Chaos Knight is a strong carry who is capable of bursting down heroes and dealing consecutive damage instantaneously. A core element to Chaos Knight is his randomness – as all of his spells have some degree of randomness.

Regardless, he is still capable of picking off heroes in fights, but somewhat relies on his long-cooldown ultimate in team-fights.

@ Valve

Chaos Knight Item build

Starting Items

  • Enchanted Mango
  • Tango
  • Blood Grenade
  • Iron Branch
  • Faerie Fire

Early Game Items

Mid Game Items

  • Armlet of Mordiggian
  • Echo Sabre
  • Black King Bar
  • Blink Dagger

Late Game Items

  • Manta Style
  • Skull Basher
  • Assault Cuirass
  • Overwhelming Blink

Situational Items

  • Harpoon
  • Heart of Tarrasque
  • Monkey King Bar
  • Heaven’s Halberd
  • Eye of Skadi
  • Refresher Orb
  • Silver Edge
  • Linken’s Sphere
  • Nullifier

Chaos Knight Skill Build

  • Chaos Bolt
  • Reality Rift
  • Chaos Strike
  • Chaos Strike
  • Chaos Strike
  • Phantasm
  • Chaos Strike
  • Reality Rift
  • Reality Rift
  • Level 10 Talent: +30% Chaos Strike Lifesteal
  • Chaos Bolt
  • Phantasm
  • Reality Rift
  • Chaos Bolt
  • Level 15 Talent: -3s Chaos Bolt Cooldown
  • Chaos Bolt
  • Phantasm
  • Level 20 Talent: Reality Rift Pierces Spell Immunity
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    Complete Chaos Knight Spell guide

    Chaos Bolt

    Stuns the target enemy for a random duration and random damage. This is often taken at level 1, as it gives you the highest kill potential of all of your level 1 spells. The scaling damage increase from Chaos Bolt is very minimal, and the stun duration is not guaranteed. The cooldown does not decrease and because of these factors, it’s generally ignored until the other 2 spells are maxed after getting 1 point in it at level 1.

    Hence, it is more valuable to maximize the Chaos Strike passive ability.

    Reality Rift

    Another utility skill, which lets Chaos Knight and any illusions to pull a target enemy at a random point between you and the enemy and reduces the target’s armor. Alongside Chaos Strike, you should max Reality Rift too because the reduced cooldown and increased armor reduction makes it very good in early skirmishes. Additionally, the cast range of Reality Rift is also reliably wide to catch off unsuspecting enemy heroes.

    You should try to initiate with Reality Rift and then use Chaos Bolt to keep them next to you with low armor. Once pulled into the rift, you and your illusions will land auto-attack hits on the target, often with a devastating crit chance too.

    Alternatively, you can initiate with Chaos Bolt instead if you need to catch an enemy that is hard to lockdown, such as heroes with BKB or magic immunity ability.

    Chaos Strike

    Chaos Knight has a chance to crit at 33.33% and lifesteal as much as 60% of the damage dealt. This spell is most often maxed after getting one level each in Chaos Bolt and Reality Rift because Chaos Strike’s passive provides sustain during your laning phase and early game. The damage increase with each level of Chaos Strike is 140%/175%/210%/245% which means that it’s less effective at low level. Maxing this will increase your DPS and also the amount you lifesteal from each crit, further increasing your sustain on the lane. The lifesteal stacks additively with other sources of lifesteal, which means that lifesteal items are viable on CK, although often unnecessary.

    @ Valve


    Chaos Knight summons up to three illusions, which deals 100% of CK’s damage, but takes 325% damage. For this reason, you will want to buy many stat items that also affect the illusions. If you have an Armlet, make sure you use it before summoning illusions, as your illusions benefit from the extra stats but don’t have their HP drained.

    This is often ignored until level 12, when you can get Level 2 Phantasm consecutively, although it can still be useful to push towers, farm a big stack and help win early engagements. If you are farming your lane freely and your supports are not in your lane then you can possibly ignore Phantasm. Upon cast, Phantasm will disjoint incoming projectiles which means that it can be used to dodge certain sources of damage.

    Try to use it just before you enter an engagement to avoid the casting time and because they have a very long duration.

