting Shadow Word, as well as pushing a lane if needed by turning the aura on. It is best disassembled and the components recycled for use in other items, however, as Warlock's high base intelligence as well as growth ensure that a Sage's Mask is more effective early on due to its percentage-based regen bonus.
- A Magic Wand has all the benefits of a Magic Stick, as well as additional stats to increase your survivability. Using stored charges can give Warlock enough mana to cast almost any spell in his arsenal, and can often be enough to cast your ultimate if you're low.
- Arcane Boots are important in aiding Warlock's ability to support his team, on top of replenishing his own mana pool so that he can continue using his spells. As he can already heal his teammates with Shadow Word, replenishing their mana as well as Warlocks ensures that your team is ready to fight at any time, or that your carry can continue farming without having to return to base as often.
- Aghanim's Scepter should be considered a luxury item if you are playing a heavy support role, but it is also one of the most important items that Warlock should purchase as a core farmer. The ability to summon two Golems with Chaotic Offering can inflict significantly more damage against the enemy as neither Permanent Immolation or Flaming Fists have their effectiveness reduced.
- Due to Warlock's flexible nature and powerful spells, a Town Portal Scroll should always be on hand should it be needed. Warlock's ability to heal teammates in emergency situations and disrupt the enemy formation with his spells should never be discounted.
- Refresher Orb is a very powerful luxury item in that it allows Warlock to use his ultimate twice, whether it has been upgraded by Aghanim's Scepter or not, as well as cast his other spells in succession. Priority should be given to increasing the size of Warlock's mana pool should this be purchased, though, as his ultimate and Refresher Orb's active can cost a total of up to 1175 mana.
- Scythe of Vyse gives Warlock a much larger mana pool as well as regeneration, and shores up his other stats as well. The items active ability also gives him a powerful ranged disable to use against the enemy in many situations.
- Shiva's Guard gives Warlock immense survivability against physical attacks, and increases his intelligence dramatically as well. The auras allow him to contribute more in teamfights by reducing enemy attack and movement speed, giving him more crowd control, reducing enemies' attack speed, and giving him an additional slow on top of Upheaval, which does not have to be channeled and can help his Golems to chase opponents.
- Necronomicon gives Warlock additional Strength and Intelligence, both of which are very useful on him, as well as the ability to summon Necronomicon Warriors to a teamfight, synergizing well with his ability to summon a Golem. The minions greatly add to Warlock's teamfight contribution and can be useful to control while channeling Upheaval.
- Drum of Endurance can be upgraded from Bracer, and gives Warlock all-around additional stats. It is useful to purchase to give Warlock more survivability, as the active can be helpful during chases or when fleeing.
- Pipe of Insight is a powerful support item that gives Warlock another tool with which to protect his teammates. The item's active ability can shield allies from magical damage for a short period of time, enough to blunt their initial wave of magic nukes.
- Mekansm is another powerful support item that synergizes well with Warlock's Shadow Word, allowing him to heal teammates and keep them in the fight. The item's mana cost is of little consequence to Warlock as his high intelligence growth ensures that he will almost always have the mana to use it.
- Veil of Discord is a useful utility item that boosts Warlock's stats across the board and gives him more armor. As Fatal Bonds already amplifies the power of area-of-effect magic nukes that hit multiple enemies, increasing that further by reducing enemies' magic resistance can greatly magnify the amount of damage dealt.
- Octarine Core can be very strong on Warlock in the late game, as it can reduce the cooldown time on his spammable spells and allow him to have his ultimate available on a more regular basis. As well, Warlock can lifesteal from Fatal Bonds damage and an offensively-casted Shadow Word, increasing his survivability in fights.
- Guardian Greaves is a useful late-game upgrade to Mekansm and Arcane Boots, giving Warlock strong teamfight contribution as well as opening up an inventory slot. The self-dispel allows Warlock to remove debuffs from himself, such as silences that are preventing him from casting his spells.
- In general, Warlock should be played as a support hero rather than as a farming hero. As such, it should default to him to purchase the Animal Courier, and upgrade it as needed, as well as Observer Wards and Sentry Wards throughout the course of a match.
- Keep in mind that Warlock has a very long cast animation, 0.5 seconds on all but Fatal Bonds. This means that positioning and planning ahead are key to using the hero effectively, as his spells take more time to cast than most other heroes.
- Fatal Bonds is a very powerful teamfight ability, as it can cause area-of-effect spells that hit all bonded units to deal more than twice its listed damage to each foe. While it should not be the first spell that you max out, it should still be a priority spell to level up, and cast as early as possible in a teamfight.
