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Slark icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
20 + 1.9
21 + 1.7
16 + 1.7
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 600 1120 1740 1980
+1.75 +3.75 +6.41 +9.51 +10.66
Mana 75 267 543 891 1023
+0 +0.8 +1.99 +3.44 +3.97
Armor 0 3.5 7.47 12.3 14.05
Damage Block 16 (50%)
Magic Resistance 25%
Status Resistance 0%
Damage 34‒40 55‒61 78‒84 107‒113 118‒124
Attack Rate 0.65/s 0.77/s 0.91/s 1.08/s 1.14/s
Attack Range Melee 150 (600)
Attack Speed ▶️ 110 (1.7s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.5+0.3
Projectile Speed 0
Movement Speed ▶️ 300
Turn Rate Takes 0.15s to turn 180°. 0.7
Collision Size 24
Vision Range (G) 1800
Legs 2
Gib Type Default
Ability Upgrades
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Depth Shroud
Slips in and out of skirmishes.
The only prisoner ever to escape from Dark Reef, Slark's abilities and ruthlessness are without equal. Pouncing into danger then slipping back out is what Slark does best. With every swing of his barnacle encrusted dagger, Slark steals his target's Essence, converting them to render himself more agile, striking harder and faster. He forges a Dark Pact, sacrificing his own lifeblood to dissipate negative energies that damage foes, and frees him from magical constraints. Concealing himself as he Dances through the Shadows, the Nightcrawler presents no visible target to would-be attackers. Hidden and Shrouded in this black haze, Slark escapes the inescapable and is always ready to to gut his enemies with little risk of retribution.
Dark Pact
Essence Shift
Depth Shroud
Depth Shroud
Shadow Dance
Roles: Carry Carry Escape Escape Disabler Disabler Nuker Nuker
Complexity: ★★☆


Slark minimap icon.pngSlark, the Nightcrawler
▶️ "If I'd known I'd end up here, I'd have stayed in Dark Reef Prison."
Little known to the inhabitants of the dry world, Dark Reef is a sunken prison where the worst of the sea-breed are sent for crimes against their fellows. It is a razor barbed warren full of murderous slithereen, treacherous Deep Ones, and sociopathic meranths. In this dim labyrinth, patrolled by eels and guarded by enormous anemones, only the vicious survive. Pitched into Dark Reef for crimes unknown, Slark spent half a lifetime without kin or kindness, trusting no one, surviving through a combination of stealth and ruthlessness, keeping his thoughts and his plans to himself. When the infamous Dark Reef Dozen plotted their ill-fated breakout, they kept their plans a perfect secret, murdering anyone who could have put the pieces together--but somehow Slark discovered their scheme and made a place for himself in it. Ten of the Dozen died in the escape attempt, and two were captured, hauled back to Dark Reef, then executed for the entertainment of their fellow inmates. But Slark, the unsung thirteenth, used the commotion as cover and slipped away, never to be caught. Now a furtive resident of the carnivorous mangrove scrub that grips the southern reach of Shadeshore, Slark remains the only successful escapee from Dark Reef.


Dark Pact icon.png
No Target
Enemies / Self
After a short delay, Slark sacrifices some of his life blood, purging most negative debuffs and dealing damage to enemy units around him and to himself. Slark only takes 30% of the damage.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Damage Radius: 325
Effect Delay: 1.5
Total Damage: 90/160/230/300 (Talent 160/230/300/370)
Self Damage Percentage: 30%
Pulses Duration: 1
Cooldown: 9/8/7/6 (Talent 8/7/6/5)
Mana: 65
Modifiers [?]
Slithereen are capable of quickly regrowing appendages, in case of critical injury, to save their own lives.


  • Dark Pact interrupts Slark's channeling abilities upon cast.
  • Deals 9/16/23/30 (Talent 16/23/30/37) damage within a 325 radius in 0.1-second intervals, starting 1.5 seconds after cast for a total of 10 instances.
  • Slark takes 2.7/4.8/6.9/9 (Talent 4.8/6.9/9/11.1) damage in the same intervals, resulting in 27/48/69/90 (Talent 48/69/90/111) total damage.
    • Applies a strong dispel on Slark in the same intervals, before each of its damage instances.
    • The self-inflicted damage is never lethal and it can be reduced or amplified.
  • The visual effects and sounds during the 1.5 seconds delay is only visible and audible to allies.
  • The visual effects of the damaging pulses are visible even when Slark is invisible.
  • Dark Pact ends 2.5 seconds after cast, but ends instantly when Slark dies.
  • Re-casting Dark Pact during the effect delay cancels the previous cast and starts a new one instead.

