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Grimstroke icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
21 + 2.4
18 + 1.9
25 + 3.8
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 620 1280 1760 2000
Health regen 0 2.1 5.46 7.86 9.06
Mana 75 375 1011 1467 1695
Mana regen 0 1.25 3.91 5.81 6.76
Armor 0 3 7.43 10.6 12.18
Att/sec 0.59 0.69 0.85 0.96 1.02
Damage 21‒25 46‒50 99‒103 137‒141 156‒160
Magic resistance 25%
▶️ Movement speed 290
▶️ Attack speed 100
Turn rate 0.6
Vision range 1800/800
Attack range 575
Projectile speed 900
Attack animation 0.35+?
Base attack time 1.7
Damage block 0
Collision size 24
Gib type Default

Grimstroke is a ranged intelligence hero specializing as a nuker and offensive support. With an arsenal of punitive and disabling spells, he forces enemies to rethink their actions, or retreat from his overbearing attacks. His long cast range also allows him to harass and zone out opponents while delivering substantial damage from the back line.

Stroke of Fate is a simple, linear nuke that slows enemies in its path, setting them up for follow-up abilities. Phantom's Embrace forces targets to stop and attack the phantom, or suffer heavy damage. Enemies are discouraged from approaching or attacking allies shielded with Ink Swell, as doing so could result in extra damage and a long, area-of-effect stun. Combined, Grimstoke's abilities dish out heavy magical damage, with the potential to quickly decimate two enemy heroes chained together under his ultimate, Soulbind. The capacity to slow, stun, silence, and bind multiple targets makes Grimstroke an extremely potent figure who should never be underestimated in teamfights.


Grimstroke minimap icon.pngGrimstroke
▶️ "I'll paint this world as I see fit."
Graceful, sophisticated, cunning and cruel, Grimstroke channels vile forces through the profane ink of his runebinding brush. Groomed from a young age to become a guardian of his people, Grimstroke's path to power was instead built upon a sacrifice he was all too willing to make: the lives of his entire race. Consumed by the very magic that was meant to protect them, Grimstroke's kindred now exist only as inky revenants, bound forever to his brush—their anguished screams and viscous forms apparent in the strokes of each dark mural he creates.

The people of Ashkavor crowded around the temple square, eager to witness the ascension of their new guardian -- to stand near the man as he bound their souls to his own. But as his final brush strikes fell against the runestone, and the bond of a new Ascended One was forged, everyone -- even those who'd stayed in their homes -- could sense that something had gone terribly wrong.

He knew the cause instantly. The droplets of ichor he'd procured to amplify the potency of his inkpots had instead contaminated them, and the power of the binding spell he'd cast now threatened to consume him. An inky corruption snaked upward from the runestone, along the handle of his brush, soon overtaking his hands. From there it spread quickly. Once it overcame his face and his mouth, he couldn't have screamed even if he'd wanted to.

All of his life he'd calculated on how to attain ever greater powers than the limits presented by his teachers would allow--going on far as to break the sacred prohibition against augmenting the inks. Indeed, with the wellspring of the Ascended bond open to him, he felt a measure of power coursing into his soul like he'd never imagined. His greatest triumph was upon him, if he could only survive it.

He drew deep from the power of the bond, pushing back against the corrupted ink flow. A great moan filled the air -- the collective cry of his people. Some swayed on their feet. The weakest collapsed. Many tried to run. And still deeper he pulled from their bloodline reservoir. But it wasn't enough to stop the ink tide.

It was only when the breath trapped in his lungs began to fail him, and the inkpool darkness fully encased him, that he saw his way out. The bond he'd made with the Ashkavoran people -- his people -- meant to be drawn upon only in service of their protection... it flowed two ways.

With the final surge of strength -- this time directed by more than just blind repulsion -- he pushed the ink torrent into the bond itself.

Slowly, he felt the tide retreat.. and heard the awful wails of his people as the corruption in turn rolled over them. When at last the ink relented, his eyes opened upon a world changed. The Ashkavoran people as he knew them were gone. Every last soul was transformed into terrifying shades of their former selves -- comprised no longer of blood and bone, only viscid, tainted ink.


