Rubick spell interactions - How to steal and use each STR spell

Rubick spell interactions - How to steal and use each STR spell

A detailed guide on how Rubick’ Spell Steal interacts with all other spells. The article contains tips on stealing and using each skill of strength-based heroes.

Today, we will talk about the interactions with the spells of all strength-based heroes.

Click here for the AGI spells!

Many thanks to Geffoo, who did an amazing job testing first-hand all spell interactions and presenting his recommendations.

Abaddon Dota 2.jpg

Abaddon

Mist Coil

  • Decent nuke and heal.
  • The spell is a projectile, so is dodgeable.
  • It is reasonable to self-deny thanks to the instant cast time for all stolen spells.

Aphotic Shield

  • Currently active shields will not trigger immediately if the spell is lost.
  • Terrible cast range. It is hard to use in fights effectively, but is decent for wave farming.

Curse of Avernus

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Borrowed Time

  • Can only be stolen if the spell is manually cast by Abaddon, but not from a passively popped Borrowed Time.
  • Stolen Borrowed Time will automatically activate on Rubick if the HP threshold is reached. It works in the same way as on Abaddon.
  • Pretty good with the Aghanim’s Scepter, but it is particularly difficult to steal. In fact, be surprised if you get it even once in a game.
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Alchemist

Acid Spray

  • Big AoE.
  • Reasonably easy to steal from farming Alchemists.
  • Impossible to differentiate between the original and the copy, so there is confusion in fights. Ensure that your team knows you have Acid Spray as the minus armour debuff can get you killed.

Unstable Concoction

  • Physical damage stun, does decent damage.
  • Be wary of self-stunning as that will usually result in your death.
  • If Spell Steal expires while charging, Unstable Concoction will instantly explode.
  • Both the initial cast of Unstable Concoction and the cast of Unstable Concoction Throw can be stolen to get the spell.

Greevil’s Greed

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Chemical Rage

  • Transformation ability. It provides substantial regeneration.
  • A new spell can be stolen while active, so it is a valuable fire-and-forget spell.
  • Great with defensive items such as the Glimmer Cape.

Notes

Spell stealing can be dangerous if Alchemist has the Blink Dagger or the Shadow Blade. Make sure you have a way out.

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Axe

Berserker’s Call

  • AoE control. Good lockdown if you catch two or more heroes.
  • Great chasing tool.

Battle Hunger

  • Reasonably cheap spell, can be nice if used on supports during a fight.
  • Usually, you don’t want to steal it.

Counter Helix

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Culling Blade

  • Difficult to use, but can be extremely effective.
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Beastmaster

Wild Axes

  • Physical damage nuke, suitable for farming waves/neutrals with.
  • With the changes to Beastmaster in 7.07, you get the additional damage on enemies hit by Wild Axes.

Call of the Wild

  • The new Call of the Wild gives you all the creeps and even the neutral spawn at level 4. They get full benefits from both Wild Axes and Primal Roar.
  • None of the summoned creeps will die if you steal new spells.
  • Note that for me while testing, the Boar ignored all auto attack settings and continuously auto attacked even if ordered to stop or hold.

Inner Beast

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Primal Roar

  • Great lockdown spell.
  • Easy to steal and see coming because of windup. Be careful of being pushed out of position.

Notes

Be careful of already summoned Boars, being hit by one while stealing can get you killed. Also, watch out for Blink Daggers and active Necronomicons.

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Brewmaster

Thunder Clap

  • Good nuke and slow.
  • The AoE is hard to utilise safely without several items.
  • Characteristic sound effect to listen out for.

Drunken Haze

  • Single target miss chance.
  • Good for Roshan attempts, or to break a Linken's Sphere.
  • Decent for farming neutral camps though you will still receive a lot of damage since the AoE was removed in 7.00.

Drunken Brawler

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Primal Split

  • Hard to use ultimate.
  • Difficult to steal because you have to follow the panda around until the brewlings re-join. Brewlings cannot be stolen from even if they cast Thunder Clap or Drunken Haze.
  • Aghanim’s stolen Primal Split will have Brewmaster's skill levels.
  • If Brewmaster is killed right after using Primal Split, and you do not steal it, often it can be stolen after he respawns as Brew players rarely cast anything while farming.
  • Brewlings are visually identical, so make sure your team knows it's you are using it (the sound effect of Primal Spirit also scares the bajeezus out of your team as you can't tell who's casting it).
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Bristleback

Viscous Nasal Goo

  • Goo is acceptable for Roshan attempts.
  • It gets a little stronger after you acquire the Aghanim’s Scepter.

Quill Spray

  • There are many better spells to steal.

Bristleback

  • Passive ability. Unstealable.

Warpath

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Notes

It isn’t particularly worth to steal spells from Bristleback. Don't steal from him if he already has several Warpath stacks or else he might just run you down.

Centaur Warrunner

Hoof Stomp

  • Good AoE stun.
  • Long cast animation means it's relatively simple to steal without getting hit.

