Dota 2 Wiki
Sand King
Sand King icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
22 + 2.7
19 + 1.8
19 + 1.8
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 640 1380 2160 2480
+0.25 +2.45 +6.23 +10.13 +11.68
Mana 75 303 603 963 1095
+0 +0.95 +2.21 +3.71 +4.26
Armor -1 2.17 6.37 11.37 13.2
Damage Block 16 (50%)
Magic Resistance 25%
Status Resistance 0%
Damage 23‒33 45‒55 82‒92 121‒131 137‒147
Attack Rate 0.65/s 0.76/s 0.91/s 1.08/s 1.15/s
Attack Range Melee 150 (600)
Attack Speed ▶️ 110 (1.7s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.53+0.47
Projectile Speed Instant
Movement Speed ▶️ 290
Turn Rate Takes 0.175s to turn 180°. 0.6
Collision Size 24
Vision Range (G) 1800 • 800
Legs 6
Gib Type Default
Ability Upgrades
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.

Crixalis, the Sand King, is a melee strength hero with one of the highest area of effect (AoE) damage outputs in the entire game. All four of his abilities can affect multiple enemy units, and can combo quite well with each other. He is one of the most versatile Heroes in the game as he can push, initiate, support, gank, and even semi-carry if he does well. Late game his effectiveness diminishes as none of his abilities scale, but he can still function to support carries with Burrowstrike and Epicenter's slow. He is also versatile enough to be able to go to any lane with at least moderate success. He works well as a participant in a dual lane or trilane, but can also solo very effectively against melee enemies, since Caustic Finale discourages enemies from approaching the creeps. His main role in the team is to deliver a devastating initiation, delivering both stuns and slows to the enemy team. Crixalis is also very effective at escaping and dodging with two low cost, low cooldown abilities that disjoint projectiles and can escape enemy damage. Burrowstrike allows him to tunnel underground and resurface in a short line, dealing damage and stunning all targets it hits. Sand Storm is used as an escape mechanism and to do AoE damage. Caustic Finale serves as a strong harassing tool against enemy melee heroes or as a followup after he Burrowstrikes a creep wave, allowing him to farm quite effectively. Finally, his ultimate delivers a vast amount of AoE damage and slow centered around himself, though it necessitates a safe way to cast it due to its long cast time, like a Blink Dagger.


Sand King minimap icon.pngCrixalis, 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.


Burrowstrike icon.png
Enemies / Self
Sand King burrows into the ground and tunnels forward, damaging and stunning enemy units above him as he resurfaces.
Cast Animation: 0+0.53
Cast Range: 425/500/575/650 (With Aghanim's Scepter 1300)
Spikes Radius: 150
Damage: 100/160/220/280
Stun Duration: 1.6/1.8/2/2.2
Cooldown: 15/14/13/12 (Talent 13/12/11/10)
Mana: 110/120/130/140
Aghanim's Scepter upgrade: Adds Caustic Finale poison to heroes hit by your Burrowstrike and increases its cast range. Does not apply Caustic Finale to illusions.
Does not pierce spell immunity. Attempts to damage if already hit enemies turn spell immune before landing.
Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked upon impact by everyone within range of the spikes.
Buff modifier_sandking_burrowstrike: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_sandking_impale: Dispellable with strong dispels.
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
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 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 3000), reaching max range in 0.21/0.25/0.29/0.33 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 0.43) seconds.
    • 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 cannot do anything.
  • When unit-targeted, Sand King chases the target until it is within range and casts Burrowstrike towards its direction.
    • The spikes still do not home in on the target, thus can be evaded. Unit-targeting only determines the direction upon cast.
  • 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 maximum cast range and radius, it can hit units up to 575/650/725/800 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 1450) range away.

Sand Storm
Sand Storm icon.png
No Target
Enemies / Self
Sand King creates a fearsome sandstorm that damages enemy units while hiding him from vision. The effect ends when Sand King leaves the area.
Cast Animation: 0+0.5
Radius: 425/500/575/650 (Talent 575/650/725/800)
Fade Delay: 0.7
Damage per Second: 20/45/70/95 (Talent 40/65/90/115)
Duration: 20/25/30/35
Aura Linger Duration: 0.5
Talent Enemy Miss Chance: 40%
Talent Move Speed Slow: 40%
Cooldown: 40/34/28/22
Mana: 75
Does not pierce spell immunity. Slow and blind persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity.
Buff modifier_sandking_sand_storm: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_invisible: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_sandking_sand_storm_slow_aura_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.
Debuff modifier_sandking_sand_storm_slow: Undispellable. Persists death.
Some say Crixalis is a mirage; his carapace appearing then vanishing between the whirling sands of the Scintillant Waste.


  • Turns Sand King instantly invisible upon cast.
    • The fade delay takes effect when breaking the invisibility by attacking, or casting abilities or items.
    • However, since casting Sand Storm applies the invisibility instantly, the fade delay does not take effect when re-casting it while inside the previous cast's area.
  • Sand Storm deals 10/22.5/35/47.5 (Talent 20/32.5/45/57.5) damage in 0.5-second intervals, starting immediately upon cast, resulting in a total of 40/50/60/70 instances.
    • Can deal up to 400/1125/2100/3325 (Talent 800/1625/2700/4025) damage to a single unit (before reductions) if it stays in range for the whole duration.
  • With the level 25 Talent talent, enemy units within the radius are blinded and have their movement speed slowed by 40%.

