|Hero||Strategy||Counters||Equipment||Gear||Responses||Sounds||Lore||Old Abilities||Changelogs||Known Bugs|
Unlike most other heroes in the game, Night Stalker's strength greatly fluctuates depending on the time of day. He is relatively innocuous during the day, with one of his abilities being completely disabled then while two others are heavily weakened in potency, but he quickly becomes a force to be reckoned with once the moon rises. He has a mini-stun and slow in Void, which allows him to hound and nuke down lone enemies who are unfortunate enough to encounter him; the slow effect is considerably more debilitating at night. He also has the ability to silence and blind his foes with Crippling Fear, which drastically increases in duration at night, preventing spellcasters and even carries from retaliating against him while he lashes at them with relative impunity. His passive, Hunter In the Night, greatly boosts his movement speed and attack speed at night, allowing him to easily move around the map, to pursue and tear apart his prey. Finally, his ultimate, Darkness, summons instant nighttime and hampers enemy night vision, making even the strongest enemy heroes sitting ducks for the Night Stalker and his allies. A terror in darkness, Night Stalker is the embodiment of heroes' nightmares, and one of the last things they will ever wish to encounter alone at night.
|Balanar, the Night Stalker|
|Play "I feed the darkness and the darkness feeds me."|
|Lore:|| Of the Night Stalker, there is no history, only stories. There are ancient tales woven into the lore of every race and every culture, of an impossible time before sunlight and daytime, when night reigned alone and the world was covered with the creatures of darkness--creatures like Balanar the Night Stalker.
It is said that on the dawn of the First Day, all the night creatures perished. All, that is, save one. Evil's embodiment, Night Stalker delights in his malevolence. He created the primal role of the Night Terror, the Boogeyman, and as long as there have been younglings, his is the specter summoned to terrify them. This is a role he relishes; nor are these empty theatrics. He does indeed stalk the unwary, the defenseless, those who have strayed beyond the lighted paths or denied the warnings of their communities. Night Stalker serves as living proof that every child's worst nightmare....is true.
|Voice:||Tony Todd (Responses)|
- Both the passive and the active part also work during the night from Eclipse.
- Hunter in the Night turns into an active ability during nighttime, so it can only be cast during the night.
- Hunter in the Night interrupts Night Stalker's channeling spells upon cast.
- Temporarily grants Night Stalker flying movement and flying vision, allowing him to fly over and see past cliffs and trees. However, his vision is reduced to 1000.
- Despite flying, Night Stalker can still trigger and take damage from Proximity Mines.
- Hunter in the Night does not end prematurely when it becomes day while it is active.
- Destroys trees within 200 radius around Night Stalker upon landing.
- The vision limitation only occurs during Darkness nights. Regular nights and the night from Eclipse do not limit vision when Night Stalker is in the game.
- The vision limitation affects every non-neutral enemy unit, including buildings and wards, except Fountains.
- However, it does not reduce the vision of spells.
- The vision limitation is applied after all vision bonuses, except for Moon Shard.
- Reduces vision after Desolate does, but whichever results in lower vision takes priority.
- The vision limitation is provided by a global aura and thus the debuff lingers for 0.5 seconds after Darkness' night ends.
- The unobstructed vision from the Aghanim's Scepter upgrade is not bound to any of Night Stalker's spells
- It is also not bound to Darkness nights, and is active during any night.
|-8s Crippling Fear Cooldown||25||+140 Hunter in the Night Attack Speed|
|+50 Damage||20||+50 Movement Speed|
|+150 Cast Range||15||+15 Strength|
|+200 Mana||10||+200 Health|
- The mana talent increases maximum mana capacity, and keeps the current mana percentage.
- The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.
- The strength talent effectively grants Night Stalker 300 health, 10.71% health regen amplification, 2.25% status resistance and 15 attack damage.
- Two Gauntlets of Strength greatly increase Night Stalker's base damage, as well as give him more health to survive enemy harass.
- Clarity allows Night Stalker to maintain his early mana pool, particularly since his base intelligence is so low. So, he can use Void for last hits or chasing heroes.
- Tango gives health regeneration to stay alive.
- Healing Salve restores health in the early game.
- Stout Shield provides damage block that can greatly increase survivability in lane, and can be later upgraded into Vanguard.
