Riki Dota 2 Hero Guide for Patch 7.14

Riki is a very powerful roamer when utilized fully. Although he is countered by true-sight, good map awareness can overcome this. His abilities allow him to cripple the enemy team in team-fights and get easy pickoffs on support heroes.

Riki has very low stat gain, although with a good game has the potential to transition into a core role in the late game.


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Riki Item build

Starting Items

  • Orb of Venom
  • Observer Ward
  • Sentry Ward
  • Tango
  • Iron Branch
  • Faerie Fire

Early Game Items

  • Phase Boots
  • Tranquil Boots
  • Urn of Shadows
  • Ring of Aquila
  • Magic Wand

Mid Game Items

  • Diffusal Blade
  • Blink Dagger
  • Echo Sabre
  • Yasha
  • Skull Basher

Late Game Items

  • Black King Bar
  • Abyssal Blade
  • Desolator
  • Butterfly
  • Sange and Yasha

Situational Items

  • Manta Style
  • Drum of Endurance
  • Power Treads
  • Vladmir’s Offering
  • Gem of True Sight
  • Nullifier
  • Spirit Vessel

Riki Skill Build

  1. Cloak and Dagger
  2. Blink Strike
  3. Smoke Cloud
  4. Cloak and Dagger
  5. Cloak and Dagger
  6. Tricks of the Trade
  7. Cloak and Dagger
  8. Blink Strike
  9. Blink Strike
  10. Talent
  11. Blink Strike
  12. Tricks of the Trade
  13. Smoke Cloud
  14. Smoke Cloud
  15. Talent
  16. Smoke Cloud
  17. Tricks of the Trade
Read Also: Complete Riki Dota 2 Guide

Complete Riki Spell guide

Smoke Screen

Riki summons a smoke cloud that removes the affected enemies’ vision, silences and slows them in its area of effect as well as applying a chance to miss attacks. This is a great spell against heroes that rely on spells such as invisibility or Blink to survive. Usually this is maxed lastly because the ability to Blink Strike with a 4 second cooldown is very powerful. However if you need the silence against heroes like Storm Spirit, Anti-Mage and Clinkz then it can be a good idea to skill this in place of Blink Strike and get it at level 2 instead.

You can often get one or two attacks off if the enemy is distracted before they notice that you’re attacking them, so you don’t always need to throw down Smoke Cloud immediately when ganking. That is, unless the hero has an escape spell. If so, try to pair it with a stun or a slow and cast it where you think they will try to run to. Take advantage of your invisibility to silence enemies that are threatening your teammates and may be able to kill them with a spell.

Blink Strike

Riki jumps onto the target’s back, damaging for bonus damage if the target is an enemy. This is usually maxed secondly so that you can chase down enemies more easily and escape if you need to. Save this spell for when the enemy has run too far from you so that you can get another 1-2 attacks in. You should only initiate with this spell if the enemy has a Sentry and an escape spell, so that they would see you coming otherwise.

Cloak and Dagger

Riki becomes invisible after a short delay and deals bonus damage when attacking from behind. The invisibility is cancelled upon attacking. This should be maxed first on Riki because the fade time is reduced from 6 seconds to 3 seconds and it increases the backstab damage. You should always keep checking which heroes have what true sight items and be wary of them in Dota 2 esports.

This spell allows Riki to contest the enemy’s bounty rune at level one, providing they don’t have true sight in their inventories. In team-fights, you should prioritise heroes with very strong ultimate abilities like Enigma, Magnus and Bane. Your goal is to interrupt their ability to cast their ultimates by attacking them as soon as the team-fight begins. You should be aware that these heroes, as well as supports, tend to stay far back in team-fights and that they are often easy kills for you. Even if you don’t manage to kill them, a Smoke Cloud and several attacks may delay their ultimates long enough for your team to win the fight.

These heroes may end up buying Glimmer Capes or Shadow Blades or other defensive items. Against these items, a Gem of True Sight can be effective, as it allows you to do your job of interrupting powerful ultimates. Riki is simply too squishy to be on the front lines of the team-fight. He relies upon attacking enemies from behind and he struggles to do so on the front lines of a team-fight. It is for this reason that picking off support heroes at the back lines is more effective.


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Tricks of the Trade

Riki becomes invulnerable and repeatedly strikes random targets in the area of effect from behind for several seconds. Moving during this period will cancel the effect. Aghanim’s Scepter allows Riki to cast this on an ally, following them wherever they go and increasing the duration.

This can be used to dodge incoming damage which would otherwise be fatal as it makes you invulnerable for several seconds. Tricks of the Trade is a great team-fight spell that synergizes well with AoE disables. It also excels at defending high-ground as it zones enemies or forces them to take damage.

