If you love rolling dice, Chaos Knight is the perfect hero for you. He is one of the most RNG-reliant heroes in the game, and getting a lucky roll feels amazing. Chaos Knight has a strong stun, armor reduction, critical strike, lifesteal, and illusions. That would make him the best carry in the game, right? Not exactly.
Despite his awesome stats and abilities, Chaos Knight is one of the slowest farming heroes. Also, he doesn’t have an escape mechanism (although he is fairly tanky). In this Chaos Knight Dota Guide, we will review his spells, talents, and how to best utilize the hero.
Key Info Up Front
Chaos Knight is a tanky strength carry with high damage output. His effectiveness is predicated on lucky rolls, as well as having a good early game.
- Health: 640
- Damage: 51-81
- Movement speed: 325
- Strength: 22 + 3.2
- Mana: 291
- Armor: 5
- Attack speed: 0.69 attacks per second
- Agility: 18 + 1.4
- Intelligence: 18 + 1.2
- Spells and abilities: Chaos Bolt, Reality Rift, Chaos Strike, Phantasm
- Special abilities: N/A
- Strengths: Very strong in the early game, can nuke a lot of opponents
- Weaknesses: Slow farming speed, very low mana pool.
The Chaos Knight is a relatively straightforward hero. You active Phantasm, thus creating several illusions of yourself. Then, you cast Chaos Bolt stunning a target from a distance and pull the enemy closer with Reality Rift. Chaos Strike has a critical strike chance allowing you to dispose of the opponent relatively easily.
All hero’s spells work in unison, allowing you to focus on a single target. Phantasm can create confusion in the enemy ranks, making it harder to target the real Chaos Knight. It is also worth noting that these are some of the rare illusions in the game that deal 100% damage. So, keeping them alive is crucial for the hero’s damage output.
I simply love how Chaos Knight’s spells feel and look; they give the hero a unique feeling.
Chaos Bolt is a projectile stun that has varying stun duration and damage. An interesting thing about the spell is that the longer the stun, the lower the damage and vice versa. In other words, if you proc for maximum stun duration, you will do minimal magic damage.
The stun duration is pretty great. At the 4th level, you can stun the target for 2 – 4 seconds. (2.5 – 4.5 seconds with talent upgrade). This would make Chaos Bolt one of the longest stuns in the game.
However, there are a few issues with the spell. The projectile is rather slow, allowing the target to disjoint it with Manta Style or Black King Bar. Also, due to its high mana cost, you won’t be able to cast too many Chaos Bolts in the lane. This is why a lot of players prefer focusing on Reality Rift or Chaos Strike.
If you cast Chaos Bolt from a long distance, Chaos Knight will miss on potential auto-attacks while the target is disabled. The developers solved this issue by giving the hero Reality Rift.
The spell works by pulling Chaos Knight and his target towards each other to a melee distance. Upon casting the spell, you will be close enough to the enemy so you can start attacking him/her. Additionally, the spell will reduce the target’s armor for 6 seconds.
At the 4th level, the spell has a 6-second cooldown and costs 50 mana. This makes it very spammable. Furthermore, you can use it to teleport to the next target once you kill the initial target. Although Reality Rift doesn’t provide the same level of mobility as Anti-Mage’s Blink or Slark’s Pounce, it is a crucial tool during team fights.
Another great thing about Reality Rift is that it will also teleport Chaos Knight’s illusion. That way, you can maximize the damage. It also makes it easier to play the hero as you don’t have to think whether your illusions are stuck in the back.
Chaos Strike is the hero’s passive that gives you 33% of dealing a critical hit and life-stealing a portion of the total damage.
The ability is pretty neat in the lane for restoring Chaos Knight’s health. It also helps you a bit with last-hitting. Of course, both lifesteal and critical strike will remain important parts of the hero’s kit as they allow you to quickly nuke opponents during mid and late games. Furthermore, the passive also works on illusions.
Although prioritizing passive abilities is a rarity in Dota 2, a lot of players like putting 4 points in this skill before maxing Chaos Bolt or Reality Rift. Due to the low mana pool, maxing Chaos Bolt is usually unreasonable as skill costs more mana with levels. Also, having more points in Chaos Strike is great for farming jungle later on, which is the hero’s main deficiency.
Phantasm is one of the best, if not the best, illusion-based spells in the game. On the 3rd level, it creates three illusions of the hero that deal 100% damage and benefit from Chaos Strike. This makes them extremely potent offensively, especially if you cast armor-reducing Reality Rift on an enemy beforehand.
However, they do take 325% more damage. This is why the spell benefits greatly from the increased defense. Heart of Tarrasque is a popular pickup on Chaos Knight as it provides both him and his illusions additional health and damage. Still, illusions are susceptible to things such as Lion’s Mana Drain and Earthshaker’s Echo Slam.