- Magic Stick is a very important item on Night Stalker, as he is very aggressive and must have mana to cast his spells when tower-diving. None of his spells cost more than 150 mana, so having a Magic Stick with full charges guarantees that Night Stalker will always have enough mana to cast something if he needs it.
- Boots of Speed are critical for Night Stalker to pick up before the first nightfall. As Hunter in the Night increases his base movement speed by a certain percentage, increasing Night Stalker's base movement speed will grant him unparalleled mobility at night.
- Urn of Shadows is a very useful item on Night Stalker, as he is a very active ganker who can get charges easily. The extra strength gives him more health and damage, while the mana regeneration helps him to maintain his mana pool. Urn charges can be used to heal Night Stalker and his teammates after a successful gank, allowing him to quickly be ready for another, or to add extra damage to an enemy to secure a kill.
- Bottle is a must for Night Stalker if he is played as a mid. As he has a small mana pool, getting a rune will replenish a large fraction of his mana, allowing him to cast his spells to their utmost during a gank. Even in the late game, his high mobility from Hunter in the Night and superior night vision allows him to spot and grab both runes in quick succession while roaming.
- Magic Wand is very good to buy on Night Stalker for all the same reasons as Magic Stick. In addition to the stats, instantly replenishing your health and mana by 255 can drastically increase your resilience and ability to cast spells.
- Phase Boots provide Night Stalker with both a nice speed boost and extra damage, both of which synergize extremely well with Hunter in the Night. The extra damage is greatly augmented by the ability's attack speed bonus, while the active can be combined with Hunter in the Night to boost Night Stalker's movement speed to the limit.
- Town Portal Scroll is important to carry on Night Stalker at all times, as it can allow him to move around the map to react to gank opportunities more easily.
- Aghanim's Scepter is a very powerful item to build as it removes terrain restrictions on Night Stalker's night vision, allowing him to take full advantage of his mobility and giving him a critical edge in situational awareness, particularly when Darkness is active. It also gives him more health and mana, making him tankier and giving him more mana to cast his spells.
- Vanguard greatly increases Night Stalker's resilience by increasing the size of his health pool and giving him damage block, which can be useful early in the game when diving towers for kills. The increased health regeneration also helps him to stay topped up between ganks. Can be later upgraded into a Crimson Guard or an Abyssal Blade.
- Gem of True Sight reveals invisible enemies and wards. Combined with Aghanim's Scepter's unobstructed vision during nighttime, Night Stalker commands great vision over the map.
- Orb of Venom adds 12% movement speed slow to attacks. Together with Void's 50% movement speed slow, it can greatly reduce the target's chances of escaping. It can be upgraded into an Eye of Skadi as needed, or sold for more inventory space for other items.
- Solar Crest is a strong utility item that gives Night Stalker armor and evasion, hardening his resistance against right-clicks, as well as mana regeneration to sustain his mana pool. The active can significantly reduce a gank target's armor and induce a miss chance that stacks alongside Crippling Fear, reducing their ability to fight back and increasing the damage they take from Night Stalker's right-clicks.
- Heaven's Halberd can be used in conjunction with Crippling Fear to completely prevent an enemy from fighting back. It also provides a chance to proc Lesser Maim on an enemy, further slowing their attack and movement speed on top of Void.
- Lotus Orb gives Night Stalker a blend of self-sustain and survivability through the health and mana regeneration as well as the additional armor. The active can discourage enemies from casting targeted spells on him, making him a bigger threat in teamfights and preventing gank targets from easily disabling him to escape.
- Black King Bar makes Night Stalker immune to most crowd control and disables in teamfights, while giving him more health and attack damage. It allows him to bring down key targets without worrying about being disabled.
- Armlet of Mordiggian gives Night Stalker many useful bonuses at a very cost-effective price. The +25 strength from the active boosts both his attack damage and health, drastically increasing his DPS alongside Hunter in the Night, and the health loss can be mitigated with Urn of Shadows.
- Skull Basher, which can be upgraded into Abyssal Blade, can be used in conjunction with Night Stalker's naturally high attack speed during night to reliably proc a stun on an important target. This can allow Night Stalker to tear his targets apart with his high DPS while saving Void for another target if needed.
- Satanic gives Night Stalker more health and damage, giving him survivability, more DPS, as well as lifesteal to keep him at full health. The active allows him to heal himself back up to full health in the middle of a teamfight, so long as he is not disabled, making him a much bigger threat.
