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Wraith King

Death is when a unit's health reaches 0. When a unit dies, certain ability effects can be triggered, and certain debuffs can be dispelled.


Effects Applied Definition Examples
  • Most ability debuffs are dispelled upon death. For certain exceptions, please refer to the ability's respective notes.
Cannot Act
  • Stops and prevents all active abilities orders and item casts. Attempts to cast order result in an error message: Dead.
  • Passive abilities (e.g. Talent Talents) are not disabled, with some exceptions.
Unrestricted Abilities
  • Only abilities tagged with DOTA_ABILITY_BEHAVIOR_UNRESTRICTED can be used while dead.

Solar Guardian Land icon Solar Guardian Land Infest icon Infest

Units Expiring
  • Generally summoned units expiring are considered dead and do not disappear instantly.
  • When a unit dies and it does not trigger death, it Reincarnates.
Reincarnation icon Reincarnation
  • After a hero dies, it comes back to life after an amount of time, based on its level.
  • Only heroes, Animal Courier Radiant minimap icon Couriers and Roshan icon Roshan can respawn.
On-death Effects Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Vengeance Aura icon Vengeance Illusion

Units Expiring[]

Main Article: Summons

Generally, when summoned units expire, if they have a death animation, they die and do not disappear. Losing regular summons is usually not a big deal, since they provide rather low bounties, they expire and they can be resummoned after a short while.



Reincarnation takes priority over respawning, Reincarnation sources respawn the unit at its death location after its effect delay, and have the following priority:

Reincarnation icon ReincarnationAegis of the Immortal icon Reincarnation

Reincarnation Sources


Aegis of the Immortal ability icon
There is no description for this ability.
Effect Delay: 5
Cooldown symbol
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
This Talent talent is available and it is not bound to any ability.

  • Grants the hero Reincarnation.
  • Has the cooldown following values:
    • 200/250/300
  • Reincarnation cannot be prevented in any way. If a hero dies while it is off-cooldown, it is used.
    • Fully stacks with other Reincarnation sources, with the Talent talent always triggering first when off-cooldown.
  • Revives with full health and mana. Does not resets the cooldowns of items and abilities.
  • Provides 1800 Daytime daytime and 800 Nighttime nighttime ground vision respectively at the hero's death location during its delay.
  • The buff icon shows a cooldown whenever the Reincarnation is used.
    • The cooldown is not affected by any cooldown reduction and cooldown resets sources.

No hero has this talent.


Fountain invulnerability

An invulnerable Primal Beast minimap icon Primal Beast upon respawning.

After the first spawn, a hero is not created again. However, it respawns. After a hero dies, it comes back to life after an amount of time, based on its level. The maximum respawn time is reached on level 25. Only the following units can respawn: Heroes, Animal Courier Radiant minimap icon Couriers and Roshan icon Roshan.

Upon respawning, the hero gets instantly moved to the fountain area, facing 45° toward the northeast or the southwest, if they belong to the Radiant icon Radiant or Dire icon Dire faction respectively. The hero's health and mana are replenished. Cooldowns are unaffected and buffs and debuffs are not cleared upon respawning.

The hero also turns invulnerable and untargetable, which lasts until the respawning hero is issued a command, preventing spawn-camping. The invulnerability is provided by Rejuvenation Aura icon Rejuvenation Aura. Commands include any regular unit orders like moving, attacking, and casting abilities, as well as shop interactions like buying and selling items.

Respawn Time[]

  • Total respawn time can be defined as
    • Base Respawn Time [?]
      • Set Respawn Time [?]
    • + Buyback Respawn Time Increase
    • ± Other Flat Bonus Respawn Time

The hero respawn times can be seen in the following table, starting from 12s and increasing up until level 25, which will be at 100s.
Respawn time is 25% faster in Turbo Mode.

LVL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25+
12s 15s 18s 21s 24s 26s 28s 30s 32s 34s 36s 44s 46s 48s 50s 52s 54s 65s 70s 75s 80s 85s 90s 95s 100s
9s 12s 14s 16s 18s 20s 21s 23s 24s 26s 27s 33s 35s 36s 38s 39s 41s 49s 53s 57s 60s 64s 68s 72s 75s
Respawn Time Changing Abilities
  • Buyback used icon
    Next Respawn Time Increase: 25
    Neutral Set Respawn Time: 26
    The buyback penalty is applied on top of the respawn time, unless affected by the aforementioned Reincarnation sources. Furthermore, dying to neutral creeps sets respawn time to a minimum of 26s.
  • Unknown icon
    Base Respawn Time: 60
    Respawn Time Increase per Level: 6
    Animal Courier Radiant minimap icon Couriers level up with their owners and respawn at its faction's fountain after its respawn time.
  • Divided We Stand icon
    The 26 seconds minimum respawn time does not apply to Meepo if a clone dies to neutral creeps.
  • Vengeance Aura icon
    Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade
    Duration: Respawn Time
    Upon death, Vengeful Spirit creates a strong illusion that deals and takes full damage and can cast all of her abilities. If the illusion is alive when Vengeful Spirit respawn, she will take its place. The illusion disappears once Vengeful Spirit respawns, or when it reaches the normal death duration. The buyback time increase penalty does not increase the illusion's duration.
  • Reincarnation icon
    Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade
    Respawn Time Reduction: 10%
    Affected ally heroes have their respawn time reduced by 10%.


