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Strength attribute symbol
Agility attribute symbol
Intelligence attribute symbol
21 + 2.4
18 + 1.9
25 + 3.8
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 20 482 1208 2000 2308
+0.25 +2.35 +5.71 +9.31 +10.71
Mana 80 380 1016 1616 1868
+0 +1.25 +3.91 +6.41 +7.46
Armor 0 3 7.43 12.6 14.52
Magic Resist 25% 27.5% 32.82% 37.82% 39.92%
Damage Block -






Attack Rate 0.59/s 0.69/s 0.85/s 1.03/s 1.1/s
Attack Range Ranged 600 (750)
Attack Speed ▶️ 100 (1.7s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.35 + 0.85
Projectile Speed 900
Move Speed ▶️ 290 (Nighttime 320)
Turn Rate Takes 0.262s to turn 180°. 0.6
Collision Size 27
Bound Radius 24
Vision Range (G) 1800 (Nighttime 800)
Gib Type Default
Internal npc_dota_hero_grimstroke
Disables enemies with a swipe of his brush.
The peoples of Ashkavor gave their lives for the newly Ascended, one unlike any Ascended before him. Grimstroke's lust for power had tainted the sacred ritual, and the corrupted ink consumed him — along with his kin. The defiled remnant of his former beloved remains at his side, agonizing those caught in this Phantom's Embrace. Shrouded by a shadowy Ink Swell, Grimstroke retaliates with lashing black tendrils, while a Stroke of Fate forms under his brush, darkening the land and painting a Dark Portrait of an unfortunate foe. Drawing on Ashkavorian rituals of protection, Grimstroke twists the ancient arts to Soulbind foes together, so that the sufferings and vexes of one will be felt equally by the other.
Stroke of Fate
Phantom's Embrace
Ink Swell
Ink Swell
Dark Portrait
Dark Portrait
Roles: Support Support Nuker Nuker Disabler Disabler Escape Escape
Complexity: Hero ComplexityHero Complexity
Adjectives: Flying, Undead, Nose
Legs ( 0 )


Grimstroke minimap iconGrimstroke
▶️ "I'll paint this world as I see fit."
The people of Ashkavor crowded around the temple square, eager to witness the ascension of their new guardian -- to stand near the man as he bound their souls to his own. But as his final brush strokes fell against the runestone, and the bond of a new Ascended One was forged, everyone -- even those who'd stayed in their homes -- could sense that something had gone terribly wrong.

He knew the cause instantly. The droplets of ichor he'd procured to amplify the potency of his inkpots had instead contaminated them, and the power of the binding spell he'd cast now threatened to consume him. An inky corruption snaked upward from the runestone, along the handle of his brush, soon overtaking his hands. From there it spread quickly. Once it overcame his face and his mouth, he couldn't have screamed even if he'd wanted to.

All of his life he'd calculated on how to attain ever greater powers than the limits presented by his teachers would allow--going so far as to break the sacred prohibition against augmenting the inks. Indeed, with the Wellspring of the Ascended Bond open to him, he felt a measure of power coursing into his soul like he'd never imagined. His greatest triumph was upon him, if he could only survive it.

He drew deep from the power of the bond, pushing back against the corrupted ink flow. A great moan filled the air -- the collective cry of his people. Some swayed on their feet. The weakest collapsed. Many tried to run. And still deeper he pulled from their bloodline reservoir. But it wasn't enough to stop the ink tide.

It was only when the breath trapped in his lungs began to fail him, and the inkpool darkness fully encased him, that he saw his way out. The bond he'd made with the Ashkavoran people -- his people -- meant to be drawn upon only in service of their protection... It flowed two ways.

With a final surge of strength -- this time directed by more than just blind repulsion -- he pushed the ink torrent into the bond itself.

Slowly, he felt the tide retreat... and heard the awful wails of his people as the corruption in turn rolled over them. When at last the ink relented, his eyes opened upon a world changed. The Ashkavoran people as he knew them were gone. Every last soul was transformed into terrifying shades of their former selves -- comprised no longer of blood and bone, only viscid, tainted ink.


Stroke of Fate icon
Grimstroke paints a path of ink with his brush, damaging and slowing enemies. The damage is increased with each enemy the ink hits.
Cast Animation: 0.6+0.5
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 1400 (Talent 2400)
Wave Distance: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 1400 (Talent 2400)
Start Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 120
End Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 160
Base Damage: 100/160/220/280 (Talent 175/280/385/490)
Damage Increment per Hit: 20/30/40/50 (Talent 35/52.5/70/87.5)
Move Speed Slow: 50%/60%/70%/80%
Slow Duration: 1.75
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Modifiers [?]
The corruptive force of Grimstroke's ink, drawn from the reservoir of his fallen people, consumes any enemy caught in its path.

