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Sand King
Strength attribute symbol
Agility attribute symbol
Intelligence attribute symbol
22 + 2.7
19 + 1.8
20 + 1.8
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 20 504 1318 2176 2528
+0.25 +2.45 +6.23 +10.13 +11.68
Mana 80 320 620 980 1112
+0 +1 +2.26 +3.76 +4.31
Armor 1 4.17 8.37 13.37 15.2
Magic Resist 25% 27% 29.52% 32.52% 33.62%
Damage Block 16 (50%)






Attack Rate 0.65/s 0.76/s 0.91/s 1.08/s 1.15/s
Attack Range Melee 150 (400)
Attack Speed ▶️ 110 (1.7s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.53 + 0.47
Projectile Speed Instant
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_sand_king
Burrows to stun and slow enemies.
Obscured in the harshest of gusts of Sand Storms was the Sand King. From beneath the shifting dunes he ambushes and Burrowstrikes enemies from beneath, inflicting a desiccating and Caustic Venom that causes their corpses to erupt inside out. But true destruction was heralded by a beating tail. Within moments, the ground pulsed with violent tremors, and from its moving Epicenter, Crixalis pursued scattering foes until the very last fell to their knees. Across bazaars and between towns, the learned repeat a simple truth. Where the Sand King walks, the earth trembles.
Sand Storm
Sand Storm
Caustic Finale
Roles: Initiator Initiator Disabler Disabler Support Support Nuker Nuker Escape Escape
Complexity: Hero ComplexityHero Complexity
Adjectives: Legs ( 6 )


Sand King minimap iconCrixalis, the Sand King
▶️ "I will show you fear in a handful of sand…"
The sands of the Scintillant Waste are alive and sentient--the whole vast desert speaks to itself, thinking thoughts only such a vastness can conceive. But when it needs to find a form to communicate with those of more limited scope, it frees a fragment of itself, and fills a carapace of magic armor formed by the cunning Djinn of Qaldin. This essential identity calls itself Crixalis, meaning 'Soul of the Sand,' but others know it as Sand King. Sand King takes the form of a huge arachnid, inspired by the Scintillant Waste's small but ubiquitous denizens; and this is a true outward expression of his ferocious nature. Guardian, warrior, ambassador--Sand King is all of these things, inseparable from the endless desert that gave him life.
Crixalis, SK


Burrowstrike icon
Enemies / Self
Sand King burrows into the ground and tunnels forward, damaging and stunning enemy units above him as he resurfaces. Adds Caustic Finale poison to heroes hit.
Cast Range: Affected by Cast Range bonuses. 525/600/675/750
Spikes Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 150
Damage: 80/140/200/260
Stun Duration: 1.2/1.4/1.6/1.8 (Talent 1.6/1.8/2/2.2)
Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale
Debuff Duration: 6
Cooldown symbol
 14/13/12/11 (Talent 12/11/10/9)
Mana symbol
Does not pierce debuff immunity.
The forced movement is instantly canceled.
Blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Blocked individually by each enemy that gets hit.
When reflected, it depends on the cast range and distance between the caster and the target.
Not disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Does not stop Burrowstrike from applying Caustic Finale.
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale must be drafted as well for it to get applied.
Crixalis often lies in wait, burrowing under the surface to ambush his adversaries.

  • The spikes travel at a speed of 2000, reaching max range in 0.26/0.3/0.34/0.38.
    • The spikes do not travel the full distance when targeting closer than the max range.
  • Sand King is teleported instantly towards the targeted point once the spikes reach it.
    • Does not disjoint projectiles upon cast or upon teleporting.
    • The burrowing and reappearing takes 0.53 seconds from the moment the ability is cast, during which Sand King is disabled and prevented from acting.
  • When unit-targeted, Sand King chases the target until it is within range and casts Burrowstrike toward its direction.
    • The spikes still do not home in on the target, and thus can be evaded. Unit-targeting only determines the direction upon cast.
    • These interactions mainly affect Burrowstrike's Spell Reflection as follows when reflected:
      • When reflected, if the cast range is less than the range between Sand King and the target, the reflected Burrowstrike will be cast on the spot where Sand King originally casts the ability.
      • When the distance between Sand King and the target is equal or greater than the cast range, Burrowstrike will be reflected toward Sand King as a unit-targeted ability. Whether Sand King is hit by Burrowstrike depends on the distance between the two, as well as the Burrowstrike speed.
  • Hit units are knocked up 350 range for the initial 0.52 seconds of the stun.
    • While in the air, other units may pass below hit airborne units.
    • The damage is applied upon landing, not upon getting hit.
  • With the max cast range and radius, it can hit units up to 675/750/825/900 range away.
  • Burrowstrike first applies the stun debuff, the Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale debuff based on its current level, then the damage on all hit heroes.
    • Treats clones as heroes, illusions and creep-heroes as creeps.
    • Caustic Finale notes fully apply. The debuff is applied even if it is not leveled, but does nothing.
  •  /  Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale applied is based on Sand King minimap icon Sand King's current ability level when acquired.
  • The caster appears at the unit-targeted location. The Burrowstrike cast first hits the secondary target, then the primary target.