Double Edge

  • High damage nuke. Obviously it also damages yourself, so be careful.
  • Not the most useful spell though can help to secure kills.
  • Alright for jungling if you have a lot of HP regeneration.
  • No long windup animation when cast.

Return

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Stampede

  • Incredible spell, can bail out your whole team.
  • Usually, it is not too troublesome to steal either unless Centaur is not in the fight.
  • Characteristic sound effect.
  • Even better with the Aghanim’s Scepter.

Notes

Be wary of getting blinked on while stealing. Try to wait for Centaur to use his Blink Dagger before trying, or have yours ready.

Chaos Knight

Chaos Bolt

  • An amazing spell to steal. Great stun, decent damage too.
  • Usually, CK prioritizes it, so it is maxed by the time you hit level six.

Reality Rift

  • Not the most useful spell in teamfights, but is valid for pickoffs. It can help to put enemies out of position.
  • Often, it will get you killed if used in a teamfight.
  • Decent for Roshan now that it puts a minus armour debuff.

Chaos Strike

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Phantasm

  • One of the most useless ultimates to take without the Aghanim’s Scepter.
  • Can be used as a mini-Manta to dodge a spell for extra swag.
  • With the Aghanim’s it is a good steroid for carries, and can be used as a fire-and-forget spell. Be wary that the illusions will be under your control.

Notes

Be extremely careful when stealing from CK: if you're in range for Reality Rift, he will use it to kill you. If you are not in range, he will run at you, and he has an above average movement speed as well as extra speed from items such as the Manta Style.

Reality Rift does no damage, so from the instant you hear the sound effect you should be spamming your Blink Dagger to get out.

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Clockwerk

Battery Assault

  • Dangerous spell to steal, only possible if you're not the target.
  • Not the most useful: it puts you in too much danger in a teamfight, but helpful when ganking with teammates.
  • Decent for farming neutrals with.

Power Cogs

  • Good in a teamfight to disrupt everyone.
  • Reasonably easy to steal, so long as you look out for the small animation of Battery Assault.
  • Be careful when using Cogs as you can block your own team out from where they need to be.
  • Great for fighting/escaping up cliffs or narrow passages.
  • You can also cast Power Cogs and Telekinesis throw an enemy into it, to trap them or burn their mana.
  • There is no difference between the real and the fake cogs, and they will only bounce enemy units, so make sure your team knows.

Rocket Flare

  • Solid nuke, a good way to get some extra farm.
  • Low mana cost, but relatively low impact. Fire-and-forget and get a better spell.
  • Usually not levelled until late, and Clockwerk is often under-levelled.

Hookshot

  • Great for pickoffs though can get you killed if misplaced and the target turns on you. Impossible to steal unless the victim is someone standing right next to you, or if Clockwerk runs out of mana.
  • Can cancel BKB teleports, but only if they are the primary target.

Notes

Watch out for Rocket Flare when stealing from anyone as it can screw up your Blink escape. Make sure to keep an unit between you and Clockwerk when stealing from him.

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Doom

Devour

  • The easiest spell to get off Doom.
  • Great for farm acceleration. If you have a lot of down time, eat big neutral creeps when they are on half HP as to avoid having your mouth full when Devour's cooldown is over.
  • You will not gain spells from neutral creeps you devour.

Scorched Earth

  • Decent spell for escape/initiation thanks to the extra movement speed. The HP regeneration can often be a lifesaver.
  • Long cooldown so it is better as a fire-and-forget spell.
  • Keep an eye on your HP after casting it. Often, you can re-enter fights near the end to help the rest of your team once you gain some life back.

Infernal Blade

  • Autocast (Orb) ability. Unstealable.

Doom

  • Great for disabling enemy casters or supports.
  • Try to resist the temptation to drop it on Doom after stealing it as the hero is often nearly useless after casting it (unless you've kept Doom from the previous fight and you want to prevent him from using it again).
  • It is rarely a good decision to hold on to the ultimate for several fights, unless there is a remarkably important target to Doom in the enemy team (Storm Spirit, Invoker, etc.).

Neutral Spells

You can steal neutral spells if Doom casts them. Most aren't very good, and you don't get the passive abilities. The Centaur Conqueror’s War Stomp stun is decent.

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Dragon Knight

Breathe Fire

  • Good nuke, adequate for farming creep waves.
  • Also comes with a damage debuff that stacks with Fade Bolt. When dropped in a teamfight, the enemy team will auto attack for much less damage.

Dragon Tail

  • Long stun, but hard to utilise in a teamfight without putting yourself in danger.
  • Great for pickoffs.
  • Very difficult to use without a Blink Dagger.
  • Often, it is preferable to Telekinesis enemies and throw them towards you into a Dragon Tail.