    Best Chaos Knight Talents

    Level 10: +225 Reality Rift Pull Distance vs +30% Chaos Strike Lifesteal

    A 30% Chaos Strike Lifesteal might not seem significant, but it can be helpful if you’re up against heroes with high movement speed or who are otherwise hard to lockdown in Dota 2 esports. The longer Reality Rift pull distance is not necessary for Chaos Knight because he could purchase a more reliable initiating item, such as Blink Dagger or Harpoon, which are conveniently components of his midgame item build already.

    In most cases, you’ll want the extra stats because they make your hero stronger as well as your illusions.

    Level 15: -100% Phantasm Illusion Incoming Damage vs -3s Chaos Bolt Cooldown

    A reduced stun cooldown is really good because it enables CK to use the stun more frequently in a fight. On the other hand, Chaos Knight relies on his ultimate to deal explosive damage, so having the illusions survive more damage by reducing illusion incoming damage is beneficial too.

    However, if the enemy team has methods of quickly destroying your illusions, such as a Aghanim’s Shard Dazzle or Lion’s Hex, then the former option is better.

    Level 20: Reality Rift Pierces Spell Immunity or +0.6 min/max Chaos Bolt Duration

    As the game progresses, most carry heroes will have BKB, so having Reality Rift pierce Spell Immunity lets you control the enemy’s position even if he attempts to escape with BKB.

    Having a mere 0.6 second increased duration of Chaos Bolt is arguably the worst talent to pick for value. Especially since it doesn’t even pierce BKB.

    Level 25: +10s Phantasm Duration or +10% Chaos Strike Chance

    In most cases, the extra duration of Phantasm will be the better option. This will give you and your illusions longer duration in fights to deliver large DPS boost.

    Whereas the increased Chaos Strike Chance is never a concern at the default 33.33% chance anyways. Hence, it’s not idea to pick it up at such a late level of talent.

    What Items to build on Chaos Knight

    Starting Items

    • Enchanted Mango
    • Tango
    • Blood Grenade
    • Iron Branch
    • Quelling Blade

    You’ll need more or less health regen depending on your lane. Since CK already has a lifesteal passive, which he will prioritize, a Healing Salve isn’t necessary. Evaluate how much harass you expect to take and buy accordingly, else a Magic Stick is a great solution against opponents that spam their skills. Plus, you can fill up your inventory with 2-3 Iron Branches to double the health regen when using Tango on planted tree.

    For mana, you can get a Clarity, but that would take up your time off last-hitting creeps. It’s important to have some form of mana regeneration to have some level of kill potential while your lane or else the opponent will be a lot more confident and harass you more. Hence, an Enchanted Mango will allow you to use Chaos Bolt for openings to get kills in lane, coupled with the Blood Grenade.

    Lastly, quelling blade is a staple for melee heroes, such as CK to have an easier experience last-hitting creeps.

    Early Game Items
    Magic Stick

    A Magic Stick into a Magic Wand can be a good pickup if you lane against frequent skill spammers. You can upgrade it into a Magic Wand if you managed to avoid using the Iron Branches you held earlier.

    Power Treads

    Power Treads are the boots of choice on CK because they make his illusions a lot stronger. You can also switch the attribute to intelligence when casting Chaos Bolt or Reality Rift to conserve your mana pool.

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    Mid Game Items
    Armlet of Mordiggian

    By the start of midgame, you should already have completed Armlet. This is widely considered the first core item on CK because of the sheer amount of bonuses you get from the active. If you activate Armlet before using Phantasm, all of your illusions will get the bonus stats and not be affected by the HP drain. The best Dota 2 players almost always rush this item first.

    Echo Sabre

    The other staple item is Echo Sabr, which offers you cheap stats and some mana regeneration and will largely solve most of the mana issues you’ll face. The double hit from Echo Sabre gives you 2 chances to immediately crit when you initiate with Reality Rift.

    Black King Bar

    A BKB is necessary for CK in every game. Sure, your illusions won’t get BKB’s avatar form when you activate it. But, it still lets you cast your combo of strong spells which can eliminate an enemy target in a quick swipe.

    Blink Dagger

    A Blink Dagger serves a very similar purpose to Shadow Blade, but is more appropriate if you need to move around the battlefield more easily. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t move too far away from your illusions, as they will not come with you when you use Reality Rift.