Sand Storm
Sand Storm icon
No Target / Aura
Enemies / Self
Sand King creates a fearsome sandstorm that damages enemy units while hiding him from vision. The sandstorm follows Sand King at 25/50/75/100 units per second. The effect ends when Sand King leaves the area.
Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 425/500/575/650
Fade Delay: 0.7
Storm Move Speed: 25/50/75/100 (Talent 75/100/125/150)
Damage per Second: 25/45/65/85 (Talent 40/60/80/100)
Duration: 20/25/30/35
Aura Linger Duration: 0.5
Talent Miss Chance: 35%
Talent Move Speed Slow: 35%
Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike Spines
With Aghanim's Scepter Spine Radius: 42.5/50/57.5/65
With Aghanim's Scepter Spine Intervals: 0.2
With Aghanim's Scepter Spines per Interval: 2
With Aghanim's Scepter Spines Min Distance: 90
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade:
Every 0.2s, Burrowstrike spines are created at random locations, each having a 42.5/50/57.5/65 radius, that apply Burrowstrike damage and stun to enemies hit.
Does not pierce debuff immunity.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
The forced movement is instantly canceled.
Not disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Does not stop Sand Storm from applying Burrowstrike.
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike must be drafted as well for it to get applied.
Some say Crixalis is a mirage; his carapace appearing then vanishing between the whirling sands of the Scintillant Waste.

  • Interrupts Sand King's channeling abilities upon cast.
  • Upon cast, an aura is created centered around Sand King based on his current position and turns him instantly invisible. All effects are provided by an aura, its aura lingers for 0.5 seconds.
    • The visual effects indicating Sand Storm's radius are visible to both allies and enemies.
    • Sand Storm follows Sand King while he moves at a speed of 25/50/75/100.
  • While invisible, he can move, turn, pick up or drop items without breaking the invisibility.
    • Does not grant phased movement.
  • Attacking, casting abilities, or using items breaks the invisibility and the fade delay takes effect.
    • As long as the aura is present, Sand King will keep turning invisible.
    • During the fade delay, he can still cast abilities, use items and perform attacks.
    • However, since casting Sand Storm applies the invisibility instantly, the fade delay does not take effect when re-casting it within the previous radius.
  • Invisibility sources with fade delays use the same modifier and do not stack with other invisibility sources of the same type — the longer duration overrides the shorter one.
  • Deals 5/9/13/17 (Talent 8/12/16/20) damage in 0.2-second intervals, starting immediately upon cast, resulting in a total of 100/125/150/175 instances.
    • Can deal up to 500/1125/1950/2975 (Talent 800/1500/2400/3500) damage to a single unit (before reductions) within the area for the entire duration.
    • The aura linger duration does not affect the damage per second component.
  • 2 Burrowstrike Spines based on its current level is created in 0.2-second intervals, starting immediately upon cast, resulting in a total of 200/250/300/350 spine instances.
    • The spines are created in random locations within the radius, do not have a target priority, and apply both the Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike and Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale debuff based on its current level.
    • The spines spawn radius is divided into four 90° segments (0°–90°, 90°–180°, 180°–270°, 270°–360°).
    • The first explosion occurs within the upper semicircle (0°–90° and 90°–180°) separately and simultaneously, following explosions proceeding counterclockwise at the bottom semicircle (180°–270° and 270°–360°) separately and simultaneously as well 0.2 seconds later, regardless of facing direction.
    • The explosions alternate between the top and bottom semicircle every 0.2 seconds.
    • The aura linger duration does not affect the spines per interval component as well.
  • The Burrowstrike Spines also do not spawn within radius of a previously created spine.
    • If Burrowstrike is not leveled, or if the caster does not have Burrowstrike, it is not applied.
    • Both Burrowstrike and Caustic Finale notes fully apply.
    • The storm movement speed Talent talent immediately updates the current active instance.
    • The same aura now blinds enemy units within the radius and applies a 35% movement speed slow.
    • Stacks additively with other blind sources and multiplicatively with evasion sources.
  •  /  Upon losing ability, Sand Storm only disappears when the caster leaves the radius or when the duration expires.

