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Grimstroke icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
21 + 2.4
18 + 1.9
25 + 3.8
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 620 1280 2000 2280
+0.25 +2.35 +5.71 +9.31 +10.71
Mana 75 375 1011 1611 1863
+0 +1.25 +3.91 +6.41 +7.46
Armor 0 3 7.43 12.6 14.52
Damage Block -
Magic Resistance 25%
Status Resistance 0%
Damage 21‒25 46‒50 99‒103 149‒153 170‒174
Attack Rate 0.59/s 0.69/s 0.85/s 1.03/s 1.1/s
Attack Range Ranged 600 (800)
Attack Speed ▶️ 100 (1.7s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.35+0.85
Projectile Speed 900
Movement Speed ▶️ 290
Turn Rate Takes 0.175s to turn 180°. 0.6
Collision Size 24
Vision Range (G) 1800 • 800
Legs 0
Gib Type Default
Ability Upgrades
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Dark Portrait
Ink Swell
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: ★★☆


Grimstroke minimap icon.pngGrimstroke
▶️ "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.png
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+0.63
Cast Range: 1400 (Talent 2400)
Wave Distance: 1400 (Talent 2400)
Start Radius: 120
End Radius: 160
Base Damage: 100/160/220/280 (Talent 150/240/330/420)
Damage Increment per Hit: 20/30/40/50 (Talent 30/45/60/75)
Move Speed Slow: 50%/60%/70%/80%
Slow Duration: 1.5
Cooldown: 11/9/7/5
Mana: 100/110/120/130
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).png 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 increasing damage has no cap and counts any unit 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 160 radius ground vision at every hit enemy's location and at the end location of the projectile, which lasts for 2 seconds.

Grimstroke Phantom model.png
This unit has no mana.
Level 2
Duration Ability Duration 5
Armor Armor 0
Magic Resistance 0%
Status Resistance 0%
Turn Rate Takes 0.105s to turn 180°. 1
Collision Size 8
Vision Range (G) 200
Bounty Gold 10
Experience 10
Model Scale 1.3
Notes Uncontrollable

Phantom's Embrace icon.png
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 Animation: 0+0
Cast Range: 900
Hero Attacks to Destroy: 2/2/3/3 (Talent 3/3/4/4)
Non-Hero Attacks to Destroy: 6/6/9/9 (Talent 9/9/12/12)
Damage per Second: 10/20/30/40 (Talent 60/70/80/90)
Rend Damage: 120/200/280/360
Latch Duration: 5
Cooldown: 36/30/24/18
Mana: 80/100/120/140
Does not pierce spell immunity.
Turning spell immune instantly kills latched Phantoms, and all Phantoms that currently fly towards the target.
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.


  • The Unknown Unit icon.png Phantom travels at a speed of 750.
  • The phantom is attackable (A or Keyboard White Mouse Left.png Left Click) as soon as it is launched, so it can be killed before it reaches its target.
  • 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 instantly dies when its target turns invisible or spell immune, including while the phantom is still traveling towards it.
    • A latched phantom also instantly dies when its target turns invulnerable or hidden, but not while traveling.
  • When the phantom enters a Chronosphere while traveling, it freezes and continues traveling once the Chronosphere ends.
    • If the phantom enters a Chronosphere while already latched on the target, it immediately starts returning to the caster as if it expired.
  • The phantom returns to Grimstroke upon expiring, or when its target dies. It does not return when it gets killed.
  • While attached, the phantom silences its target and deals damage to it.
    • Deals 5/10/15/20 (Talent 30/35/40/45) 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 420/550/680/810) damage to each latched enemy, including the final rend damage (before reductions).
  • The phantom refreshes the cooldown of the ability upon having fully returned to the caster.
    • The cooldown also gets refreshed if the target dies at any time during Phantom's Embrace, even if it dies to the phantom itself.
  • The phantom provides shared vision over the target while flying towards it, and while latched. The vision instantly stops once letting go of the target.
    • The phantom itself has 200 ground vision as well, which it provides while traveling to the target and while latched.
    • However, this vision is not applied while the phantom travels back to the caster.
  • The phantom cannot be interacted with while it returns to the caster.
  • Successive casts on the target fully stack, although all casts share one debuff.
    • The damage per second is increased for each stack. All casts share the same damage interval and are summed up into one instance per interval.
  • When used in combination with Soulbind, only the phantom launched on the primary target can refresh the ability's cooldown.

