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Ability Draft
Ability Draft
▶️ We descend into chaos.
Chaos Knight

Create a Custom Hero via 4-Round Draft. You Can Choose Up to 3 Regular Abilities and 1 Ultimate.

Ability Draft is an official core game mode that vastly differentiates from all other game modes, with practically infinite possibilities and unique matches.

Each player is given a random hero with no abilities. The pool of abilities consists of the abilities of these 10 random heroes, plus 2 additional random heroes' abilities. Players then take turns drafting the 3 regular abilities and 1 ultimate ability they want.


  • Players have their player slots shuffled within their teams. In hosted lobbies, this can be toggled off.
  • An initial 60-second planning phase begins, during which the teams can see which heroes everyone got and which abilities are available. Players can use the chatbox or voice chat to plan out their picks.
  • The picking phase begins afterward. The pick order consists of 2 phases that repeat twice, and every player gets to pick 4 times.
Ability Draft symbol Ability Draft 1st/3rd Phase
Radiant icon Radiant P1 Dire icon Dire P1 Radiant icon Radiant P2 Dire icon Dire P2 Radiant icon Radiant P3 Dire icon Dire P3 Radiant icon Radiant P4 Dire icon Dire P4 Radiant icon Radiant P5 Dire icon Dire P5
Ability Draft symbol Ability Draft 2nd/4th Phase
Dire icon Dire P5 Radiant icon Radiant P5 Dire icon Dire P4 Radiant icon Radiant P4 Dire icon Dire P3 Radiant icon Radiant P3 Dire icon Dire P2 Radiant icon Radiant P2 Dire icon Dire P1 Radiant icon Radiant P1
  • Radiant icon Radiant always gets to pick first.
  • Each player has 7 seconds to pick an ability on their turn.
    • The picked ability is granted to the drafting player, then removed from the pool.
    • If the player does not pick an ability within 7 seconds, a random ability from the remaining pool will be assigned.
  • If the player picks an ability, the pick time still has to elapse before the next player's turn starts.
    • This means each phase takes a total of 70 seconds.
  • After each phase, there is a 5-second break before the next phase starts.
  • Overall, there are 4 picking phases and breaks, resulting in a drafting duration of 300 seconds.
  • After the picking phase, there is a 5-second waiting period before the 30-second strategy phase begins.
  • At all times, the players can communicate with their teams via the chatbox or voice chat.
  • In total, the drafting takes 395 seconds, or 6 minutes and 35 seconds.

Available Heroes[]

All 48 heroes are currently available in Ability Draft.


Due to Invoker minimap icon Invoker's uniqueness, his abilities are implemented differently in Ability Draft Notes Ability Draft. When Invoker is in the hero pool, 3 of his adapted abilities are chosen randomly. Invoker does not add ultimate abilities to the draft pool. These Ability Draft versions work like the original, but are modified to follow the default 4-level system.

Although Invoker gains the traits of Quas icon Quas, Wex icon Wex and Exort icon Exort as passive/innate buffs, he neither gains the passive attributes given by the abilities, nor is able to cast these abilities. These buffs level up alternatingly and automatically according to Invoker's level.

Quas Wex Exort Buff
Buff Bonus Unlock Level
Quas icon Quas Health Regeneration 1/4/7/10/13/16/19
Wex icon Wex Attack Speed and Movement Speed 2/5/8/11/14/17/20
Exort icon Exort Attack Damage 3/6/9/12/15/18/21

Ability Pool[]

The pool of abilities consists of the abilities of 10 random heroes, plus 2 additional random heroes' abilities as extras. These extra heroes themselves do not appear in the match. This results in a total of 48 regular abilities and 12 ultimate abilities for drafting.

However, some heroes do not have all of their abilities available in the pool, some abilities are restricted from the game mode for varying reasons.

If a hero with an unavailable ability appears in the pool, a replacement ability from another random hero is added in. Only one hero that requires a replacement ability can be within the pool of 12 heroes.

Ctrl+Alt to highlight available Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter and Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard upgrades while drafting abilities.

Unavailable Abilities[]

1 Disabled for balance reasons.
2 Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. / Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. Ability unavailable due to its reliance on another ability that is disabled in game mode.
3 Only ultimate abilities are allowed to use up to 3 ability slots, due to Hotkey issues.
4 This innate ability is neither available nor is bound to any of the hero's abilities.
5 Possible technical issues. May cause broken ability interactions between abilities that affect attack range and range type.
6 Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. / Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. Ability unavailable, due to it not being hooked up to any ability yet. Most likely unintended.


Due to the very chaotic nature of Ability Draft, several abilities and heroes have received some changes to work within the game mode.

Attack Range[]

Main Article: Attack Range

Hero abilities that grants attack range bonus work as intended for Melee melee heroes and grant the described bonuses having into account the heroes' base range as well.