Dragon Blood

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Elder Dragon Form

  • Transformation. Reasonable for tower pushes thanks to the debuff.
  • It does not extend your attack range.
  • Will affect Dragon Tail cast range if you steal it after casting Elder Dragon Form.
  • Slight movement speed bonus granted.
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Earth Spirit

Boulder Smash

  • Large AoE disable, but hard to aim.
  • It is even harder to get a Remnant in a place that is decent to use.
  • Much more likely you will use it to push away enemies jumping on you or on the other support.
  • Can also be used with a Blink Dagger in base defence or high ground assaults by pushing enemies out of position. Warning: only do it with another defensive item/ability (X Marks the Spot, Meat Hook, etc.) so it won’t cause your instant death.

Rolling Boulder

  • Decent short cooldown escape spell.
  • Can be used with Blink Dagger or Force Staff for extra long initiations, but because of the long rolling animation at the start it will not work on enemies with Blink Daggers.

Geomagnetic Grip

  • Virtually impossible to use since you have no Remnants.
  • Starting from 7.06 you can't target allies anymore; only Earth Spirit can do it with the level 25 talent.

Stone Remnant

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Enchant Remnant

  • Doesn’t require the Aghanim’s Scepter.
  • Extremely small cast range and hard to utilise. Blink -> Enchant -> Smash is basically unimaginable to pull off.

Magnetise

  • Decent spell, does a lot of damage.
  • Uses the enemy Remnants to extend the debuff duration.
  • Hard to utilise effectively as the spell is cast in a relatively small AoE around you so you have to blink into the enemy.
  • It also causes Remnants to explode in order to extend the debuff, so usually there will be very few left if Magnetise has already been cast once during the fight.

Notes

You can use any stone already on the map summoned by the enemy Earth Spirit.

Earthshaker

Fissure

  • One of the best spells to steal. Giant AoE stun with decent damage.
  • Can be used really easily to block off paths.
  • Thanks to the instant casting time, you can be very greedy with it, and wait for the enemies to waste as much time as possible walking to a position before you block them.
  • During the early and mid game, it is relatively easy to steal if you wait near a creep wave for Earthshaker to come as he wants to farm the Blink Dagger. Just make sure to not stand too close to your creeps so you don't get stunned with them.

Enchant Totem

  • Isn't actually that bad when maxed.
  • Warning: you do not get the Aftershock stun, so do not depend on it.
  • The damage increase helps farming the jungle.
  • You can do a lot of damage to towers if you choose to not join a fight and push instead.

Aftershock

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Echo Slam

  • Not too difficult to steal as the AoE of the stun isn't too large, just be sure to Telekinesis Earthshaker before he gets the Fissure off and wrecks your team.
  • It doesn’t deal that much damage and you don’t get any stun, so you could easily die right after casting it.
  • It costs quite a lot of mana.

Elder Titan

Echo Stomp

  • Channelling time is 1.2 seconds instead of 1.7 as the cast animation time is 0.5 on Elder Titan.
  • Can be stolen while Elder Titan is channelling it.
  • Spirit + Stomp combo cannot be done on Rubick.
  • Hard to utilise without putting yourself in danger unless you have Glimmer Cape and Force Staff to escape.

Astral Spirit

  • Reasonable scouting tool.
  • The movement speed and damage bonuses is a buff and will not go away if you steal another spell.
  • If another spell is stolen while the spirit is out, the spirit will disappear without granting any buffs.
  • You do not get any of Natural Order bonuses and the Spirit cannot Echo Stomp.
  • Both the initial cast of Astral Spirit and Return Astral Spirit will give you Astral Spirit when stolen.

Natural Order

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Earth Splitter

  • Big AoE, high damage.
  • Decent spell but can be hard to get because of the cast range.
  • It gets better with the Aghanim’s Scepter.
  • It isn’t possible to tell if you or Elder Titan cast it, so make sure your team knows.
Huskar Dota 2.png

Huskar

Inner Vitality

  • Decent heal, great after a fight to get your team into pushing shape.
  • It costs quite a bit of mana.

Burning Spear

  • Autocast (Orb) ability. Unstealable.

Berserker’s Blood

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Life Break

  • It inflicts quite a lot a damage, especially because it's percentage based. Even higher with the Aghanim’s Scepter (65%).
  • The movement speed slow is also significant.
  • The spell gets better with the Glimmer Cape (which is also a good item against Huskar anyway) as you can negate a lot of the self-damage.
  • Warning: the ability can put you very far out of position and on low HP.

Notes

Be extremely careful when stealing from Huskar as if he gets even remotely in range he can Life Break you. Probably isn't worth going out of your way to steal from him. If you do, have teammates behind you so you can blink away if he tries to engage - he might be pulled out of position.

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Io

Tether

  • Decent spell if your team has the Urn of Shadows or the Mekansm. Good with healers in team as well.
  • Tether turns into Break Tether when cast.
  • Good for chasing enemies too with a non-blinking carry.
  • Another spell can be stolen while tethered without breaking it.
  • Both Tether and Break Tether will grant Tether to you when stolen.

Spirits

  • Decent damage if you manage to land all the spirits.
  • Can be used with a Blink Dagger if you retract all the spirits, blink next to them, and lift. Spirits is replaced with Spirits In until all the spirits explode.
  • Spirits immediately explode when the spell is lost or replaced.