- Moon Shard gives Night Stalker lots of attack speed, making him a powerful threat even in the daytime. The passive night vision bonus boosts his already great night vision, allowing him to spot enemies from extreme ranges.
- Ring of Basilius is a good early item for Night Stalker. It gives him more armor and some bonus damage, making him tankier and increasing his last-hitting power. The flat mana regeneration helps to keep his mana pool topped up, particularly given his low base intelligence. The item can be disassembled and recycled for components, or upgraded into a Vladmir's Offering.
- Power Treads can be useful to consider on Night Stalker over Phase Boots, as attribute switching can allow Night Stalker to extend his mana pool and improve the value of his Bottle, as well as retain some measure of attack speed during the day when Hunter in the Night is not active.
- Blink Dagger greatly extends Night Stalker's reach when initiating. As he has abnormally high night vision, Night Stalker can spot targets from very long distances, allowing him to instantly close the gap on a foe who isn't even aware of his presence.
- Vladmir's Offering is a good mid-game support/utility item to pick up for your team, as it augments the attack power of all nearby allies and gives them armor. As well, it can provide lifesteal for your team, giving you more survivability in a teamfight. As an item for Night Stalker himself, it gives him mana regeneration and allows him to maintain his health by lifestealing when farming neutral camps.
- Sange and Yasha provides many useful benefits, as it increases Night Stalker's attack speed, damage, health, and movement speed by large amounts. In particular, the constant 16% movement speed bonus means that he can move at a constant 520 movement speed when combined with Hunter in the Night, greatly increasing his mobility.
- Silver Edge is a strong ganking item that gives Night Stalker a good combination of bonuses, and is particularly useful against enemies with powerful passive abilities. It gives him more damage output from his right-clicks, as well as a nice boost to his attributes. The Shadow Walk, combined with Hunter in the Night, allows him to gank while moving at maximum speed, inflicting bonus damage and a break on any enemies he finds.
- Heart of Tarrasque greatly increases the size of Night Stalker's health pool, making him much harder to bring down in fights. The extra strength gives him more base damage as well, and the passive health regeneration allows him to always begin fights at full health, allowing him to be more active on the map.
- Assault Cuirass gives Night Stalker both offensive and defensive power. The extra armor makes him much tankier, synergizing well with his high strength growth, and the attack speed bonus combines with the enemy armor reduction to greatly improve Night Stalker's physical damage output.
- Octarine Core is a somewhat gimmicky item that focuses entirely on Night Stalker's utility aspect, which will make it unattainable by most non-core Balanar's, but it can potentially be a strong situational item on him as all of Night Stalker's abilities are useful and spammable, making strong usage out of the lower cooldowns - The primary reason for this item pick up however is its effect on Darkness, as it will reduce the cooldown to only 60 seconds vs a 40 second duration - This can effectively mean near-permanent nighttime, which, in conjunction with his Aghanim's Scepter upgrade and a Gem of True Sight, means obtaining map control against a team with Night Stalker is nearly impossible, while Night Stalker's weaker day time self will only have to be used for 20 seconds.
- Many of Night Stalker's responses that refer to his vampiric qualities make reference to Bram Stoker's Dracula, a film adaptation of the classic novel starring Gary Oldman.
- Night stalker's line Play "If I ever get my claws on that bird." is likely a reference to the rooster that crows when the game transitions from nighttime to daytime.
- Night Stalker's deep and raspy voice is a possible reference to Batman.
- In an earlier version DotA, there existed a hero similar to Night Stalker called Void Demon. His first ability "Time Void" had similar effects to the present Void ability, except it also stunned the target for 5 seconds. Void Demon also had an ability similar to Omniknight's Degen Aura, though it had a larger radius of 600 units. His third ability was a pushing spell called "Quake" which was useful for destroying towers. Finally, his ultimate was called "Mass Haste". This aura gave Void Demon and nearby allies benefits similar to Night Stalker's Hunter in the Night, except that it had no conditions and enabled Void Demon and his team to hunt Heroes relentlessly both day and night. Ultimately, Void Demon was replaced with Night Stalker as his skill set was deemed too powerful.
- Night Stalker's response "In the forest of the night" is a reference to the poem The Tyger by William Blake.
- You can hear the line "Sinless Demon" when you activate Night Stalker's Play Darkness.
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