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Slark icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
20 + 1.9
Agility attribute symbol.png
21 + 1.5
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
16 + 1.7
Level Base 1 15 25
Health 200 600 1120 1500
H. regen amp 0% 14.29% 33.29% 46.86%
Mana 75 267 543 747
M. regen amp 0% 32% 79.6% 113.6%
Armor -1 2.5 6 8.5
Spell dmg 0% 1.14% 2.84% 4.06%
Att/sec 0.59 0.71 0.84 0.92
Damage 33‒41 54‒62 75‒83 90‒98
Move sp amp. 0% 1.26% 2.52% 3.42%
Base health regen 1.5
Base mana regen 0.9
Movement speed 295
Turn rate 0.5
Vision range 1800/1800
Attack range 150
Projectile speed Instant
Attack animation 0.5+0.3
Base attack time 1.7
Magic resistance 25%
Collision size 24
Legs 2

Slark, the Nightcrawler, is a melee agility hero that utilizes his abilities to spring onto enemy heroes and slip out unhindered. He is a very mobile ganker, but remains attribute-wise below most other carries unless he is able to steal away attributes with his abilities. Once he does, though, only a few heroes can hope to be as fearsome as the Nightcrawler - extremely mobile to the point of ever-presence, his strikes only hitting harder and faster.

Slark can quickly leap forward onto enemies with Pounce to leash them and bind them from escaping. His Dark Pact releases a delayed dispel that breaks even the most powerful disables. This gives him one of the most flexible abilities to start and end fights in the game. He is also capable of stealing attributes by attacking his victim to boost his own attack damage temporarily with Essence Shift, which can rapidly shift engagements in his favor, even when merely performing hit-and-run maneuvers. Slark's ultimate, Shadow Dance, allows him to remain unseen even while attacking for a short duration and allows him to move quicker when not under the watch of enemy eyes to strike in and out of enemy ranks unhindered.


Slark Slark, the Nightcrawler
Play "If I'd known I'd end up here, I'd have stayed in Dark Reef Prison."
Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-breed are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, and sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together--but somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef.


Dark Pact
Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Dark Pact icon.png
No Target
Enemies / Self
After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging most negative debuffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 50% of the damage.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Damage Radius: 325
Effect Delay: 1.5
Total Damage: 75/150/225/300 (Talent 225/300/375/450)
Self Damage Percentage: 50%
Cooldown symbol.png 9/8/7/6
Mana symbol.png 55/50/45/40
Buff Dark Pact: Undispellable.
Buff Dark Pact Pulses: Undispellable.
Slithereen are capable of quickly regrowing appendages, in case of critical injury, to save their own lives.


  • Dark Pact interrupts Slark's channeling spells upon cast.
  • Deals 7.5/15/22.5/30 (Talent 22.5/30/37.5/45) damage within a 325 radius in 0.1 second intervals, starting 1.5 seconds after cast for a total of 10 instances.
  • Slark takes 3.75/7.5/11.25/15 (Talent 11.25/15/18.75/22.5) damage in the same intervals, resulting in 37.5/75/112.5/150 (Talent 112.5/150/187.5/225) total damage.
  • Applies a strong dispel on Slark in the same intervals, right after each of its damage instances.
  • The visual effects and sounds during the 1.5 seconds delay is only visible and audible to allies.
  • The visual effect of the damaging pulses are visible even when Slark is invisible.
  • Dark Pact ends 2.5 seconds after cast, but ends instantly when Slark dies.
  • Re-casting Dark Pact during the effect delay cancels the previous cast and starts a new one instead.

Cannot be cast while rooted. Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Pounce icon.png
No Target
Enemy Heroes / Self
Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit takes damage and is leashed to Slark, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.
Cast Animation: 0+0.53
Leap Distance: 700
Latch Radius: 95
Leash Radius: 325
Damage: 40/80/120/160
Leash Duration: 3.5 (Talent 6.5)
Cooldown symbol.png 20/16/12/8
Mana symbol.png 75
Does not pierce spell immunity. Leash persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled. Leash can be dispelled by spell immunity only.
Cannot be cast while rooted. Getting rooted during the leap does not cancel the leap.
Buff Pounce: Undispellable.
Debuff Pounce Leash: Undispellable.
Time in the Dark Reef made Slark a dangerous assassin; aggressive and fearless.


  • Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33 for up to 0.75 seconds.
  • Always jumps for the full distance, unless an enemy hero gets within 95 radius of Slark during the jump.
  • Can latch on enemy heroes up to 795 range away (max distance + latch radius).
  • Slark can turn, cast spells, and use items during Pounce, but cannot attack.
  • When latching on a unit, Slark is automatically ordered to attack the target.
  • The more the leash gets stretched, the slower the affected unit can walk away from the center, eventually coming to a full stop. It directly affects the target's movement speed.
  • Pounce destroys trees within 100 radius around Slark upon landing.

Essence Shift
Cannot be used by illusions. Disabled by Break. Pierces spell immunity.
Essence Shift icon.png
Enemy Heroes / Self
Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility.
All Attributes Lost per Attack: 1
Agility Gained per Attack: 3
Duration: 15/30/60/120 (Talent 135/150/180/240)
Disabled by Break. Prevents gaining new stacks. Already existing stacks still provide bonus agility.
Buff or Debuff, based on the target's alliance Essence Shift Debuff: Undispellable.
Buff or Debuff, based on the target's alliance Essence Shift Counter: Undispellable.
Buff Essence Shift Buff: Undispellable.
With each strike at his adversaries, Slark's knowledge of their weaknesses improves.


  • Essence Shift steals attributes before attack damage is applied.
  • Successive attacks do not refresh the duration of all stolen/lost attributes. Each stack has its own duration.
  • The status buff and debuff icon show the number of current stacks and show the duration of the last stack.
  • Essence Shift cannot reduce any attribute below 0. However, Slark continues to gain agility, even when the attacked hero has no more attributes left to steal.
  • When Slark dies, he loses all stolen attributes, but the affected enemies do not get theirs back, and vice versa.
  • Cannot steal attributes from illusions, but can from hero clones.
  • Can steal attributes from allies.

Shadow Dance
Cannot be used by illusions. Partially disabled by Break. Pierces spell immunity. Play
Shadow Dance icon.png
No Target
(Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Aura)
(Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Allied Heroes)
When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming immune to detection. Attacking, casting spells, and using items will not reveal Slark. Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Aura Radius: 0 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 325)
Fade Time: 0
Move Speed Bonus: 30%/35%/40%
Max Health as Regen per Second: 3%/5%/7%
Active Duration: 4 (Talent 5)
Cooldown symbol.png 60 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 30)
Mana symbol.png 120
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Reduces cooldown and causes Shadow Dance active to be an area of effect ability, hiding nearby allied heroes underneath it.
Partially disabled by Break. Regeneration and movement speed bonus are disabled, active invisibility is not.
Cannot be used by illusions. Illusions get the buff, but it does not grant them the health regen and movement speed.
Buff Shadow Dance Passive Regen: Undispellable.
Buff Shadow Dance Aura: Undispellable.
Buff Shadow Dance: Undispellable.
The hidden Thirteenth is a slippery foe.


  • Shadow Dance interrupts Slark's channeling spells upon cast.
  • Slark gains or loses the health regen and movement speed bonus 0.5 seconds after getting in or out of enemy vision, or casting Shadow Dance.
  • If Slark is damaged by a neutral creep, the health regen and movement speed bonus are lost for 2 seconds.
  • When casting Shadow Dance, he turns invisible and cannot be revealed by anything. However, the black cloud created is visible to enemies.
  • The invisibility is granted by an aura, its buff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
    • When not upgraded, the buff immediately disappears as soon as Shadow Dance expires. When upgraded, it lingers out when expiring.
    • This means Shadow Dance effectively lasts 4.5 (Talent 5.5) seconds when upgraded, even for Slark.
    • When not upgraded, the aura affects the caster only. When upgraded, it affects allied heroes, illusions and creep-heroes as well.
    • The aura only provides the invisibility. Therefore, allies do not receive the passive health regeneration and movement speed buff.
    • The aura does not affect invulnerable units, so even if Slark turns invulnerable during it, he gets revealed.
  • Regenerates a total of 12%/20%/28% (Talent 15%/25%/35%)(Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 13.5%/22.5%/31.5%, Talent 16.5%/27.5%/38.5%) of Slark's maximum health while active, considering the regeneration is not prevented.
  • Restores health in the form of health regeneration, so it regenerates 0.3%/0.5%/0.7% of max health in 0.1 second intervals.
  • Can possibly restore 100% of Slark's health on its own within 1/1/1 seconds.
  • Shadow Dance does not allow Slark to walk through units.


Hero Talents
+120s Essence Shift icon.png Essence Shift Duration 25 +1s Shadow Dance icon.png Shadow Dance Duration
+3s Pounce icon.png Pounce Leash 20 +150 Dark Pact icon.png Dark Pact Damage
20% Lifesteal 15 +30 Attack Speed
+10 Agility attribute symbol.png Agility 10 +10 Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
  • The lifesteal talent stacks additively with other sources of lifesteal.