Stroke of Fate icon.png
Grimstroke paints a path of ink with his brush, damaging and slowing enemies. The damage is increased with each enemy the ink hits.
Cast Animation: 0.8+0.53
Cast Range: 1400 (Talent 2200)
Wave Distance: 1400 (Talent 2200)
Start Radius: 120
End Radius: 160
Base Damage: 120/180/240/300 (Talent 168/252/336/420)
Damage Increment per Hit: 16/24/32/40 (Talent 22.4/33.6/44.8/56)
Movement Speed Slow: 50%/60%/70%/80%
Slow Duration: 1.5
Cooldown: 11/9/7/5
Mana: 100/110/120/130
Buff modifier_projectile_vision: Undispellable. Persists death.
Debuff modifier_grimstroke_dark_artistry_slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
The corruptive force of Grimstroke's ink, drawn from the reservoir of his fallen people, consumes any enemy caught in its path.


  • The ink travels at a speed of 2400.
  • The ink takes 0.58 seconds to reach max distance and can hit units up to 1560 range away (travel distance + end radius).
    • It takes up to 0.63 seconds and can hit units up to 1660 range away when the general cast range increasing talent is chosen.
    • It takes up to 0.92 seconds and can hit units up to 2360 range away when Stroke of Fate's own range increasing talent is chosen.
    • It takes up to 0.96 seconds and can hit units up to 2460 range away when both talents are chosen.
  • Only the cast range and distance increase from the level 20 talent is displayed. The level 15 talent can further increase the cast range and distance to 2300.
    • The level 15 talent alone increases the cast range and distance to 1500.
  • The ink trail starts 120 range towards Grimstroke's left side and travels towards the targeted point.
    • This means the ink's travel direction is not based on the caster's facing direction, but instead on the angle between the aforementioned points.
  • The increasing damage has no cap and counts any unit hit by the ink.
  • Plays an initial sound and particles upon start casting, visible and audible to everyone.
  • The projectile provides ground vision within its effect radius around it as it travels. This vision does not last.
    • Provides 160 radius ground vision at every hit enemy's location and at the end location of the projectile, which lasts for 2 seconds.
  • Stroke of Fate first applies the damage, then the debuff.

Grimstroke Phantom model.png
Level 2
Duration 5
Health 100
Health regeneration 0
Armor 0
Magic resistance 0%
Status resistance 0%
Turn rate 1
Collision size 8
Vision range 200 (G)
Bounty 35‒40
Experience 20
Model scale 1.3
Notes Uncontrollable

Phantom's Embrace icon.png
Summons a phantom that moves quickly towards the target, latching to it when she arrives. Once latched, the phantom damages and silences. If she survives the full latch duration she rends her victim for heavy damage and refreshes Phantom's Embrace's cooldown.

Hero attacks against the phantom count as 3 attacks each.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Cast Range: 900 (Talent 1000)
Hero Attacks to Destroy: 2/2/3/3 (Talent 3/3/4/4)
Non-Hero Attacks to Destroy: 6/6/9/9 (Talent 9/9/12/12)
Damage per Second: 6/14/22/30
Rend Damage: 120/200/280/360
Latch Duration: 5
Cooldown: 32/28/24/20
Mana: 110/120/130/140
Does not pierce spell immunity. Turning spell immune instantly kills latched phantoms, and all phantoms that currently fly towards the target.
Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked upon cast, not on impact.
Cannot be disjointed. Cannot be disjointed by its targets. Can be disjointed when returning to Grimstroke, resulting in the cooldown not being reset.
Buff modifier_grimstroke_ink_creature_spawning: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_grimstroke_ink_creature: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_grimstroke_ink_creature_latched: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_provide_vision: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_grimstroke_ink_creature_debuff: Dispellable with death only.
Grimstroke holds no sorrow for the downfall of his people. Only for Yaovhi, she who was most dear to him, does he feel even a semblance of longing.