Caustic Finale
Caustic Finale icon
Sand King's attacks inject a venom that causes enemy units to move more slowly and to violently explode when it dies.
Damage Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 500
Base Damage: 50/70/90/110 (Talent 170/190/210/230)
Max Health as Damage: 10%/14%/18%/22%
Move Speed Slow: 14%/18%/22%/26%
Debuff Duration: 6
Disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Stops attacks from applying Caustic Finale.
Modifiers [?]
An injection from Crixalis makes one brittle and as dry as the arid wastes, subject to implosive demise.

  • The area damage triggers only when the unit is killed by one of its enemies while having the debuff on.
    • This means the unit does not explode in the following conditions:
      • When being denied.
      • Summons and illusions when its duration expires.
      • When killed without a credited source.
      • When Meepo minimap icon Meepo or its Divided We Stand icon Meepo Clones is instantly killed due to either the Prime or any one of its clones dying.
  • When an illusion dies with the debuff, only the base damage is applied within the radius, the max health as damage is not applied.
  • Successive attacks on the same target do not stack and do not update the debuff values, but refresh the duration.
    • All Caustic Finale values are set upon the initial debuff placement.

Epicenter icon
No Target
(Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. Passive)
After a cast point of 2 seconds, Sand King sends a disturbance into the earth, causing it to shudder violently. All enemies caught within range will take damage and become slowed. Each subsequent pulse increases the radius of damage dealt.
Passive Component
With Aghanim's Shard Epicenter Interval: 3.5
With Aghanim's Shard Auto Pulse Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 425 (With Aghanim's Shard and Talent 525)
With Aghanim's Shard Auto Pulse Move Speed Slow: 15%/20%/25%
With Aghanim's Shard Auto Pulse Attack Speed Slow: 15/22.5/30
Base Pulse Radius: Affected by AoE Radius bonuses. 500 (Talent 600)
Radius Increase per Pulse: 25 (Talent 50)
Number of Pulses: 6/8/10 (Talent 11/13/15)
Damage per Pulse: 110/120/130 (With Aghanim's Shard 120/130/140)
Move Speed Slow: 30%/40%/50%
Attack Speed Slow: 30/45/60
Slow Duration: 3
Epicenter Duration: 3
Cooldown symbol
Mana symbol
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Increases Epicenter Pulse damage, and every 3.5s causes a small single Epicenter Pulse around Sand King.
Does not pierce debuff immunity.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Does not release passive pulses on debuff immune units.
Cannot be used by illusions.
Illusion Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Does not release passive pulses.
Modifiers [?]
Many an explorer was lost to the quicksands of the Scintillant Waste.

  • Once cast, the damage pulses cannot be canceled in any way, not even by Sand King's death.
  • The pulses are all centered on and follow Sand King.
    • The pulses happen in 0.5/0.375/0.3 (Talent 0.27/0.23/0.2)-second intervals, starting 0.5/0.375/0.3 (Talent 0.27/0.23/0.2) seconds after cast.
    • This means it takes 3 seconds for the ability to release all pulses after the initial delay.
    • The pulses have a radius of 500/525/550/575/600/625/650/675/700/725/750/775/800/825/850.
    • TALENT
      With the radius increasing Talent talent, they have a radius of 600/650/700/750/800/850/900/950/1000/1050/1100/1150/1200/1250/1300.
  • Can deal a total of 660/960/1300 (Talent 1210/1560/1950) (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 720/1040/1400, Talent 1320/1690/2100) damage (before reductions).
  • The movement speed and attack speed slow is applied to enemies on each pulse. Successive debuffs on the same unit do not stack but refresh the duration.
    • Can slow a single unit for up to 6 seconds.
    • Each pulse first applies the damage, then the debuff.
  • Successive casts of Epicenter fully stack, with each cast creating its own independent instance.
  • Epicenter now passively releases a single pulse immediately per 3.5 seconds.
    • Does not interrupt Sand King's channeling abilities upon releasing passive pulses.
    • The pulses are based on Epicenter's current level. If it is not learned, the passive pulses are not released.


