Cleave causes a melee unit's attacks to deal a portion of its damage in an area in front of it.
Cleave causes the unit's attack to deal damage in a trapezoid in front of the attacking unit. The damage is based on the unit's total attack damage values. Cleave can only be used by melee units, ranged units cannot cleave by default.
Cleave does not affect the primary target, and it cannot miss when hitting secondary targets. However, a missed attack does not cleave. Cleave hits invisible, but not hidden or invulnerable units, and does not work against wards and buildings.
Multiple sources of cleave on the same unit work fully independently of each other. Each source applies its full damage within its area, without interacting with the other cleave sources.
- Example 1
- with level 4 , has level 4 buff and would deal 3 different instances of cleave damage on each attack to units, with each instances using its own starting radius, distance and end radius in front of him.
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 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. and ) 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.
Area of Effect
The area of effect for cleave sources is shaped like an isosceles trapezoid. This trapezoid is in front of the attacking unit, so that the attacking unit is always at the center of the shorter side of the trapezoid.
Double the starting radius equates to the length of the shorter side of the trapezoid, the cleave distance equates to its height, and double the ending radius equates to the long side parallel to the short side of the trapezoid.
Attack Modifier Interactions
Although cleave is an attack modifier, it works independently on itself and does not interfere with any other attack modifier.
For example, the armor reducing of Corruption is applied to the primary attacked target does not increase the cleave damage, even if the target receives extra damage from armor reduction. However, if an attack modifier increases the total attack damage (e.g. Critical Strike), it affects the cleave damage.
Some abilities which grants conditional attack damage bonuses may or may not be included in the cleave damage. The following list of abilities are considered by cleave:
- 1 Requires talent.
- 2a Requires .
- 2b Requires .
- 3 is not affected by .
- Cleave damage cannot be amplified with outgoing spell damage amplification and cannot spell lifesteal.
- Can be amplified by incoming spell damage amplification.
- Cleave damage is reduced by Damage Block.
- The complete area is shaped like an isosceles trapezoid in front of the hero.
- Fully stacks with other sources of cleaves. Each source of cleave works completely independent.
- Does not cleave upon attacking wards, buildings or allied units. Wards and buildings are unaffected by cleave.
- Despite the visual effect, cleave damage is applied instantly in the whole area.
The following heroes have a talent that grants them cleave.
|Bonus||Level 10||Level 15||Level 20||Level 25|
Splash is in some ways the ranged version of cleave. It works similarly as cleave, with the main difference being the damage is typically dealt in a circle around the attacked unit, instead of a trapezoid in front of the attacking unit.
Splash does not affect the primary target, and it cannot miss when hitting secondary targets. However, if an attack misses, no splash damage is applied within the radius. Splash damage works with attack modifiers the same way as cleave does.
- Splash Radius: 250
Splash Damage: 100%
Passive ability. Splashes damage based on how much the primary target took. Deals physical damage.
- Splash Radius: 275
Splash Damage: 40%/60%/80%/100%
Active ability. Splashes damage around the target unit. Deals physical damage.
- Damage Radius: 400
Active ability. Ability values are based on .
Besides Cleave and Splash, there are some unique attack-based area damage abilities that share some similarities with cleave and splash, or with each other.
The biggest difference to cleave is how its damage area is calculated. While cleave sources is shaped like an isosceles trapezoid, Tree Grab's area is a semicircle on top of a rectangle. The ability's area is also locked on Tiny, being in front of him, no matter how far away the attack target is.
The spill area has a rectangular shape, with a width of 90 and has a length of
550/600/650/700 × ΣAtkRange. The spill area can be further increased by other attack range bonuses. Templar Assassin's position is checked as the projectile hits the target, not upon launching.
- Cleave damage is now affected by armor value as well, instead of only armor type. [ ]
- Cleave now uses a trapezoid-shaped area, instead of a circular area.
- : From 280 radius to 150 starting radius, 520 distance, and 280 end radius.
- : From 240 radius to 150 starting radius, 460 distance, and 240 end radius.
- : From 300 radius to 150 starting radius, 550 distance, and 300 end radius.
- : From 400 radius to 150 starting radius, 600 distance, and 400 end radius.
- : From 450/500/550/600 radius to 150 starting radius, 675/750/825/900 distance, and 450/500/550/600 end radius.
- Cleave damage is no longer affected by spell damage amplification.
- Cleave damage can no longer spell lifesteal.