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Crixalis, the Sand King, is a melee strength hero with one of the highest area of effect (AoE) damage outputs in the entire game. All four of his abilities can affect multiple enemy units, and can combo quite well with each other. He is one of the most versatile Heroes in the game as he can push, initiate, support, gank, and even semi-carry if he does well. Late game his effectiveness diminishes as none of his abilities scale, but he can still function to support carries with Burrowstrike and Epicenter's slow. He is also versatile enough to be able to go to any lane with at least moderate success. He works well as a participant in a dual lane or trilane, but can also solo very effectively against melee enemies, since Caustic Finale discourages enemies from approaching the creeps. His main role in the team is to deliver a devastating initiation, delivering both stuns and slows to the enemy team. Crixalis is also very effective at escaping and dodging with two low cost, low cooldown abilities that disjoint projectiles and can escape enemy damage. Burrowstrike allows him to tunnel underground and resurface in a short line, dealing damage and stunning all targets it hits. Sand Storm is used as an escape mechanism and to do AoE damage. Caustic Finale serves as a strong harassing tool against enemy melee heroes or as a followup after he Burrowstrikes a creep wave, allowing him to farm quite effectively. Finally, his ultimate, after a short channeling time, delivers a vast amount of area of effect damage and slow centered around himself which necessitates a safe way to channel the ability like the purchase of a Blink Dagger.
- The spikes travel at a speed of 2000 ( 3000), reaching max range in 0.2/0.25/0.3/0.35 ( 0.27/0.33/0.4/0.47) seconds.
- Sand King is teleported instantly towards the targeted point once the spikes reach it.
- Does not disjoint projectiles upon cast or upon teleporting.
- Sand King is disabled during the cast backswing of Burrowstrike.
- When targeting a unit, Sand King chases the target until it is within range and casts Burrowstrike towards its direction.
- The spikes still do not home in on the target, thus can be evaded. Targeting a unit only determines the direction upon cast.
- Hit units are knocked up 350 range for the initial 0.52 seconds of the stun.
- While in the air, other units may pass below hit airborne units.
- The damage is applied upon landing, not upon getting hit.
- The burrowing and reappearing takes 0.53 seconds from the moment the spell is cast, during which Sand King cannot do anything.
- The spikes do not travel the full distance when targeting closer than the max range.
- The fade delay is not used upon cast. Sand King turns invisible instantly on cast.
- The fade delay takes effect when breaking the invisibility by attacking, or casting spells or items.
- However, since casting Sand Storm applies the invisibility instantly, the fade delay effectively does not take effect when re-casting it while inside the previous cast's area.
- Sand Storm deals 10/22.5/35/47.5 ( 30/42.5/55/67.5) damage in 0.5 second intervals, starting immediately upon cast, resulting in a total of 40/50/60/70 instances.
- Can deal up to 400/1125/2100/3325 ( 1200/2125/3300/4725) damage to a single unit (before reductions) if it stays in range for the whole duration.
- The movement speed slow and blind granted by the talent are aura-based. The aura's debuff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
- Successive attacks on the same target neither stack the debuff, nor do they refresh its duration.
- The area damage and slow on death are only applied when the debuffed unit is killed by Sand King or his allies.
- This means the effects are not applied when the target is denied, or expires.
- When the debuff expires without the unit dying, the expire damage and the slow are applied within the radius around it.
- The explosion first applies the debuff, then the damage.
- The slow from multiple explosions does not stack, only the duration gets refreshed.
- When interrupted during the channeling, the spell does nothing, wasting the cooldown and mana.
- If the channeling was successful the damage pulses cannot be interrupted anymore, not even by Sand King's death.
- Sand King can act freely during the damage pulses.
- The pulse radii are all centered at Sand King's current location, not at the cast location.
- When Sand King dies after having finished channeling, the pulses still continue from where he died.
- The pulses happen in 0.5/0.375/0.3 ( 0.3/0.25/0.21) second intervals, starting 0.5/0.375/0.3 ( 0.3/0.25/0.21) seconds after the channeling finishes.
- This means it takes 3 seconds for the spell to release all pulses after the initial delay.
- Can deal up to 660/880/1100 ( 1100/1320/1540) damage to a single unit when all pulses hit (before reductions).