Spirits In

  • Given when Spirits are activated.
  • Default hotkey: D. Min range 100.
  • Clicking draws spirits in, clicking a second time stops them.
  • Spirits In does not count as a spell cast and will not grant Spirits if stolen from.

Spirits Out

  • Given when Spirits are activated.
  • Default hotkey: F. Max range 825.
  • Clicking pushes spirits out, clicking a second time stops them.
  • Spirits Out does not count as a spell cast and will not grant Spirits if stolen from.

Overcharge

  • Very difficult to get while tethered, but very easy to steal by accident as has no cast animation and isn't easy to spot.
  • Taxes your HP and Mana too much to be particularly useful while pushing or farming.

Relocate

  • Virtually impossible to get with Tether, so treat it as a semi-escape. Impossible to tell who is casting the Relocate so make sure your team knows and doesn't freak out.
  • If you do somehow steal tether and cast it on an ally while channeling Relocate, you can bring them there and back, but this is very hard to accomplish.
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Kunkka

Torrent

  • Good, long range AoE disable, can be hard to hit.
  • Very easy to disguise as it has absolutely no animation whatsoever and you do not need to turn to cast it.
  • Can be easily comboed with Blink plus Telekinesis.
  • You do not have talent bonuses from stolen spells.

Tidebringer

  • Autocast (Orb) ability. Unstealable.

X Marks the Spot

  • Both X Marks the Spot and Return will grant X Marks the Spot when stolen.
  • Be very careful with this spell. Multiple X Marks are quite buggy at the moment.
  • Casting X Marks the Spot replaces it with Return. Casting Return brings the target back to the X.
  • If you use it on a target that is already X Marked, they will have only a single debuff on them. When one is triggered, the debuff disappears, and the hero is brought back to whoever cast the Return. Therefore, the spell can punish enemies who try to use it on self or allies to push towers: X Mark them again and instantly cast it to prevent them from going back.
  • It can also save teammates who blink away after being X Marked: X Mark them and instantly cast to stop them from being pulled back. When this is exploited, the other X Marks animation will remain (leaving the trail of dotted lines) but the unit will not be pulled back to the other X. Cast Return before the enemy does or else yours will be overridden.

Ghost Ship

  • Great spell for The Admiral's Rum debuff for your team.
  • Stun can be great if hit, and it does a ton of damage, but is also too unreliable.
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Legion Commander

Overwhelming Odds

  • Great nuke, especially useful for farming large creep waves.
  • The extra movement speed is also nice.

Press the Attack

  • Good range, keep it as a hard dispel for stuns.
  • The low cooldown makes it a great spell also for the healing effect (150/175/200/225 health) and it is amazing for pushing towers, if you have a right clicker in team that can make use of the extra attack speed.

Moment of Courage

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Duel

  • Duel is a little buggy.
  • If you duel Legion Commander while she is already duelling someone, whenever the first duel ends, both will end.
  • Stolen Duel used to be buggy and not give damage to enemy winners, but it has been fixed.
  • Now, you can use disarms and ethereal states before duelling - if you have Duel, use the Ghost Scepter or the Heaven's Halberd before casting it.
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Lifestealer

Rage

  • Free magic immunity.
  • Often, it won’t do much to stop your death if being chased by a carry, but can save your life by dodging spells.
  • Exceptional when you can use it and immediately after steal a spell to combo with, such as Death Ward or Freezing Field.

Feast

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Open Wounds

  • Tiny cast range, therefore it can get you killed if you aren't careful while using it.
  • Don't forget you get HP back for any damage done while the target is affected by Open Wounds, including spell damage.
  • Decent for helping a Roshan attempt too.

Assimilate

  • Assimilate cannot be stolen for some reason. Still testing it.

Infest

  • Reasonable damage nuke, but it requires you to be in the middle of the fight.
  • Can also be used as an escape mechanism by jumping into a creep.
  • It is very hard to steal as Lifestealer will not come out unless he is sure it is safe, or if he can kill you.
  • Warning: you do not get the Control sub-ability ever, so there is no way of moving the creep you infest - try to infest allied heroes to escape.
Lycan Dota 2.png

Lycan

Summon Wolves

  • Great for scouting and farming neutrals.
  • If a new spell is stolen while Lycan Wolves are still alive, they will not disappear.
  • It is actually possible to summon many packs of wolves: steal Summon Wolves, cast it, steal a different spell, steal Summon Wolves again, and cast it once more.

Howl

  • The HP increase is extremely good. It is percentage based, so make sure to use it right before a fight, not in the middle of it.
  • Great fire-and-forget spell.
  • The sound effect is only audible by allies, so do not depend on that when trying to steal it.
  • It has a very small animation (a glow) when cast, so use that if you want to steal Howl. If Lycan isn't in wolf form during a fight, it is often the last spell cast.

