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Maelstrom icon.png
A hammer forged for the gods themselves, Maelstrom allows its user to harness the power of lightning.
Bought From
Passive [?] Chain Lightning
Bonus [?] +24 Attack damage
Disassemble? No
Alert allies? No
Mjollnir (5600)
UsedIn1.pngMaelstrom (2700)Components2.png
Mithril Hammer (1600)
Javelin (1100)

The Maelstrom is an item purchasable at the Main Shop, under Artifacts.


Chain Lightning
Grants a 25% chance on attack to release a bolt of electricity that leaps between 4 targets within a 650 radius, dealing 140 magical damage to each. Lightning proc pierces evasion.
Proc Chance: 25%
Bounce Distance: 650
Number of Bounces: 4
Bounce Interval: 0.25
Damage: 140
Cooldown: 0.2
Buff modifier_maelstrom_chain: Dispellable with death only.


  • Does not stack with the Chain Lightning of Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir or other Maelstroms.
  • When obtaining multiple items with the Chain Lightning ability, only the one that has been continuously the longest in the inventory works.
  • The lightning bounces in 0.25 second intervals, so hitting max targets takes 0.75 seconds.
  • Can proc on fogged or invisible units, but will not bounce toward fogged or invisible units.
  • Can never hit the same unit more than once per proc.
  • Chain Lightning can proc while a previous chain lightning is still bouncing.
  • Chain Lightning will not proc if the attacker is dead.
    • However, it can proc if the target is dead.
  • Attacks which proc Chain Lightning cannot miss.
  • The Maelstrom Chain buff is a hidden buff required for the lightning to jump.
  • Chain Lightning does not use a regular cooldown. It is neither displayed on the item icon when proccing, nor is it affected by cooldown manipulating effects.

Recommended heroes[edit]

Sniper icon.png
  • Chain Lightning increases Sniper's farm speed, allowing Sniper to get more items quickly as a carry.
  • Sniper's long range from Take Aim allows him to safely clear waves. This makes it an essential item in base defense situations.
Alchemist icon.png
  • Alchemist's increased attack speed while in effect of Chemical Rage increases the chances of Chain Lightning proc, increasing the item effectiveness even more.
Windranger icon.png
Pangolier icon.png
  • Works well with Swashbuckle, greatly increasing Pangolier's damage output and farming speed.


  • Maelstrom is a very good item for speeding up farming. If the extra experience is not needed, it is a good alternative to Hand of Midas icon.png Hand of Midas.
  • It is also great to deal with illusions or mass-summons like Broodmother minimap icon.png Broodmother's spiders, Nature's Prophet minimap icon.png Nature's Prophet's treants, etc. Especially useful for ranged heroes that lack area damage, since they cannot make use of cleave.
  • The Chain Lightning deals magical damage which ignores armor and Damage Block, making it good against heroes that get a Vanguard, or Tidehunter with his Kraken Shell, and against heroes with high armor like Dragon Knight minimap icon.png Dragon Knight or Terrorblade minimap icon.png Terrorblade.
  • Maelstrom is a useful pickup against mega creeps in order to help clear waves.