Keeper of the Light/Guide

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Keeper of the Light minimap icon.png Keeper of the Light is an adept support who is capable of aiding his allies and hindering his enemies with his array of spells. He can be a strong babysitter whose presence greatly augments the power of a lane, and transition into a pusher and counter-pusher past the laning stage.
Pros Cons
  • Not item dependent.
  • Can give mana to team and to himself.
  • High movement speed even without boots.
  • Die easily.
  • Countered by heroes who don't need mana.

Generic Lane Support[edit]

Ths most straightforward way to play KotL is to max out Chakra Magic as soon as possible and focus on keeping your teammates' mana supply up. A value point in Illuminate can be useful to have some sort of damage to help your team, especially if they have some lockdown to help you charge it up and land it. Even if they don't, it should be possible to nuke the opponent by charing up the blast our of vision, probably from the trees. Similarly, a value point in Mana Leak can be useful to provide extra control for your team, but it can be useless if the opponent is not afraid to either stand his ground during the debuff (a Bristleback minimap icon.png Bristleback maybe, or a Windranger minimap icon.png Windranger that will simply use Windrun icon.png Windrun to trade hits with you), or to stay without mana (an Axe minimap icon.png Axe), or if he can outright purge it off.

Maxing out Chakra Magic works best if you have a lane partner that can make good use of the mana to launch spells at the enemy. A steady barrage of Storm Hammer icon.png Storm Hammers, Wraithfire Blast icon.png Wraithfire Blasts or Spirit Lance icon.png Spirit Lances can go a long way to secure your lane and possibly net a kill.

Keeper of the Light's boots of choice are usually Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots, as he doesn't exactly require the mana provided by Arcane Boots, so you can exit the fountain with the necessary Wind Lace icon.png Wind Lace. If you're planning on building Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves, then you can keep Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed until you already finished the Mekansm. A generic KotL can be played as selfless position 6, buying every support item for his team. The only item Keeper of the Light should always consider is a Force Staff icon.png Force Staff as it is an all-purpose support item that can also be used aggressively on an enemy once he's been Mana Leaked. Combined with the push from Blinding Light, you will remove just above 55% of an enemy's mana pool.

A generic support should maybe spend a little more time wondering if one of his allies need a quick Recall. If you don't know when to use it, you can at least use it on an ally that just respawned to save them a TP.

Annoying Lane Support[edit]

Some heroes deal very poorly with Mana Leak. If you're facing one of them in lane, it can be impossible for them to deal with, and taking multiple points in it can be justified. Such heroes include those that like to run around (Dark Seer minimap icon.png Dark Seer, Weaver minimap icon.png Weaver...), and melee heroes that are useless without mana but can't exactly stand their ground if you're hitting them during the debuff (Earthshaker minimap icon.png Earthshaker, Clockwerk minimap icon.png Clockwerk, players that forgot to buy a Stout Shield icon.png Stout Shield...).

This is probably the most unusual way to play Keeper of the Light, think twice before maxing out Mana Leak first. Extra points in Mana eak will greatly increase the spell's cast range, enabling you to target an opponent from a relatively safe distance


Some players (including professional ones) feel like Keeper of the Light is the most useful once he acquired an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter for the vision and heals he provides during day time, allowing for early 5-man pushes all the way to the enemy throne. Blasting creep waves with illuminate is a safe way to secure easy farm, and spamming Chakra magic on yourself will keep your mana supply up, while also reducing Illuminate's cooldown to accelerate you farm even further. You will need at least two points in Chakra Magic before it compensates Illuminate's cost, so take that second point at level 3.

Greedy KotL players should know how to make the most out of the jungle as well, and it is not unheard of to stay out of lane to farm with Keeper of the Light. You will need a Clarity icon.png Clarity or two to get your level 2 before you can spam Chakra Magic on yourself.

Beginners can skip Spirit Form until Level 8 or 9 and simply charge up Illuminate in front of creep waves and jungle camps. Better players will use Spirit Form's ghost Illuminate to farm multiple jungle camps at once while the actual hero is stacking those same camps and pulling the creeps in range of the blast, so it can be interesting to take Spirit Form at level 6. The best players will also stack and farm multiple camps, without Spirit Form, so they can also choose to skip it

Once you finished a Scepter, your farm should speed up even more and you should be able to get more items. Some players will farm their Force Staff even before the Scepter. A Mekansm icon.png Mekansm or a Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight will provide even more sustain to your team to keep the push going, and a Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter or a Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity could save your life a couple of times. If you end up with too much gold on your hands from constant Illuminates, Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse is always an option, or an Octarine Core icon.png Octarine Core to cast even more Iluminates...