- When deciding at what time to skill Fatal Bonds, gauge how active your team will be in engaging the foe in major teamfights. If you do not expect to encounter 5-vs-5 teamfights early on, then it is safe to level up your other abilities first. However, if the enemy team is employing an early pushing strategy, threatening them with large amounts of shared damage that is magnified by area-of-effect nukes can give them pause.
- Keep in mind that Fatal Bonds damage is reduced by each individual target's resistances, so dealing reduced damage to an enemy with high armor or magic resistance will not propagate that reduction to other shackled units. However, the reverse also applies, as dealing large amounts of damage to an enemy with little armor or magic resistance will not amplify the damage shared by an enemy that is more resilient.
- Shadow Word is Warlock's most flexible spell, capable of healing allies or damaging enemies. It should be the first spell to max out in most situations, as it can serve as a powerful nuke or a life-saving heal at any point in a match.
- Shadow Word costs 90 mana to heal/damage 165 HP at level 1, and will consume almost a third of your mana pool to do so. Therefore, it is wise to avoid casting the spell at level 1 if at all possible, as it becomes much more efficient with additional levels.
- Beware that although Shadow Word can heal a single ally by almost 500 HP, it takes time to do so. Therefore, it should be cast as early as possible when a situation arises, so that your ally is not put in a situation where they might not have enough HP to survive long enough to benefit from the healing buff.
- Upheaval is a very large area slow with a very long cast range, capable of inflicting a slow from up to 1850 range away. Its drawback is that the slow takes time to build up, and ramps up very slowly at early levels. Try to avoid channeling the spell unless it is at least level 2 or 3, as it is otherwise a waste of mana.
- Keep in mind, Upheaval becomes stronger based on how long it is channeled, not how long an enemy was standing in it, and that the slow sticks on the target up to 3 seconds after leaving the area. Because of this, it is more effective to preemptively channel Upheaval where the enemy wants to pass through to give it time to build up, rather than casting the whirlpool on top of a foe's current location.
- Be sure to take advantage of Upheaval's long cast range whenever possible. The enemy will be sure to attempt to disable you to interrupt the channeling, however you can make this much harder for them by forcing them to find you first. You can shield yourself behind teammates, from inside the treeline or on high ground, and even cast it from an unexpected direction so that they search in the wrong place.
- Upheaval's primary use comes right after initiating or counter-initiating with your ultimate and Fatal Bonds, as you can use the slow to greatly hinder enemy heroes' ability to escape while your Golem goes to work on them. The enemy may choose to expend one of their disables to interrupt your channeling, however this can also be a positive outcome as they will then have one less disable to expend on your teammates.
- Upheaval can also be used effectively against solo targets once it is high enough level and combined with a leading stun to give you time to build up the slow. Provided that your teammates have enough damage output, slowing the enemy down can be much more beneficial than attacking with Warlock's right-clicks.
- In a pinch, Upheaval can be used to cover retreats, or for area denial. Casting the spell on an area that the enemy wants to traverse can give them pause, as walking into an active Upheaval will slow them down much more than if it was cast on top of them. This can be useful for giving teammates space to run away, or for preventing the enemy from entering an area that they wish to go (such as pushing up high ground into your base, or into/out of Roshan's pit).
- Beware, Upheaval is a percent-based movement speed slow, and as such can be ignored by certain abilities such as Stampede, Shukuchi, Surge, and so on. Be sure that you know what abilities the enemy has that can ignore Upheaval's debuff, and plan accordingly.
- Chaotic Offering is your most powerful teamfight spell, as it will stun all enemies in the impact area, through spell immunity, and summon a Golem to do your bidding. This can often be enough to completely disrupt the enemy's formation and give your team enough time to capitalize on the situation.
- It can be useful at times to cast Shadow Word on your Golem, in order to heal it and prolong its lifespan. The longer the Golem is alive, the more damage it can deal.
- When chasing fleeing heroes with your Golem, do not stop to attack them. Instead, keep it moving with them, so that the Permanent Immolation can do its damage.
- Do not let the Golem die needlessly to the enemy, since its gold bounty is quite high. If it's the last remaining unit for your team in a fight, have it flee unless you can ensure a kill. Having it die against creeps or towers is better than allowing an enemy hero to last-hit it.
- Beware, Diffusal Blade's active purge can instantly kill summoned units, your Golem included. If you know that the enemy has one, it is wise to try to bait out the purge before casting your ultimate, or rush an Aghanim's Scepter and/or Refresher Orb to ensure that you have at least one Golem to use on the enemy after they use their Diffusal Blade.
- Warlock can benefit from building many other items other than those listed as recommended:
- As noted earlier, Warlock should generally carry at least some of the support duties on his team. This means that Animal Courier, Flying Courier, Observer Ward, Sentry Ward, and other support items such as Dust of Appearance and Smoke of Deceit should all take priority.