Hero Talents
35% Sand Storm icon Sand Storm Slow and Blind25+5 Epicenter icon Epicenter Pulses
+100 Base Radius and +25 Incremental Radius of Epicenter icon Epicenter20-2s Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike Cooldown
+120 Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale Damage15+50 Sand Storm icon Sand Storm Move Speed
+0.4s Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike Stun10+15 Sand Storm icon Sand Storm Damage Per Second

Recent Changes[]

Main Articles: Changelogs, Old Abilities and Hero Lore
  • Reduced Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike cooldown from 15/14/13/12 to 14/13/12/11.
  • Increased base armor from 0 to 1.
  • Increased Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike cast range from 500/550/600/650 to 525/600/675/750.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon Tango provides health regeneration to help you survive the laning stage.
  • Healing Salve icon Healing Salve restores health as well.
  • Clarity icon Clarity is recommended, since Sand King's mana pool is quite small. Even with stat items, he can only cast Burrowstrike twice before running completely out of mana. Being able to cast Burrowstrike multiple times in-lane allows Sand King to be a very aggressive support that increases his team's chances of getting First Blood.
  • Observer Ward icon Observer Ward provides vision to set up or spot ganks.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon Regular Stick isn't useful on any support heroes.
  • Boots of Speed icon Boots of Speed give Sand King the mobility he needs to catch up to enemies and cast Burrowstrike on them. Because Sand King's spells are so reliant on positioning, getting Boots as early as possible can enable him to be more active on the map.

Mid game:

  • Magic Wand icon Magic Wand gives Sand King more attributes and the ability to store more charges. The burst mana regen is particularly important since Sand King's mana pool is quite small throughout all stages of the game, so having the mana to cast his spells is extremely important.
  • Arcane Boots icon Arcane Boots are built on Sand King both to increase the size of his own mana pool and to allow him to replenish his own and his teammates' mana, a crucial duty for a support. As Epicenter requires copious amounts of mana, Sand King must bolster his mana pool if he is to be able to initiate properly with his ultimate.
  • Alternatively, Tranquil Boots icon Tranquil Boots help survive the lane and farm.
  • Blink Dagger icon Blink Dagger should be the first core item that Sand King builds, as it greatly extends his reach and mobility, allowing him to initiate with Burrowstrike or Epicenter. Particularly, combined with Burrowstrike, Sand King can instantly jump on and disable an enemy from up to 2000 range away.
  • Force Staff icon Force Staff is extremely strong on Sand King, as it allows him to displace himself even more on top of Blink Dagger and Burrowstrike. It can extend his initiating range to 2600 (3250 with Aghanim's Scepter), or allow him to displace allies and/or enemies in engagements. As well, it provides him with intelligence, giving him a bigger mana pool and gives him a small amount of HP regen as well.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon Eul's Scepter of Divinity can be a very strong utility item to build on Sand King. It increases his base movement speed, granting him even more mobility, and gives him more mana and mana regen, allowing him to effectively ignore his mana requirements. The active ability can be used on enemies as an extra disable, or on Sand King himself for temporary invulnerability, such as immediately after a successful Epicenter combo.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon Town Portal Scroll is important to carry on all heroes. For Sand King, being able to show up to any engagement and add Blink-Burrowstrike to the mix can be a very powerful asset to have.

Late game:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon Aghanim's Scepter greatly increases Sand King's power, allowing Sand Storm to apply Burrowstrike around it's radius. The item also improves Sand King's overall stats, particularly his HP and mana to give him more survivability during an initiation.
  • Aghanim's Shard icon Aghanim's Shard will improve Sand King's Epicenter, allowing it to deal more damage and to release a small single Epicenter every time Sand King moves for 700 units.
  • Overwhelming Blink icon Overwhelming Blink, an upgrade for Blink Dagger icon Blink Dagger will allow Sand King to damage and slow down enemy heroes that get caught in it's radius while also increasing his strength.

Situational items:

