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Grimstroke Guide Header.png


Grimstroke minimap icon.png Grimstroke is a forceful support and nuker who pressures enemies with an array of punishing spells. He creates dilemmas for his opponents, compelling them to choose between attacking or retreating. In addition to inflicting heavy magical damage, he can also Soulbind two enemies together to make them suffer damage and disables at the same time. As for his weaknesses, Grimstroke is lacking in mobility, and can burn through his mana very quickly.
Pros Cons
  • Mana intensive.
  • Vulnerable to silence.
  • Dependent on team coordination.


  • Information needed.


  • Information needed.

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Grimstroke
Stroke of Fate icon.pngPhantom's Embrace icon.pngStroke of Fate icon.pngInk Swell icon.pngStroke of Fate icon.pngInk Swell icon.pngStroke of Fate icon.pngInk Swell icon.pngInk Swell icon.pngTalent icon.pngSoulbind icon.pngSoulbind icon.pngPhantom's Embrace icon.pngPhantom's Embrace icon.pngTalent icon.pngPhantom's Embrace icon.pngUnknown icon.pngSoulbind icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png


Hero Talents
1.5x Stroke of Fate Damage25+200 Ink Swell Radius
+3 Hits to Kill Phantom20+600 Stroke of Fate Cast Range
+125 Cast Range15+12% Spell Amplification
+90 Gold/Min10+30 Movement Speed

Tips & Tactics[edit]


  • More tips needed.


Stroke of Fate[edit]

  • Stroke of Fate's short cooldown means it can be used constantly, especially when chasing an enemy.
  • Use Stroke of Fate to quickly clear creep waves and neutral camps.
  • Stroke of Fate long range means it can be used to slow down enemies even when retreating, or to help allies catch a fleeing enemy.
  • Stroke of Fate has a relatively long cast animation that needs to be compensated for when targeting distant enemies.
  • To overcome Stroke of Fate's long cast animation, use it when enemies stop moving in order to attack Phantom's Embrace.
  • The Stroke originates from the left of the model where he holds his brush, making it important to note this when aiming at close-range enemies.
  • More tips needed.

Phantom's Embrace[edit]

  • The phantom can be killed in mid-flight, so do not waste it if it's obvious that the enemy is ready to take it down.
  • The phantom provides vision over its target, and can be used to track elusive enemies.
  • Use Phantom's Embrace to force enemies back in lane, or take heavy damage.
  • Use Phantom's Embrace in conjunction with allies who stun, disarm or fear to make sure the phantom latches on for its full duration.
  • Use Phantom's Embrace on enemies that are already busy fighting in order to shift their attention from their target to the phantom instead.
  • Use Phantom's Embrace to quickly silence powerful spellcasters, especially ones with channeled abilities.
  • Do not use Phantom's Embrace on target that's ready to go spell immune, invisible, invulnerable, or hidden. These statuses will kill the phantom instantly.
  • Use Phantom's Embrace after the target has already expended the above statuses. For example, on Shadow Demon minimap icon.png Shadow Demon after he's used Disruption.
  • More tips needed.

Ink Swell[edit]

  • Use Ink Swell on allies with Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger, high mobility, or invisibility to help them land the stun.
  • Use Ink Swell on allies when being disabled or retreating as it increases movement speed and dissuades the aggressors with a stun.
  • Use Ink Swell on allied lane creeps to charge its damage and stun, and discourage melee opponents from farming.
  • Use Ink Swell after slowing an enemy with Stroke of Fate or Soulbind to catch up for a stun.
  • Use Ink Swell on allies who are in the middle of teamfights in order to catch the most enemies with its damage and stun.
  • Ideally, use on initiators so the stun follows their abilities.
  • Ink Swell can act as a counter-initiation tool when the enemy jumps onto your team.
  • More tips needed.