- Urn of Shadows synergizes well with Shadow Word, as it performs many of the same roles and augments Warlock's flexibility further. It is a strong utility item to build if you do not intend on buying a Bracer, as the strength and mana regen benefit Warlock greatly.
- Medallion of Courage, and its upgrade Solar Crest, have a myriad of uses for Warlock. As a ranged support he can use it to assist his carry from a distance either by placing the debuff on an enemy or by placing the buff on an ally. The same can be applied to the Golem, either to extend its survivability or weaken its target. Finally, it can be used on Roshan to help your team kill him faster.
- Force Staff is a good utility item on any support hero, and is no exception for Warlock. It can allow Warlock to get in position to cast his spells, and has utility in re-positioning teammates as well as displacing enemies, and can even be used on your Golem to help it to chase fleeing enemies.
- Ghost Scepter can be helpful if Warlock is constantly being focused down by the enemy's physical right-clickers. Using Ghost Scepter's active can shield Warlock from physical damage for some seconds, allowing him to cast his spells as needed.
- Vladmir's Offering is a useful mid-game utility item that provides a strong teamfight aura. The aura gives Warlock and his allies additional armor and passive HP regen, as well as increased damage and lifesteal. These bonuses benefit the Golem as well, increasing its survivability to get more use out of your ultimate.
- Shadow Amulet can be useful to purchase if you intend on casting Upheaval frequently. As Warlock often has to channel the spell for at least a few seconds for it to reach full potency, hiding yourself from basic sight can increase your safety and keep the enemy guessing on your location, as the spell's cast range allows you to employ the spell from a fairly safe distance and an angle of your choosing.
- Upgrading Shadow Amulet into a Glimmer Cape can give Warlock more utility at the cost of less effective cover while channeling Upheaval. As Warlock can channel Upheaval for up to 16 seconds, purchasing a Glimmer Cape prevents him from remaining invisible for the entire duration as it only lasts for 5 seconds. However, it provides utility in that it can be cast on allies to help them initiate, or protect an ally from magic nukes for a short period of time. It can also be cast on your Golem to increase its survivability against any magic nukes the enemy may use to try to kill it.
- Lotus Orb is a strong utility item that allows Warlock to use the enemies' targeted spells against them. The item provides HP and mana regen as well as armor, giving Warlock more survivability and keeping his HP and mana topped up. The active can be cast on Warlock himself, one of his team's carries, or his Golem, discouraging the enemy from using their targeted nukes and disables.
- In DotA, Warlock's ultimate is named Rain of Chaos and the summoned unit was called an Infernal, a hulking golem with green-colored flames. Both names were changed in the transition to Dota 2 to avoid copyright conflict.
- Warlock is related to Disruptor and Axe, as he comes from the Oglodi tribe.
- Warlock's response Play "Just for that, I'm unfiending you." when killed is probably a play on "Unfriending you" an action in the popular social network Facebook where a person removes another from their friend list.
- The response Play "Bloodied but unbowed" when respawning is a reference to William Ernest Henley's poem "Invictus".
- Fatal Bonds' sound effect is based on this Play otherwise unused voice line.
December 17, 2014 Patch Update 3
July 18, 2013 Patch
- Fixed Backswing behavior for: Soul Rip, Tombstone, Cold Feet, Ice Vortex, Chilling Touch, Enfeeble, Shallow Grave, Thunder Strike, Kinetic Field, Static Storm, Malefice, Midnight Pulse, Howl, Stifling Dagger, Static Link, Shrapnel, Psionic Trap, Whirling Axes (Ranged), Storm Hammer, Gods Strength, Wave of Terror, Venomous Gale, Shadow Word, Fatal Bonds, The Swarm, Time Lapse, Maledict, Overpower and Ice Shards.
February 07, 2013 Patch
January 31, 2013 Patch
January 24, 2013 Patch
December 19, 2012 Patch
December 06, 2012 Patch
August 10, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Warlock missing his pants.
July 19, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Glimpse affecting Warlock's Golem and Spirit Bear.
- Fixed Curse of the Silent affecting Warlock's Golem and Spirit Bear.
July 05, 2012 Patch
- Fixed the burn aura from Warlock's Golems so it stacks correctly.
June 20, 2012 Patch
- Updated Aghanim's Scepter tooltips for Beastmaster, Necrolyte, Queen of Pain, Warlock, and Windrunner.
June 11, 2012 Patch
- Fixed the following spells being castable on magic immune allies: Nightmare, Frost Armor, Nature's Guise, Holy Persuasion, Decrepify, Astral Imprisonment, Shadow Word and X Marks The Spot.
May 24, 2012 Patch
- Added overhead healing messages for Warlock and Bloodseeker.
May 18, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Warlock Golem being able to buy and use items.