Pounce icon.png
No Target
Enemy Heroes / Self
Slark leaps forward, grabbing the first hero he connects with dealing damage to it. That unit is leashed, and can only move a limited distance away from Slark's landing position.
Cast Animation: 0+0.53
Leap Distance: 700 (With Aghanim's Scepter 1200)
Latch Radius: 120
Leash Radius: 400
Damage: 40
Leash Duration: 2.5/2.75/3/3.25 (Talent 3/3.25/3.5/3.75)
With Aghanim's Scepter Number of Charges: 2
With Aghanim's Scepter Charge Replenish Time: 10
Cooldown: 20/16/12/8 (With Aghanim's Scepter 0)
Mana: 75
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade:
Provides charges and increases range.
Does not pierce spell immunity.
Pounce can be dispelled by spell immunity only.
Cannot be cast while rooted or leashed.
Root Notes:
Getting rooted while already leaping does not cancel the leap.
Modifiers [?]
Time in the Dark Reef made Slark a dangerous assassin; aggressive and fearless.


  • Leaps at a speed of 933.33 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 1599.99) for up to 0.75 seconds.
  • Always leaps towards the direction Slark is facing. Does not lock Slark's facing angle during the leap.
  • Always leaps the full distance, unless an enemy hero gets within 120 radius of Slark during the leap.
  • Moves Slark upwards over other units and over impassable terrain.
  • Slark can turn and cast abilities and items during Pounce, but cannot attack.
  • With the maximum distance and latch radius, Pounce can latch on enemy heroes up to 820 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 1320) range away.
    • Can only latch on heroes, including clones, excluding illusions and creep-heroes.
    • Can latch on invisible units, but not on invulnerable or hidden units.
    • When latching on a unit, Slark is automatically ordered to attack the target.
    • Pounce first applies the leash debuff, then the damage.
  • Stops the enemy by slowing their movement speed.
    • The slow gets exponentially stronger towards the edges of the 120 leash radius.
    • This effectively causes target come to halt if the leash is stretched too much.
    • The slow is only present when facing away from the center. The target is not slowed when facing towards the center.
    • Since the slow is fluctuating a lot, it is not displayed in the HUD.
  • Destroys trees within 100 radius around Slark upon landing.
  • Pounce cannot be cast during Pounce. During the leap, Pounce is on a non-refreshable cooldown which is bound to the leap buff.

Essence Shift
Cannot be used by illusions. Partially disabled by Break. Pierces spell immunity. EN
Essence Shift icon.png
Enemy Heroes / Self
Slark steals the life essence of enemy heroes with his attacks, draining each of their attributes and converting them to bonus Agility. If Slark kills an affected enemy hero, he permanently steals 1 Agility.
Permanent Steal Radius: 300
Permanent Agility Steal: 1
Enemy Strength/Intelligence Lost per Attack: 1
Enemy Agility Lost per Attack: 1 (Talent 2)
Self Agility Gained per Attack: 3 (Talent 4)
Duration: 20/40/60/80 (Talent 70/90/110/130)
Partially disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Prevents gaining new stacks.
Existing stacks still provide bonus agility.
Does not prevent permanently stealing agility.
Cannot be used by illusions.
Illusion Notes:
Does not work for illusions.
Illusions always spawn with 0 stacks.
Illusions cannot gain stacks.
Temporary attribute changes are not copied by illusions.
Modifiers [?]
With each strike at his adversaries, Slark's knowledge of their weaknesses improves.


  • Essence Shift cannot reduce any attribute below 0. However, Slark continues to gain agility, even when the attacked hero has no more attributes left to steal.
    • This applies to the temporary steal, as well as the permanent steal.
  • Successive attacks do not refresh the duration of all stolen or lost attributes. Each stack has its own duration.
    • The status buff and debuff icon show the number of current stacks and show the duration of the last stack.
  • Upon death, the dying hero's attributes restores back to their normal values, while Slark keeps the bonus agility values for the remaining duration.
  • When Slark dies, he loses all temporarily stolen attributes, but the affected enemies do not get theirs back, and vice versa.
  • Can temporarily steal attributes from allies and clones, but not from illusions.
  • Permanently stolen Agility attribute symbol.png agility is removed from the enemy's bonus agility and added to Slark's bonus agility.
    • The hero has to die within 300 range of Slark while having the Essence Shift debuff.
    • Does not permanently steal agility if the enemy hero has Reincarnation, is an illusion, or from the Tempest Double minimap icon.png Tempest Double
    • Steals agility even when Slark is dead as the kill happens.
    • Denied enemy heroes count as well, as long as it happens within the steal radius.
    • To permanently steal agility outside the steal radius, Slark has to make the killing blow himself. Other player-controlled units do not count.
    • Can permanently steal agility from allies, and from individual Meepo Clones.
    • The number of stolen agility gained can be seen on the status buff icon.