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Lane Support Keeper of the Light
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 25
Illuminate icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Illuminate icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Illuminate icon.png Illuminate icon.png Talent icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Talent icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Nil icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Talent icon.png Talent icon.png
Annoying Lane Support Keeper of the Light
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 25
Mana Leak icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Illuminate icon.png Talent icon.png Illuminate icon.png Illuminate icon.png Illuminate icon.png Talent icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Nil icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Talent icon.png Talent icon.png
Greedy/Core Keeper of the Light
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 25
Illuminate icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Illuminate icon.png Illuminate icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Illuminate icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Chakra Magic icon.png Talent icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak icon.png Talent icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Nil icon.png Spirit Form icon.png Talent icon.png Talent icon.png


Hero Talents
+200 Illuminate icon.png Illuminate Damage/Heal 25 +400 Cast Range
+7 Armor 20 +10% Magic Resistance
+300 Chakra Magic icon.png Chakra Magic Mana 15 +20% XP Gain
+20 Movement Speed 10 +7 Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
  • The magic resistance stacks multiplicatively with other sources of magic resistance.
  • The armor is added as bonus armor, and therefore does not benefit illusions.
  • The cast range talent also affects the damage/heal range of Illuminate icon.png Illuminate, but not its vision range.
  • The damage/heal bonus talent for Illuminate icon.png Illuminate is directly added on top of the regular damage/heal. It does not alter the damage per second of channeling.

Tips & Tactics[edit]


  • While he has very strong counter-pushing and support spells, Keeper of the Light is also extremely fragile, with a mere 14 base strength, the lowest in the game (tied with Medusa minimap icon.png Medusa). As such, positioning is very important, as he needs to be close enough to cast his powerful spells yet also far enough away to be able to avoid being jumped on by the enemy.
  • Keeper of the Light is highly adept at pushing, as he can replenish teammates' and his own mana with Chakra Magic, allowing profligate use of spells, and Illuminate can severely damage if not outright kill entire creep waves. Along with his ability to re-position allies globally with Recall, Keeper of the Light can be a force to be reckoned with at all points in the game.
  • Keeper of the Light is a very strong side-laner, able to use his spells to harass the enemy at range and support his team's spell-casting. He is in his element in the safe lane, although he can also be played in a dual off-lane to harass and threaten the enemy's safe-lane carry.


Illuminate icon.png Illuminate[edit]

  • Illuminate is a very strong channeled nuke that allows Keeper of the Light to output a large amount of damage on a very low cooldown.
  • Illuminate's strong creep-killing power makes Keeper of the Light a remarkably good farmer and counter-pusher considering his supportive role, as he can use it to either knock down large creep waves approaching a friendly tower or blast up to two neutral camps at once. As such, it is a very strong skill once maxed out, since its nuking power can allow him to farm up support items as needed.
  • However, remember that Illuminate will only deal more damage if it has been channeled for a longer duration, which is not always possible if the enemy is moving around in an attempt to avoid being an easy target. As such, it is not always wise to max out Illuminate as early as possible, since a level 2 Illuminate channeled for less than two seconds does the same amount of damage as a level 1 Illuminate channeled for the same duration, but costs more mana and requires a skill point.
  • If using Illuminate to harass or nuke an enemy player, try to cast it from the enemy's fog of war, such as behind the treeline, to give them as little warning as possible. As well, leading disables by teammates can immobilize an enemy long enough to channel the full duration of Illuminate during a gank.
  • Although Illuminate is extremely powerful for early-game pushing and harassment, it will disrupt the farm of Keeper of the Light's lane partner if it is targeted on the entire creep wave, as it can potentially kill creeps and will push the wave closer to the enemy's tower where it is more dangerous to last-hit. If used, it should be aimed only to damage enemy heroes by targeting the wave either at an oblique angle or behind the creep wave.
  • Illuminate reveals fog of war around Keeper of the Light while channeling, making it a useful spell for gaining vision. Remember that charging it to fulmination increases its sight range; releasing it immediately will not be good for gaining sight.

