Meat hook icon.png

Abilities, also called spells, are unique skills that units can use. All heroes have one or more abilities that usually get stronger every time the hero levels up. Most abilities require mana to be used and once used they may also be placed on cooldown and can't be used again until their cooldown timer is up.


Most of the active abilities are cast as soon as the unit has enough mana for it and the ability isn't on cooldown.

Unit target

Some abilities are cast on units: allies, enemies, self or a combination of those. If no unit is in range, the caster will walk towards the closest available target to cast on them.

Ground target

Ground abilities are cast directly on the ground and can affect all units in that area.

Some examples are: Kunkka mini icon.png Kunkka's Ghostship icon.png Ghostship, Enigma mini icon.png Enigma's Midnight pulse icon.png Midnight Pulse and Alchemist mini icon.png Alchemist's Acid spray icon.png Acid spray.

No target

Some abilities do not have a specific target and are used as soon as the unit has mana for it.

Some examples are Templar assassin mini icon.png Templar Assassin's Refraction icon.png Refraction and Necrophos mini icon.png Necrophos's Death pulse icon.png Death Pulse.

However, some of these abilities, such as, Axe mini icon.png Axe's Berserker's call icon.png Berserker's Call or Razor mini icon.png Razor's Plasma field icon.png Plasma Field, will only be cast when enemies are within their range.


Passive abilities don't need to be cast, therefore they don't cost mana or go on cooldown, instead they require a certain action or condition to be effective.

Some different types of passive abilities:

  • Luna mini icon.png Luna's Moon glaives icon.png Moon Glaives and
  • Slark mini icon.png Slark's Essence shift icon.png Essence Shift take effect when the hero attacks.
  • Drow ranger mini icon.png Drow Ranger's Precision aura icon.png Precision Aura only affects nearby allies.
  • Puck mini icon.png Puck's Phase shift icon.png Phase Shift only activates when Puck is about to take damage.


Some abilities have preferred targets, while others are completely random. Examples:

  • Pudge mini icon.png Pudge targets the farthest enemy from him when using Meat hook icon.png Meat Hook.
  • Sniper mini icon.png Sniper uses Assassinate icon.png Assassinate on enemies with health lower than the damage from the ability.
  • Techies mini icon.png Techies tries to place Remote mines icon.png Remote Mines next to the enemy he's attacking.

Cast point

Most active ablilities require the casting unit to spend a certain amount of time before the spell's effects are applied. This time window is known as cast point or cast time. Only once the unit reaches this point does the spell take effect, goes on cooldown and its mana cost is spent. During the cast point, the unit can't perform any actions, if the unit is disabled or loses the mana required to cast the spell, it will be cancelled.

Cast point can vary heavily and is set for each spell individually.

Some abilities with long cast points are:

Keeper of the light mini icon.png Keeper of the Light's Illuminate icon.png Illuminate with 4.00 seconds

Sniper mini icon.png Sniper's Assassinate icon.png Assassinate with 2.0 seconds.

Some abilities with short cast points are:

Arc warden mini icon.png Arc Warden's Tempest double icon.png Tempest Double with 0.15 seconds.

Venomancer mini icon.png Venomancer's Venomous gale icon.png Venomous Gale with 0.16 seconds.


An active ability won't be cast if:

  • The caster doesn't have enough mana for it.
  • The ability is on cooldown.
  • There are no valid targets.
  • The caster is Stun icon.png stunned or Silence icon.png silenced.
  • The ability can only be used under their specific conditions.

A passive ability won't have any effects while the unit is under the effect of Break icon.png break.

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