Dark Willow

dark willow dota 2

Mireska Sunbreeze, the Dark Willow, is a ranged intelligence hero with a powerful array of disables and nukes. She can summon a tangle of thorns to root enemies in her Bramble Maze, or curse an enemy to stun them after a delay with Cursed Crown. Slipping into the Shadow Realm to avoid attacks, she re-emerges with a powerful magical burst. Calling upon her companion Jex, Dark Willow dishes out a flurry of heavy magic damage with Bedlam, or sends her enemies fleeing in fear with Terrorize. This wide arsenal of disables and nukes allows her to gank, roam, and support with equal efficiency, making her indispensable in teamfights.


Mireska Sunbreeze, the Dark Willow


▶️ “Let’s have some fun, shall we?”

Children love telling stories about the whimsical adventures of fairies… That’s because children don’t know that most fairies are spiteful jerks. And in the world of spiteful fairies there are few names spoken of with more contempt than Mireska Sunbreeze.

Born to a fae merchant king, Mireska grew up in Revtel; a cutthroat nation where manipulation and murder were the norm. But while she was quite adept at navigating the etiquette, unspoken laws, and social rituals that permeated every element of her life, she found the whole thing rather boring.

So, Mireska did what most rebellious children do: burn down her family estate and set off with her pet wisp Jex to live the life of a wandering grifter.


The brambles’ formation.

Bramble Maze’s custom targeting indicator.

Dark Willow creates a maze of brambles that grow in the target area after 0.5 seconds. Enemies that walk into a bramble are rooted and take damage over time.

Cast Animation: 0.3+0.8

Cast Range: 1000/1100/1200/1300

Bramble Spawn Radius: 500

Root Search Radius: 90

Bramble Spawn Delay: 0.5

Bramble Spawn Interval: 0.075

Bramble Activation Delay: 0.1

Number of Brambles: 8

Total Damage: 120/160/200/240

Root Duration: 1/1.5/2/2.5

Bramble Duration: 15

20 13)



modifier_dark_willow_bramble_maze_creation_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.

modifier_dark_willow_bramble_maze_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.

modifier_dark_willow_bramble_maze: Dispellable with any dispel.

The fae realm exists all around you, merely waiting to draw you in…

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  • The visual effects and the sound during the 0.5-second bramble spawn delay are only visible and audible to allies.
  • The projectile launched upon cast has only cosmetic purposes, and does not affect the delay.
  • The brambles are always placed in the same formation.
    • 4 brambles are placed 200 range away from the center of the target area, towards north, east, south, and west.
    • 4 brambles are placed 500 range away from the center of the target area, towards north-east, south-east, south-west, and north-west.
    • The brambles spawn in 0.075-second intervals, starting 0.5 seconds after cast, so it takes 1.025 seconds for all brambles to spawn.
    • The inner circle spawns first, starting with the east bramble, going counter-clockwise. The outer circle starts with the north-east bramble.
  • Each bramble is inactive for 0.1 seconds after spawning.
  • A bramble roots the first enemy unit which comes within 90 range of it, after which it then disappears.
    • The brambles require no vision and can hit invisible enemies, or enemies in the Fog of War.
    • Does not provide True Sight over rooted enemies.
  • Deals 60/53.33/50/48 damage in 0.5-second intervals, starting 0.5 seconds after the buff is applied, resulting in 2/3/4/5 instances.
    • Can deal a total of 120/160/200/240 damage to the target (before reductions).
  • The brambles’ duration starts after the initial creation delay. This means the last bramble disappears 16.025 seconds after cast.
  • Multiple instances of the debuff fully stack. Each bramble places its own independent debuff.
  • Leveling the ability up while there are other active brambles does not update the root duration.

Dark Willow recedes into the shadows, becoming untargetable. Her next attack has increased attack range and deals bonus magic damage, and will end Shadow Realm. Damage scales based on how long she remains under the effects of Shadow Realm, the maximum being reached after 3.5 seconds.

Cast Animation: 0+0

Attack Range Bonus: 600

Max Damage: 90/180/270/360

Max Damage Duration: 3.5

Duration: 5 ( 7)

26/22/18/14 24/20/16/12)


Attacking no longer takes you out of Shadow Realm. Each attack still has bonus damage based on the duration of the buff.

