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.[external_link_head]
Slark, the Nightcrawler
▶️ “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.
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 30% of the damage.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Damage Radius: 325
Effect Delay: 1.5
Total Damage: 75/150/225/300 ( 145/220/295/370)
Self Damage Percentage: 30%
modifier_slark_dark_pact: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_dark_pact_pulses: Dispellable with death only.
Slithereen are capable of quickly regrowing appendages, in case of critical injury, to save their own lives.
- Dark Pact interrupts Slark’s channeling abilities upon cast.
- Deals 7.5/15/22.5/30 ( 14.5/22/29.5/37) damage within a 325 radius in 0.1-second intervals, starting 1.5 seconds after cast for a total of 10 instances.
- The visual effects and sounds during the 1.5 seconds delay is only visible and audible to allies.
- The visual effects 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.
Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with. That unit is leashed, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark’s landing position.
Cast Animation: 0+0.53
Leap Distance: 700 ( 1200)
Latch Radius: 95
Leash Radius: 400
Leash Duration: 2.5/2.75/3/3.25 ( 3.3/3.55/3.8/4.05)
Number of Charges: 2
Charge Replenish Time: 10
Provides 2 charges and increases pounce range.
Leash persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled. Leash can be dispelled by spell immunity only.
Getting rooted during the leap does not cancel the leap.
modifier_slark_pounce: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_pounce_leash: Dispellable with death only.
Time in the Dark Reef made Slark a dangerous assassin; aggressive and fearless.
- Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33 ( 1599.99) 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.
- Leashes the hit enemy hero, preventing them from casting certain mobility abilities.
- With the maximum distance and latch radius, Pounce can latch on enemy heroes up to 795 range away.
- Slark can turn and cast abilities and items during Pounce, but cannot attack.
- Pounce can latch on invisible units, but not on invulnerable, hidden units, or on illusions.
- 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.
- Every other position changing effect, can break the leash when stretching it beyond the maximum radius.
- When the leash expires while a position-changing effect (e.g. knockback) is ongoing, it instantly cancels the position-changing effect.
- This goes for the following abilities: Flamebreak, Primal Roar, Power Cogs, Hookshot, Vacuum, Gust, Boulder Smash, Rolling Boulder, Geomagnetic Grip, Deafening Blast, Tether, Blinding Light, Adaptive Strike (Strength), Blast Off!, Charge of Darkness, Greater Bash, Timber Chain, Walrus PUNCH!, Force Staff and Hurricane Pike.
- Destroys trees within 100 radius around Slark upon landing.
- Pounce cannot be cast during Pounce. During the leap, Pounce is on a non-refreshable cooldown which is bound to the leap buff.
Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility. If Slark kills an affected enemy hero, he permanently steals 1 Agility.
Permanent Steal Radius: 300
Permanent Agility Steal: 1
Enemy Strength/Intelligence Lost per Attack: 1
Enemy Agility Lost per Attack: 1 ( 2)
Self Agility Gained per Attack: 3 ( 4)
Duration: 15/30/60/100 ( 70/85/115/155)
Prevents gaining new stacks. Already existing stacks still provide bonus agility.
Does not prevent permanently stealing agility.
modifier_slark_essence_shift: Undispellable. Persists death.
modifier_slark_essence_shift_buff: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_essence_shift_debuff_counter: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_essence_shift_debuff: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_essence_shift_permanent_buff: Undispellable. Persists death.
modifier_slark_essence_shift_permanent_debuff: Undispellable. Persists death.
With each strike at his adversaries, Slark’s knowledge of their weaknesses improves.
- Essence Shift cannot reduce any attribute below 0. However, Slark continues to gain agility, both temporarily and permanently, even when the attacked hero has no more attributes left to steal.
- Successive attacks do not refresh the duration of all stolen or 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.
- When Slark dies, he loses all temporarily stolen attributes, but the affected enemies do not get theirs back, and vice versa.
- Cannot steal attributes from illusions, but Slark can temporarily steal attributes from allies.
- To permanently steal agility, an enemy hero has to die within 300 range of Slark while having the Essence Shift debuff.