It can be used quite often due to its low cooldown and is very effective in ganks and fights against 2 or more heroes. It’s very effective to use this spell against enemies that are about to escape your Smoke Cloud so that they cannot stun you.

Best Riki Talents

Level 10: +5 Health Regen or +8 Agility

The agility is almost always the better talent choice. Riki’s agility gain is quite low and his starting agility has been nerfed a bit, which makes the extra agility very valuable. Agility translates to more damage, attack speed and armor which is usually more significant than the HP regen. If you get either an Urn of Shadows or Tranquil Boots, then you probably won’t need the HP regen. However, if you get Phase boots or Power Treads, you don’t necessarily have to get the HP regen, as you can get an Urn of Shadows if you need it. That said, you don’t necessarily have to get any HP regen on Riki, it’s just that his HP pool is quite low, and he greatly benefits from being able to roam the map without having to go back to base when he gets low on HP every time.

Level 15: +20% Critical Strike (1.5x) or -7s Smokescreen Cooldown

The Smokecreen cooldown reduction will give it a 100% up-time, and allow you to use it much sooner which can be very strong against heroes who rely on casting spells to survive, such as Puck, or Ember Spirit. Usually these heroes will buy items to help them survive the Smokescreen anyway, such as BKB or Force Staff, so unless you are facing several heroes who are all hard to kill without silences, then the crit is probably a better talent choice. The crit can now be applied on Backstabs which makes it scale great with agility and also increases your DPS by a large amount.

Level 20: +0.20 Backstab Multiplier or +900 Blink Strike Cast Range

If you are playing against heroes with Blinks or high movement speed, then the Cast Range can be very good. It can also be very strong if there are lots of slows on the enemy team as it will let you escape more easily. The extra Backstab multiplier can be very good if you need more damage, if you have lots of agility items or if the Cast Range won’t help you very much.

Level 25: +400 Tricks of the Trade AoE or Cloak and Dagger Doesn’t Reveal

Cloak and Dagger doesn’t reveal makes it so that you can attack enemies without being revealed. Only true sight will reveal you. In the late game, enemies are very likely to have a Gem of True Sight or several Sentry Wards and Dust of Appearances. It can make fights which aren’t 5 v 5 and in places that are a bit less usual to fight at a bit easier, as it’s often a lot less likely that enemies will have detection here. However, the extra AoE for Tricks of the Trade makes it easier to defend high-ground, and will have a bigger impact in team-fights as it will take enemies longer to move out of the radius. In most cases, the Tricks of the Trade AoE is a more reliable talent, but if you have very few damage items or if you are getting picked off or are looking for pick offs, then the Cloak and Dagger talent may be a better choice.

What Items to build on Riki

Starting Items

  • Orb of Venom
  • Observer Ward
  • Sentry Ward
  • Tango
  • Iron Branch
  • Faerie Fire

Riki greatly benefits from an Orb of Venom in his starting items, as it applies a slow to enemies during his early game roam to help him secure kills. With level 1 Smoke Cloud, Riki can potentially slow enemies for 22%. Sentry Wards allow Riki to deward the opponent’s own Sentry Wards to make their lanes less safe for them. Observer Wards can be placed behind towers and in the jungle to scout out squishy supports and couriers. Riki has very little HP which makes only one set of Tangos necessary. An Iron Branch or Faerie Fire provide Riki with potentially a bit more HP regeneration as well. Riki can catch enemies very easily with his Blink Strike when this happens.

Early Game Items

Phase Boots

Phase Boots should be the boots of choice in most games. These allow Riki to chase down enemies much more easily as well as to deal a bit more damage in the early game. They can also be used without breaking invisibility. They are generally better than Power Treads because of the increased movement speed and Phase ability allowing you to chase enemies through creeps.

Tranquil Boots

Tranquil Boots regenerate Riki’s health much faster in between ganks and give him more movement speed outside of combat. These can be a good pickup if you find yourself taking a lot of damage with every gank.

Urn of Shadows

Urn of Shadows provide a little bit of mana regeneration and most importantly a means to heal up after every gank. It can also be used offensively to secure kills onto enemies that are escaping with low HP. Urn is a natural pickup on Riki because of the sheer amount of ganking he does in the early and mid game.

Ring of Aquila

Ring of Aquila gives Riki lots of mana regeneration and more damage. This extra mana regeneration is very helpful because of Riki’s very intelligence stat gain. Make sure to turn it off so that it doesn’t affect nearby allies and creeps as this would give away your position.

Magic Wand

Magic Wand is very good on Riki because he ganks a lot and has a lot of opportunities to build up charges. Given his low HP and mana pool, a fully charged Magic Wand can restore a large portion of his health and mana.