Does not attempt to damage spell immune enemies.


modifier_dark_willow_shadow_realm_buff: Dispellable with death only.

modifier_dark_willow_shadow_realm_buff_attack_logic: Dispellable with death only.

What you can’t see will most definitely hurt you.


  • Does not interrupt channeling abilities upon cast.
  • Shadow Realm disjoints projectiles upon cast.
  • During Shadow Realm, Dark Willow is phased, attack immune and unselectable.
  • Due to the unselectability, almost every ability treats Dark Willow as if she were invisible, except the following abilities:
  • When cast while attacking an enemy, Dark Willow is ordered to stop, so that the attack out of Shadow Realm is not wasted.
    • However, when she is given an attack order (A) while outside attack range, casting Shadow Realm while she moves does not stop her from attacking immediately.
  • Casting abilities or items during Shadow Realm does not end it, only attacking does.
  • The Shadow Realm buff is lost upon launching an attack. Upon launch, Dark Willow gets the attack logic buff, which is responsible for the damage.
    • This buff disappears upon hitting the target, or within 3 seconds, whichever is shorter.
    • This means if the projectile flies for more than 3 seconds, the damage is not applied.
    • The buff responsible for the damage is lost on death, so when dying before projectile hit negates the damage.
    • The buff only works for the attack that created it. Any other projectiles launched afterwards do not apply the bonus damage.
    • With Aghanim’s Scepter, attacking no longer ends Shadow Realm, and each attack launched applies the Shadow Realm damage.
  • The damage increases by 0.77/1.54/2.31/3.09 on each server tick, reaching its maximum in 3.5 seconds.
  • The damage stops growing as soon as the attack is launched. It does not continue to grow while flying towards the target.
  • The damage is dealt in a separate instance and is not added to Dark Willow’s attack damage.
  • The bonus damage of Shadow Realm does not work against buildings and wards, but works on allies.

Dark Willow casts an ancient fae curse on the target. After a delay, the target and nearby enemies are stunned.

Cast Animation: 0.2+0.83

Cast Range: 600/625/650/675

Stun Radius: 360 ( 520)

Effect Delay: 4 ( 3)

Stun Duration: 1.5/2/2.5/3 ( 2/2.5/3/3.5)

 Bramble Spawn Radius: 175

18/16/14/12 16/14/12/10)


Cursed Crown creates four brambles around the target after the counter ends. Triggers even upon dispel. Reduces cooldown by 2 seconds and stun delay by 1 second.

Blocked upon cast.


modifier_dark_willow_cursed_crown: Dispellable with any dispel.

modifier_stunned: Dispellable with strong dispels.

Ability Draft Notes:

Bramble Maze must be drafted as well for them to be created.

Didn’t anyone ever tell you? Never strike a deal with a fairy…


  • The sound and visual effect during the delay on the target is audible and visible to everyone.
    • The visual effect indicates the area to be affected on each second.
  • Turning invulnerable or hidden does not prevent the debuff from affecting the area around the target.

Dark Willow’s pet wisp roams around her for the duration, rapidly attacking nearby enemies. Bedlam cannot be used while Terrorize is active.

Cast Animation: 0+0

Roam Radius: 200

Attack Radius: 300

Attack Interval: 0.25

Damage per Attack: 75/125/175 ( 107/157/207)

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Seconds per Revolution: 1.8

Duration: 5




modifier_dark_willow_bedlam: Dispellable with death only.

modifier_dark_willow_creature_invulnerable: Dispellable with death only.

You’ll have to excuse my friend Jex. He’s really into murder.


