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Illusion icon

Default buff icon
▶️ Spawn sound
▶️ Death sound

▶️ One of me ain't enough.

Illusions are imperfect, weaker copies of heroes, created by abilities or items. They look like and are mostly treated like a hero, but are impaired, as they usually have incoming and outgoing damage penalties, dealing less damage and taking more damage than heroes. They are incapable of casting abilities or using active item abilities, and also have some passive abilities disabled. They also may not drop or pick up items or runes. Illusions yield a little gold and experience based on the hero's level. They do not soak up any experience and gold. Illusions cannot level up, the gold from last hits they make goes to their owners, and do not interfere with kill streaks or counters.

Illusions can be created from an allied, enemy, or the own hero. The illusions copies its appearance, level, Universal attribute symbol all attributes, attack values, defensive values (e.g. base armor and base magic resistance) and abilities on their current level. All items owned by the main hero are copied as well, including all their stats (although some effects of abilities and items are disabled for illusions).

All illusions deal 60% less damage against buildings, making them weaker in pushing. This reduction stacks multiplicatively with the outgoing damage reduction values most illusions have, and also multiplicatively with the damage reduction hero damage does against structure armor type. However, due to the fact that illusions are based on heroes, their damage scales together with the heroes, making them still a significant pushing tool, especially in later phases of a match.

All illusions are invulnerable for 0.1 seconds as they spawn, regardless of which ability that spawns or creates them. Illusions also always play the same spawn sound upon spawning, which are only audible to allies, and the same death sound upon dying in any way, including upon expiring.

Visual Appearance[]

Illusion comparison

Camouflaged illusions as they appear to allies and enemies.

Illusions are always visually distinguishable to their allies, with an extra texture layer on their model and their unit portrait, and a creep health bar. Allied Illusions also have a duration indicator the left of their health bar.

For enemy illusions, this depends on the source ability. Some abilities create illusions that the enemy also sees as an illusion, with the extra texture layer and a creep health bar (but without the duration indicator), however, some other abilities create illusions that are camouflaged.

To the enemy, a camouflaged illusion looks identical to the hero they are based on. They do not show their illusion texture, and display the regular hero health bar with all its components (hero icon, player name, mana bar, other extra icons like the Battle Pass badges). Allies see them as illusions normally.

There are 7 different illusion textures.

1 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2 Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.
3 The Vengeance Aura icon Vengeance Illusion always uses the hero health bar, for enemies and for allies, but is otherwise distinguishable.

Illusion Creating Abilities[]

Main Article: Collision Size

Collision size also affects illusion-creating sources. Since two heroes (or units) cannot be in the same coordinates without phased movement, and they will be pushed 58-distance away upon losing phased movement, regardless of the collision sizes. In the following table, Phantom Lancer minimap icon Phantom Lancer and Chaos Knight minimap icon Chaos Knight have a collision size of 18 and 27 respectively. The illusions will spawn at different distances depending on the affected target's collision size as follows:

Caster Collision Size Target Collision Size Pushed Distance
Phantom Lancer minimap icon (18) Chaos Knight minimap icon (27) 58
Chaos Knight minimap icon (27) Phantom Lancer minimap icon (18) 58
Chaos Knight minimap icon Both Caster and Target have the same collision size. 58
If the target's collision size is not the same as the caster's, and it is greater than the caster's collision size.
TargetCollision > CasterCollision [?]
Chaos Knight minimap icon Chaos Knight casts Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. Chaos Bolt icon Chaos Bolt on an enemy Marci minimap icon Marci and Siege Creep Radiant icon Siege Creep. How far the Phantasm illusion will be spawned next to both of these enemy targets?
Chaos Knight minimap icon Chaos Knight Collision Size: 27
Marci minimap icon Marci Collision Size: 27
Siege Creep Radiant icon Siege Creep Collision Size: 40
Since both heroes' collision sizes are the same, the Phantasm illusion will spawn 58-distance away when Marci minimap icon Marci does not have phased movement.
For the Siege Creep Radiant icon Siege Creep, the Phantasm illusion will spawn 87-distance away instead.


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

Strong Illusions[]

Strong Illusions behave the same as regular illusions but cannot be instantly killed by abilities as listed here.

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


Not disabled by Break.
Illusion icon
This unit is an illusion. Its stats, level, ability levels, and items are all set upon creation and do not adapt to the original hero.
Attack Damage Against Reinforced: Outgoing Damage Manipulation 0.4
Bonus Attack Damage Negation: 100%
Bonus Armor Negation: 100%
Bonus Magic Resistance Negation: 100%
Modifiers [?]

  • Both the illusion's Incoming Damage Manipulation incoming damage multiplier and Outgoing Damage Manipulation outgoing damage multiplier based on the abilities creating them are handled by the Damage Manipulation modifier instead.

Magic Resistance Bonuses[]

Some sources of magic resistance work with illusions and some do not. Magic resistance increasing abilities do not affect illusions, except for Fate's Edict icon Fate's Edict and magic resistance increasing Talent talents. However, in the HUD, magic resistance is always displayed as if they were fully affected.

The following magic resistance sources affect illusions:

The following magic resistance sources do not affect illusions:

1 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2 Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.


Illusions have a gold and experience bounty equal to two times their level. The gold bounty is granted to the player killing the illusion, while the experience is shared within the default experience area. However, the experience is only granted when the illusion is killed by a player. Expiring illusions, or illusions dying to lane creeps, towers, fountains or neutral creeps do not grant any experience.