  • Octarine Core icon Octarine Core gives Sand King more health and mana while also reducing the the cooldowns of all his spells and items, such as Blink Dagger icon Blink Dagger.
  • Lotus Orb icon Lotus Orb will allow Sand King to dispel debuffs from himself and to reflect any single-targeted ability used on him, allowing him to last more in fights after initiating.
  • Radiance icon Radiance is an item to priortize for Sand King if your early game networth is strong. Combined with Sandstorm, it gives Sand King one of the highest DPS AoE combinations in the game. Already a strong split pushing and wave-clearing hero, Radiance allows Sand King to burn waves down. As Cryxalis is a slippery hero that is difficult to catch and kill, Radiance is a natural fit for the hero as he is likely to be alive for lengthy teamfights, allowing him to stack his Radiance burn. The added attack damage also pairs nicely with his Caustic Finale as he is able to right click enemies more effectively.
  • Veil of Discord icon Veil of Discord is a very strong utility item on Sand King, as he can cast it immediately before blinking in with a Burrowstrike-Epicenter-Sandstorm combo.
  • Blade Mail icon Blade Mail is a good mid-game item that gives Sand King survivability. The intelligence bonus shores up his mana pool, while the armor and active can give Sand King more survivability in teamfights if the enemy chooses to focus him.
  • Shiva's Guard icon Shiva's Guard gives Sand King immense survivability against physical damage, as well as another slow and damage nuke. Using the active alongside Epicenter can drastically slow enemies down, keeping them inside the radius of the ultimate.
  • Black King Bar icon Black King Bar can allow Sand King to channel his ultimate without worry of being interrupted by most enemy spells. It can be a handy item to have if you can't rely on making clean initiations, or need to do more in a teamfight without being disabled.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon Heart of Tarrasque greatly increases the size of Sand King's health pool, allowing him to do more in teamfights before falling.
  • Glimmer Cape icon Glimmer Cape, while costly in terms of mana, is a very strong initiation and utility item that can improve Sand King's reach. The improved attack speed aids with utilizing Caustic Finale, while the magic resistance improves his survivability against magic nukes. The active, cast on himself, allows Sand King to stealthily approach targets in order to initiate with Blink-Burrowstrike, or allow an ally with initiation spells to do the same; if needed, it can also aid in channeling Epicenter by providing invisibility. It can also be used defensively, giving caught allies an escape window if the enemy has no ready detection.
  • Sentry Ward icon Sentry Wards are extremely useful on Sand King, as he is a very strong de-warder despite being a melee hero. Possession of both Blink Dagger and Burrowstrike allows him to blink onto high-ground ward spots, place a Sentry Ward and destroy any Observer Wards he finds, and then Burrowstrike back down to safety.
  • Orb of Venom icon Orb of Venom can be a useful utility item that aids Sand King in chasing enemies. Combined with Caustic Finale, Sand King can greatly slow enemies' movement speed.
  • Urn of Shadows icon Urn of Shadows is a good utility item, as Sand King has quite low base strength and can benefit from the mana regen. As he is already a very strong ganker, Sand King can easily get the charges he needs for the active, which allows him to heal himself or teammates, or add more damage to any ganks he participates in.
  • Pipe of Insight icon Pipe of Insight is a good utility item to build. It increases Sand King's resistance to magical nukes, useful due to the manner in which he initiates with Epicenter, and the active can shield himself and teammates from magical damage for a time.
  • Crimson Guard icon Crimson Guard can be a useful durability and utility item to purchase on Sand King. As he already has survivability issues due to his low armor and mediocre strength, buffing up his physical survivability can allow him to do more in fights, particularly as he is a melee hero who can take full advantage of the damage block, and the active gives all of his teammates immense resistance to physical damage.
  • Mjollnir icon Mjollnir will give Sand King a big boost for his low attack speed, and will allow his attacks to release a chain lighting that can bounce between enemies, giving Sand King another AoE tool to use to both, farm and fight.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon Scythe of Vyse is a very expensive item to build, but gives Sand King many strong benefits. It gives him stats across the board and a self-sustaining mana pool, and the active gives him yet another instant hard-disable that he can use on the enemy.

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
Double Hero Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike
Relic Rare icon
Caustic Finale icon Caustic Finale Hero splashes
Relic Rare icon
Epicenter icon Epicenter Kills
Relic universal icon
Damage while Invisible
Relic universal icon
Magic Damage
Relic universal icon
Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon Eul's Scepter of Divinity leading to Kills
Relic universal icon
Stuns leading to kills
Relic universal icon
channels cancelled
Relic universal icon
Triple Kills
Relic universal icon
Mega Kill Streaks
Relic universal icon
Wards placed
Relic universal icon
Kill Assists
Relic universal 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



  • In a very old version of DotA, there was a bug that caused the final pulse of Sand King's Epicenter icon Epicenter to deal over 10,000 damage. The only unit that was able to survive this was a super beefed up Pudge minimap icon Pudge that was used to measure the amount of damage dealt by the ability.
  • Another old bug involved using Burrowstrike icon Burrowstrike on an allied creep. When Sand King got into Burrowstrike range of that creep, he would move all the way back to the position of the creep where it was first clicked on. Because it only worked on allied creeps, the most common usage of it was to quickly get back to base.
  • Gabe Newell has claimed that Sand King is his favorite hero.[1]