  • Leveling this ability automatically levels Terrorize as well.
  • Interrupts Dark Willow’s channeling abilities upon cast.
  • While active, Terrorize is inactive and cannot be cast.
  • Bedlam is inactive during Terrorize’s cast time, and stays inactive until Jex fully returns to Dark Willow after terrorizing enemies.
  • On cast, Jex always appears on the west side and rotates clockwise around Dark Willow.
  • Jex rotates around Dark Willow at a speed of 698.13, taking 1.8 seconds to finish a revolution.
    • This results in 2.78 revolutions over the whole duration.
  • On each attack, Jex chooses a visible random target within range. There are no priorities. Does not attack buildings or wards.
    • The attack radius is centered on Jex. A light pink glow surrounds it, indicating the attack area.
    • Jex continues attacking even when Dark Willow is disabled. It stops only when she dies, or when expiring.
    • Jex’ attacks are not regular attacks. They are treated like an ability, and thus do not interact with any on attack effects.
    • This means that both spell damage amplification and spell lifesteal does work with it. Dark Willow is the damage source.
    • The attack projectiles traveling at a speed of 1400.
  • With its 0.25-second attack rate, it can attack up to 20 times.
  • Recasting Bedlam before the previous cast finishes refreshes the duration.
  • The ability itself provides no vision, but Jex has 600 ground vision which he provides for the duration.

Dark Willow releases her pet wisp to terrorize her enemies. After a short delay, all enemies in the target area become fearful and run toward their home fountain. Terrorize cannot be used while Bedlam is active.

Cast Animation: 1+2.57

Cast Range: 1200

Radius: 400

Duration: 3.5/3.75/4 ( 5/5.25/5.5)




modifier_dark_willow_terrorize_thinker: Dispellable with death only.

modifier_dark_willow_creature_invulnerable: Dispellable with death only.

modifier_dark_willow_debuff_fear: Dispellable with any dispel.

Ability Draft Notes:

Terrorize is granted to the player that drafted Bedlam.

You think you know the first thing about fear? Jex’ll show you what that word truly means…


  • Leveling this ability automatically levels Bedlam as well.
  • Terrorize is inactive during Bedlam.
  • Terrorize is also inactive during its cast time, and stays inactive until Jex fully returns to Dark Willow after terrorizing enemies.
    • This means Terrorize cannot be cast again until Jex returned from a previous cast.
  • Jex travels to the target point at a speed of 2000, and returns to Dark Willow at a speed of 600.
  • The visual effect at the target area during the cast time/effect delay is visible to allies only. The sound is audible to everyone.
  • Applies fear on all hit enemies within the radius, forcing them to run towards their team’s Fountain, while preventing them from acting.
    • When hitting neutral creeps, they retreat to their camps instead.
  • Provides shared vision over all hit enemies for its duration. Affects invisible units, but does not provide True Sight.
  • The ability itself provides no vision, but Jex has 600 ground vision which he provides during the duration.


Recent Changes[]

Level 20 left talent: -8s Bramble Maze cooldown reduced to -7s.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

Early game:

Mid game:

Late game:

Situational items:

  • Phase Boots allow Dark Willow to keep up with enemies while using Bedlam.
  • Bottle facilitates rune control, offsetting the high mana cost of Dark Willow’s abilities.
  • Veil of Discord gives a core Dark Willow high damage and kill potential with her own nukes. It also provides additional attributes, which the hero lacks.
  • Kaya increases Dark Willow’s burst damage, and reduces some of her high mana costs.
  • Force Staff helps Dark Willow escape, stay next to enemies during Bedlam, or push a fleeing enemy with Cursed Crown into their team.
  • Spirit Vessel sustains Dark Willow and teammates with heal, and it can also help in ganks by countering enemy healing and dealing some damage.
  • Rod of Atos applies root to keep the target within range of Bedlam.
  • Linken’s Sphere protects Dark Willow from single target disables, which can kill her in the late game.
  • Aeon Disk protects Dark Willow from high damage nukes and initiations with strong dispel and damage reduction, giving her 2.5 seconds to use all of her abilities to help in teamfights or to disengage.
  • Aghanim’s Scepter increases lots of damage output and works well with the attack speed talent for a core Dark Willow.
  • Boots of Travel, along with Shadow Realm, help Dark Willow teleport and split push.






  • Dark Willow is sometimes labeled in the game files as Sylph and Fairy, her early working names.
  • Dark Willow’s accent is heavily based on those found in Celtic and Gaelic countries, mostly Wales, Ireland and Scotland.


  • In-game model

  • In-game model

External links[]

  • Official Trailer
  • Blog post
  • Dueling Fates – The 7.07 Update


Scores: 4.3 (15 votes)