Feral Impulse

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Shapeshift

  • Transformation ability. Has a 1.5 second transformation time - not a cast time so it cannot be skipped.
  • It won’t make your attacks melee, but will allow you to crit.
  • It grants bonus night vision and hasted movement speed, so can serve as a pseudo initiation tool.
  • All summoned units under your control (Wolves, Forge Spirits, Boars, etc.) are hasted and are granted critical strike.
  • Bonus: Mini-Dog.
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Magnus

Shockwave

  • Low cooldown and mana cost nuke which can be combined with Fade Bolt to kill a creep wave.

Empower

  • Great spell for boosting the damage output of your allies.
  • Cast it before a fight and steal a new spell afterwards.
  • It is also decent for jungling.
  • The Aghanim’s Scepter grants you the Empower Aura.

Skewer

  • Good initiation tool for repositioning enemy heroes after Telekinesis.
  • It is also a decent escape as it acts as a pseudo self-Force Staff.

Reverse Polarity

  • Amazing spell.
  • When fighting, do not stand too close to your allies. Always imagine that the AoE of Reverse Polarity is bigger than you think.
  • You have little time to steal the spell after it is cast as Magnus will often use Skewer or Shockwave immediately after. Usually, you have the duration it takes Magnus to turn around to Skewer.
  • Warning: Performing the turnaround Reverse Polarity is much harder with Rubick as you do not have the long cast animation - it may be wise to not try it.
  • The spell is much more effective with a Blink Dagger off cooldown. If possible, keep it after the fight so it can be used again.

Notes

Ward vision is extraordinarily important to spot a hiding Magnus. If you have any long range spell (Rocket Flare, Fissure, etc.) try to cast them on him while he's hiding to cancel his Blink Dagger - if you're lucky he might accidentally cast Reverse Polarity.

As already mentioned, trying to steal Reverse Polarity is difficult as you have only a small window of time before Magnus casts Skewer. If Magnus casts Shockwave, you have barely any time at all as you do not have the extra time it takes for him to turn around

You also have to make sure you do not get hit by it in the first place. To increase your chances, there are two main options, both of which require that you predict when Magnus is about to blink in and cast Reverse Polarity.

Option 1. Constantly have Telekinesis cast on Magnus while he is out of range: if he blinks into range, you will instantly cast it. This will not let you steal Reverse Polarity, but it will likely allow your team to kill Magnus before he can cast it.

Option 2. Wait at the side of the fight for Magnus to blink in and cast it, and then immediately blink in and cast Telekinesis on Magnus to stop him from Skewering away. Then, you can steal Reverse Polarity.

Night Stalker

Void

  • Good single target damage. The spell is more effective at night.
  • Don’t forget that it also cancels enemy channelling abilities.

Crippling Fear

  • One of the few sources of Silence you can get. Single target.
  • Lasts a short time during day time, but has an extremely long duration at night.
  • It also grants a 50% miss chance (10% during day time) so it is convenient also against auto-attackers.

Hunter in the Night

  • You get all benefits but the flying vision - Credit: Decimini

Darkness

  • There are pros and cons.
  • If you activate Darkness, the enemy team will have reduced vision, but Night Stalker will become extremely dangerous.
  • With the Aghanim’s Scepter you will have unobstructed vision as long as it is night time.
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Omniknight

Purification

  • Great spell, can save teammates, and has a fairly low mana cost.
  • Can be used to farm neutrals and lane creeps.
  • Instant cast allows for very precise timings to bait opponents.
  • Cast range isn’t huge, so you will need to be careful and be in range of any ally you want to save.

Repel

  • Free magic immunity is always good. Relatively low cast range so be careful.
  • Cooldown to duration ratio is now also much lower than before, but the buff can no longer be purged.
  • Repelled units that are affected by Guardian Angel also cannot be purged, making the target immune to everything for 7 seconds.
  • Can no longer be cast on enemies so you don't have to worry about mis-clicking.

Degen Aura

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Guardian Angel

  • Excellent spell. It is easy to steal provided Omniknight is in the fight and not casting it with the Aghanim’s Scepter from afar.
  • If you have the Aghanim’s Scepter, the spell is even better and becomes a priority.
  • Be careful without a Scepter as the radius of effect is only 600, so it is easy to miss someone who needs the buff.
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Phoenix

Icarus Dive

  • Decent spell to use as an initiation or escape tool.
  • Can be used as a 'drive-by' as other spells can be cast while diving.
  • Stealing another spell in the middle of a dive will remove the Stop Icarus Dive sub-ability, meaning you have to go back to where you started.
  • Both Icarus Dive and Stop Icarus Dive will grant Icarus Dive when stolen.

Fire Spirits

  • It is replaced by Launch Fire Spirit when cast.
  • Each Launch Fire Spirit cast can be stolen to get Fire Spirits.
  • Decent spell to farm with. It is difficult to hit a whole wave with only 1 spirit. Good for farming neutrals as they cannot hit you.
  • Be wary of the HP cost of casting.
  • All spirits still surrounding you when stealing a new spell are instantly lost.