Respawn Time Reduction
Talent icon
There is no description for this ability.
Respawn Time Reduction: Varies

  • Reduces the hero's respawn time.
  • Cannot reduce respawn time below 1 second.
  • The following values exist:
    • 15/20/25/30/35/40/45/50/60

No hero has this talent.


Main Article: Gold

A hero loses the following amount of unreliable gold every time it dies. Dying does not take away reliable gold.

  • expr
    GoldLoss = NetWorth/40


Main Article: Buyback

Buyback used icon
No Target
While dead, the player has the option to buy their hero back into the match, spending money in order to instantly respawn at the fountain.
Base Gold Cost: 200
Networth Gold Divisor: 13
Next Respawn Time Increase: 25
Neutral Set Respawn Time: 26
Cooldown symbol

  • The buyback button appears on the hero portrait while the hero is dead.
  • Buyback only takes from reliable gold first, and then from unreliable gold.
  • Buyback has a base cost of 200 Gold, plus a fraction of the hero's networth, rounded down, using the following formula:
  • The respawn time increase affects the next respawn time. Does not count deaths with Reincarnation.


Buyback displays

Buyback status is displayed in 3 different locations, on the HP bar while dead, in the gold tooltip at any time, and below the hero icon while dead

The BUYBACK button is only accessible while dead. It is located on the right side of the death bar. The death bar replaces the HP bar while the hero is dead and shows the respawn time. On its right, the Buyback button is located.

The button has 3 different statuses:

  • When ready, the button is grey and heightened. On the button, it reads  BUYBACK  in white, and it also displays the current buyback Gold Gold cost.
  • When having not enough gold, the button is red and pushed back. The BUYBACK text turns red, and it still displays the current Gold Gold cost.
  • When on cooldown, it looks like when having not enough gold, but the gold cost is replaced by a Cooldown symbol cooldown timer, showing the remaining cooldown.

Alt+Keyboard White Mouse Right Right Click a hero's portrait above prints the respawn time if the hero is dead.

The buyback status can also be seen by allies, below the hero icon at the top bar. If the flag has a golden border, that hero has buyback ready and can use it. If there is no golden border, the player has either does not enough gold or is on cooldown. Like the death bar, this is only visible while dead.

Lastly, the buyback status is also displayed in the gold tooltip, which can be accessed by hovering the mouse over the gold. It displays the currently required amount of gold for the buyback, its cooldown status, how much gold the player still needs for the buyback, or how much surplus gold they have.

When a hero buys back, a string sound plays which is audible to everyone, and a gold stack icon appears below the hero's top bar icon, which stays there for several seconds, visible to everyone. The hero also responds to the buyback. Unlike their responses on a regular respawn, which are only audible to the player, a buyback response is audible to everyone. This means no matter what setting a player uses, there is always a cue revealing that a hero bought back.

On-death Effects[]

On-death ability effects are divided into two categories:

  • Triggered by True-Death - Can be triggered only when the unit dies. Does not trigger with Reincarnation sources.
  • Triggered by Psuedo-Death - Can be triggered either when the unit dies or when they have Reincarnation sources (e.g. Aegis of the Immortal icon Aegis of the Immortal)

Triggered by True-Death[]

These on-death effects can only be triggered by death. Reincarnation sources do not trigger them at all. Please refer to the ability notes for each of the abilities' on-death effect(s).

1 Requires Talent talent.
2a Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2b Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.

Triggered by Psuedo-Death[]

These on-death effects can be both triggered by Reincarnation sources and by the unit's death. Please refer to the ability notes for each of the abilities' on-death effect(s).

1 Requires Talent talent.
2a Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2b Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.

Instant Kill[]

Main Article: Damage Type

This mechanic kill units without the actual use of damage. Similar to HP Removal, the instant kill effect ignores almost all damage manipulations and can only be prevented by a few abilities.

The most prominent example that uses this mechanic is expiring summoned units and illusions, which are killed once their set duration ends. Summons and illusions that get replaced on cast are killed this way as well. Min health via damage manipulation does not prevent instant kill.

Abilities that prevent or bypass instant killing usually have special interactions hard-coded into the abilities.

Forced Kill[]

The following abilities use the instant kill mechanic to forcefully remove or kill its unit(s) from the game when certain conditions are met.

Forced Instant Kill Effects

Preventing Death[]

(e.g.Borrowed Time icon Borrowed Time, Shallow Grave icon Shallow Grave, False Promise icon False Promise and Battle Trance icon Battle Trance).

Min Health[]

Min health demo

Lina minimap icon Lina casting Laguna Blade icon Laguna Blade on a low health Dazzle minimap icon Dazzle affected by Shallow Grave icon Shallow Grave and Blade Mail icon Blade Mail.
Lina takes the full Laguna Blade damage.

Minimum Health, also prevents a unit from dying like damage negation. However, instead of directly reducing or negating damage, this mechanic manipulates the health of the unit. The MODIFIER_PROPERTY_MIN_HEALTH property prevents a unit's health from dropping below the value it is set to. It does not affect the damage itself, meaning on-damage effects still reacts on the full damage, and not how much damage was dealt with effectively, so they can be triggered normally.

Does not prevent instant kill sources (e.g. Culling Blade icon Culling Blade) in any way.

Min health sources have the following priority:

Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Reincarnation icon Wraith DelayShallow Grave icon Shallow Grave / Battle Trance icon Battle Trance

1 Requires Talent talent.
2a Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2b Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.

Kill Credit Manipulation[]

Priority order

Stats Bonuses from Kills[]

1 Requires Talent talent.
2a Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2b Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.