May 10, 2012 Patch
- Fixed arcane orb doing bonus damage to Warlock illusions.
- Fixed Golem's Flaming Fists doing half damage in a bigger aoe.
March 22, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Golems having incorrect magic resistance.
March 08, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Golem being considered a creep for some spells like Paralyzing Casks.
February 17, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Fatal Bonds hitting invis or fogged units.
February 16, 2012 Patch
- Warlock has a new alternate attack animation.
December 01, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Golem's Immolation not doing any damage.
November 17, 2011 Patch
- Fixed the following ability interactions with Repel/Purge: Inner Vitality, Weave, Moonlight Shadow, Overload, Holy Persuasion, Warcry, Shadow Word, Focus Fire, Sukuchi, Berserker's Call, Chilling Touch.
- Fixed Rain of Chaos AoE stun not lasting longer with Scepter.
- Fixed Rain of Chaos not destroying trees
- Fixed Rain of Chaos not doing any impact damage.
- Fixed Fatal Bonds disabling Blink Dagger/Regen.
- Fixed Fatal Bonds damage being reduced by resistance.
- Fixed Golem's Immolation working against Ancients.
- Enabled Warlock for Captain's Mode
- Added burned ground to Warlock's Rain of Chaos.
November 11, 2011 Patch
- Increased Warlock's Golem size slightly.
- Added a missing model for Warlock's effects.
November 10, 2011 Patch
August 13, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Golem's Immolation not doing any damage.
July 08, 2011 Patch
- Shadow Word can now be cast on catapults.
May 13, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Fatal Bonds not always adding the primary target.
- Fixed a number of abilities having incorrect interaction with Sphere: Slithereen Crush, Jinada, Wind Walk, Echo Slam, Moon Glaive, Death Pulse, Purification, Scream of Pain, Fatal Bonds.
- Shadow Word is now castable on spell immune allies.
- Fatal Bonds
- Fatal Bonds cast range increased from 800 to 900
- Fatal Bonds radius increased from 575 to 700
- Flaming Fists:
- Damage type changed from Magical to Pure (pierces Spell Immunity)
- Damage reduced from 100/150/200 to 80/115/150
- Fatal Bonds:
- Now shares the same damage type that is dealt to it, before it is reduced
- It previously took the damage that was dealt after all reductions and re-dealt it as HP Removal.
- It now immediately redistributes the damage with the same original source type before any reductions.
- Damage percentage from 20% to 25%
- Chaotic Offering:
- Golem attack range increased from 100 to 225
- Golem Base Attack Time improved from 1.35 to 1.2
- Golem HP regeneration increased from 15/20/25 to 15/30/45
- Golem Permanent Immolation area of effect increased from 250 to 300
- Golem Flaming Fists chance reduced from 60% to 40%
- Golem Flaming Fists no longer pierces Spell Immunity.
- Upheaval max duration increased from 12 to 16.
- Fatal Bonds now links the closest units to the initial target, instead of randomly choosing targets in its AoE.
- Cast range increased from 700 to 1200.
- Duration increased from 10 to 12 .
- Chaotic Offering:
- Removed 100 impact damage.
- Golem armor increased from 5/7/10 to 6/9/12.
- Manacost increased from 200/250/300 to 200/300/400 .
- Shadow Word damage/heal increased from 10/20/30/40 to 15/25/35/45 per second.
- Golem's Flaming Fists
- Trigger chance increased from 40% to 60%.
- Damage increased from 75/115/150 to 100/150/200.
- Fatal Bonds
- Link count increased from 2/3/4/5 to 3/4/5/6.
- Casting range increased from 600 to 800.
- Upheaval cooldown decreased from 65 to 50.
- Fatal Bonds damage increased from 3.75/7.5/11.25/15% to 15%.
- Fatal Bonds link count reduced from 5 to 2/3/4/5.
- Upheaval cooldown increased from 20 to 65 seconds.
- Changed Fatal Bonds from damage to HP loss (numbers adjusted to keep it at the same effectiveness).
- Changed Shadow Word damage type to Magical from Pure but adjusted the damage so it remains the same (unless you have extra magic resistance). The overall dps hasn't changed much, only its mechanics with different bonus resistances.
- Changed Infernal HP from 900/1400/1900 to 900/1200/1500
- Lowered Warlock's movement speed by 10
- Nerfed Shadow Word casting range, increase cooldown and lowered damage per second
- Increased Rain of Chaos cooldown
- Increased Shadow Word cooldown
- Added status icon for Fatal Bonds on heroes
- Nerfed Fatal Bonds from 6/12/18/24 to 5/10/15/20
- Lowered Shadow Word damage on enemy a bit
- Nerfed Infernal a bit
- ↑ "Invictus", by William Ernest Henley.