Sun Ray

  • Long lasting DoT which does a lot of damage to high HP heroes, and also serves as a heal for teammates. Heal goes through BKB.
  • It is difficult to use effectively as your team must stand in a line.
  • Can also be used to go over cliffs at a slow rate for a pseudo escape.
  • Be wary when using it as the HP cost adds up quick.
  • Toggle Movement, Sun Ray, and Stop Sun Ray will all grant Sun Ray when stolen. If a new spell is stolen while channelling Sun Ray, it will immediately end.
  • While channelling, you also do not have to face units to cast things on them, be it spells like Fade Bolt or items like the Force Staff.
  • There is no visual difference between your Sun Ray and the enemy one, so be sure your team is aware you are using it.

Toggle Movement

  • Sub-ability granted with Sun Ray.

Supernova

  • Tricky spell to steal as Phoenix gets all her other cooldowns back the moment she comes out of Supernova - likely to cast something immediately.
  • Can be difficult to use well without the Blink Dagger, and a small error can result in your death.
  • There is no difference between your Supernova and the enemy one, so be sure your team is aware you are using it.
  • Gets a little better with the Aghanim’s Scepter, but be very careful about bringing an ally into your Supernova - only do it if they are definitely about to die.
  • Supernova's AoE is the same as Spell Steal's cast range (1,000): if you really want to steal this ability, it is much easier if you stand at the edge of its AoE with items and talents to increase your cast range - Credit: Alieksiei.

Notes

All HP cost is HP removal, and therefore will not be reduced by magic resistance - be mindful of your own HP pool.

Pudge

Meat Hook

  • Incredible spell, can win a fight if you catch out an enemy with it.
  • That being said, it should be near impossible to steal if the opponent is careful as Rot can be toggled quickly. You need very quick fingers to blink in and steal it.
  • Instant cast makes Meat Hook significantly easier to aim and use.
  • The Aghanim’s Scepter makes it deadly.
  • It is preferable forecasting when the enemy is about to cast and be ready to steal.
  • Try to keep track of Rot usage by the opponents: sometimes they will not use Rot if a hook is totally missed or if the hook was intended only to save an ally.
  • When Pudge throws out a Meat Hook, keep an eye on him and look out for the characteristic body animation of Rot, followed by the clouds of Rot appearing. Note that often the animation does glitch if toggled quick enough and the clouds won't appear.
  • Also notice that frequently there is this bug: every time Pudge appears in vision, he plays his spawning animation, which is very similar if not the same as the Rot animation - be conscious of that.

Rot

  • Not a great spell: the small AoE means you have to get too close, and the self-damage, even if reduced because of Null Field, is still painful.
  • Small play potential as a deny tool.
  • Generally, it is never worth to keep, so just steal something else.
  • Toggling Rot off will not count as a spell cast and will not cause Rot to be stolen. If Rot is already on and a Meat Hook is cast, Rot has to be toggled off and on again to make sure Meat Hook is not stolen.

Flesh Heap

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Dismember

  • Decent lockdown, the damage is negligible.
  • Rot can be toggled while channelling so be watchful if you want Dismember.
  • Decent heal too.

Notes

If Rot is already active when Pudge casts Meat Hook or Dismember, you can Spell Steal them.

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Sand King

Burrowstrike

  • One of the best disables to get on instant cast.
  • Large AoE disable with decent damage. Deadly with a Blink Dagger.
  • Can be difficult to get as generally Sandstorm is off cooldown and can be used immediately after casting Burrowstrike. Sand King also can pop up in different locations when casting Burrowstrike, so it is difficult to predict where he will end up.
  • Having the Aghanim’s Scepter will also apply Sand King's Caustic Finale on all heroes hit by Burrowstrike.

Sandstorm

  • Decent escape tool and can dodge the occasional spell.
  • Can be used to farm somewhat, but often it is the last spell maxed on core Sand Kings.

Caustic Finale

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Epicenter

  • Can be stolen while Sand King is channelling, but prioritise cancelling it or disabling his Blink Dagger.
  • Your cast of Epicenter still has the full channelling time.
  • Difficult to use effectively as you generally cannot get both Burrowstrike and Epicenter, so you are vulnerable after blinking in.
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Slardar

Guardian Spirit

  • Decent movement speed increase to get around the map quicker. Good for gathering Bounty Runes.
  • The animation of Guardian Sprint is now much more subtle than before, so it can be stolen more easily by accident.
  • You gain the movement speed bonus when in the river.
  • Neither the buff nor the bonus is lost if you steal a new spell.

Slithereen Crush

  • Good AoE disable.
  • You can be somewhat vulnerable after blinking in and casting it as the AoE is relatively small.
  • Dodge the Blink + Crush from Slardar to steal it easily.

Bash of the Deep

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Corrosive Haze

  • Large minus armour debuff on enemies.
  • Great for dealing with elusive heroes who depend on invisibility.
  • Can also be used to farm the jungle.
  • Great for Roshan attempts.
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Spirit Breaker

Charge of Darkness

  • Will not cause you to Greater Bash any unit you target or pass through, but will provide the stun duration to the target.
  • Useful for pickoff attempts if your team is mobile, and for keeping track of invisible targets. Can be used as a reasonable escape tool as well.