Generic Talents[]

Generic Talent talents (i.e. plain stats bonuses) are unchanged. Talents that affect specific abilities which have not been drafted by that hero are replaced by an instant 250/500/750/1250 Gold boost.

Hero Talents
+1250 Gold25+1250 Gold
+750 Gold20+750 Gold
+500 Gold15+500 Gold
+250 Gold10+250 Gold

Unique Talents[]

Unique Talents
  • Lua error: Found no Cargo data for "Beastmaster - Health Aura".
  • Tal4right Faceless VoidBacktrack
  • Lua error: Found no Cargo data for "Undying - Reincarnation".
  • Lua error: Found no Cargo data for "Weaver - Mana Break".

Hero specific Talent talents that are not bound to any ability, will be still available regardless of the abilities are drafted by that hero.

Cleave Sources[]

Main Article: Cleave

Ranged Ranged heroes are unable to cleave. The cleave-granting ability either has its cleave part disabled for them, or the ability is unobtainable by them. An attack is classified as Melee melee when the attack does not rely on projectiles.

If a game mode allows ranged heroes to obtain the normally unobtainable cleave abilities (e.g. Ability Draft), these cleave sources (e.g. Tidebringer icon Tidebringer and Great Cleave icon Great Cleave) fully work for them. The cleave area, just like for melee heroes, is based on the attacking unit's position and happens on attack hit. This means the cleave damage is always applied in front of the attacking hero, even when the target was much further away.

Bash Sources[]

Main Article: Bash

In Ability Draft, multiple sources of bash fully stack, and they proc independently from each other sources. Heroes with abilities that uses the bash mechanic are allowed to purchase items that provide bash (e.g. Skull Basher icon Skull Basher and Abyssal Blade icon Abyssal Blade) and also proc bash from drafted abilities.

Innate Abilities[]

Innate Abilities Adaptation

Modified Abilities[]

Abilities Modified for Ability Draft

Abilities Requiring Multiple Slots[]

To prevent Hotkey conflicts, non-ultimate abilities are limited to 1 ability slot at max, while ultimate abilities can use up to 3 ability slots. This means a hero cannot have more than 7 ability slots occupied at a time. To accommodate for this, abilities that require multiple slots have been adapted to fit this scheme.

Multiple Slots Abilities Modified for Ability Draft

Unlockable Abilities[]

The following ultimate abilities grant the drafting player additional abilities upon acquiring Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter or Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.

Unlockable Abilities

Ability Dependencies[]

Sometimes ability synergies require multiple abilities to be present at the same time on the same hero for its effect. The following abilities have ability effects that require or rely on other abilities and should be drafted with consideration.

Ability Dependencies

Console Commands[]

The following console commands can be used while on the dashboard to create custom settings for private Ability Draft lobbies.

Note that all these commands are considered cheats and therefore only work on local lobbies.

Command Default Value Description
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_per_player_time 7 Total time in seconds a player has to draft an ability.
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_pre_round_time 5 The duration of the break time between phases.
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_pre_time 60 The duration of the planning phase before the picking phase begins.
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team N/A Sets the hero to be within the pool. Requires 2 variable, the hero name, and the team (radiant/dire/extra)
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team_clear N/A Resets the hero pool to be random.
dota_ability_draft_shuffle_players 1 Decides whether players should get their slot shuffled or not.


Ability Draft custom example

Result of the console commands

The following console commands result in what is shown in the image.

dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team dawnbreaker radiant;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team terrorblade radiant;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team shadow_shaman radiant;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team omniknight radiant;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team invoker radiant;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team void_spirit dire;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team puck dire;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team hoodwink dire;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team troll_warlord dire;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team tinker dire;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team techies extra;
dota_gamemode_ability_draft_set_draft_hero_and_team riki extra;

This sets the hero pool to Dawnbreaker minimap icon Dawnbreaker, Terrorblade minimap icon Terrorblade, Shadow Shaman minimap icon Shadow Shaman, Omniknight minimap icon Omniknight, Invoker minimap icon Invoker on the Radiant side, Void Spirit minimap icon Void Spirit, Puck minimap icon Puck, Hoodwink minimap icon Hoodwink, Troll Warlord minimap icon Troll Warlord, Tinker minimap icon Tinker on the Dire side, and Techies minimap icon Techies, Riki minimap icon Riki as extra heroes.

Techies and Riki are not assigned to any player, but have their abilities included in the pool. Invoker does not have an ultimate ability in the pool, so Rolling Thunder icon Rolling Thunder was randomly added as a replacement.

These commands allow for easy testing of combinations and interactions, without relying on luck to get the right abilities one wants to test.

Recent Changes[]