  • The ink travels at a speed of 2000.
  • With the travel distance and end radius, the ink takes 0.7 (Talent 1.2) seconds to reach max distance and can hit units up to 1560 (Talent 2560) range away.
  • The ink trail starts 120 range towards Grimstroke's left side and travels towards the targeted point.
    • This means the ink's travel direction is not based on the caster's facing direction, but instead on the angle between the aforementioned points.
    • Self-cast cursor (black) Portrait-casting automatically launches Stroke of Fate to the right of Grimstroke's facing direction.
  • Stroke of Fate first applies the damage, then the debuff.
  • The damage increment has no cap and counts any valid units hit by the ink.
  • Plays an initial sound and particles upon start casting, visible and audible to everyone.
  • The projectile provides ground vision within its effect radius around it as it travels. This vision does not last.
    • Provides a 2-second 250 radius flying vision at every hit enemy's location and at the end location of the projectile.

Phantom's Embrace icon
Summons a phantom that moves quickly towards the target, latching to it when she arrives. Once latched, the phantom damages and silences. If she survives the full latch duration she rends her victim for heavy damage and refreshes Phantom's Embrace's cooldown.

Hero attacks against the phantom count as 3 attacks each.
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 900
Hero Attacks to Destroy: 2/2/3/3 (Talent 3/3/4/4)
Creep Attacks to Destroy: 6/6/9/9 (Talent 9/9/12/12)
Damage per Second: 10/20/30/40 (Talent 75/85/95/105)
Rend Damage: 120/200/280/360
Latch Duration: 5
Cooldown Skip per Phantom Returned: 36/30/24/18
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Partially pierces debuff immunity.
Shared vision pierces debuff immunity.
Blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Blocked upon cast.
Cannot be disjointed.
Cannot be disjointed by enemies.
Can be disjointed by the caster while returning, resulting in the cooldown not being reset.
Modifiers [?]
Grimstroke holds no sorrow for the downfall of his people. Only for Yaovhi, she who was most dear to him, does he feel even a semblance of longing.

Grimstroke Phantom model
This unit has no mana.
Level 2
Duration Ability Duration 5
Armor Armor 0
Magic Resistance 0%
Status Resistance 0
Turn Rate Takes 0.157s to turn 180°. 1
Collision Size 18
Bound Radius 8
Vision Range (G) 200
Bounty Gold 10
Experience 10
Notes Uncontrollable

  • The Grimstroke Phantom icon Phantom instantly spawns ≈150 distance in front of Grimstroke, and travels to the target at a speed of 1150 upon the next server tick.
  • The Phantom is attackable as soon as it is spawned, so it can be killed before it reaches its target.
  • Heroes and creeps deal 50/50/33.33/33.33 (Talent 33.33/33.33/25/25) and 16.67/16.67/11.11/11.11 (Talent 11.11/11.11/8.33/8.33) damage respectively to the Phantom.
  • The Phantom latches onto the target when it comes within 130 range of it. Once latched, it always stays 130 range in front of the target.
  • The Phantom is instantly killed in the following conditions:
    • When its target dies while traveling.
    • When its target turns invisible, including while the Phantom is still traveling towards it.
    • When its target turns invulnerable or hidden, but not while traveling.
      • If the Phantom is in traveling, it will be killed when arriving at the invulnerable or hidden unit.
  • The Phantom returns to Grimstroke at a speed of 1150 upon expiring, when its target dies, or after 10 damage instances.
    • Does not return when it is killed or instantly killed in the aforementioned conditions.
    • Chronosphere icon Chronosphere instantly causes already latched Phantoms to return to their caster, and freezes traveling Phantoms.
  • While attached, the Phantom silences its target and deals damage to it.
    • The damage per second and rend damage component on the affected target is sourced to Grimstroke, not the Phantom.
    • Therefore, the damage is affected by outgoing damage manipulation and spell lifesteal.
    • Deals 5/10/15/20 (Talent 37.5/42.5/47.5/52.5) damage in 0.5-second intervals, starting immediately upon reaching the target, resulting in 10 instances.
    • Can deal up to 170/300/430/560 (Talent 495/625/755/885) damage to each latched enemy, including the final rend damage (before reductions).
  • Successive casts on the target fully stack and share one debuff.
    • The damage per second is increased for each stack. All Phantom instances on the same target share the same damage interval and are summed up into one instance per interval.
  • The Phantom resets the cooldown of the Phantom's Embrace upon having fully returned to Grimstroke.
    • With multiple Phantoms, each fully returned Phantom resets the cooldown of the ability independently.
  • The ability itself provides no vision, but the Phantom provides 200 shared vision and ground vision over the target while flying towards it, and while latched.
    • The granted vision instantly stops once the Phantom unlatches itself from the target and while traveling back to the caster.
  • The Phantom is untargetable and uncontrollable while it returns to the caster.
  • Only the Grimstroke Phantom icon Phantom returned from the primary target refreshes the ability's cooldown.

