Hoodwink Dota Guide

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If you like forest animals and magic tricks, you will definitely like Hoodwink. This elusive hero has a lot of strong but somewhat unreliable spells. Acorn Shot allows her to slow enemies down while utilizing the Hoodwink’s base damage. Bushwhack is great for keeping them in place as you prepare the character’s strongest damage spell: Sharpshooter.

After reading this Hoodwink Dota Guide, you should better understand the hero and how to properly utilize her skills.

Key Info Up Front

Hoodwink is a ranged agility hero that is commonly played as a support. She can go with magic or physical damage build, depending on a player’s preferences.

Health: 540

Damage: 46 – 53

Movement speed: 275

Strength: 17 + 2

Mana: 327

Armor: 4

Attack speed: 0.62 attacks per second

Agility: 24 + 3.6

Intelligence: 21 + 2.9

Spells and abilities: Acorn Shot, Bushwhack, Scurry, Sharpshooter.

Special abilities: N/A

Strengths: Has high kill potential in the laning stage, long-range spells don’t need many items to be effective

Weaknesses: Heavily reliant on trees, doesn’t have defensive spells that would help allied cores

Basic spells

By using Scurry, Hoodwink can use the woods to sneak up to any hero. She can open an engagement by using Acorn Shot, which bounces of several targets doing physical-related damage and slowing them down. Then, the hero can follow up with Bushwhack that will stun the target keeping him or her in place as she charges a powerful nuke called Sharpshooter.

Hoodwink combines slows, stun, evasive ability, magic nuke, and break to decimate almost any target on the field. Buying Aghanim’s Shard and Aghanim’s Scepter will provide additional offensive options, making her Jack of all trades.

Acorn Shot

Acorn Shot is an interesting ability that relies on your physical damage. As the name implies, Hoodwink will launch an acorn on an opponent which bounces up to 5 times at level 4. In many ways, it is similar to Witch Doctor’s Paralyzing Cask. If she targets the ground, a tree will spawn on that spot, and the acorn will bounce from that position onward. The newly-created tree can synergize well with Bushwhack.

Each acorn bounce will deal 50/75/100/125 physical damage plus 75% of Hoodwink’s attack damage. It also causes a 100% slow on the target that lasts 0.35 per bounce.

What’s very interesting about  Acorn Shot is that it works with both attack range and spell range. In other words, any improvement to either spell cast range or regular attack range will increase the distance from which you can fire an acorn.

Acorn Shot is the hero’s primary ability if you wish to create a physical damage dealer. Besides calculating 75% of Hoodwink’s damage, it will also apply any proc that the hero might have. This makes it amazing with items such as Daedalus and Maelstrom. Keep in mind that every bounce will proc separately, allowing you to quickly kill creep waves but also enemies.


Bushwhack is the hero’s stun. Hoodwink will cast a wide net binding enemy hero and creeps to a nearby tree. If there is no tree, the net will not be able to latch. In other words, it won’t provide any effect. As previously mentioned, to ensure that the spell connects, you can first cast a ground-targeted Acorn Shot that will create a tree, and after that, you can follow it up with Bushwhack.

At the fourth level, Bushwhack will deal a total of 300 magic damage. But the ability will cause gradual damage through several instances. The spell has a few other interesting interactions. For example, it will latch to enemies even if they are in the fog of war, but it won’t attach to invisible opponents. Also, all enemies bound to a tree will have their vision minimized.

If you cut the tree that your allies are bound to, you can set them free from Bushwhack disable.



Scurry is the hero’s passive ability that can be activated for additional effects. While close to trees, the hero will gain 8%/16%/24%/32% evasion to all physical attacks. This works well for both core and support Hoodwink. If you activate Scurry, the hero will gain additional movement, phasing, and tree-walking.

Scurry is ideal for initiating from trees or escaping into them. Players often use the ability to defend towers. They will be in trees, and when the opponent’s creep wave comes along, they will cast Acorn Shot and/or Bushwhack. If the enemy heroes try to pursue, she can simply activate Scurry and run along a tree line.