Mana Leak icon.png Mana Leak[edit]

  • Mana Leak is an unorthodox disable that destroys the enemy's mana as they attempt to move.
  • One point in Mana Leak can be powerful in the stage, although it has a high mana cost. When setting up a kill, it is best combined with Illuminate, as Keeper of the Light can cast Mana Leak on an enemy hero, then threaten them with Illuminate damage if they do not move out of the way. However, it should not be spammed as, and only be used early on when to ganking or setting up kills.
  • Reducing the enemy's mana in-lane can make the lane safer for Keeper of the Light and his partner by preventing the enemy from going aggressive or harassing with their spells, and can set up kills as well by reducing their ability to cast escape spells and potentially stun them once they've lost all their mana. Successfully destroying enough of the enemy's mana pool can force them to leave the lane, as staying will threaten them with a stun every time Mana Leak comes off cooldown.
  • Remember that leveling up Mana Leak also improves its casting range, as well as the leak and stun duration. Taking early points can give Keeper of the Light more teamfight and chasing potential as it can be cast on enemies from farther away, allowing it to be used from safety behind teammates or for catching fleeing enemies.
  • Because Mana Leak destroys mana as an expression of the target's maximum mana, it is disproportionately effective against heroes with large mana pools. As well, it can greatly hinder melee carries that have to move much closer to their targets to attack, resulting in increased distance moved and thus more mana destroyed.
  • While Mana Leak can severely hinder an enemy's attempts to cast spells, it does not proc if the target blinks over short distances and does not affect spell immune or invulnerable enemies. Be sure to choose your targets wisely, as certain heroes can simply ignore its effects.
  • Try to cast Mana Leak as early as possible in teamfights, as the enemy may be forced to move closer in order to engage your teammates, and thus lose a sizable portion of their mana earlier. Under the right circumstances, it may be possible to destroy enough of an enemy's mana that they will run out in the middle of the fight and be unable to cast successive spells.
  • One useful utility for Mana Leak is to halt pursuing enemies. If an enemy is trying to pursue Keeper of the Light or one of his allies, Mana Leak will cause them to lose mana as they continue to pursue, which can be enough to force them to break off. If the enemy chooses to continue, they may find themselves stunned at an inopportune time, unable to cast spells, and threatened with long-duration stuns from successive casts of Mana Leak.

Chakra Magic icon.png Chakra Magic[edit]

  • Chakra Magic allows Keeper of the Light to replenish a significant amount of mana for himself and his allies, ensuring that spells can always be cast.
  • Chakra Magic is extremely useful in lane as it can allow teammates with small mana pools or low cooldown spells to cast their abilities much more frequently. Heroes with strong disables but small mana pools like Wraith King minimap icon.png Wraith King, Earthshaker minimap icon.png Earthshaker, Sven minimap icon.png Sven and Vengeful Spirit minimap icon.png Vengeful Spirit can use their stuns much more frequently to set up kills in the knowledge that Keeper of the Light can replenish their mana afterward, while those with powerful harass spells like Bristleback minimap icon.png Bristleback, Phantom Lancer minimap icon.png Phantom Lancer and Undying minimap icon.png Undying can put continuous pressure on their lane opponents that would otherwise be impossible without a source of mana replenishment.
  • Due to its scaling, it is best to put at least two points into Chakra Magic in the laning stage, as its efficiency increases more than twofold. On top of providing more mana replenishment for allies, it also greatly increases Keeper of the Light's mana efficiently, allowing him to utilize his other spells more often.
  • Besides replenishing mana, Chakra Magic can reduce the cooldown of the next ability that the target uses in the next 15 seconds. This makes it a powerful ability to cast on teammates with low-cooldown disables and initiation spells, since it can allow them to use two stuns or nukes in quick succession, increasing the amount of crowd control available from a single spell. As well, it affects passive abilities with cooldowns, so abilities like Jinada icon.png Jinada, Geminate Attack icon.png Geminate Attack and Greater Bash icon.png Greater Bash also benefit from the reduced cooldown.
  • Chakra Magic will also increase the maximum size of the target's mana pool for the duration of the buff, which can allow heroes with small mana pools but expensive spell combos to cast all of their spells instantaneously. For instance, a Venomancer minimap icon.png Venomancer without Arcane Boots will often have trouble casting his full round of spells due to the high cost of his ultimate, but casting Chakra Magic can allow him to cast his ultimate as well as Venomous Gale and any item abilities.