Empowering Haste

  • Is a passive but can be stolen if manually cast by Spirit Breaker.
  • Will grant you the increased movement speed aura, and can be cast to increase it temporarily.
  • If a new spell is stolen after casting Empowering Haste, the buff will be removed instantly.

Greater Bash

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable

Nether Strike

  • Now totally useless as you no longer get Spirit Breaker's level of Greater Bash.
  • It is simply a teleport to the enemy, but it is instant cast and there is a small amount of damage dealt. Basically a suicide attempt if you aren't careful.
  • The Aghanim’s Scepter only grants reduced cooldown and increased cast range - Credit: Alieksiei.
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Sven

Storm Hammer

  • Great AoE stun with damage.
  • Early on, some Sven players will not level Storm Hammer past level 1, so it can be less useful.
  • Good for farming and fighting.
  • It is preferable initiating with Telekinesis as Storm Hammer can be disjointed and dodged.

Great Cleave

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Warcry

  • Great movement speed and armour buff.
  • Can be used as a chasing and fighting tool.
  • If a new spell is stolen, the buff will not disappear instantly.

God’s Strenght

  • Not particularly useful without the Aghanim’s Scepter.
  • Can be used to temporarily increase pushing power.
  • With the Aghanim’s it becomes a reasonable boost for all your allies. Allied increased damage is based on their base damage.
  • If a new spell is stolen, the buff will not disappear instantly.
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Tidehunter

Gush

  • Decent slow, useful for pickoffs.
  • Good for Roshan attempts thanks to the extra minus armour.
  • With the Aghanim’s Scepter it becomes a great fighting and farming tool.

Kraken Shell

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Anchor Smash

  • Good damage nuke which also reduces the enemy base damage. It stacks with Fade Bolt. Can be used to farm neutrals.
  • When used in a teamfight, be wary about the small AoE.

Ravage

  • One of the biggest and most iconic spells to steal. Very difficult to steal too.
  • It is safer to stand on the outskirts of a fight, and try to steal it as soon as it is cast. It is a lot easier with the Aghanim’s Scepter and the Aether Lens thanks to the cast range increase they provide.
  • Even after stealing it, you must be very careful and avoid Tidehunter's Ravage. You may need to Force Staff away or use the Glimmer Cape on yourself to survive.
  • Tidehunter will always cast Anchor Smash right after Ravage, so you need to be very quick.
  • Another option is blinking right into the centre of Ravage, after it is cast, to avoid the spreading tentacles. This is a very dangerous move as you can be instantly killed by everyone else.
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Timbersaw

Whirling Death

  • Reasonable nuke damage that has also an added primary stat reduction.
  • Can be hard to utilise as the AoE is small and is much better if a tree is hit.
  • Decent to farm the jungle with as the mana cost is quite low.

Timber Chain

  • Good escape tool, low cooldown, high range, and low mana cost.
  • Also good to farm the jungle with as it does pure damage.

Reactive Armour

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Chakram

  • Great nuke, huge damage output with a reasonable mana cost.
  • There is no way to get both Chakrams.
  • If another spell is stolen while the Chakram is out, it will instantly return with no animation and will cause a final AoE damage around you.
  • Both Chakram and Return Chakram can be stolen to get Chakram. If Chakram is returned without casting (out of mana or getting out of 2000 range) it does not count as casting Return Chakram and it will not grant Chakram if stolen.
  • The real and the copied Chakrams look the same (but you can't keep it out for too long as your mana pool is more precious) so make sure your team knows which one is yours.
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Tiny

Avalanche

  • Decent AoE stun, deceptively hard to hit though with a finicky hitbox.
  • Decent farming tool as well.
  • Units tossed by you will take double damage from Avalanche, but this is extremely difficult and dangerous to pull off.

Toss

  • Can be used as an initiation tool if comboed with Blink + Telekinesis to throw an enemy to your team - requires good coordination.
  • The enemy that is tossed takes 20% extra damage from the Toss.
  • A skill which allows you to grab a tree and attack units for bonus damage.
  • Be warned that while the skill description says that it gives you a bonus attack range, it actually just sets the hero attack range to 350, so it reduce yours.
  • The AoE of the splash damage from the attacks is also centered on you, not the unit you attack, meaning that you have to be right next to the unit to get maximum splash - very dangerous.
  • The tree attacks give you a bonus damage versus units, and a massive one against towers, which can allow you to push quite fast if left alone.
  • Stealing the Tree Throw sub-ability also grants you Tree Grab.
  • Like Tiny's own skill, you can also throw the tree using all remaining charges.

Grow

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Notes

Be careful when stealing from Tiny as he often has the Blink Dagger and can quickly engage. It is preferable to steal from the fog and immediately blink away.

After the 7.07 rework, he has an extra skill to steal, but gained resistance to disables. Hit ultimate gives 20%/30%/40% reduced duration to all disables, so your Telekinesis will only last for 1.8/1.57/1.35 seconds, which doesn't even account for the extra status resistance he will have from strength growth and items.