Ink Swell icon.png
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 3 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: 400/525/650/775
Radius: 375 (Talent 525)
Move Speed Bonus: 10%/12%/14%/16% (Talent 26%/28%/30%/32%)
Tendrils Damage per Second: 25/35/45/55 (With Aghanim's Shard 35/49/63/77)
Expire Max Damage: 90/180/270/360 (With Aghanim's Shard 126/252/378/504)
Max Stun Duration: 1.1/1.9/2.7/3.5
Max Damage/Stun Accumulation Time: 2.5
Buff Duration: 3
With Aghanim's Shard Damage as Heal: 40%
Cooldown: 30/26/22/18 (Talent 25/21/17/13)
Mana: 120/130/140/150
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Causes Ink Swell to deal 40% more damage and heal the target for 40% of the damage Ink Swell deals. Upon expiration, the target will receive a strong dispell.
Partially pierces spell immunity.
Can be cast on spell immune allies.
Does not affect spell immune enemies.
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.


  • Has a longer cast backswing of 0.86 when cast on self, due to a different animation.
  • Ink Swell first applies the damage, then the debuff.
  • The tendrils deal 5/7/9/11 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 7/9.8/12.6/15.4) damage in 0.2-second intervals, starting immediately as the buff is placed, resulting in up to 15 instances.
    • They can deal up to 75/105/135/165 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 105/147/189/231) damage to a single unit (before reductions).
  • The damage and stun upon losing the buff is based on the number of damage instances the tendrils applied to a single enemy hero.
    • This means to reach the maximum damage and stun, at least one enemy hero must be damaged throughout the whole duration of Ink Swell.
    • Only counts damage dealt to real heroes, which excludes illusions and creep-heroes, but includes clones.
    • The actual amount of damage dealt does not matter, only the amount of damage instances applied.
    • The stun duration increases by 0.09/0.15/0.22/0.28 seconds, and the damage by 7.2/14.4/21.6/28.8 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 10.08/20.16/30.24/40.32) for each instance applied, reaching the maximum after 13 instances.
  • When the debuff is lost prematurely, it still applies the area expire damage and stun, based on the damage instances it dealt up to that point.
    • However, if the ink swelled unit dies, the area expire damage and stun will not apply.
  • The expire damage and stun only apply when there is at least one enemy hero within the area.
  • Recasting Ink Swell on the same target refreshes the duration, without resetting the damage instance counter.
  • With Aghanim's Shard icon.png Aghanim's Shard, the targeted ally also gets healed for each instance of damage as it is dealt.
    • The heal is based on the damage values before any reductions or amplifications, so the amount of damage enemies actually take is irrelevant.
    • The tendrils heal 2.8/3.92/5.04/6.16 health for each instance of damage they deal.
    • The tendrils can heal up to 42/58.8/75.6/92.4 health for each damaged enemy over its full duration.
    • The expire damage can heal the target for up to 50.4/100.8/151.2/201.6 health for each enemy hit by it.
    • The strong dispel at the end is applied no matter how the buff is removed.

Dark Portrait illusion as they appear to allies and enemies.

Dark Portrait
Dark Portrait icon.png
Creates an ink illusion of a target enemy hero. Illusion is spell immune, and has bonus movement speed and attack damage.
Cast Animation: 0+0.54
Cast Range: 1200
Number of Illusions: 1
Illusion Damage Dealt: 150%
Illusion Damage Taken: 300%
Illusion Move Speed Bonus: 30%
Illusion Duration: 25
Cooldown: 35
Mana: 200
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Requires drafting Soulbind to be unlocked.
No dark creation is beyond the skill of the master's hand.