- The slow is applied to enemies on each pulse. Multiple instances of the slow on a unit do not stack, but refresh the duration.
- Can slow a single unit for up to 6 seconds (total duration of pulses + debuff duration).
- Each pulse first applies the damage, then the debuff.
|50%Slow and Blind||25||+50 Health Regen|
|+200 Health||10||+20 Movement Speed|
- provides health regeneration to help you survive the laning stage.
- restores health as well.
- is recommended, since Sand King's mana pool is quite small. Even with stat items, he can only cast Burrowstrike twice before running completely out of mana. Being able to cast Burrowstrike multiple times in-lane allows Sand King to be a very aggressive support that increases his team's chances of getting First Blood.
- ferries items to allies.
- provides vision to set up or spot ganks.
- is useful on all support heroes, Sand King included. A full-charge Magic Stick allows him to replenish a large fraction of his HP and mana, the mana giving him enough instant burst regen to cast Burrowstrike one more time to escape or ensure a kill.
- give Sand King the mobility he needs to catch up to enemies and cast Burrowstrike on them. Because Sand King's spells are so reliant on positioning, getting Boots as early as possible can enable him to be more active on the map.
- gives Sand King more attributes and the ability to store more charges. The burst mana regen is particularly important since Sand King's mana pool is quite small throughout all stages of the game, so having the mana to cast his spells is extremely important.
- are built on Sand King both to increase the size of his own mana pool and to allow him to replenish his own and his teammates' mana, a crucial duty for a support. As Epicenter requires copious amounts of mana, Sand King must bolster his mana pool if he is to be able to initiate properly with his ultimate.
- should be the first core item that Sand King builds, as it greatly extends his reach and mobility, allowing him to initiate with Burrowstrike or Epicenter. Particularly, combined with Burrowstrike, Sand King can instantly jump on and disable an enemy from up to 2000 range away.
- is extremely strong on Sand King, as it allows him to displace himself even more on top of Blink Dagger and Burrowstrike. It can extend his initiating range to 2600 (3250 with Aghanim's Scepter), or allow him to displace allies and/or enemies in engagements. As well, it provides him with intelligence, giving him a bigger mana pool and gives him a small amount of HP regen as well.
- can be a very strong utility item to build on Sand King. It increases his base movement speed, granting him even more mobility, and gives him more mana and mana regen, allowing him to effectively ignore his mana requirements. The active ability can be used on enemies as an extra disable, or on Sand King himself for temporary invulnerability, such as immediately after a successful Epicenter combo.
- is important to carry on all heroes. For Sand King, being able to show up to any engagement and add Blink-Burrowstrike to the mix can be a very powerful asset to have.
- greatly increases Sand King's initiation range. The longer-ranged Burrowstrike allows Sand King to catch significantly more targets with the stun from farther away, especially when combined with Blink Dagger, and applying Caustic Finale to all struck enemy heroes deals significantly more nuke damage without requiring Sand King to attack them. The item also improves Sand King's overall stats, particularly his HP and mana to give him more survivability during an initiation.
- is an item to priortize for Sand King if your early game networth is strong. Combined with Sandstorm, it gives Sand King one of the highest DPS AoE combinations in the game. Already a strong split pushing and wave-clearing hero, Radiance allows Sand King to burn waves down. As Cryxalis is a slippery hero that is difficult to catch and kill, Radiance is a natural fit for the hero as he is likely to be alive for lengthy teamfights, allowing him to stack his Radiance burn. The added attack damage also pairs nicely with his Caustic Finale as he is able to right click enemies more effectively.
- is a very strong utility item on Sand King, as he can cast it immediately before blinking in with a Burrowstrike-Epicenter-Sandstorm combo.
- is a good mid-game item that gives Sand King survivability. The intelligence bonus shores up his mana pool, while the armor and active can give Sand King more survivability in teamfights if the enemy chooses to focus him.
- gives Sand King immense survivability against physical damage, as well as another slow and damage nuke. Using the active alongside Epicenter can drastically slow enemies down, keeping them inside the radius of the ultimate.
- can allow Sand King to channel his ultimate without worry of being interrupted by most enemy spells. It can be a handy item to have if you can't rely on making clean initiations, or need to do more in a teamfight without being disabled.
- greatly increases the size of Sand King's health pool, allowing him to do more in teamfights before falling.