  • The phantom travels at a speed of 750.
  • The phantom is attackable as soon as it is launched, so it can be killed before it reaches its target.
  • Phantoms have the highest priority for auto-attack behaviors, together with The Swarm beetles.
  • The phantom latches onto the target when it comes within 130 range of it. Once latched, it always stays 130 range in front of the target.
  • The phantom instantly dies when its target turns invisible or spell immune, including while the phantom is still traveling towards it.
    • A latched phantom also instantly dies when its target turns invulnerable or hidden, but not while traveling.
  • When the phantom enters a Chronosphere while traveling, it freezes and continues traveling once the Chronosphere ends.
    • When the phantom enters a Chronosphere while already latched on the target, it immediately starts returning to the caster as if it expired.
  • The phantom returns to Grimstroke upon expiring, or when its target dies. It does not return when it gets killed.
  • While attached, the phantom silences its target and deals damage to it.
    • Deals 3/7/11/15 damage in 0.5-second intervals starting immediately upon reaching the target, resulting in 10 instances.
    • Can deal up to 150/270/390/510 damage to each latched enemy, including the final rend damage (before reductions).
  • The phantom provides shared vision over the target while flying towards it, and while latched. The vision instantly stops once letting go of the target.
    • The phantom itself has a small vision range as well, which it provides while traveling to the target and while latched.
    • However, this vision is not applied while the phantom travels back to the caster.
  • The phantom cannot be interacted with while it returns to the caster.
  • Successive casts on the target fully stack, although all casts share one debuff.
    • The damage per second is increased for each stack. All casts share the same damage interval and are summed up into one instance per interval.
  • When used in combination with Soulbind, only the phantom launched on the primary target can refresh Phantom's Embrace's cooldown.

Ink Swell icon.png
Allies / Enemies
Grimstroke shrouds an allied unit in ink, increasing its movement speed. Enemies in range of the allied unit are damaged with inky tendrils over time. After 3 seconds it triggers, applying damage and stun in an area around the unit in proportion to how long ink tendril was near any hero.
Cast Animation: 0.15+0.73/0.86
Cast Range: 400/525/650/775 (Talent 500/625/750/875)
Radius: 400 (Talent 550)
Movement Speed Bonus: 12%/14%/16%/18% (Talent 32%/34%/36%/38%)
Tendrils Damage per Second: 25/35/45/55
Expire Max Damage: 100/200/300/400 (Talent 180/280/380/480)
Max Stun Duration: 1/1.9/2.8/3.7
Buff Duration: 3
Cooldown: 30/25/20/15
Mana: 120/130/140/150
Partially pierces spell immunity. Can be cast on spell immune allies.
Does not affect spell immune enemies.
Buff modifier_grimstroke_spirit_walk_buff: Dispellable with any dispel.
Debuff modifier_stunned: Dispellable with strong dispels.
Now that the rise of the ink tide no longer threatens to overwhelm Grimstroke, its tendrils of power are never far from his hand.


  • Deals 5/7/9/11 damage in 0.2 second intervals, starting immediately as the buff is placed, resulting in up to 15 instances.
  • The tendrils can deal up to 75/105/135/165 damage to a single unit (before reductions).
  • The damage and stun upon losing the buff is based on the amount of damage instances the tendrils applied to a single enemy hero.
    • This means to reach the maximum damage and stun, at least one enemy hero must be damaged throughout the whole duration of Ink Swell.
    • Only counts damage dealt to real heroes, which excludes illusions and creep-heroes, but includes clones.
    • The actual amount of damage dealt does not matter, only the amount of damage instances applied.
    • The stun duration increases by 0.07/0.13/0.19/0.25 seconds, and the damage by 6.67/13.33/20/26.67 for each instance applied, reaching the maximum after 15 instances.
  • When the debuff is lost prematurely, it still applies the area expire damage and stun, based on the damage instances it dealt up to that point.
    • However, if the ink swelled unit dies, the area expire damage and stun will not apply.
  • The expire damage and stun only apply when there is at least one enemy hero within the area.
  • Recasting Ink Swell on the same target refreshes the duration, without resetting the damage instance counter.
  • Has a longer cast backswing when cast on self, due to a different animation.
  • Ink Swell first applies the damage, then the debuff.