Illusion bounty formula:

  • expr
    2 * IllusionLVL

The following table shows their bounties on each level:

Level 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 26 27 28 29 30
Gold 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60

The following illusions grant a fixed 5 Gold and 5XP, regardless of their level:

Copying Buffs and Debuffs[]

Usually when an illusion is created, it usually does not copy the buffs and debuffs the original hero has.

There are some exceptions, however, Illusions copy the toggled On / Off statuses of items and of some abilities.

The following buffs are copied by illusions:

1 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2 Armlet of Mordiggian icon Unholy Strength's buff, and effects appear copied but only the strength is actually copied. Read the stats section for more.
3 The buff is copied, but illusions are not granted the attack speed bonus. Only the bonus night vision is copied.
4 Although copying the modifier upon creation, the aura overrides it, so that their form reverts once no longer affected by the aura.

Attack Modifiers[]

Main Article: Attack Modifiers

Attack modifiers are modifiers which apply an effect to a unit's basic attacks. These effects can widely vary, from healing, to damaging or even disabling effects. Most of these modifiers have their own rules. Some attack modifiers work with illusions and some do not, while some of them work partially or have their values decreased for balancing purposes.

The following attack modifiers fully work for illusions:

1 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2 The damage reductions of Marksmanship icon Marksmanship and Split Shot icon Split Shot are the only reductions which affect illusions.
3 All 3 modifiers of Elder Dragon Form (Corrosive Breath, Splash Attack and Frost Breath) work for illusions.
4 Only the accuracy works for illusions.

Mana Break[]

Mana Break abilities or Talent talents are copied by illusions from the original hero, illusions with Mana Break burns less mana than real heroes.

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

Not Copied[]

These attack modifiers are not copied upon creation and do not work for illusions:

2 The particle effects of these attack modifiers appear and their sounds play, but their effects are not applied.
3 Tidebringer icon Tidebringer is always on Autocast for illusions, so they proc whenever off cooldown, but none of its effects are applied.

Active Abilities[]

Illusions may not use active abilities and items, but they might inherit ongoing abilities from the original hero if the ability was cast before creating the illusion. Only a few abilities have different effect when the cast is an illusion.

Notable Differences

Casting Fake Abilities[]

Within a certain conditions, some abilities causes all illusions owned by the illusion creator within certain range from the target will also fake cast the ability, while the real hero casts the ability.

This is mainly for camouflaging the real hero and their illusions. The illusions still cannot use any active abilities.

These illusions have the following behavior:

  • The illusion play the whole cast animation and cast the fake ability at the same time the real ability is cast.
  • When illusions currently are not having any order and are standing still, they all turn to face the target and cast the ability.
  • When canceling the cast (S), the illusions still play the full cast animation, but do not release the fake ability.
  • When illusions are moving or attacking, they continue to do so and do not turn to face the target. They still play the cast animation, overriding their move or attack animations.
  • They play the whole cast animation and release their fake ability at the same time the real ability is released.
  • These fake abilities do not interact with anything.
Fake Abilities Cast by Illusions

Passive Abilities[]

These passive abilities are fully functional for illusions:

1 Warpath icon Warpath does proc when illusions cast abilities. Also, since Warpath always applies a stack on all owned illusions by default, illusions casting abilities get 2 stacks per cast.
2 This is an innate ability. All illusions owned by Faceless Void minimap icon Faceless Void are not frozen in time during Chronosphere icon Chronosphere.
1 The health restore and max movement speed limit works, but not the movement speed bonus, hero detection and vision.
2 Only the damage block/reduction works.
3 Only the health regeneration bonus works.
4 Only the damage per second and slow bonus works.

These passive abilities do not work for illusions:

1 The passive components of these active abilities do not work for illusions.


These auras are bestowed by illusions upon creation:

1 Despite the illusions not having an Elder Titan Astral Spirit icon Astral Spirit, their Natural Order icon Natural Order always bestows the armor reduction and the magic resistance reduction aura.
2 Illusions copy the toggled On / Off status of these auras.
3 Radiance icon Burn is weaker on illusions, dealing 1.5 damage per second, instead of 60.
4 Illusions bestow the Atrophy Aura icon Atrophy Aura. When an enemy dies within aura range of an illusion, Underlord gets the damage bonus, if he owns the illusion, otherwise the illusion itself gets the damage.

These auras are not bestowed by illusions upon creation:

1 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.

Ability Interactions[]

Most abilities treat illusions like regular heroes. However, some abilities have a different effect or interact in a different way with illusions. A few abilities do not affect illusions at all.

Instant Kill[]

These abilities instantly destroy illusions when used on them, unless the illusions are strong illusions.

1 Instantly kills the target upon landing if it is not a hero or a clone.
2 Requires a Talent talent.
3 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
4 Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.
5 Kills illusions on the first tick, not upon cast.

Creep Duration[]

These abilities uses the non-hero or creep duration on them, instead of hero duration:

1 Requires Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter.
2 Requires Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard.
Ward Units[]

These ward units require the creep amount of attacks to destroy them, instead of the hero amount when attacked by an illusion.

Treats Illusions as Non-Hero Units

No Effect[]

These abilities do not affect, cannot target, or do not work against illusions:

1 These abilities ignore the death of illusions, so killing them does not make these abilities apply their effects.
2 These abilities do not have a target or do not place their buffs or debuffs on illusions.

Other Interactions[]

These abilities have different interactions with illusions. They either do not treat them as heroes, or apply different effects on them.

Other Interactions

Recent Changes[]

Main Article: Illusions/Changelogs
  • U
    The Lone Druid Spirit Bear icon Spirit Bear is no longer restricted from having illusions.
  • Illusions incoming damage amplification is now calculated as very last, after all other damage-based calculations are done.