At level 15, Hoodwink has a talent that would allow her to become invisible after 1.2 seconds of standing still in trees.

Sharpshooter (Ultimate)

Sharpshooter is a devastating magic spell that deals damage based on the amount of time you’ve channeled it.

Hoodwink will wind up her crossbow for up to 5 seconds, but after 3 seconds, it will reach its maximum damage potency. Once released, the bolt will connect with the first enemy hero on its path. Sharpshooter travels along a certain line, although you can change the trajectory during the channel. That way, you can adjust the bolt according to the enemy’s movement. Upon releasing the bolt, Hoodwink will get knocked back.

Sharpshooter slows the opponent by 30%/40%/50% and also breaks the enemy’s passive abilities. The duration of the break and slow will vary based on the wind-up. A maximum channel, the debuff will last 5 seconds. Based on that same channel time, the hero will deal up to 550/900/1250 magic damage.

While channeling the spell, the hero can use non-targeted spells and items normally. However, if using targeted spells and items, she needs to turn in the appropriate direction. Hoodwink is disabled for the duration of the channel, preventing her from using certain abilities.

Hitting a moving target with Sharpshooter can be tricky. However, you can increase the successfulness of the spell by previously binding an enemy to a tree with Bushwhack.

Decoy (granted by Aghanim’s Shard)

By pressing Decoy, you can send Hoodwink illusion to a target spot. If an enemy hits this illusion, they will be affected by minor Bushwhack (2-second stun, 250 radius, no magic damage). Upon hitting the illusion, it will immediately disappear.

Illusion is phased for its duration and gets the level of Scurry based on how much Hoodwink has invested in the skill. You cannot use Decoy if you don’t have any points in Sharpshooter.

The best way to use the spell is by sending an illusion forward before a team fight. When enemies attack the illusion, they will get stunned for 2 seconds providing your team a small opening. Still, the upgrade can feel somewhat lackluster, especially if you consider it has a 25-second cooldown.

Hunter’s Boomerang (granted by Aghanim’s Scepter)

As the name implies, Hoodwink will throw a boomerang on a target, causing damage and a few different effects. While 350 damage is quite underwhelming (especially by the time you buy the item), what makes it viable is the Hunter’s Mark.

This debuff will reduce targets’ movement speed by 20%, status resistance by 25%, and it will amplify the incoming magic damage by 25%. Hunter’s Mark will affect all the enemies on the boomerang’s path. The debuff is applied before 350 magic damage, so the spell might feel a bit strong for its numerical value.

Hunter’s Mark works well with other Hoodwink spells. Movement speed slow can help you set up Bushwhack, and status resistance reduction will make the stun last longer. Given that the Hunter’s Mark lasts for a while, it is easier to land Sharpshooter. Furthermore, 25% magic spell amplification will make this particular spell devastating.

Hoodwink has a lot of interesting offensive options. The hero has a plethora of disables allowing her to adapt to almost any situation. What’s even better, she can improve her kit by purchasing Aghanim’s Shard and Aghanim’s Scepter.

While the hero is not ideal as a carry, you can still dish a lot of damage with Acorn Shot. You also have Scurry to provide some defensive capability.


The hero is commonly played as lane support, but some players like to run her in the mid-lane. Hoodwink is not very reliant on items, but if she does get some farm, her effectiveness can increase exponentially.

As a support, the character is much more efficient in the offlane. This is because you will have the cover of the trees as the enemy duo will try to stay close to their tower. Not only does this provide Scurry bonus (if you decide to get a point in it), but it can be crucial for setting up Bushwhack.

Even if you run the hero as safe lane support, you can rely on Acorn Shot tree to set up Bushwhack. So, you can go with either option. Mid Hoodwink is an incredible ganker. The early levels can help her scale quickly, and as soon as she gets Sharpshooter, the hero can pick off almost anyone on the map.

Maxing out Bushwhack is the build of choice. With every point, the stun duration and magic damage increase. Even if you play physical damage Hoodwink, Acorn Shot will not provide as much damage early on.

