Two New Heroes: Grimstroke and Mars

Year after year, the team behind Dota 2 keeps coming up with new hero concepts, expanding the game’s already large hero pool of more than 110. And at The International 2018, two such heroes were presented. The first, called Mars, was only hinted at and is still in development. The second one, Grimstroke, is already in the game, ruining pubs both in good and bad ways.

Grimstroke’s abilities

Grimstroke’s lore

Grimstroke’s lore is pretty frightning and tragic. Raised to be a protector of his people, he chose instead to sacrifice all of them in order to attain the power he desired. Grimstroke’s kindred are now bound to his brush forever, existing only as inky revenants. Each time he paints a dark mural with his brush, their anguished existences reveal themselves in the act.

Grimstroke’s abilities

Stroke of Fate

The cast range (1400/2000) of this ability combined with its high base damage, low cooldown (11/9/7/5s) and all the other perks (damage increment per affected enemy and 1.5s movement speed slow) make it extremely powerful during the first two stages of the game.

Phantom’s Embrace

This is a very annoying ability to deal with and it’s similar to Weaver’s Swarm. With it, Grimstroke summons a phantom that moves towards the target and latches to it, silencing and damaging it each second. The phantom takes 2/2/3/3 hero attacks or 6/6/9/9 non-hero attacks to destroy. If it survives for the entire duration (4/4/5/5s), the phantom deals heavy damage and refreshes the ability’s cooldown.

Ink Swell

This ability allows Grimstroke to cover an allied unit in ink. This increases its movement speed while silencing and disarming it. The effect lasts for 3 seconds. Enemies that are close to a target affected by this ability take damage per second. They also take heavy damage if they’re near it at the end, when the ink explodes, and are stunned for 2.2/2.8/3.4/4s.


If you thought the first 3 abilities would turn this hero into a complete menace just get a load of this. Soulbind is Grimstroke’s ultimate and it allows him to bind a target to its nearest allied hero, preventing both targets from moving away from each other, slowing them down by 15/30/45% and causing them to be affected by all abilities in tandem: any ability that affects one affects the other as well. The effect lasts for 4/6/8s. If the bind is broken (break distance: 700) before the effect expires, the initial target will be bound to its nearest ally (latch radius: 550).

New meta


It remains to be seen how the meta will change as a result of this hero addition and what role people will play it in. On the surface, Grimstroke seems to be great at anything expect position 1 carry. Given his toolkit, it’s likely that people will play him as mid or support, but other options are certainly viable as well.
As for Mars, this hero will become part of the game in 3-6 months.

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