- , while costly in terms of mana, is a very strong initiation and utility item that can improve Sand King's reach. The improved attack speed aids with utilizing Caustic Finale, while the magic resistance improves his survivability against magic nukes. The active, cast on himself, allows Sand King to stealthily approach targets in order to initiate with Blink-Burrowstrike, or allow an ally with initiation spells to do the same; if needed, it can also aid in channeling Epicenter by providing invisibility. It can also be used defensively, giving caught allies an escape window if the enemy has no ready detection.
- s are extremely useful on Sand King, as he is a very strong de-warder despite being a melee hero. Possession of both Blink Dagger and Burrowstrike allows him to blink onto high-ground ward spots, place a Sentry Ward and destroy any Observer Wards he finds, and then Burrowstrike back down to safety.
- can be a useful utility item that aids Sand King in chasing enemies. Combined with Caustic Finale, Sand King can greatly slow enemies' movement speed.
- is a good utility item, as Sand King has quite low base strength and can benefit from the mana regen. As he is already a very strong ganker, Sand King can easily get the charges he needs for the active, which allows him to heal himself or teammates, or add more damage to any ganks he participates in.
- is a good utility item to build. It increases Sand King's resistance to magical nukes, useful due to the manner in which he initiates with Epicenter, and the active can shield himself and teammates from magical damage for a time.
- can be a useful durability and utility item to purchase on Sand King. As he already has survivability issues due to his low armor and mediocre strength, buffing up his physical survivability can allow him to do more in fights, particularly as he is a melee hero who can take full advantage of the damage block, and the active gives all of his teammates immense resistance to physical damage.
- is a very expensive item to build, but gives Sand King many strong benefits. It gives him stats across the board and a self-sustaining mana pool, and the active gives him yet another instant hard-disable that he can use on the enemy.
|Roles:||Initiator Disabler Support Nuker Escape Jungler|
|Playstyle:||Obscured in the harshest of Sand Storms was Crixalis, guardian and ambassador of the Scintillant Waste. A construct of sentient sand, the Sand King traverses the world in a carapace of Djinn's craft. From beneath the shifting dunes he ambushes enemies with Burrowstrike, inflicting a desiccating venom that causes their corpses to erupt in a Caustic Finale. But true destruction was heralded by a beating tail. Within moments, the ground pulsed with violent tremors, and from its moving Epicenter Crixalis pursued scattering foes until the very last fell to their knees. Across bazaars and between towns, the learned repeat a simple truth. Where the Sand King walks, the earth trembles.|
- In a very old version of DotA, there was a bug that caused the final pulse of Sand King's to deal over 10,000 damage. The only unit that was able to survive this was a super beefed up that was used to measure the amount of damage dealt by the ability.
- Another old bug involved using on an allied creep. When Sand King got into Burrowstrike range of that creep, he would move all the way back to the position of the creep where it was first clicked on. Because it only worked on allied creeps, the most common usage of it was to quickly get back to base.
- Gabe Newell has claimed that Sand King is his favorite hero.
- Sand King's responses contain several cultural references:
- Sand King's line, ▶️ "Like the sands through an hourglass, these are the days of defeat." is an allusion to the soap opera Days of our Lives's introduction line, "Like sands in the hourglass, these are the days of our lives.".
- Sand King's line, ▶️ "All we are is sand in the wind..." is an allusion to the song Dust in the Wind song form the band Kansas.
- The line ▶️ "You were expecting... Sandy Claws?" is most likely a reference to the stop-motion film Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.
- The line ▶️ "I will show you fear in a handful of sand..." is an allusion to the poem "The Waste Land" by T. S. Eliot.
- The line ▶️ "We three Kings of disorient are..." is an allusion to the Christmas Carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are", by John Henry Hopkins, Jr.
- The line ▶️ "The sand of silence." is most likely a reference to the song "The Sound Of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel.
- The line ▶️ "The King is dead. Long live the King." is most likely a reference to the traditional proclamation made following the ascension of a new monarch in various countries. This may also be a reference to the Megadeth song "Kill the King"
- The line "▶️ Lion, you are king of nothing" may be a reference to the film "The Lion King".
- Sand Storm's sound makes use of ▶️ this and ▶️ this voice line of Sandking.