Depth Shroud
Partially usable by illusions. Not disabled by Break. Pierces spell immunity. DF
Depth Shroud icon.png
Creates a cloud at the target location. All allies inside the radius are hidden and affected by Shadow Dance. Cast Range: 800. Cooldown: 75
Cast Animation: 0.1+0.8
Cast Range: 800
Radius: 300
Duration: 3
Aura Linger Duration: 0.5
Cooldown: 75
Mana: 75
Not disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Unlike Shadow Dance, the movement speed and health regeneration bonuses from Depth Shroud are not passive, so they are not disabled.
Partially usable by illusions.
Illusion Notes:
Invisibility works for illusions.
Movement speed and health regeneration bonuses do not work for illusions.
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Requires drafting Shadow Dance to be unlocked.


  • Applies the Depth Shroud modifier based on the current level of Shadow Dance on allies within the area.
    • Shadow Dance notes fully apply. If it is not learned, nothing happens upon cast, wasting mana and cooldown.
    • Does not prevent being revealed by Chronosphere.
  • The modifier provides the same movement speed, attack speed, health regeneration, and invisibility as Shadow Dance does.
    • The modifier fully stacks with those of Shadow Dance.
    • This means during Shadow Dance, Slark gains a total of 48%/72%/96% movement speed, 150 attack speed, and 10%/12%/14% (Talent 13%/15%/17%) max health as health regeneration while inside the area.
  • The buff is provided by an aura. Its buff lingers for 0.5 seconds.
  • Can regenerate up to 17.5%/21%/24.5% (Talent 22.75%/26.25%/29.75%) of affected units' max health over its full duration.

Shadow Dance
Shadow Dance icon.png
When used, Slark hides himself in a cloud of shadows, becoming immune to detection. Attacking, casting spells, and using items will not reveal Slark. Passively, when not visible to the enemy team, Slark gains bonus movement speed and health regeneration.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Aura Radius: 0
Fade Time: 0
Move Speed Bonus: 24%/36%/48%
Max Health as Regen per Second: 5%/6%/7% (Talent 6.5%/7.5%/8.5%)
Passive Activation Delay: 0.5
Neutral Creep Damage Deactivate Duration: 2
Active Duration: 4/4.25/4.5 (Talent 5/5.25/5.5)
Talent Active Attack Speed Bonus: 75
Cooldown: 75/60/45
Mana: 120
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Grants the Depth Shroud ability.
Disabled by Break.
Break Notes:
Disables the passive movement speed and health regeneration.
Cannot be used by illusions.
Illusion Notes:
Illusions gain the passive buff, but it does not work for them.
Modifiers [?]
The hidden Thirteenth is a slippery foe.


  • Shadow Dance interrupts Slark's channeling abilities upon cast.
  • If Slark is damaged by a neutral creep, the health regeneration and movement speed bonus are lost for 2 seconds.
  • When casting Shadow Dance, he turns invisible and cannot be revealed by anything. However, the black cloud created is visible to enemies.
  • The invisibility is granted by an aura, however, its buff does not linger.
    • The aura does not affect invulnerable units, so if Slark turns invulnerable during it, he gets revealed.
  • Shadow Dance does not grant phased movement.
  • Can regenerate up to 20%/25.5%/31.5% of Slark's max health over its active duration.
    • With the health regeneration increasing Talent talent, it can regenerate up to 25%/31.5%/38.5% of Slark's max health over its duration.
    • With the duration increasing Talent talent, it can regenerate up to 26%/31.875%/38.25% of Slark's max health over its duration.
    • With the both Talent talents, it can regenerate up to 32.5%/39.375%/46.75% of Slark's max health over its duration.
    • Can fully regenerate Slark's health within 20/16.67/14.29 (Talent 15.38/13.33/11.76) seconds.
  • The attack speed bonus is applied by the active buff, not by the passive buff.