When you cast the spell, Chaos Knight will be invulnerable for 0.5 seconds allowing him to dodge projectiles. So, it also has a defensive purpose. One thing that separates this spell from similar illusion-based spells is that you can’t have more than 3 Phantasm illusions. If you use Refresher Orb, a new set of illusions will spawn, and the previous three will perish.
If Chaos Knight had a large enough mana pool, he would be one of the more dominant lane presences in the game. Unfortunately, his spells are not spammable. If you decide to use both Chaos Bolt or Reality Rift to dispose of an enemy, you will be left without any mana, which will make you think whether it was even worth it (especially true if you don’t get the kill).
Something such as Soul Ring would definitely help with the issue. Anyway, his offensive kit offers so many different things, allowing Chaos Knight to stomp puny enemies in the mid-game. Getting a 4 roll on his Chaos Bolt feels so satisfying.
Due to his poor scaling ability, you cannot allow yourself to fall behind during the laning stage. Luckily, the hero has awesome stats, good movement speed, and lifestyle that helps with sustain.
Chaos Knight’s laning revolves around his mana use. Depending on the patch and a player, a different ability will be prioritized.
Chaos Strike seems like the best choice as it allows you to farm woods later on. You can maximize Reality Rift for improved spell range and armor reduction. However, it will only be worth it if you have the opportunity to kill off enemies in the lane. Maxing Chaos Bolt first is primarily for support and offlane Chaos Knight as increased stun duration can go a long way when focusing opponents.
Keep in mind that Chaos Knight is viable in almost any role. If you play mid-Chaos Knight, you should pick up a Bottle and take advantage of your damaging offensive spells to roam around. Offlane Chaos Knight is built similarly to mid-Chaos Knight, where you should maximize Chaos Bolt and Reality Rift to open space for your carry. Just instead of Bottle, you should go for Soul Ring and, after that, probably Blink Dagger.
Support Chaos Knight has the most leeway in terms of the build. Again, your Chaos Bolt will be your bread and butter. Depending on the situation in a lane, Chaos Knight can make great rotations mid and the opposite lane. Make sure to get enough Mangos and Clarities, as you will be spamming a lot.
Although the hero has a lot of flexibility, the carry Chaos Knight is the most common iteration of the hero.
The hero is especially strong during mid-game. But if he doesn’t have enough impact during this period, he will slowly start falling off. So, while your natural instinct would be to farm woods, you should probably have a more active role. The only exception is if you went for Battle Fury or another farming item that would help you keep up with enemy carry.
The problem with Chaos Knight is that hero, and his illusions can be killed off regardless of their tankiness. The best way to circumvent this is by going Armlet of Mordiggian into Black King Bar. Unfortunately, this will immensely stifle your farm speed.
In other words, even if you have a really good mid-game, you can still lose if you don’t push your advantage. Given that Chaos Knight is a melee hero, it can sometimes be hard to siege, leaving you in a no-win situation.
Furthermore, although the character has an initiation tool in Reality Rift, you still might need Blink Dagger due to the spell’s short cast distance. This is an additional expense reducing your defensive/offensive capability. Aghanim’s Shard will improve the range on Chaos Bolt, and thus your initiation, but this projective is easy to avoid. When the enemy gets Manta Style or Black King Bar, it will no longer be good for initiation (especially true in high-skill games).
With enough items, Chaos Knight can be a real nightmare. Single-target enemies will struggle with all his tanky illusions, while illusion carries will have trouble taking him down. That is if we presume he has the same farm as the opposing carry.
As a Chaos Knight, you want to finish the game between 25 and 35 minutes. Going into the late game can be very tricky due to mentioned problems. In theory, Chaos Knight can be extremely potent if the game lasts for more than 50 minutes. At this point, he will have full items slots, and his great spells will allow him to scale better than most enemy carries and cores.
Rumbling through enemies with an army of 4,00-health illusions can feel as if you’ve become an army general. This is especially true if you create notorious Aghanim’s Scepter creating illusions of enemies on top of yours.
In many ways, getting farm on Chaos Knight can feel better than getting farm on some other heroes because it is such a rare occurrence. If you do win a teamfight during late game, you can quickly demolish enemy base with illusions’ high damage.
Itemization (Core items)
Armlet of Mordiggian
There are a few reasons why this item is so amazing on Chaos Knight. First off, it works well for the hero. As a strength carry, the character benefits a lot from any strength gained. Furthermore, Chaos Knight has lifesteal that offsets that life-draining effect of the item’s Unholy Strength feature. But it is even better for illusions. If you turn on Unholy Strength prior to activating Phantasm, all your illusion will get damage, strength, and armor bonus without suffering -40 health per second. Lastly, as Chaos Knight usually gets Heart of Tarrasque in the later portions of the game, the health drain will become negligible as the game goes on.
Black King Bar
Like most melee carries, Chaos Knight needs Black King Bar to jump into the fray. In some situations, you might think that the Heart of Tarrasque is a better option, as it will work nicely on illusions. But that doesn’t reduce the fact that you still need this item to move around and be effective. Unfortunately, Black King Bar doesn’t work on any illusions, which really sucks for the hero.