Ink Swell icon
Allies / Enemies
Grimstroke shrouds an allied unit in ink, increasing its movement speed. Enemies in range of the allied unit are damaged with inky tendrils over time. After 5 seconds it triggers, applying damage and stun in an area around the unit in proportion to how long ink tendril was near any hero.
Cast Animation: 0.15+0.73/0.86
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 500/600/700/800
Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 375 (Talent 525)
Move Speed Bonus: 20% (Talent 32%)
Tendrils Damage per Second: 25/40/55/70 (With Aghanim's Shard 32.5/52/71.5/91)
Expire Max Damage: 90/180/270/360 (With Aghanim's Shard 117/234/351/468)
Max Stun Duration: 1.3/1.8/2.3/2.8
Max Power Duration: 2.5
Buff Duration: 5
With Aghanim's Shard Tendrils Heal Per Second: 9.75/15.6/21.45/27.3
With Aghanim's Shard Expire Max Heal: 35.1/70.2/105.3/140.4
With Aghanim's Shard Creep Spell Lifesteal Multiplier: 0.8
Cooldown symbol
 27/24/21/18 (Talent 23/20/17/14)
Mana symbol
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Causes Ink Swell to deal 30% more damage and heal the target for 30% of the damage Ink Swell deals. Upon expiration, the target will receive a strong dispel.
Modifiers [?]
Now that the rise of the ink tide no longer threatens to overwhelm Grimstroke, its tendrils of power are never far from his hand.

  • Grimstroke has a different ability animation and longer cast backswing of 0.86 when self-casting.
  • Ink Swell first applies the damage, then the debuff.
  • The tendrils deal 5/8/11/14 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 6.5/10.4/14.3/18.2) damage in 0.2-second intervals, starting immediately as the buff is placed, resulting in up to 25 instances.
    • Can damage up to 125/200/275/350 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 162.5/260/357.5/455) damage to a single unit (before reductions).
    • Ink Swell also heals the affected ally based on the same damage intervals.
  • The ability values are based on the number of damage instances the tendrils applied per enemy hero within the radius upon losing the buff or when the Ink Explosion icon Ink Explosion sub-ability is used, regardless of how much damage the target(s) actually receive.
    • This means to reach the max power, at least one enemy hero must be damaged throughout the whole duration of Ink Swell.
    • Treats clones as heroes, illusions and creep-heroes as creep.
    • The ability values reaches max power after 13 instances.
  • Each damage instance increases the max power as follows:
    • Increases the stun duration by 0.1/0.14/0.18/0.22 seconds per damage instance applied.
    • Increases the expire damage by 7.2/14.4/21.6/28.8 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 9.36/18.72/28.08/37.44) per instance applied.
  • Dispelling the debuff prematurely or casting the Ink Explosion icon Ink Explosion sub-ability still applies the expire damage and stun within 375 (Talent 525) radius, centered on the affected unit, based on the damage instances applied up to that point.
    • However, if the affected unit dies, Ink Swell does not apply the expire damage and stun within the radius.
  • The expire damage and stun only apply when there is at least one enemy hero within 375 (Talent 525) radius.
  • Ink Swell now heals the affected ally based on the tendril instances per enemy hero hit, and also when the buff expires following the ability notes above.
    • Both components always heal for the full amount per instance, regardless of how much damage the enemy target(s) actually takes.
    • Can heal up to 48.75/78/107.25/136.5 of the affected ally's health per damaged enemy over its full duration.
  • The tendrils' healing value on the affected ally can still be subjected to heal manipulation.
    • However, the heal per enemy at the end of the stun accumulation time utilizes spell lifesteal.
    • Stacks additively with other sources of spell lifesteal on the affected ally, and can still be subjected to spell lifesteal manipulation sourced to Grimstroke.
  • Ink Swell first applies the tendrils heal instance per enemy hero hit, the spell lifesteal as expire max heal, then the strong dispel.
    • The strong dispel at the end is applied no matter how the buff is removed.