    @ Wallpaper Cave

    Late Game Items
    Manta Style

    Manta Style is a really strong item on Chaos Knight which allows him to summon even more illusions. You benefit a bit from the stats it grants you, but you mainly get it for the ability to summon more illusions. It has a lower cooldown than Phantasm, and although these illusions are weaker, they will let you fight more easily when it’s available.

    Skull Basher

    Skull Basher lets CK’s auto-attacks have a probability to stun its target, which is exponentially useful since CK and his illusions can all leverage on the frequency of his auto-attacks.

    Assault Cuirass

    An AC will tank your illusions up through the armor it provides and increase your DPS through the minus armor aura and increased attack speed, which is also applied to your illusions. It also makes you slightly better at pushing and will help your team out a bit against physical damage as well.

    Overwhelming Blink

    Blink Dagger has often been labelled as a poor choice for value, considering it doesn’t provide any stats. However, converting it into Overwhelming Blink not only improves your strength gain, but causes a negative AOE debuff in the vicinity of your blinked location.

    It causes your opponents to move and attack slower while taking a larger chunk of damage based on your total strength.

    Situational Items

    If Blink Dagger isn’t up your alley, say there are too many instances that can disrupt your Blink cooldown. The Harpoon is a revolutionary new item introduced in Dota Update 7.33, which pulls an enemy target close to you.

    It’s basically a surefire initiation that builds on top of your existing Echo Sabre, which means you occupy less inventory slot while having an initiation ability.


    If you are being burst down by the enemy team, you may need to get a Satanic, which goes well with BKB. It will massively increase your survivability if you are able to keep attacking an enemy. In conjunction with the lifesteal from Chaos Strike, you should be able to heal up quite quickly, especially when you crit.

    Monkey King Bar

    An MKB doesn’t make your illusions deal more damage, although it does grant you lots of accuracy which is necessary against heroes with high evasion. Even though it’s not a stat item, it does increase your DPS considerably.

    Heaven’s Halberd

    Heaven’s Halberd is a good pickup against very farmed physical damage dealers. It will tank you up through extra strength and evasion and give you some more utility. This is a particularly good choice against heroes with cleave as they won’t be able to mow down your illusions as easily.

    Eye of Skadi

    A Skadi can be a good choice if you need to tank up and if you’re against lots of physical damage dealers, or perhaps some heroes that are hard to lockdown. The slow makes you even better at chasing down enemies, although with Reality Rift and Chaos Bolt, that isn’t really the main reason you get it.

    Refresher Orb

    In the late game, if you are swimming in gold then you can get a Refresher Orb. It will reset the cooldown of Phantasm and BKB, allowing you to either fight another team-fight or extend the duration of the current one. Be aware that the illusions from Phantasm do not stack, so don’t use it immediately afterwards, as the first illusions will be replaced by the new ones.

    Silver Edge

    A Silver Edge is a natural extension to Shadow Blade, although it is generally only worth it if you need the Break ability. It also provides some all around stats which make your illusions better which is great.

    Linken’s Sphere

    Against certain heroes, such as Doom or Legion Commander, you may need a Linken’s Sphere if you are being disabled before you can use Phantasm.


    A Nullifier is a great item against heroes like Necrophos and Omniknight who have very strong buffs that make them very hard to kill. The mute is also very strong against heroes that rely on items like Force Staff or Glimmer Cape to survive.

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    Interesting Chaos Knight Match-ups

    AoE damage (Cleave)

    As an illusion hero, he is vulnerable to any hero with a large amount of AoE damage, be it physical or magical. Carries with Cleave such as Sven or any hero with Empower are very good at dealing with his illusions.

    Single target carries

    On the other hand, lineups and heroes which lack any way to quickly clear CK’s illusions are ineffective against him and make CK a good counter to heroes like Lifestealer or Viper.


    Io is a famously strong support hero for CK, as the hero helps with any mana issues CK may have and can be used to gank across the map very easily. CK can run down heroes more easily thanks to Io’s shared speed bonus, and use Reality Rift to farm neutral camps very quickly.


    Dazzle can use Shadow Wave on CK and his illusions to deal a large amount of damage to a target that has just been pulled towards him through Reality Rift. On the other hand, Dazzle can also prove to be a nuisance against CK, thanks to his Aghanim’s Shard ability which turns Dazzle’s Poison Touch into a hex ability, destroying illusions on impact.

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