Heart of Tarrasque
Usually, Chaos Knight doesn’t really want to make traditional damage items like some other carries. Instead, his main damage output comes from illusions. As long as they’re alive, the hero can kill off most of his enemies. Strength-based items such as Heart of Tarrasque are especially good as they provide both defense and offense.
Manta Style is not that popular among strength carries. While these heroes can benefit from the movement speed and dispel, high agility and low strength can affect their damage progression. Also, having additional illusions is not that great. This isn’t the case with Chaos Knight. Given that the hero buys a lot of strength and health items, like Armlet and Heart, his Manta illusions will become really tanky. Furthermore, they also benefit from Reality Rift, teleporting them to the enemy like Phantasm illusions.
This item solves several issues for Chaos Knight. First off, it gives armor and attack speed to the hero and his illusions. It also reduces nearby enemies’ armor, which works really well with Reality Rift’s debuff. It is also great for sieging, one of the hero’s weaker points. Naturally, the armor and attack speed for allies is also nice.
Itemization (Optional items)
Drum of Endurance
For the longest time, Drum of Endurance was a go-to item on this hero. It provides nice mobility, improved team offense through attack speed buff, and additional strength and intelligence. Any strength boost is incredible, and intelligence helps with the hero’s low mana pool.
At one point, Aghanim’s Scepter was completely broken on Chaos Knight. With it, Phantasm gets additional Chaos Knight illusion and creates an illusion of every allied hero. So, you could play the hero as offlane, mid lane, or support, and you would always have an impact as long as you buy the item. Although Aghanim’s Scepter has been nerfed a bit, it still represents a solid upgrade.
Although this is a very peculiar purchase on carries, it works for Chaos Knight. His initiation is predicated on Chaos Bolt’s and Reality Rift’s range. It also provides mana and mana regen, both of which are necessary for the character.
You will sometimes see Chaos Knights buy Battle Fury. It is the primary farming item, and it is especially important if you think that the game will go late. Besides the Cleave effect and damage that hasten your farming and teamfight, you can also benefit from the item’s mana regeneration.
Sange and Yasha
Sange and Yasha provide lots of buffs to the hero, and in certain patches, this was one of the more popular pickups. Given that Chaos Knight is more of a brawler than a farmer, he requires items that would allow him to be active on the map. Movement speed, strength, attack speed all work well for the hero’s defense, offense, and mobility. Lifesteal amplification is really nice with Chaos Strike, while regeneration amplification can be incredible with Armlet and Heart.
Blink Dagger and Overwhelming Blink
Blink Dagger is a great positioning tool that works for any Chaos Knight, but it shines for supports and offlaners (you don’t want to invest in it as a carry). Later on, you can turn it into Overwhelming Blink, gaining additional magic damage and strength.
Level 10 (+200 Reality Rift cast range OR +20% Chaos Strike lifesteal)
Between these two talents, Reality Rift has a clear advantage. Due to its low cooldown, you will likely cast the spell several times during teamfights. Increased range reduces the need for Blink Dagger and Aether Lens. While improved lifesteal is a nice buff, and it also works on illusions, it is far from a game-changer.
Level 15 (+12 strength OR -3 seconds Chaos Bolt cooldown)
You can always benefit from additional strength on the hero. However, if you’re support or offlane, you might wish to consider getting Chaos Bolt buff instead. It would reduce the spell cooldown from 10 to 7 seconds.
Level 20 (Reality Rift goes through spell immunity OR +0.5 seconds minimum/maximum Chaos Bolt stun duration)
As the enemies get Black King Bars during mid game, it will become harder to initiate. You won’t be able to cast Chaos Bolt or Reality Rift, forcing you and illusions to run to opponents so you can auto-attack. The issue can be solved with the first talent; it is simply amazing. Increased Chaos Bolt stun duration is nice if you took Chaos Bolt cooldown talent at level 15. Again, it is much better for supports.
Level 25 (+10 seconds Phantasm duration OR +10% Chaos Strike chance)
Both of these talents affect your damage but in different ways. Phantasm talent will prolong the spell’s duration from 30 to 40 seconds, which makes it really potent if you have Aghanim’s Scepter and survivable illusions. It is good in the late game as teamfights tend to be longer, and there are a lot of buybacks. Among others, it would allow you to transition into tower push after you win an engagement. However, Chaos Strike buff is much better if you want to nuke enemies instantly. In most cases, you will pick the talent based on the situation on the field.
Question: Which lane is the best for Chaos Knight?
Answer: Generally speaking, Chaos Knight can thrive as both safe lane and offlane, as he is very hard to nuke. There are certain mid-matchups that can cause issues, but you can still see him occasionally in this role. Although he might have trouble last-hitting, his ganking abilities would make him a great mid laner.
Question: How to deal with Chaos Knight?
Answer: The hero gets a lot of his power from illusions. Having strong AOE spells can definitely help with that. Alternatively, you can simply try to outfarm him.