18.12.2023, 09:06
21.05.2024, 07:07

Riki in Dota 2: A Guide to the Character and How to Play Him

Riki, a character in Dota 2, enjoys widespread popularity among newcomers primarily due to his elusive invisibility skill. Following the 7.34e patch, Rikimaru has risen to become one of the top twenty heroes with the highest win rates. 

Who is Riki in Dota 2?

Riki is a hero centered around the attribute of 'Agility'. Courtesy of his ultimate ability, the character goes invisible, unless attacking enemies. Uniquely among stealth heroes, Riki's invisibility is a passive trait, requiring no activation and costing no mana.

Riki guide dota 2

Due to stealth, beginners detest playing against Riki. Novice players struggle to understand where to place Sentry Wards to reveal stealthed enemies.


Character's Attributes

Kicking off the match, your character is equipped with 516 HP and 243 MP. For an up-close and personal agility-based hero, this initial health status is pretty standard. Riki makes up for the lower HP with a high armor rating – we're talking 5 units here. With a substantial hand damage of 57-61, Riki isn't for the faint of heart, though his attack animation isn't the friendliest for newbies. Experienced players, however, have no issues last-hitting creeps when playing as Rikimaru.

Attribute Starting Value, units Gain per Level, units
Strength 18 2.0
Agility 30 2.4
Intelligence 14 1.3
Among the 'nimble ones', Riki has one of the lowest agility gains. Only Slark, Spectre and Meepo have less, but these heroes carry their own individual quirks and aren't necessarily reliant on primary attribute progression.

Character's Skills

At the onset, a unit has the ability to master one out of three skills. Level 6 brings about the opportunity to master an ultimate ability, with the 12th and 18th levels facilitating the enhancement of invisibility.

Riki's Abilities:

  • "Smoke Screen" emanates a smoke cloud causing opponents to miss their spells and fail at executing physical attacks;
  • "Blink Strike" enables Riki to teleport behind a selected creature, upon choosing an enemy, Riki torments the opponent with a sluggish pace and a lethal blow;
  • "Tricks of the Trade" – Riki transcends into invisibility, delivering four strikes randomly to any enemies within the selected area before reappearing;
  • "Cloak and Dagger" camouflages the hero, multiplying the damage on backstabbing the enemy.

Upgrading "Smoke Screen" enhances the probability of the opponent's miss, reaching 75% at the final level. This upgrade reduces skill cooldown time.

The purchase of Aghanim Shard refines "Smoke Screen". The smoke cloud lowers the victim's armor by 5 units and prevents opponents from targeting those trapped in the smoke veil. For instance, enemies are unable to extract their allies from the "Smoke Screen" using "Force Staff".

"Blink Strike" includes two consecutive usage charges. Each recharge follows one after another, allowing Riki to choose an ally as a target, thereby offering protection from enemy attacks.

When an ally is chosen as the "Blink Strike" target, the negative effects do not trigger.

Upon application of "Tricks of the Trade", Riki vanishes from the map, rendering invulnerability from any impacts. Once the spell is activated, Riki isn't available for target selection, even by an ally. At the end of the spell, the hero emerges at the center of the chosen location. If multiple potential targets are in the area, the skill randomly selects the victim. If no targets for an attack are present, Riki simply fades away from the map.

The ability may be interrupted, with a maximum effect duration of 2 seconds.

Aghanim enhances "Tricks of the Trade" – expanding the radius from 450 to 700 units, increasing the number of targets to 2 and the number of attacks to 5. An ally can also be selected as a target, shifting the spell area in accordance with the ally's movements.

Upgrading the "Cloak and Dagger" ability decreases the time needed to fade into invisibility. At level 3, Riki becomes invisible within 2 seconds of dealing damage to an opponent. Additional damage is dependent on Riki's accumulated "Agility". The opponent only receives extra damage on a backstab. Riki gains additional experience and assists in eliminations.


At level 10, 15, 20, and 25, players choose 1 out of 2 available talents.

Level Talent 1 Talent 2
10 An extra 8% movement speed with "Cloak and Dagger" Additional 50 to "Smoke Screen" radius
15 Reduces "Smoke Screen" cooldown time by 3 seconds An extra 30% agility with "Tricks of the Trade"
20 "Blink Strike" cooldown time reduced by 4 seconds Extra 0.3 damage points for every "Agility" point when backstabbing
25 Normal "Tricks of the Trade" dispelling for Riki Reduced "Tricks of the Trade" cooldown time by 3 seconds

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Playing as Riki

The Dota 2 community has a well-known saying: "Invisibility is invincibility". In this realm, Riki is the embodiment of this concept.

Rikimaru's effectiveness relies heavily on the momentum gained by the player.


Uniquely geared towards swift eliminations, Riki tactically strikes his opponents, dealing immense damage from the rear. His invisibility allows for surprise attacks, and the extra experience gained from kills offers the opportunity to out-level competitors significantly.