Spirit Form icon.png Spirit Form[edit]

  • Spirit Form gives Keeper of the Light access to several very powerful abilities. Besides Recall and Blinding Light, Illuminate may be cast remotely without standing still to channel it, making it a very powerful ability.
  • One of the most powerful uses for Spirit Form is to unlock remote channeling of Illuminate, allowing Keeper of the Light to set the spell in place and then move on to execute other actions while it builds up. A Spirit Form-boosted Illuminate allows Keeper of the Light to take advantage of a fully-channeled Illuminate without the drawback of having to sit still to charge it up.
  • When being chased, don't be afraid to use Spirit Form to aid in your escape. While Mana Leak can discourage enemies from chasing you, you can also cast Blinding Light to knock back and blind chasing enemies, or cast Illuminate in the direction you are headed, either forcing the enemy to walk in front of the channeling spirit and take damage, or break off and allow you to escape.
  • Purchasing an Aghanim's Scepter greatly increases the power of Spirit Form, as Keeper of the Light will always have access to its abilities, on top of gaining unobstructed vision and being able to heal allies with Illuminate during the daytime. Using Illuminate will allow Keeper of the Light to continuously heal allied creep waves and heroes, significantly boosting his pushing and sustain power, while the unobstructed vision gives his team a strong vision advantage, especially once combined with a Gem of True Sight.

Recall icon.png Recall[edit]

  • Recall allows Keeper of the Light to summon a teammate to his location after a short delay, making it an extremely powerful global mobility spell.
  • Recall will be dispelled if the target hero takes player-based damage, and thus it cannot be used effectively as an escape spell. However, it can be useful for bringing a teammate to a gank or teamfight if they are on another part of the map farming, or helping someone who has just respawned get back to the front lines faster.
  • Used wisely, Recall can allow Keeper of the Light to push, defend or gank far more effectively, as he can immediately summon reinforcements as needed. If the enemy are not defending one of their towers, summoning a pushing hero to Keeper of the Light's side can allow his team to take the tower uncontested. If the enemy attempts to take a tower that is lightly defended, a teammate can be Recalled to push the wave back or even score a kill on the enemy. If Keeper of the Light finds himself near a gank target, he can bring in an ally with strong disables and initiating spells to pick the enemy off ahead of taking a map objective.
  • One useful way to use Recall is right after a Buyback if the player does not have Boots of Travel. If a teammate has died in a teamfight and buys back, casting Recall on them can bring instant reinforcements to a teamfight, putting the enemy at a numerical disadvantage after wasting their time and spells on that teammate.

Blinding Light icon.png Blinding Light[edit]

  • Blinding Light is a very powerful teamfight spell, as it will forcibly displace enemies as well as render a very high miss chance on them.
  • Blinding Light is best used in teamfights where the enemy has not purchased a Monkey King Bar, or has spell immunity or dispel abilities or items. The forced miss chance can greatly reduce the effectiveness of the enemy's physical attacks, giving your team and advantage.
  • Unlike most other forced movement abilities, Blinding Light will not interrupt enemies, thus it is useless for interrupting channeled spells. Try to use the spell only if the miss chance or displacement is needed.
  • However, combined with Mana Leak, Blinding Light can immediately destroy 20% of an affected enemy's maximum mana. If the enemy is channeling and needs to be interrupted, forcibly displacing them with Blinding Light after casting Mana Leak can potentially interrupt them if their mana is low enough. In other cases, the displacement can move them in a direction that forces them to traverse more terrain to reach their destination, augmenting Mana Leak's effects.
  • Keep in mind that Blinding Light's displacement can move enemies over terrain, so aimed properly it can displace a foe up or down a cliff wall. This can all but shut down an enemy carry if they are melee and do not have any re-positioning abilities to reverse the terrain displacement.


Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango provide health regeneration while laning, which mitigates harass damage by lane opponents. It can be shared with Keeper of the Light's lane partner(s) as needed.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve also restores health early on to you and teammate.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives some attributes, and can be used to build Magic Wand or Mekansm.
  • Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier should always be purchased by a support at the start of the game.

Early-game items:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed increase Keeper of the Light's mobility, which can be crucial for getting into position to cast his spells.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand increases Keeper of the Light's attributes for cheap, and provides even more burst regen. On a hard support, it can be a critical item to purchase for survivability.

Core items:

  • Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots are the cheapest upgrade options for Boots of Speed, and give Keeper of the Light more armor and movement speed for little expense. The passive regen keeps his health at full, allowing him to be self-sustaining as he can replenish his mana with Chakra Magic, while the increased movement speed gives him more mobility for supporting and roaming.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm synergizes well with Keeper of the Light's support abilities, as he can heal his teammates as well as restore their mana. The overall attributes and armor also provide Keeper of the Light with considerably more survivability, while the item's high mana cost can be ignored due to Chakra Magic.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Wards should always be purchased whenever they are in stock: it is the support's job to give their team vision around the map, and the vision they offer is very useful for getting into a good position to cast Illuminate from.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll is always crucial, as Keeper of the Light's abilities allow him to do a lot in teamfights or counter-ganks. Never go anywhere without at least one.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter gives Keeper of the Light constant access to Spirit Form, as well as making Illuminate much more powerful. If your team intends to make the most of your pushing abilities, this is a very strong luxury item to purchase.

Situational items:

  • Gem of True Sight icon.png Gem of True Sight synergizes well with Aghanim's Scepter and Spirit Form to reveal invisible enemies and wards through unobstructed vision.
  • Boots of Travel 1 icon.png Boots of Travel are a very powerful item to have on Keeper of the Light. Besides the increased mobility and freeing up an item slot, the global teleport can be combined with Recall, allowing him to bring two heroes almost anywhere on the map.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard is a good luxury item that gives Keeper of the Light more physical survivability, a larger mana pool and better teamfight contribution. The intelligence and armor allow Keeper of the Light to participate more in fights, while the attack speed aura and active freeze aura slows enemies' attempts to deal damage with their physical attacks and slows their movement speed with an additional damage nuke.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos is a good item for a ranged support who needs more survivability and a larger mana pool. Its active ability makes chasing or escaping from single enemies much easier due to its extremely long cast range and low cooldown.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse provides a large boost to attributes and excellent mana regeneration, allowing Keeper of the Light to use Chakra Magic on teammates more frequently instead of on himself. The Hex it offers is very powerful on Keeper of the Light, as he otherwise lacks an instant hard disable.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight is a good utility support item to purchase. It can increase Keeper of the Light's survivability against magic nukes, allowing him to do more in teamfights, but its main purpose is to shield all teammates from magic damage for a short time.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity gives Keeper of the Light a sustainable mana pool and increased movement speed, allowing him to be much more active on the field. The active ability can be used to dispel debuffs such as silences while making Keeper of the Light temporarily invulnerable, or disable an enemy long enough for Illuminate to charge up for more damage.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is a good utility item that is powerful on all supports. It can be used for mobility, saving teammates, or forcibly dispositioning enemies, particularly effective when combined with Mana Leak and Blinding Light
  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord gives Keeper of the Light attributes across the board as well as armor, making him more survivable. Its active ability also gives him powerful teamfight contribution, especially Illuminate, and is a good item to buy if your team can capitalize on their magic nukes.
  • Medallion of Courage icon.png Medallion of Courage is a powerful utility item that gives Keeper of the Light more armor and some mana regen. As a ranged support, you have the ability to reduce an enemy's armor for your team to capitalize on, or give an ally more armor to extend their survivability. As well, it greatly helps when your team wants to kill Roshan.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter is a good cheap item for giving Keeper of the Light survivability if he is constantly being jumped on by the enemy's carries. Immunity against physical damage will allow Keeper of the Light time to cast more of his spells as needed.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd is a useful survivability and utility item. It increases the size of Keeper of the Light's health pool and grants him evasion against physical attacks, however its active ability can also be cast from behind teammates to disarm the enemy's carry for a short time, useful if they have a Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar that ignores Blinding Light's miss chance.