Scurry is a situational pickup at level 4. It is much more common for support than for mid, and you will take it only if you’re pressured a lot. However, if you have a lot of kill potential in the lane, you will get a second point in Acorn Shot.

Mid game

Due to her Scurry and ability to run between trees, Hoodwink can be very disruptive come mid-game. As mentioned, she can kill creep waves while standing in trees, and it is very hard for the opponents to catch her. Similarly, Hoodwink can help with warding and scouting.

Due to long-range skills, the hero can initiate for the team. By activating Scurry, you can run up to a target and use a combination of Acord Shot and Bushwhack. While this is not an ideal initiation option, it will help until your team gets Blink Daggers.

As support, Hoodwink should stay far in the back. Many players build Ether Lens to increase the range of their spells. This is crucial given that the hero doesn’t have a lot of health and can easily be nuked.

While great in team fights come midgame, most of her spells are used for single targets. In theory, both Bushwhack and Acorn Shot can affect several enemies. In practice, you should be happy if you landed them on one. Hoodwink is a great assassin and can pick off enemies in the back. Unfortunately, her presence can sometimes feel lackluster.

It is important to win these team fights, as the hero is not ideal for sieging. She doesn’t have a heal or any other defensive spells that would help when forcing high ground. To make matters worse, Hoodwink players usually make offensive items, meaning they won’t have anything to support their cores.

Late game

Hoodwink is a mediocre late-game hero. She has several options at her disposal in terms of item builds.

The hero should never be your primary carry as she will get overtaken by other heroes. Even though she commonly builds Maelstrom as a part of her basic build, Hoodwink doesn’t keep up with other hero’s farms. This isn’t necessarily because she is a slow farmer, but instead, it is because most players prefer an active role.

Hoodwink is very reliant on her Acorn Shot to deal physical damage. However, as the ability can be blocked by Linken’s Sphere and Black King Bar, this leaves her with limited options. Sharpshooter’s break mechanic is nice for disabling an opponent’s carry’s passives, and Scurry evasion can also help with survivability, but that’s about that.

Perhaps the optimal build would be a magic build relying on Gleipnir and Aghanim’s Scepter. Hunter’s Boomerang can provide several effects that would help kill even tankier opponents.

Playing against Hoodwink in the late game can be quite a nuisance. Even if she doesn’t directly win the game, she can be a major distraction. Decoy, Hunter’s Boomerang, Bushwhacks, Acorn Shot are all very annoying during team fights.

Itemization (Core items)

Maelstrom and Gleipnir

The hero can experiment a lot with her item builds. However, whether you go with support or carry, physical or magical, you can always benefit from Maelstrom. The item is amazing with Acorn Shot, and what’s even more important, you can turn it into Gleipnir later on.

Gleipnir has an ability called Eternal Chains, which can root the enemies in a radius and deal magic damage. This can be a great setup for Bushwhack, Acorn Shot bounces, and it can provide enough time to wind up Sharpshooter.

Aether Lens

As mentioned, the cast range on Acorn Shot is quite long, and it can be boosted by either attack range items or cast range items. Bushwhack only utilizes Aether Lens. So, it is much better to get this item than Dragon Lance (although Dragon Lance helps right-click builds). Given how important it is for Hoodwink to land her combo, this item can exponentially increase your efficiency.

Glimmer Cape

Although Glimmer Cape is not the most popular item on the hero, and players usually focus on things that would help their offense, I suggest that you buy it when playing support Hoodwink. The character doesn’t have anything that would help her cores.

In other words, she can be somewhat useless during the mid-game when enemies get their Black King Bars. By purchasing this item, you add to your overall usefulness. Furthermore, Hoodwink is much more susceptible to magic damage than physical, so the Glimmer effect can also be incredible for her.

Aghanim’s Scepter

Aghanim’s Scepter gives this hero a completely new dimension. The boomerang debuffs are awesome, and you can apply them on several opponents simultaneously. Unlike other core items that mainly increase Hoodwink’s overall damage, everyone on your team can benefit from these debuffs.