  • Soulbind has unique interactions with some abilities:
    • Duel causes both bound enemies to fight Legion Commander minimap icon.png Legion Commander. However, if Legion Commander dies, both enemies in the duel will be awarded damage.
    • Winter's Curse affects both bound enemies, and their team mates will attack the closest one. In addition, they will not be able to deal damage to their ally.
    • Sunder causes Terrorblade minimap icon.png Terrorblade to receive his target's health, while his target receives the health of their teammate, and their teammate receives the health of Terrorblade.
    • Nether Strike will only hit the linked enemy, not the primary target.
    • Nether Swap will swap both bound enemies with Vengeful Spirit minimap icon.png Vengeful Spirit's position.
    • Life Break causes Huskar minimap icon.png Huskar to first jump on his target, causing the damage, and afterwards to the bound ally, also inflicting damage.
    • Arcane Bolt fires twice as many multi-shot Arcane Bolts when upgraded with its talent and/or Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter.
    • Mystic Snake casts two snakes and creates extras if either connects with the other linked enemy.
    • Fatal Bonds affects both bound enemies, and doubles the damage.
    • Multicast triggers separately for both bound enemies. It may proc on one enemy, but not the other.
    • Fortune's End queues a second cast of the ability on the other bound target to start channeling after the first projectile hits the primary target. Canceling the first channel in any way causes the first projectile to fire, and then channel the second cast once the first hits. Movement or impairments during the second cast fires the projectile early all the same.
    • Time Lapse does not cancel Soulbind.
  • Use Soulbind to leash enemies inside the radius of powerful allied AoE abilities, such as Freezing Field or Supernova.
  • Use Soulbind in conjunction with bouncing abilities like Chain Frost or Shuriken Toss for maximum effect.
  • More tips needed.
  • More tips needed.

Dark Portrait[edit]

  • Use Dark Portrait on enemy physical carries as their illusions deal bonus damage, move faster, and have spell immunity.
  • Grimstroke can look for enemies with useful auras to use Dark Portrait on, benefiting his team.
  • Check Dark Portrait illusions of enemies for the levels of their abilities.
  • More tips needed.


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 combine with Tango icon.png Tango for more health regeneration, or built into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed increase movement speed to get Grimstroke in position.
  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick restores health and mana for a low price.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows heals allied heroes as Grimstroke ganks with his nukes and disables.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward helps Grimstroke scout out targets for his long ranged abilities.

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives attributes, as well as more health and mana restoration.
  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots makes up for Grimstroke's high mana usage. It can also be dissembled into Aether Lens.
  • 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.
  • 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, and the extra mana helps make sure he is never out of mana for fights.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger helps Grimstroke initiate with Ink Swell or Soulbind.
  • Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel decreases healing so Grimstroke and allies can take down targets with ease. If used on a Soulbind target it will not duplicate, but affect only the target enemy as normal.

Late game:

  • 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.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos works well with Grimstroke's slows, rooting them for a stun with Ink Swell. It also combines with Soulbind to root two enemies who are leashed by his ult.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence provides decent mana regeneration and can silence two enemies when used with Soulbind.

Situational items:

  • 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 move speed.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape allows Grimstroke to escape bad situations, and sneak up on enemies for a stun with Ink Swell. As a 4 or 5 position support, the cost is effective for Grimstroke, allowing him to easily build the item.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter, along with Ink Swell, helps Grimstroke escape. Also, it can upgrade into Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade later for increased damage.
  • Kaya icon.png Kaya boosts Grimstroke's magical damage, and helps him with mana management.
  • Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon adds burst magical damage and works with Soulbind, damaging two targets at once.
  • Aeon Disk icon.png Aeon Disk helps Grimstroke survive with strong dispel and damage reduction so he can keep using abilities in fights.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard stacks with Grimstroke's slows, and increases his intelligence and armor. The attack speed reducing aura hinders enemies trying to get rid of Phantom's Embrace.
  • Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade works with Soulbind to amplify magical damage done on two enemies at once, while disarming them so they cannot attack Phantom's Embrace.