Caustic Finale
Caustic Finale icon.png
Sand King's attacks inject a venom that causes enemy units to move more slowly and to violently explode when it dies.
Damage Radius: 500
Base Damage: 70/90/110/130 (Talent 190/210/230/250)
Max Health as Damage: 10%/14%/18%/22%
Move Speed Slow: 10%/15%/20%/25% (Talent 30%/35%/40%/45%)
Debuff Duration: 5
Buff modifier_sand_king_caustic_finale: Undispellable. Persists death.
Debuff modifier_sand_king_caustic_finale_orb: Dispellable with any dispel.
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 when it gets denied, expires (e.g. summons and illusions), or killed without a credited source (e.g. multiple Meepo clones).
  • 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, but refresh the duration instead.
    • However, the debuff does not get updated. All its values are set upon initial placement.

Epicenter icon.png
No Target
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.
Cast Animation: 2+0
Radius per Pulse: 500/525/550/575/600/625/650/675/700/725 (Talent /750/775/800/825)
Number of Pulses: 6/8/10 (Talent 11/13/15)
Damage per Pulse: 110/120/130 (With Aghanim's Shard 130/140/150)
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 30
Slow Duration: 3
Epicenter Duration: 3
With Aghanim's Shard Passive Distance Required for Pulse: 700
With Aghanim's Shard Passive Pulse Radius: 475
Cooldown: 120/110/100
Mana: 150/225/300
Aghanim's Shard upgrade: Every 700 units moved causes an Epicenter Pulse around Sand King in 475 AoE. Increases Epicenter Pulse Damage by 20
Not disabled by Break. The passive pulses are not disabled by Break.
Buff modifier_sand_king_shard: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_sand_king_epicenter: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_sand_king_epicenter_slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
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 pulse radii 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.
  • Can deal a total of 660/960/1300 (Talent 1210/1560/1950) (Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard. 780/1120/1500, Talent 1430/1820/2250) damage without any talents (before reductions).
  • The slow is applied to enemies on each pulse. Multiple instances of the slow on a 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.
  • Multiple casts of Epicenter fully stack, with each cast creating its own independent instance.
  • With Aghanim's Shard icon.png Aghanim's Shard, Epicenter passively releases a single pulse when Sand King collectively moves a distance of 700.
    • The pulses are based on Epicenter's current level. If it is not learned, the passive pulses are not released.
    • However, the distance counter still counts even if Epicenter is not learned.
    • Teleporting effects (including Blink-based abilities) may only add up to 700 range to the distance counter, no matter how far the actual teleported distance was.
    • This means long-distance teleports may only release one pulse, and not multiple pulses based on the entire distance.
    • The distance counter has no time limit. It only resets upon releasing a passive pulse.
    • When no enemies are within 475 radius, the pulse waits until an enemy comes within range, and releases the pulse immediately once there is.


Hero Talents
40% Sand Storm Slow and Blind25+5 Epicenter Pulses
+120 Caustic Finale Damage20-2s Burrowstrike Cooldown
+20% Caustic Finale Slow15+150 Sand Storm Radius
+200 Health10+20 Sand Storm DPS
  • The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.

Recent Changes[]

Main Article: Sand King/Changelogs
  • Burrowstrike
    • Resacled cast range from 400/500/600/700 to 425/500/575/650.
    • Increased cooldown from 14/13/12/11 to 15/14/13/12.
Level 10 right talent changed: +20 Epicenter damage per pulse ➜ +20 Sand Storm damage per second.
Level 15 right talent changed: +30 Sand Storm damage per second ➜ +150 Sand Storm radius.
Level 20 left talent changed: +25 health regen ➜ +120 Caustic Finale base damage.
  • Increased turn rate from 0.5 to 0.6.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgrade:
    • Reduced Burrowstrike cast range from 800/1000/1200/1400 to 1300 on each level.
  • Aghanim's Shard icon.png Aghanim's Shard upgrade:
    • Epicenter
      • The passive pulses no longer happen if there is no enemy within the radius. [?]
      • Increased passive pulse radius from 400 to 475.
  • Talents:
Level 10 left talent: +175 health increased to +200.
Level 15 left talent: +15% Caustic Finale movement speed slow increased to +20%.
Level 20 left talent: +20 health regen increased to +25.
Level 25 right talent: +4 Epicenter pulses increased to +5.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango provides health regeneration to help you survive the laning stage.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve restores health as well.
  • Clarity icon.png 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.png Observer Ward provides vision to set up or spot ganks.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick is useful on all support heroes, Sand King included. A full-charge Magic Stick allows him to replenish a large fraction of his HP and mana, the mana giving him enough instant burst regen to cast Burrowstrike one more time to escape or ensure a kill.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png 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.png 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.png 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.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png Aghanim's Scepter greatly increases Sand King's initiation range. The longer-ranged Burrowstrike allows Sand King to catch significantly more targets with the stun from farther away, especially when combined with Blink Dagger, and applying Caustic Finale to all struck enemy heroes deals significantly more nuke damage without requiring Sand King to attack them. The item also improves Sand King's overall stats, particularly his HP and mana to give him more survivability during an initiation.

Situational items:

  • Radiance (Active) icon.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.png 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.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png 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.


Roles: Initiator Initiator Disabler Disabler Support Support Nuker Nuker Escape Escape Jungler Jungler
Complexity: ★★☆
Playstyle: Obscured in the harshest of Sand Storms was Crixalis, guardian and ambassador of the Scintillant Waste. A construct of sentient sand, the Sand King traverses the world in a carapace of Djinn's craft. From beneath the shifting dunes he ambushes enemies with Burrowstrike, inflicting a desiccating venom that causes their corpses to erupt in a Caustic Finale. 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.