Itemization (Optional items)

Manta Style

Manta Style can be a nice pickup on core Hoodwink. It is an agility-based item with lots of stats. The ability to remove debuffs is always beneficial, and the additional two illusions can be utilized to increase confusion together with Decoy from Aghanim’s Shard. On top of that, you will gain some movement.


Another core item, Daedalus, can be extremely strong with Acorn Shot bounces. It allows the hero to decimate enemy backlines. Given that Hoodwink is very elusive and can run into the trees, you don’t necessarily need items for one-on-one fighting (like Satanic or Eye of Skadi). Instead, you can continuously engage and disengage enemies poking them with massive Daedalus critical hits.

Black King Bar

Hoodwink is very susceptible to Blade Mail. She telegraphs some of her skills. You can see when the hero is preparing Sharpshooter. Acorn Shot bounces can be easily reflected as well. Getting Blade Mail can ruin this squirrel’s day. A good way to prevent all this damage from coming back is by purchasing a Black King Bar. Of course, the item also works for all other magic spells and disables that enemies cast on you.

Lotus Orb

A very unusual purchase for Hoodwink, Lotus Orb can be great for saving your allies. It shines in games with lots of single-target spells and debuffs. After getting a Glimmer Cape, you should consider purchasing this item.


Desolator is a criminally underutilized item on Hoodwink. Given the nature of Acorn Shot and the fact it can bounce off several opponents, the armor reduction debuff can affect several enemies. The item only has damage, without any attack speed, which is ideal for the hero.

Talent Builds

Level 10 (-4 seconds Bushwhack cooldown OR +1 second Scurry duration)

Bushwhack is the clear winner out of these two. Simply put, having 5 seconds of Scurry instead of 4 will not make a major difference. However, lowering Bushwhack cooldown from 14 to 10 means that you will be able to use it twice in most team fights.

Level 15 (+2 bounces on Acorn Shot OR Scurry provides camouflage)

Scurry camouflage seems nice in theory. If you’re close to a tree and not taking any actions, you will become invisible after 1.2 seconds. As soon as you take any action, you will lose camouflage. This feature is great for juking enemies within the trees. However, it is more of a utility talent. On the other hand, additional bounces have a much more tangible application during team fights, especially if you’re a core Hoodwink.

Level 20 (-3 armor corruption OR +25% Sharpshooter projectile speed/charge time)

Armor corruption talent works well with Acorn Shot and Desolator. Nevertheless, most players will go with Sharpshooter buff. Simply put, this ability is too strong to neglect. If you’re a support Hoodwink, this spell will be your main source of damage, so doing anything to improve it would go a long way.

Level 25 (Sharpshooter goes through spell immunity OR +2 Acorn Shot charges)

The first talent is especially great if you took Sharpshooter on level 20. It would allow you to demolish enemies through Black King Bar. However, casting Acorn Shot twice in a row can do a similar thing. This talent is especially potent if you have Gleipner and can keep several opponents in place.


Question: Is Hoodwink a support or a carry?

Answer: The hero is mostly played as a support. While it does have some carry potential, it can feel rather lackluster as the late game comes around. But you can play her as a mid-core or semi-carry.

Question: Is Hoodwink a good support?

Answer: In the last few patches, Hoodwink was regarded as one of the best soft supports in the game. She is very disruptive and hard to kill. Her Sharpshooter allows her to kill almost anyone on the enemy team.

Question: What animal is Hoodwink?

Answer: Hoodwink is a red female squirrel.

Last Considerations

Hoodwink is one of the cutest heroes in the game. But don’t be fooled by her big walnut eyes as she is quite a menace. Depending on your team composition, this character can sometimes feel unkillable as she can constantly run into trees for cover.

Hearing crossbow wind-up can be a bit nerve-wracking. This is one of the strongest nukes in the game, and it is especially potent during mid-game. All of this makes Hoodwink a great ally and a formidable adversary.

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