Soulbind icon.png
Binds a targeted enemy hero to its nearest allied hero within the bind radius, preventing both from moving away from each other. Any unit-targeted ability that either bound hero receives also gets cast on the other hero. If the bind is broken before the duration expires, the initial target will be bound to its nearest allied hero in the radius.
Cast Animation: 0.15+0.5
Cast Range: 700/800/900 (Talent 800/900/1000)
Latch Radius: 550
Break Distance: 700
Duration: 6/7/8
Cooldown: 100/75/50
Mana: 150/200/250
Aghanim's upgrade: Grants you a new ability, Dark Portrait. Creates an ink illusion of a target enemy hero.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked fully only when primary target.
Buff modifier_grimstroke_soul_chain_channel_check: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_grimstroke_soul_chain: Dispellable with death only.
The Ascended were chosen sons of Ashkavor, granted immense power by the bonds forged between their own souls and those they were charged with protecting. In the years that followed the ruination of his kin, Grimstroke discovered much more sinister applications for the binding rituals…


  • The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
  • Only binds the primary target to heroes (excluding illusions, including clones) or creep-heroes. The primary target can be an illusion though.
  • Leashes the target and the ally it is bound to, preventing them from casting certain mobility spells.
    • Does not leash the target if it is not bound to an ally.
  • If the enemies manage to break the link, the debuff stays active on the primary target still, and immediately links the next enemy hero within the radius to them.
  • Provides shared vision over both targets, revealing their silhouette when invisible, and seeing what they see.
  • A hero may be affected by only one bond at a time. Recasting Soulbind on the same target, or on the secondary target refreshes the duration on both of them.
    • Casting Soulbind on a third target within range of the already linked two does not link the third hero to any of the other two, until their link expires.
  • For a list of unique interactions with other abilities, see Grimstroke's guide page.

Dark Portrait
Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Does not pierce spell immunity.
Dark Portrait icon.png
Creates an ink illusion of a target enemy hero. Illusion is spell immune, and has bonus movement speed and attack damage.
Cast Animation: 0+0.54
Cast Range: 1200 (Talent 1300)
Number of Illusions: 1
Illusion Damage Dealt: 150%
Illusion Damage Taken: 350%
Illusion Movement Speed Bonus: 30%
Illusion Duration: 15
Cooldown: 35
Mana: 200
Buff modifier_grimstroke_scepter_buff: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_illusion: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_invulnerable: Dispellable with death only.
No dark creation is beyond the skill of the master's hand.


  • The created illusions are visually distinguishable from the real hero for allies and enemies.
  • The illusion spawns 108 range away from the target. It appears either north, east, south or west from them.


Hero Talents
+40% Stroke of Fate Damage25+150 Ink Swell Radius
+3 Hits to Kill Phantom20+800 Stroke of Fate Cast Range
+20% Ink Swell Movement Speed15+15% Spell Amplification
+80 Ink Swell Max Damage10+100 Cast Range

Recent Changes[edit]

Main Article: Grimstroke/Changelogs
Level 10 right talent changed: +25 movement speed -> +100 cast range.
Level 15 left talent changed: +150 cast range -> +20% Ink Swell movement speed.
Level 20 right talent: +650 Stroke of Fate cast range/distance increased to +800.
  • Talents:
Level 10 right talent: +25 movement speed reduced to +20.
  • Talents:
Level 10 left talent: +100 Ink Swell max damage reduced to +80.
Level 10 right talent: +30 movement speed reduced to +25.
Level 15 left talent: +175 cast range reduced to +150.
Level 15 right talent: +20% spell amplification reduced to +15%.
Level 20 right talent: +800 Stroke of Fate cast range/distance reduced to +650.
Level 25 left talent: +50% Stroke of Fate damage reduced to +40%.
Level 25 right talent: +200 Ink Swell radius reduced to +150.

