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Slark icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
21 + 1.9
21 + 1.7
16 + 1.7
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 620 1140 1760 2000
+1.75 +3.85 +6.51 +9.61 +10.76
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 32‒40 53‒61 76‒84 105‒113 116‒124
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 Instant
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

Slark, the Nightcrawler, is a melee agility hero that utilizes his abilities to spring onto enemy heroes and slip out unhindered. He is a very mobile ganker, but remains attribute-wise below most other carries unless he is able to steal away attributes with his abilities. Once he does, though, only a few heroes can hope to be as fearsome as the Nightcrawler - extremely mobile to the point of ever-presence, his strikes only hitting harder and faster.

Slark can quickly leap forward onto enemies with Pounce to leash them and bind them from escaping. His Dark Pact releases a delayed dispel that breaks even the most powerful disables. This gives him one of the most flexible abilities to start and end fights in the game. He is also capable of stealing attributes by attacking his victim to boost his own attack damage temporarily with Essence Shift, which can rapidly shift engagements in his favor, even when merely performing hit-and-run maneuvers. Slark's ultimate, Shadow Dance, allows him to remain unseen even while attacking for a short duration and allows him to move quicker when not under the watch of enemy eyes to strike in and out of enemy ranks unhindered.


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: 75/150/225/300 (Talent 145/220/295/370)
Self Damage Percentage: 30%
Cooldown: 9/8/7/6 (Talent 8/7/6/5)
Mana: 75
Buff modifier_slark_dark_pact: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_slark_dark_pact_pulses: Dispellable with death only.
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 7.5/15/22.5/30 (Talent 14.5/22/29.5/37) damage within a 325 radius in 0.1-second intervals, starting 1.5 seconds after cast for a total of 10 instances.
  • Slark takes 2.25/4.5/6.75/9 (Talent 4.35/6.6/8.85/11.1) damage in the same intervals, resulting in 22.5/45/67.5/90 (Talent 43.5/66/88.5/111) 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. 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: 95
Leash Radius: 400
Leash Duration: 2.5/2.75/3/3.25 (Talent 3.3/3.55/3.8/4.05)
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
Aghanim's Scepter upgrade: Provides 2 charges and increases pounce range.
Does not pierce spell immunity. Leash persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled. Leash can be dispelled by spell immunity only.
Cannot be cast while rooted or leashed. Getting rooted during the leap does not cancel the leap.
Buff modifier_slark_pounce: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_slark_pounce_leash: Dispellable with death only.
Time in the Dark Reef made Slark a dangerous assassin; aggressive and fearless.


  • Slark leaps forward at a speed of 933.33 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 1599.99) for up to 0.75 seconds.
  • Always jumps for the full distance, unless an enemy hero gets within 95 radius of Slark during the jump.
  • With the maximum distance and latch radius, Pounce can latch on enemy heroes up to 795 range away.
  • Slark can turn and cast abilities and items during Pounce, but cannot attack.
  • When latching on a unit, Slark is automatically ordered to attack the target.
  • The more the leash gets stretched, the slower the affected unit can walk away from the center, eventually coming to a full stop. It directly affects the target's movement speed.
  • 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: 15/30/60/100 (Talent 70/85/115/155)
Partially disabled by Break. Prevents gaining new stacks. Already existing stacks still provide bonus agility.
Does not prevent permanently stealing agility.
Buff modifier_slark_essence_shift: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_slark_essence_shift_buff: Dispellable with death only.
Buff or Debuff, based on the target's alliance modifier_slark_essence_shift_debuff_counter: Dispellable with death only.
Buff or Debuff, based on the target's alliance modifier_slark_essence_shift_debuff: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_slark_essence_shift_permanent_buff: Undispellable. Persists death.
Debuff modifier_slark_essence_shift_permanent_debuff: Undispellable. Persists death.
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, both temporarily and permanently, even when the attacked hero has no more attributes left to 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.
  • When Slark dies, he loses all temporarily stolen attributes, but the affected enemies do not get theirs back, and vice versa.
  • Cannot steal attributes from illusions, but Slark can temporarily steal attributes from allies.
  • To permanently steal Agility attribute symbol.png agility, an enemy hero has to die within 300 range of Slark while having the Essence Shift debuff.
    • Does not permanently steal agility if the dying hero has Reincarnation, or from the Arc Warden Tempest Double minimap icon.png Tempest Double.
    • Slark also steals agility when he kills a debuffed enemy hero from any distance.
    • Can permanently steal agility from Meepo Clones individually.
    • The number of stolen agility can be seen on the status buff icon.

Depth Shroud
Pierces spell immunity. DF
Depth Shroud icon.png
Creates a 300 AoE cloud at the target location for 3 seconds. 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
Buff modifier_slark_depth_shroud_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_slark_shadow_dance_visual: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_slark_depth_shroud: Undispellable. Persists death.
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.
  • 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, 100 attack speed and 10%/12%/14% 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% 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%
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: 50
Cooldown: 75/60/45
Mana: 120
Aghanim's Shard upgrade: Grants a new ability: Depth Shroud.
Partially disabled by Break. Regeneration and movement speed bonus are disabled, active invisibility is not.
Cannot be used by illusions. Illusions get the buff, but it does not grant them the health regen and movement speed.
Buff modifier_slark_shadow_dance_passive: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_slark_shadow_dance_passive_regen: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_slark_shadow_dance: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_slark_shadow_dance_aura: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_slark_shadow_dance_visual: Dispellable with death only.
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% (Talent 25%/31.5%/38.5%) of Slark's max health over its active duration.
    • Can fully regenerate Slark's health within 20/16.67/14.29 seconds.


Hero Talents
+55s Essence Shift Duration25+1s Shadow Dance Duration
+0.8s Pounce Leash20+1 Agility gain/stolen per Essence Shift Stack
+50 Shadow Dance Attack Speed15+70 Dark Pact Damage
+8 Agility attribute symbol.png Agility10-1s Dark Pact Cooldown

Recent Changes[]

Main Article: Slark/Changelogs
Level 25 left talent: +65s Essence Shift steal duration reduced to +55s.
  • Increased Dark Pact mana cost from 60 to 75.
  • Talents:
Level 15 right talent: +80 Dark Pact damage reduced to +70.
  • Reduced Dark Pact self damage percentage from 50% to 30%.
  • Reduced Shadow Dance cooldown from 80/65/50 to 75/60/45.
  • Talents:
Level 10 right talent changed: +9 Strength attribute symbol.png strength ➜ -1s Dark Pact cooldown.
Level 15 left talent changed: 18% lifesteal ➜ 50 attack speed bonus during Shadow Dance.
Level 15 right talent changed: +20 attack speed ➜ +80 Dark Pact damage.
Level 20 right talent changed: +120 Dark Pact damage ➜ +1 Essence Shift agility stolen per attack.

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 1 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.


Roles: Carry Carry Escape Escape Disabler Disabler Nuker Nuker
Complexity: ★★☆
Playstyle: The only prisoner ever to escape from Dark Reef, Slark's abilities and ruthlessness are without equal. The Nightcrawler Pounces on his foes, leaping over obstacles and pinning them to the ground. With every swing of his barnacle encrusted blade, Slark steals his target's essences, converting them to render himself more agile. He forges a Dark Pact, sacrificing his own lifeblood to dissipate negative energies that damage foes, and frees him from magical constraints. Concealing himself with Shadow Dance, the Nightcrawler presents no visible target to would-be attackers. Hidden in this black haze, Slark escapes the inescapable, and returns to gut his enemies with little risk of retribution.





  • 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.