Ink Explosion
Ink Explosion icon
No Target
Trigger an existing Ink Swell.
Max Duration: 5
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol

  • Replaces Ink Swell icon Ink Swell until the sub-ability is used or the debuff disappears.

Dark Portrait
Dark Portrait icon
Creates an ink illusion of a target enemy hero. Illusion is spell immune, and has bonus movement speed and attack damage.
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 1200
Number of Illusions: 1
Illusions Dark Portrait icon Dark Portrait Illusion
Damage Dealt: 150%
Damage Taken: 350%
Move Speed Bonus: 30%
Magic Resistance Bonus: 95%
Duration: 25
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Requires drafting both Grimstroke minimap icon Grimstroke and Soulbind icon Soulbind to be unlocked.
No dark creation is beyond the skill of the master's hand.
Illusion skin 6

Dark Portrait illusion as they appear to allies and enemies.

  • The Dark Portrait illusion is a strong illusion, meaning it cannot be instantly killed by abilities that normally kill illusions instantly.
  • The created illusion is visually distinguishable from the real hero for allies and enemies.
    • The illusion spawns 58 range away randomly on the north, south, east, and west from the target, regardless of the target's collision size.
    • The illusion gains its debuff immunity and movement speed bonus through a buff, so it is possible for enemies to check the buff and Ping the remaining duration of the illusion.
    • The illusion has a
      2 × IllusionLVL bounty.
  • Successive casts do not replace existing Dark Portrait illusions.
  • Stacks multiplicatively with other Magic Resistance magic resistance sources.
    • The illusion will have a base magic resistance to 96.25% and every 10 points of Intelligence attribute symbol intelligence the illusion have further increases the total magic resistance by 0.05%. [?]

Soulbind icon
Binds a targeted enemy hero to its nearest allied hero within the bind radius, preventing both from moving away from each other. Any unit-targeted ability that either bound hero receives also gets cast on the other hero. If the bind is broken before the duration expires, the initial target will be bound to its nearest allied hero in the radius.
Cast Animation: 0.15+0.5
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 700/800/900
Max Bound Units: 2
Latch Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 600
Break Distance: 700
Duration: 6/7/8
Talent Bound Spell Damage Amp: 25%
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade:
Grants the Dark Portrait ability.
Pierces debuff immunity.
Does not connect to secondary debuff immune units. If the primary target is debuff immune, does not connect to other units at all. Shared vision, exposure and spell copying fully pierces debuff immunity.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Blocked fully only when primary target.
Cannot be reflected.
Modifiers [?]
The Ascended were chosen sons of Ashkavor, granted immense power by the bonds forged between their own souls and those they were charged with protecting. In the years that followed the ruination of his kin, Grimstroke discovered much more sinister applications for the binding rituals…

  • A list of unique interactions with Soulbind can be found here.
  • The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
  • If either enemy manages to break the binding link, the debuff stays active on the primary target and immediately leashes the next valid enemy target within the latch radius to them.
  • The ability animations are based on and are affected by status resistance. This affects the following things on both the primary and the secondary target:
    • expr
      StatusResistance1 > StatusResistance2
      • The chain disappears, and the primary target is no longer affected by Soulbind.
      • However, the secondary target is still fully affected by Soulbind's effects.
    • expr
      StatusResistance2 > StatusResistance1
      • The chain disappears, and the secondary target is no longer affected by Soulbind.
      • The primary target will still be fully affected by Soulbind, and leashes the next valid enemy target following the ability notes above.
  • A valid unit may only be affected by one Soulbind at a time.
    • Successive casts on the same primary target, or on the secondary target refreshes the duration on both targets.
    • Successive casts on a third target within the range of the already linked two do not link the third valid target to any other two until the previous Soulbind expires.
  • The duplicated ability cast also ignores all sources of Spell Reflection on the secondary target, this means the duplicated cast cannot be reflected again.
    • Most ability effects are first applied to the secondary target, then the primary target.
    • Charge-based abilities only consume a single charge when the ability is also cast on the secondary target.
  • The duplicated ability interacts with spell immunity as follows:
    • Abilities that pierce debuff immunity when reflected are duplicated on the secondary target, which is stated in the ability's notes respectively.
    • Certain abilities that do not pierce debuff immunity will still be cast on the bound debuff immune target, applying other of its ability effects, despite not affecting them.