Hero Talents
+50s Essence Shift Duration25+1s Shadow Dance Duration
+75 Shadow Dance Attack Speed20+1 Agility gain/stolen per Essence Shift Stack
+1.5% Shadow Dance Regen15+70 Dark Pact Damage
+0.5s Pounce Leash10-1s Dark Pact Cooldown

Recent Changes[]

Main Article: Slark/Changelogs
  • Dark Pact
    • Increased total damage from 75/150/225/300 to 90/160/230/300.
    • Reduced mana cost from 75 to 65.
  • Reduced base Strength attribute symbol.png strength from 21 to 20.
  • Pounce
    • Now deals 40 magical damage upon leashing the target.
    • Increased latch radius from 95 to 120.
  • Talent Talents:
Level 10 left talent changed: +8 Agility attribute symbol.png agility ➜ +0.5s Pounce leash duration.
Level 15 left talent changed: 50 attack speed bonus during Shadow Dance ➜ +1.5% Shadow Dance max health as health regen.
Level 20 left talent changed: +0.8s Pounce leash duration ➜ 75 attack speed bonus during Shadow Dance.
Level 25 left talent: +55s Essence Shift steal duration reduced to +50s.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick gives burst mana and health restoration.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed allow Slark to catch up to enemies and immobilize them with Pounce.
  • Orb of Venom icon.png Orb of Venom is a cheap but powerful item to slow enemies and inflict damage overtime, giving an advantage to Slark's early ganks.

Mid game:

  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads gives Slark attack speed to build Essence Shift, as well as the ability to switch to appropriate attributes for survival, damage, or mana.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand, upgraded from Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick, gives him more attributes and opens up item slots.
  • Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade provides attack speed and invisibility to improve ganking and escaping. It also synergizes with the passive part of Shadow Dance, giving health regeneration and movement speed buffs when enemies lose vision of Slark.
  • Echo Sabre icon.png Echo Sabre helps Slark collect stacks of Essence Shift, useful for ganking.

Late game:

  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi slows enemy attack and movement speed, keeping them in range for Slark to build Essence Shift. Its large bonus attributes increases Slark's health, mana, armor, damage, and attack speed, compensating his low growth.
  • Abyssal Blade icon.png Abyssal Blade lets Slark stick to enemies with its active stun and chances to bash, complementing Essence Shift's agility that increases attack speed.

Situational items:

  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance provides Slark with attributes to improve his lackluster growth while giving him extra movement speed and attack speed to help close the distance on foes, building the early game advantage he needs to snowball.
  • Diffusal Blade icon.png Diffusal Blade provides a way to slow fleeing heroes, keeping them in attack range, as well as burning mana for extra damage and suit the gain of attack speed.
  • Sange and Yasha icon.png Sange and Yasha allows him to chase and attack enemy heroes due to the movement speed, attack speed, and agility boost. Its bonus strength may also beef up Slark enough to survive engagements.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar's spell immunity offers protection from disables, making him almost invulnerable while under the effect of Shadow Dance.
  • Butterfly icon.png Butterfly offers bonus attack speed, damage, and agility; its evasion gives him more survivability against attacks.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge, upgraded from Shadow Blade icon.png Shadow Blade, improves Slark's ganking capability even further with bonus attributes and break to disable heroes with strong passive abilities.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence helps Slark gank by silencing enemies, as well as regenerating Slark's mana for more frequent uses of Pounce and Dark Pact. This makes it useful against enemies that rely on blinks or other abilities to escape, such as Queen of Pain minimap icon.png Queen of Pain or Anti-Mage minimap icon.png Anti-Mage.
  • Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar procs Pierce that deals bonus damage and counters enemy evasion.
  • Moon Shard icon.png Moon Shard increases Slark's attack speed for Essence Shift to steal attributes quickly. As the game progresses, Slark can consume it to free an item slot and keep a permanent attack speed bonus.






  • Slark is named after a rare murloc in World of Warcraft.
  • Slark's murloc heritage was completely removed in the transition to Dota 2 to avoid copyright issues, since the murlocs are an existing race in the Warcraft universe.
  • Slark's response ▶️ "Met you once, cut you twice." is a reference to the carpentry phrase "measure twice, cut once".
  • Slark's respawn line ▶️ "Griefer madness..." is a reference to the propaganda film Reefer Madness. As well, a griefer is a role a player assumes while in a multiplayer game to deliberately irritate other players.
  • Slark's weapon, a shiv, is the traditional prison weapon and is a reference to his backstory.