Creates a 300 AoE cloud at the target location for 3 seconds. All allies inside the radius are hidden and affected by Shadow Dance. Cast Range: 800. Cooldown: 75
Cast Animation: 0.1+0.8
Cast Range: 800
Aura Linger Duration: 0.5
modifier_slark_depth_shroud_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.
modifier_slark_shadow_dance_visual: Undispellable. Persists death.
modifier_slark_depth_shroud: Undispellable. Persists death.
Ability Draft Notes:
- Requires Aghanim’s Shard to be unlocked.
- Applies the Depth Shroud modifier based on the current level of Shadow Dance on allies within the area.
- Shadow Dance notes fully apply. If it is not learned, nothing happens upon cast, wasting mana and cooldown.
- The modifier provides the same movement speed, attack speed, health regeneration, and invisibility as Shadow Dance does.
- The modifier fully stacks with those of Shadow Dance.
- This means during Shadow Dance, Slark gains a total of 48%/72%/96% movement speed, 100 attack speed and 10%/12%/14% max health as health regeneration while inside the area.
- The buff is provided by an aura. Its buff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
- Affects every allied unit, except buildings and wards.
- Does not affect invulnerable or hidden units.
- Can regenerate up to 17.5%/21%/24.5% of affected units’ max health over its full duration.
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[external_link offset=2]
Aura Radius: 0
Fade Time: 0
Move Speed Bonus: 24%/36%/48%
Max Health as Regen per Second: 5%/6%/7%
Passive Activation Delay: 0.5
Neutral Creep Damage Deactivate Duration: 2
Active Duration: 4/4.25/4.5 ( 5/5.25/5.5)
Active Attack Speed Bonus: 50
Regeneration and movement speed bonus are disabled, active invisibility is not.
Illusions get the buff, but it does not grant them the health regen and movement speed.
modifier_slark_shadow_dance_passive: Undispellable. Persists death.
modifier_slark_shadow_dance_passive_regen: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_shadow_dance: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_shadow_dance_aura: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_slark_shadow_dance_visual: Dispellable with death only.
The hidden Thirteenth is a slippery foe.
- Shadow Dance interrupts Slark’s channeling abilities upon cast.
- Slark gains or loses the health regeneration 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 regeneration 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, however, its buff does not linger.
- The aura does not affect invulnerable units, so if Slark turns invulnerable during it, he gets revealed.
- Shadow Dance does not grant phased movement.
- Can regenerate up to 20%/25.5%/31.5% ( 25%/31.5%/38.5%) of Slark’s max health over its active duration.
- Can fully regenerate Slark’s health within 20/16.67/14.29 seconds.
- Increased Dark Pact mana cost from 60 to 75.
- Level 15 right talent: +80 Dark Pact damage reduced to +70.
- 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.
- Diffusal Blade provides a way to slow fleeing heroes, keeping them in attack range, as well as burning mana for extra damage and suit the gain of attack speed.
- Sange and Yasha allows him to chase and attack enemy heroes due to the movement speed, attack speed, and agility boost. Its bonus strength may also beef up Slark enough to survive engagements.
- Black King Bar‘s spell immunity offers protection from disables, making him almost invulnerable while under the effect of Shadow Dance.
- Butterfly offers bonus attack speed, damage, and agility; its evasion gives him more survivability against attacks.
- Silver Edge, upgraded from Shadow Blade, improves Slark’s ganking capability even further with bonus attributes and break to disable heroes with strong passive abilities.
- Orchid Malevolence helps Slark gank by silencing enemies, as well as regenerating Slark’s mana for more frequent uses of Pounce and Dark Pact. This makes it useful against enemies that rely on blinks or other abilities to escape, such as Queen of Pain or Anti-Mage.
- Monkey King Bar procs Pierce that deals bonus damage and counters enemy evasion.
- 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.
- 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 ▶️ “Met you once, cut you twice.” is a reference to the carpentry phrase “measure twice, cut once”.
- Slark’s respawn line ▶️ “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.
Slark cartoon art
Drow Ranger, Pudge and Slark in a cartoon scene
Ability icon progress
Hero icon progress