Hero Talents
+75% Stroke of Fate icon Stroke of Fate Damage25+150 Ink Swell icon Ink Swell Radius
+3 Hits to Kill Phantom's Embrace icon Phantom20+1000 Stroke of Fate icon Stroke of Fate Cast Range
+12% Ink Swell icon Ink Swell Movement Speed15+25% Soulbind icon Soulbind Spell Damage
-4s Ink Swell icon Ink Swell Cooldown10+65 Phantom's Embrace icon Phantom's Embrace DPS

Recent Changes[]

Main Articles: Changelogs, Old Abilities and Hero Lore
  • Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard upgrade:
    • Ink Swell icon Ink Swell
      • Reduced tendrils damage per second bonus from 40% to 30%.
      • Reduced expire max damage bonus from 40% to 30%.
      • Reduced damage as spell lifesteal from 40% to 30%.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon Tango helps Grimstroke stay in lane.
  • Clarity icon Clarity regenerates mana throughout the game to fuel Stroke of Fate.
  • Iron Branch icon Iron Branch gives attributes for little cost, and can either be combined with Tango icon Tango for more health regeneration or built into a Magic Wand icon Magic Wand.

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon Boots of Speed increase movement speed to get Grimstroke in position.

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon Magic Wand gives attributes, as well as more health and mana restoration.
  • Glimmer Cape icon Glimmer Cape allows Grimstroke to escape bad situations, and sneak up on enemies for a stun with Ink Swell (cast either on himself or his ally). Since Grimstroke is commonly played as a support, the item is highly cost-effective for him.

Late game:

  • Scythe of Vyse icon Scythe of Vyse can hex two enemies at once when used with Soulbind. It also prevents opponents from killing the phantom, thus forcing them to take full damage.
  • Aether Lens icon Aether Lens increases Grimstroke's already long cast ranges, and gives him extra mana regeneration. The cast range bonus is significant for Grimstroke as winning teamfights rely on casting all spell combos successfully. The range keeps him safely in the backlines.
  • Aeon Disk icon Aeon Disk helps Grimstroke survive with strong dispel and damage reduction so that he can keep using abilities in fights.

Situational items:

  • Force Staff icon Force Staff helps Grimstroke's chase down enemies after they have been slowed. It also serves as a good escape for him in a pinch.
  • Dagon icon Dagon adds burst magical damage and can be cast on two targets at once when combined with Soulbind.
  • Ethereal Blade icon Ethereal Blade works with Soulbind to amplify magical damage dealt to two enemies at once as well as to disarm them so that they cannot attack the phantom.

Dota Plus Progress[]

Main Article: Hero Challenges

Relics track a hero's actions and statistics, and display in-game notifications when a milestone is reached. They are only available to Dota Plus subscribers.

Relics Voice Lines
Relic Rare icon
Three Hero Stroke of Fate icon Stroke of Fate Hits
Relic Rare icon
Three Hero Ink Swell icon Ink Swells
Relic Rare icon
Max Stun Ink Swell icon Ink Swells
Relic intelligence icon
Full Duration Phantom's Embrace icon Phantom's Embraces
Relic intelligence icon
Slow Duration
Relic intelligence icon
Stuns Leading to Kills
Relic intelligence icon
Silences Leading to Kills
Relic intelligence icon
Dominating Kill Streaks
Relic intelligence icon
Dust of Appearance icon Dusts Leading to Kills
Relic intelligence icon
Enemy Observer and Sentry Wards icon Wards Kills
Relic intelligence icon
Observer and Sentry Wards icon Wards Placed
Relic intelligence icon
Kill Assists
Relic intelligence icon
Plus Hero Badge 1
Plus Hero Badge 2
Plus Hero Badge 3
Plus Hero Badge 4
Plus Hero Badge 5
Plus Hero Badge 6
  • ▶️ Aaah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, my masterpiece!



  • ▶️ "More art than science." is a reference to the common phrase "More of an art than a science", when referring to an activity or field that is not bound by clearly-defined rules and is open to subjective interpretation.
  • ▶️ "At least you died with a smile on your face." is a reference to album of the label "Bella Union".
  • ▶️ "Welcome to the real void." perhaps a reference to the film "Matrix" - "Welcome to the real world".
  • After killing Lich minimap icon Lich he says ▶️ "Another self-styled king meets his end." perhaps a reference to the Lich-King in the fantasy world "Warcraft".
  • ▶️ "Brush beats scythe." is a reference to game "Rock, paper, scissors".


External links[]