Recommended items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Stout Shield icon.png Stout Shield allows Slark to sustain more harassment from enemies and stay longer in lane.
  • Tango icon.png Tango helps Slark regenerate his health without the need of returning to base.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve can save Slark at the last moment.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch provides attributes and builds into Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick gives burst mana and health restoration.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed allow Slark to catch up to enemies and immobilize them with Pounce.
  • Orb of Venom icon.png Orb of Venom is a cheap but powerful item to slow enemies and inflict damage overtime, giving an advantage to Slark's early ganks.

Mid game:

  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads gives Slark attack speed to build Essence Shift, as well as the ability to switch to appropriate attributes for survival, damage, or mana.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand, upgraded from Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick, gives him more attributes and opens up item slots.
  • Ring of Aquila (Active) icon.png Ring of Aquila provides cheap attributes and mana regeneration for Slark to farm with Dark Pact.
  • Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade provides attack speed and invisibility to improve ganking and escaping. It also synergizes with the passive part of Shadow Dance, giving health regeneration and movement speed buffs when enemies lose vision of Slark.
  • Echo Sabre icon.png Echo Sabre grants two stacks of Essence Shift right away, useful for ganking.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll allows Slark to arrive at teamfights faster, or helps him escape in a pinch. Consider holding onto one for most of the game.

Late game:

  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi slows enemy attack and movement speed, keeping them in range for Slark to build Essence Shift. Its large bonus attributes increases Slark's health, mana, armor, damage, and attack speed, compensating his low growth.
  • Abyssal Blade icon.png Abyssal Blade lets Slark stick to enemies with its active stun and chances to bash, complementing Essence Shift's agility that increases attack speed.

Situational items:

  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance provides Slark with attributes to improve his lackluster growth while giving him extra movement speed and attack speed to help close the distance on foes, building the early game advantage he needs to snowball.
  • Sange and Yasha icon.png Sange and Yasha allows him to chase and attack enemy heroes due to the passive maim, movement speed, attack speed, and agility boost. Its bonus strength may also beef up Slark enough to survive engagements.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar's spell immunity offers protection from disables, making him almost invulnerable while under the effect of Shadow Dance.
  • Butterfly icon.png Butterfly offers bonus attack speed, armor, damage, and agility; its evasion gives him more survivability against attacks. Its active provides a movement speed boost that makes chasing or escaping easier.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge, upgraded from Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade, improves Slark's ganking capability even further with bonus attributes and break to disable heroes with strong passive abilities such as Phantom Assassin Phantom Assassin, Enchantress Enchantress, or Bristleback Bristleback.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence helps Slark gank by silencing enemies, as well as regenerating Slark's mana for more frequent uses of Pounce and Dark Pact.
  • Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar grants attack speed to build Essence Shift stacks; its Pierce also deals bonus damage and counters enemy evasion.
  • Moon Shard icon.png Moon Shard increases Slark's attack speed for Essence Shift to steal attributes quickly. As the game progresses, Slark can consume it to free an item slot and keep a permanent attack speed bonus.


Roles: Carry Carry Escape Escape Disabler Disabler Nuker Nuker


Playstyle: The only prisoner ever to escape from Dark Reef, Slark's abilities and ruthlessness are without equal. The Nightcrawler Pounces on his foes, leaping over obstacles and pinning them to the ground. With every swing of his barnacle encrusted blade, Slark steals his target's essences, converting them to render himself more agile. He forges a Dark Pact, sacrificing his own lifeblood to dissipate negative energies that damage foes, and frees him from magical constraints. Concealing himself with Shadow Dance, the Nightcrawler presents no visible target to would-be attackers. Hidden in this black haze, Slark escapes the inescapable, and returns to gut his enemies with little risk of retribution.





  • Slark is named after a rare murloc in World of Warcraft.
  • Slark's murloc heritage was completely removed in the transition to Dota 2 to avoid copyright issues, since the murlocs are an existing race in the Warcraft universe.
  • Slark's response Play "Met you once, cut you twice." is a reference to the carpentry phrase "measure twice, cut once".
  • Slark's respawn line Play "Griefer madness..." is a reference to the propaganda film Reefer Madness. As well, a griefer is a role a player assumes while in a multiplayer game to deliberately irritate other players.
  • Slark's weapon, a shiv, is the traditional prison weapon and is a reference to his backstory.


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