Read Also: Dota 2 Ranks - A Complete Guide to MMR and Ranking

Mid Game Items

Diffusal Blade

Diffusal Blade is regarded as the single core item on Riki. It gives Riki agility, mana burn and an offensive purge ability as well as a slow. The purge should be used to slow enemies in his Smoke Cloud and against heroes with strong buffs, such as Windrun or Ghost Shroud. The agility translates directly into more attack damage, attack speed, as well as more backstab damage.

Blink Dagger

Blink Dagger allows Riki to Blink away after Tricks of the Trade has ended. It also allows Riki to catch enemies easier and to land Smoke Clouds on enemies before they have a chance to escape.

Echo Sabre

Echo Sabre provides some HP and mana regeneration to Riki as well as the ability to attack twice every  5 seconds. This pairs well with backstab, as it gives Riki the potential to burst down a hero much quicker.


Yasha gives Riki more attack speed, damage and movement speed. It can also be built into a Sange and Yasha or Manta Style later. If you need to carry more and are getting lots of kills, a Yasha can help you to transition into a carry.

Skull Basher

Skull Basher is a great item on Riki because it allows him to bash his opponents inside of his Smoke Cloud. The bash also allows him to attack a target for longer, and attempt to take out carries more easily. Skull Basher is an excellent item against magic immune heroes.

Late Game Items

Black King Bar

Black King Bar allows Riki to stand on the front lines of his team and fight core heroes more easily. It can also be good if he faces lots of magical damage or silences.

Abyssal Blade

Skull Basher should be upgraded into Abyssal Blade in the late game. It allows you to deal a lot of damage onto carries and keep them disabled even through magic immunity. The Abyssal Blade also gives Riki more HP and a chance to block some damage.


Desolator provides Riki with a lot more damage in the mid to late game, especially against squishy heroes or heroes with low armor. It compliments Tricks of the Trade very well as it applies the minus armor debuff onto every enemy struck.


If you need to carry harder in the late game, a Butterfly is a great option. It provides more attack speed, attack damage and some evasion as well as movement speed. The movement speed makes him even greater at chasing or escaping heroes. Butterfly makes backstab deal more damage, gives you more armor and allows you to fight carries without true strike much more effectively. The best Dota 2 players usually go for this one.

Sange and Yasha

Sange and Yasha tanks you up a bit and gives you a chance to Maim targets inside your Smoke Cloud. It’s a great team-fight item that is cheap to build and very effective.


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Situational Items

Manta Style

Manta Style can be good if you need to purge several silences, dodge spells or purge Dust of Appearance. The illusions go invisible and can be used to scout the enemy’s side of the map for Sentry Wards. Just keep watching them to see if the enemy attacks them.

Drum of Endurance

A Drum can be a good pickup if you want to fight in the early to mid game as it provides good stats for Riki including movement speed to help him chase down enemies.

Power Treads

Power Treads are generally inferior to Phase Boots and the movement speed they provide. Treads gives attack speed and more health which are more in line with a carry build, although Riki usually doesn’t farm very much and needs to secure kills in the early game which Phase Boots simply achieve more easily.

Vladmir’s Offering

Vladmir’s Offering can be good if you have several physical damage dealers and want to fight or gank in the mid game. The mana regeneration does not stack with Ring of Aquila, so it’s best to choose one.

Gem of True Sight

As mentioned above, a Gem of True Sight may be needed against heroes with invisibility. There is a risk that you may lose it, although it allows you to scout Sentry Wards and deward Observers for more map control.


A Nullifier works very similarly to a Diffusal Blade as it will slow them in the Smoke Cloud every time you attack them. It will also prevent enemies from using item to escape the Cloud which can be very strong against several heroes, especially when coupled with a stun or a Skull Basher.

Spirit Vessel

If you got the Urn of Shadows on your team, you can upgrade it into a Spirit Vessel if you are facing several heroes with healing abilities. The extra HP and movement speed are also good stats for Riki as he’s quiet squishy, and the MS will help you to chase them down.

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Interesting Riki Match-ups

Bounty Hunter, Slardar and Faceless Void

These three heroes all have ultimate abilities that can reveal you. If you have a Manta Style, it isn’t always necessary to purge Track and Corrosive Haze as they have very low cooldowns and can be cast again. Instead, only purge them when it matters, such as in team-fights or if you’re being ganked.


Razor will slow your movement and attack speed when you use Blink Strike and can drain your damage with Static Link. Static Link will also reveal your outline making you vulnerable to other heroes with true sight.


Lightning Bolt gives true sight of the area around the cast point, making Zeus a good counter to Riki.


Riki is very effective against junglers as he can disrupt their ability to farm the jungle and kill them if they get low on HP to creeps.

Blink and invisibility heroes

Heroes that can escape with Blink or invisibility are countered by Riki’s Smoke Cloud. This means that he can potentially get kills on them before they farm items to escape it.

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