Blade Mail

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Blade Mail
Blade Mail icon.png
A razor-sharp coat of mail, it is the choice of selfless martyrs in combat.
Bought From
Active Damage Return
Bonus +10 Intelligence
+6 Armor
+22 Attack damage
Disassemble? No
Alert allies? No
Blade Mail (2200)Components3.png
Broadsword (1200)
Chainmail (550)
Robe of the Magi (450)

Blade Mail is an item purchasable at the Main Shop, under Armor. It can also be completed solely with items from the Side Lane Shop.

Additional information[edit]


Damage Return
No Target
For 4.5 seconds, duplicates any damage taken back to the unit that dealt the damage.
Damage Returned: 100%
Duration: 4.5
Cooldown symbol.png 20
Mana symbol.png 25
Pierces spell immunity. Returned magical damage is reduced to 0.
Buff Item Blade Mail Reflect: Undispellable.


  • Interrupts the user's channeling spells upon cast.
  • Returns incoming damage before all manipulations. However, damage manipulation on the enemy still affects the damage normally.
  • Reflected physical damage is affected by damage block as well.
  • The returned damage is always dealt right after the incoming damage.
  • Returned damage has the no-reflection flag, preventing its damage from interacting with other sources of damage with the same flag.
  • Fully ignores self-inflicted damage, and damage flagged as HP Removal.
  • Returns damage back to the source. This means damage done by summons is reflected back to the summons, not to their owner.

Recommended heroes[edit]

Axe icon.png
  • If taking Counter Helix icon.png Counter Helix damage was not enough of a punishment for attacking the Axe, then Blade Mail will make sane people cry. Few heroes can stomach taking damage from both abilities early on, and Blade Mail continues to be lethal in the late game, unlike Counter Helix which scales off.
  • As a side note, Blade Mail gives Axe much needed points in Intelligence early on, allowing him to cast a bit more before running out of juice.
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
  • Tresdin is, hands down, one of the best - if not the best - carrier of Blade Mail in the game. Her ultimate ability, Duel icon.png Duel, forces enemies to engage her head-on and attack her without pause, maximizing Blade Mail's efficiency if she is using it. Coupled together with her above average health pool, this combo is deadly from start to finish.
Clockwerk icon.png
  • Similar to Axe Axe and Legion Commander Legion Commander, Clockwerk can stop heroes from running away from him and forces out engagements while continuously barraging the enemy with Battery Assault icon.png Battery Assault. Having Blade Mail makes it so much worse for them as Clockwerk's high health pool makes it very unlikely that he will die first
  • Clockwerk also benefits from all the stats Blade Mail provides.
    • The extra armor is very vital as Clockwerk is otherwise short in armor
    • The extra attack damage let him hit harder with his right-click
    • Clockwerk suffers badly from a miniature mana pool, so the extra Intelligence points are very needed.
Elder Titan icon.png
Elder Titan
  • Pairs really well with Natural Order icon.png Natural Order.
  • Elder Titan loves to be in the middle of the fight.


  • It is a powerful counter against a Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn and break from Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge to prevent them from attacking you while under the debuff.
  • Enemies with copious amounts of damage resistance or high health could very easily ignore Blade Mail's ability. Heroes like Ursa Ursa, Spectre Spectre and Abaddon Abaddon are good examples of said resistant heroes, as are items such as Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight or Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque.
  • It can be useful to get Blade Mail if you get outcarried, to counter the DPS and turn the enemy's damage against them.
  • Buy it as a counter if the opposing team has high damage (crits, nukes or attack speed) and have low health. If timed properly, some heroes can get killed just from their own damage. And even if you cannot do that, it could make the enemy hesitant to attack you for 4.5 seconds.
  • A good situation to use Blade Mail is if you're inflicted with a heavy damage over time ability. For example, you can kill (or severely damage) Bloodseeker Bloodseeker by walking around with Rupture icon.png Rupture, or Tinker Tinker by staying under his March of the Machines icon.png March of the Machines. However, do make sure that you yourself can take the damage you'll be receiving, else you'll just be helping the enemy instead.
  • The return damage is only dealt to the unit who attacks. Therefore, Techies Techies' mines, Witch Doctor Witch Doctor's Death Ward icon.png Death Ward and Shadow Shaman Shadow Shaman's Mass Serpent Ward icon.png Mass Serpent Ward won't affect their main hero as they are considered separate units.
    • Since the Blade Mail returns damage on the unit that attacks the owner, you can use Necronomicon 1 icon.png Necronomicon units to attack and the melee Necronomicon Warrior will die quicker to return 800 damage.
  • This is a commonly bought item for initiator heroes that can soak up some damage (commonly Strength heroes), such as Clockwerk Clockwerk or Spirit Breaker Spirit Breaker.
  • Blade Mail is less effective with evasion because it reduces the hits you receive, and thus the damage you can return.
  • It also loses effectiveness against enemies who can turn themselves or their allies invulnerable with abilities like Phase Shift icon.png Phase Shift or Astral Imprisonment icon.png Astral Imprisonment, or with Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity, as Blade Mail cannot damage invulnerable units.
  • It is an ultimate counter against heroes who rely on critical strikes such as Phantom Assassin Phantom Assassin, Bounty Hunter Bounty Hunter, Wraith King Wraith King, etc. Also against Crystalys icon.png Crystalys or its upgrades Daedalus icon.png Daedalus and Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn.

Items Synergy[edit]

  • Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade, Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger and Force Staff icon.png Force Staff: these are good ganking and initiation items.
  • Mask of Madness icon.png Mask of Madness: will protect you from being attacked while under the debuff of the Mask of Madness.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence: gives a lot of attack damage especially on intelligence heroes and the soul burn deals 30% of the damage returned by Blade Mail as magic damage. It is more effective against enemy carries.
  • Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass: gives you more armor than your enemy and armor reduction aura, allowing to return more physical damage than you take, since it gets reflected before reductions.
    • The same applies to magic resistance or any other source of damage reduction. For example, even if incoming damage is fully blocked by spells like Borrowed Time icon.png Borrowed Time, Blade Mail still reflects the full damage.

Counter items[edit]

  • Nullifier icon.png Nullifier: the mute takes out the enemy's ability to use his items for 5 seconds.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity: disables an enemy while the return damage is active.
  • Satanic icon.png Satanic: the active Unholy Rage gives a total of 200% lifesteal. So it heals more than the damage returned by Blade Mail.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse: will disable your enemy from using the damage return.


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