Recommended items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango helps Grimstroke stay in lane.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve keeps Grimstroke alive in the early game.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango helps Grimstroke use his nukes more often.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity regenerates mana throughout the game to fuel Stroke of Fate.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives attributes for little cost, and can either be combined with Tango icon.png Tango for more health regeneration or built into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.

Early game:

Mid game:

  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots makes up for Grimstroke's high mana usage. It can also be dissembled into Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives attributes, as well as more health and mana restoration.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape allows Grimstroke to escape bad situations, and sneak up on enemies for a stun with Ink Swell (cast either on himself or his ally). Since Grimstroke is commonly played as a support, the item is highly cost-effective for him.
  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens increases Grimstroke's already long cast ranges, and gives him extra mana regeneration. The cast range bonus is significant for Grimstroke as winning teamfights rely on casting all spell combos successfully. The range keeps him safely in the backlines.

Late game:

  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos works well with Grimstroke's slows, rooting them for a stun with Ink Swell. It also can be combined with Soulbind to root two enemies.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse can hex two enemies at once when used with Soulbind. It also prevents opponents from killing the phantom, thus forcing them to take full damage.

Situational items:

  • Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots is the alternative boots choice, which allows Grimstroke to roam and gank more effectively. This item synergizes well with self-cast Ink Swell.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is an offensive item for actively ganking Grimstroke. It also can be upgraded to Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel if the hero's team needs the means for decreasing enemies' heals.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity helps Grimstroke land stuns by standing next to the cyclone after Ink Swell ends. It also gives him mana regeneration and movement speed.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter is generally a defensive means which allows Grimstroke not to be burst down with regular attacks while initiating with his spells.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff helps Grimstroke's chase down enemies after they have been slowed. It also serves as a good escape for him in a pinch.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger helps Grimstroke initiate with Ink Swell and/or Soulbind.
  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord is a good offensive item if Grimstroke's team mainly relies on spell damage.
  • Kaya icon.png Kaya boosts Grimstroke's spell damage and helps him with mana management.
  • Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon adds burst magical damage and can be cast on two targets at once when combined with Soulbind.
  • Aeon Disk icon.png Aeon Disk helps Grimstroke survive with strong dispel and damage reduction so that he can keep using abilities in fights.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd increases Grimstroke's survivability. The undispellable disarm can simultaneously hinder two enemies trying to get rid of the Phantom's Embrace effect.
  • Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade works with Soulbind to amplify magical damage dealt to two enemies at once as well as to disarm them so that they cannot attack the phantom.


Roles: Support Support Nuker Nuker Disabler Disabler Escape Escape
Complexity: ★★☆
Playstyle: The peoples of Ashkavor gave their lives for the newly Ascended, one unlike any Ascended before him. Grimstroke's lust for power had tainted the sacred ritual, and the corrupted ink consumed him—along with his kin. The defiled remnant of his former beloved remains at his side, agonizing those caught in this Phantom's Embrace. Shrouded by a shadowy Ink Swell, Grimstroke retaliates with lashing black tendrils, while a Stroke of Fate forms under his brush, darkening the land. Drawing on Ashkavorian rituals of protection, Grimstroke twists the ancient arts to Soulbind foes together, so that the sufferings of one will be felt equally by the other.





  • Grimstroke's abilities have different names in the game files:
  • The line ▶️ "More art than science." is a reference to the cartoon Rick and Morty.
  • The line ▶️ "At least you died with a smile on your face." is a reference to album of the label "Bella Union".
  • The line ▶️ "Welcome to the real void." perhaps a reference to the film "Matrix" - "Welcome to the real world".
  • Grimstroke minimap icon.png Grimstroke after killing Lich minimap icon.png Lich he says ▶️ "Another self-styled king meets his end." perhaps a reference to the Lich-King in fantasy world "Warcraft".
  • The line ▶️ "Brush beats scythe." is a reference to game "Rock, paper, scissors".


External links[edit]