Support players tend to be an ideal objective for Riki. These characters often lack substantial health reserves, falling quickly to focused attacks within moments.


Despite his abilities being focused on eliminations, if Riki fails to maintain momentum or falls victim to opponents multiple times, he faces a steep uphill battle to rebound.

Riki lacks abilities that accelerate his farming.

Riki can be an annoying opponent to deal with. Experienced support players of opposing teams often continuously purchase "Sentry Ward" and "Dust of Appearance" to counteract surprise elements.

A combination of lost momentum and concerted efforts from the enemy support can quickly reduce Riki from a deadly invisible assassin to a paltry ally.

Riki's Leveling up in Dota 2

When playing as Rikimaru in Dota 2, focusing on leveling up "Blink Strike" initially is a key strategy. This move allows Rikimaru to quickly close the gap between himself and his enemies, making it an essential skill for initiating and escaping. Following this, at level two, "Tricks of the Trade" is typically learned, offering Riki a powerful tool for evading damage and dealing it across multiple foes. By the fourth level, players often opt for "Smoke Screen," which can disorient opponents and reduce their accuracy, significantly impacting team fights and swindles.

Statistical analysis from DotaBuff suggests that prioritizing talents on the right side of Riki's talent tree often leads to higher win rates. This data implies that these talents may synergize better with Riki's typical playstyle and the common scenarios he finds himself in during matches.

The combination of "Blink Strike," "Tricks of the Trade," and "Smoke Screen," along with a strategic selection of talents, forms a formidable arsenal that can keep Riki's adversaries constantly guessing and vulnerable. The stats underline the effectiveness of this approach, showing that with the right skill and talent choices, Rikimaru can significantly influence the outcome of games.

This insight into Riki's optimal skill build and talent choices could be a game-changer for players looking to dominate in the Dota 2 arena. Prepare for some intense battles ahead as players leverage these strategies to outmanoeuvre their opponents!

Which lane should one play as Riki in Dota 2?

Riki is most comfortably deployed as a carry. Assuming position one, Riki can farm quickly off the lane and secure the items needed to execute enemy supports.

This character is often sent mid. At the mid, Riki rapidly ascends to level six and can launch surprise attacks during shifts to the safe and hard lanes.

Dotabuff indicates a significant trend of Riki being deployed in the offlane, with over a third of his matches spent in this role. Typically, offers function as a secondary carry where Rikimaru exhibits a positive win rate.

Before the 7.33 patch, the hero was employed as a 4th-position support. However, after the rework of Aghanim's Shard and the removal of the 'Sleeping Dart' ability, Riki has fallen out of favour for the support role.

Opposing champions

The metrics for Riki's top adversaries are accessible on the service Dotabuff.

Riki Counterpick Dota 2

We should pay attention to four units in patch 7.34:

  • Spectre, thanks to her 'Dispersion' skill, deflects damage, causing Riki to perish before defeating the opponent;
  • Slardar can hang a mark on Rikimaru, which reveals invisibility and reduces armour; the learned talent doesn't allow the removal of the mark;
  • Zeus's spellcasting dispels invisibility;
  • Bristleback baits the opponent to hit his back, receiving 40% less damage and activating the 'Bristleback' skill, which inflicts high damage to all enemies - Riki's skills are directed at backstabs.
Riki has the worst win rate against Spectre, who is strong in patch 7.34.

Playing Riki in Dota 2

For Riki in Dota 2, farming a "Diffusal Blade" quickly is crucial to his early to mid-game effectiveness. This item enhances his damage output and plays a pivotal role in his ability to control and eliminate opponents. Here's a breakdown of a typical engagement sequence for Riki:

Initiate with "Blink Strike": Riki instantly closes the distance to his target, setting up the encounter.

Apply "Diffusal Blade": The active slow from Diffusal Blade significantly reduces the enemy's movement speed, making it harder for them to escape or reposition.

Cast "Smoke Screen": Dropping a Smoke Screen on the slowed enemy prevents them from casting spells, further crippling their ability to fight back or flee.

Execute "Tricks of the Trade": Riki deals considerable damage through this ability, utilizing backstab multipliers to devastate his target. This is particularly effective against isolated support units in the early to mid-game.

The combination of Smoke Screen's silence and Diffusal Blade's slow traps enemies in a deadly zone where they're vulnerable to Riki's attacks. Success with Riki hinges on the swift accumulation of experience and items. Achieving level fifteen rapidly can significantly increase his damage potential, a fact supported by Dotabuff statistics showing Riki's win rate jumping from 49% to 55% at this stage.

To excel with Riki, players must master the art of target selection and the strategic use of items and abilities. It's imperative to avoid early game pitfalls, secure the Diffusal Blade as soon as possible, and prioritize reaching level fifteen to maximize Riki's impact in the game.




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