As a result, he can be very dangerous to steal from. If you do try, and Tiny has the Blink Dagger, make sure to to Fade Bolt him to cancel his Dagger, so he will have a harder time trying to chase you.

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Treant Protector

Nature’s Guise

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Leech Seed

  • Decent heal and neutral farming tool.

Living Armour

  • Great global range spell to help teammates in danger.
  • Can also be used to heal damaged towers; be sure to do so whenever possible.

Eyes in the Forest

  • Can act as temporary flying wards when high ground pushing or in Roshan.
  • Any planted Eyes in the Forest are lost when the spells expires or is replaced.

Overgrowth

  • Good large AoE root.
  • Can be stolen easily as the tree often appears when casting it (provided he doesn’t have the Aghanim’s Scepter) and the AoE isn't that large. Even if hit by Overgrowth you can immediately Spell Steal it.

Notes

Always have a form of True Sight with you as Treant Protector can safely cast his spell while remaining invisible.

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Tusk

Ice Shards

  • Decent long range nuke that does a good amount of damage at a low cost.
  • Can be used to farm decently and to block enemies off.
  • When used in conjunction with the one cast by Tusk, it can be quite disruptive. Be ready with the Force Staffs to help allies across them.

Snowball

  • Good AoE stun which can also be employed to dodge spells - it can help your allies as well.
  • Snowball is replaced by Launch Snowball when cast, and both will provide Snowball when stolen.
  • Other spells can be cast while channelling or rolling.
  • If a new spell is stolen while rolling, the snowball will complete and still stun anyone it goes over. If a new spell is stolen while channelling, the Snowball instantly launches.
  • Items cannot be used while channeling or rolling.

Frozen Sigil

  • Large AoE movement and attack speed slow.
  • Can be moderately good in a teamfight, but does not have that much of an impact against burst damage, therefore it is a good fire-and-forget spell
  • The Sigil will not instantly disappear if a new spell is stolen while it is summoned.

Walrus Kick

  • Unstealable even with the Aghanim's Scepter.

Walrus PUNCH!

  • You can steal it, both if manually and auto-cast - Credit: ChipTehMonk
  • Great BKB-piercing ranged stun as it uses Rubick's attack range.
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Underlord

Firestorm

  • Large AoE DoT. It is exceptionally good for farming creep waves or neutrals. Useful also against the Roshan.
  • Does not instantly disappear if a new spell is stolen so it is a fantastic fire-and-forget spell which does a lot of damage in teamfights.
  • There is no way to distinguish the real spell from the copied one, so make sure your team knows which is yours.

Pit of Malice

  • Giant AoE root that can trigger many times on a single unit if comboed with Telekinesis.
  • Pit of Malice does not disappear if a new spell is stolen when already cast.
  • There is no way to distinguish the real spell from the copied one, so make sure your team knows which is yours.

Atrophy Aura

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Dark Rift

  • Niche spell, very hard to use other than for a free escape/teleport to base.
  • New spells can be stolen while channelling Dark Rift and the spell will complete.
  • If you want to cancel the teleport, you must do it before stealing the new spell as the Cancel Dark Rift spell will disappear.
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Undying

Decay

  • Decent nuke for farming when maxed, but when not maxed it is only useful when targeting enemy heroes.
  • Can turn a gank against you if you hit multiple people with decay a few times.
  • With the Aghanim’s Scepter this spell becomes ridiculous as the 10 strength steal is impressive.

Soul Rip

  • Decent burst nuke or heal, but tricky to use as it requires units to be around the target.
  • Be warned that it damages allies if they are in range for the Soul Rip, but the damage is small and never lethal.

Tombstone

  • An important spell to steal as it can cause huge chaos during a teamfight.
  • Isn't too difficult to steal, but you have little time as Undying casts spells very often.
  • Be wary that as soon as the Tombstone comes down, zombies will spawn, and they can easily cancel your Blink Dagger.
  • Tombstone does not instantly disappear if a new spell is stolen while summoned.
  • If you steal Soul Rip after casting Tombstone, you can Soul Rip your own Tombstone to give it health back.

Flesh Golem

  • Niche spell. The damage amplification and slow are valuable, but the AoE requires you to be close to the opponents.
  • Often not an intentional steal, but is a decent fire-and-forget spell as it can heal you in crucial moments.
  • Bonus: Mini-Zombie.
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Wraith King

Hellfire Blast

  • The only spell you can get from Wraith King.
  • A decent single target stun that does some damage.
  • You can get this spell back whenever you want, increasing your skill set from 5 to 6 spells almost permanently.
  • Be sure to be ready to blink away after stealing it as Wraith King often has the Blink Dagger and can initiate on you.

Vampiric Aura

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

Mortal Strike

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable. Even though the new skeleton summon is an activated ability, it cannot be stolen.

Reincarnate

  • Passive Ability. Unstealable.

 

Header image and all hero pictures: Valve

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on @SkulzDota.