  • The created illusions are visually distinguishable from the real hero for allies and enemies.
  • The illusion spawns 108 range away randomly on the north, south, east, west from the target.
  • The illusion gains its spell 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.

Soulbind icon.png
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: 700/800/900
Latch Radius: 600
Break Distance: 700
Duration: 6/7/8
Cooldown: 100/75/50
Mana: 150/200/250
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade:
Grants the Dark Portrait ability.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Blocked fully only when primary target.
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…


  • The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
  • Only binds the primary target to heroes (excluding illusions, including clones) or creep-heroes. The primary target can be an illusion though.
  • If the enemies manage to break the link, the debuff stays active on the primary target still, and immediately links the next enemy hero within the latch radius to them.
  • Abilities that do not pierce spell immunity when cast this way will still be cast on the linked spell immune targets, but will have no effect on them.
    • Relevant exceptions (abilities with potential to hit more than one target) are:
  • Provides shared vision over both targets, revealing their silhouette when invisible, and seeing what they see.
  • A hero may be affected by only one bond at a time. Recasting Soulbind on the same target, or on the secondary target refreshes the duration on both of them.
    • Casting Soulbind on a third target within range of the already linked two does not link the third hero to any of the other two, until their link expires.
  • For a list of unique interactions with other abilities, see Grimstroke's guide page.


Hero Talents
+50% Stroke of Fate Damage25+150 Ink Swell Radius
+3 Hits to Kill Phantom20+1000 Stroke of Fate Cast Range
+16% Ink Swell Movement Speed15+15% Spell Amplification
-5s Ink Swell Cooldown10+50 Phantom's Embrace DPS

Recent Changes[]

Main Article: Grimstroke/Changelogs
  • Ink Swell
    • Reduced radius from 400 to 375.
    • Increased cooldown from 30/25/20/15 to 30/26/22/18.
  • Stroke of Fate
    • Reduced cast point from 0.8 to 0.6.
    • Reduced projectile speed from 2400 to 2000.
    • Reduced base damage from 120/180/240/300 to 100/160/220/280.
    • Increased damage increment per hit from 18/27/36/45 to 20/30/40/50.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango helps Grimstroke stay in lane.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve keeps Grimstroke alive in the early game.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango helps Grimstroke use his nukes more often.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity regenerates mana throughout the game to fuel Stroke of Fate.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives attributes for little cost, and can either be combined with Tango icon.png Tango for more health regeneration or built into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.

Early game:

Mid game:

  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots makes up for Grimstroke's high mana usage. It can also be dissembled into Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens or Aeon Disk icon.png Aeon Disk.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives attributes, as well as more health and mana restoration.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png 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:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter gives new very powerful and scalable single-target ability Dark Portrait that can be casted on two targets when combined with Soulbind.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png 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.

Situational items:

  • Force Staff icon.png 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.
  • Aether Lens icon.png 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.png Aeon Disk helps Grimstroke survive with strong dispel and damage reduction so that he can keep using abilities in fights.
  • Dagon icon.png Dagon adds burst magical damage and can be cast on two targets at once when combined with Soulbind.
  • Ethereal Blade icon.png 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.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence Can be considered as a tool to silence up to 3 enemies.






  • Grimstroke's abilities have different names in the game files:
  • The line ▶️ "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.
  • The line ▶️ "At least you died with a smile on your face." is a reference to album of the label "Bella Union".
  • The line ▶️ "Welcome to the real void." perhaps a reference to the film "Matrix" - "Welcome to the real world".
  • Grimstroke minimap icon.png Grimstroke after killing Lich minimap icon.png Lich he says ▶️ "Another self-styled king meets his end." perhaps a reference to the Lich-King in fantasy world "Warcraft".
  • The line ▶️ "Brush beats scythe." is a reference to game "Rock, paper, scissors".


External links[]