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A cooldown is a period of wait time before a spell, ability, or item power can be used again.


Usually, a skill will be on cooldown if the skill was activated and the cast time of the skill has passed. For instance, Sand King's Epicenter will instantly go on cooldown when activated, since it has no cast time. If the hero is interrupted before the channel time is over, the spell does nothing, and the cooldown and mana is wasted. On the other hand, Sniper's Assassinate and Shadow Fiend's Requiem of Souls have long cast times, and they will not go on cooldown before the cast time is over. Spirit Breaker's Charge of Darkness is an exception to the usual rule; it goes on cooldown once the charge ends or is canceled, not upon cast.

If a hero has several versions of the same item, all versions will be on cooldown upon activating one of them. For instance, all Dagons are in the same cooldown group.

Some abilities or items have multiple cooldowns, using a different duration if their conditions are met. For example Manta Style icon.png Manta Style's cooldown differs for melee and ranged users. Culling Blade's cooldown is 0, but only when successfully killing a hero.

Many abilities have reduced cooldown when leveled up. If an ability is on cooldown and it is leveled up, the current wait time will not be affected at all.

Some abilities have charges and a charge replenish time instead of the usual cooldown. For instance, Sniper's Shrapnel has 3 charges and a 55 seconds replenish time for each charge.

Cooldown manipulation[edit]

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Several abilities and items are able to manipulate cooldowns of abilities and items. These include cooldown reductions, which can only occur when the spell is off cooldown first, or cooldown resetting.

Percentage-based cooldown reductions and increases stack inconsistently with each other. The reduction of Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core stacks multiplicatively with Arcane Rune minimap icon.png Arcane Rune and talents, and vice versa. However, the reduction from talents stacks additively with that of the Arcane Rune.

Flat reductions and increases fully stack as well. If both are combined, flat changes are added before percentage changes are. This means, when having percentage cooldown reduction and a flat reduction, the flat reduction is applied first, and then the percentage based change is applied.

Sources of reduction[edit]

Sources of increase[edit]

  • Time Dilation icon.png
    Duration: 6/8/10/12
    Increases the cooldown of spells which are already on cooldown by the given duration. Visually freezes the cooldown display. Does not affect abilities which were cast after Time Dilation, or items.

Sources of resetting[edit]

Unaffected by cooldown manipulation[edit]

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Fade delays before invisibility ( Nature's Guise, Cloak and Dagger) are no cooldowns and therefore cannot be manipulated. The abilities listed below could be categorized as cooldowns in one way or another, but are not affected by cooldown reductions.


Some abilities use the ability charge mechanic, instead of cooldowns. These abilities have a set number of charges on them, which replenish over time. Instead of going on cooldown, these abilities use up one charge per cast. This means when having multiple charges, they can be cast quickly in succession, but cannot be used when having no charges left. Each charge takes a certain time to replenish. Multiple charges of a spell do not replenish at the same time, they recharge one after another.

Charge-based abilities will appear to be on cooldown when using the last charge. This "cooldown" however is only to visualise when the next charge is going to be ready again.

The replenish time of charges can be affected by the cooldown reductions of Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core, Arcane Rune minimap icon.png Arcane Rune, and talents, and can all be replenished with Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb. Other sources of cooldown manipulation cannot grant charges back or affect the recharge times.

Charge-based abilities[edit]

The following abilities use the charge system:

Version history[edit]

  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb now replenishes all charges to charged-based abilities.
  • Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core now affects the replenish time of charge-based abilities.

Patch history[edit]