Guide to Invisibility by antiweltteilchen

Posted: September 7, 2009 in Advanced Mechanics, antiweltteilchen, Auras, Dodging attacks/spells, Vision, Wards
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Treants guise of Nature

Thanks to antiweltteilchen @ who allowed me to publish this wonderful guide of his on my blog. You will find following as the most comprehensive guide written ever on invisibility! In his guide, the author talks about the various forms and skills of invisibility, how they can be countered and how we can use invisibility to dodge spells/projectiles.

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Have a great read… 🙂

Table of contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Types of Invisibility
    1. Permanent Invisibility
    2. Windwalk
    3. Invisibility
    4. Phase Shift
    5. Burrow
    6. Wards
  3. Ways to reveal invisible units
    1. Truesight
    2. Faerie Fire
    3. Ensnare
    4. Entangle/Entangling Roots
    5. Shared sight
    6. Hex
  4. Spells that work on invisible units
  5. Projectile Dodging
  6. Auras on invisible units
  7. Credits

I. Foreword
Since there isn’t a guide for the different types of invisibility yet i try to make a good one for this. I got motivated because of the strange behaviour of Permanent Invisibility.
So lets get it on.

Updated for 6.61

II. Types of Invisibility

II.1 Permanent Invisibility

Permanent invisibility was originally used in ladder like any other base spell. In this case it is the skill from a shadow wolf, a summon of Far Seer.
In Dota currently 8 units have skills to acquire Permanent Invisibility.

  • Rikimaru (his ultimate, Permanent Invisibility)
  • Mirana (her ultimate, Moonlight Shadow)
  • Broodmother (spin web)
  • Psionic Trap (ultimate of Lanaya)
  • (lvl 3+4 of Beastmaster’s Call of the Wild)
  • Remote Mine (ultimate of Goblin Techies)
  • Stasis Trap (also Goblin Techies)
  • Spirit wolves (lvl 4 of summon wolves of Lycanthrope)
  • Rooftrellen (Nature’s guise)

The first important parameter of permanent invisibility is the auto acquiring of targets which can be switched on or off in the world editor.
if it is switched on the invisible unit will try to attack enemy units automatically as long as they aren’t asleep. Currently this is true for the Spirit Wolves.
If it is switched off the invisible unit won’t try to attack enemy units as long as the unit itself or an allied units nearby isn’t attacked. Currently this is true for moonlight shadow, riki’s ultimate and the permanent invisibility provided by the web.
It doesn’t matter for Greater Hawk, Remote Mine, Stasis Trap and Psionic Trap because they can’t attack.

The second characteristic parameter is the fade time. the values for the related skills are the following:

Rikimaru: Permanent Invisibility: 3/2.25/1.5 sec

Mirana: Moonlight Shadow: 2.5/2/1.5 sec

Broodmother: Spin Web: 2 seconds on all levels. because the web buff is created by an aura (fade time 2-4 seconds) and the trigger’s periode is 1.5 seconds the following values are correct:

  • minimum time to become invisible: 2 seconds
  • maximum time to become invisible: 3.5 seconds
  • average time to become invisible: 2.75 seconds

Now if broodmother leaves her web and is invisible the following values are correct:

  • minimum time to become visible again: 2 seconds
  • maximum time to become visible again: 5.5 seconds
  • average time to become visible again: 3.75 seconds

Lanaya: Psionic Trap: 3 seconds on all levels

Lycanthrope: Spirit Wolves lvl 4: 3 seconds

Beastmaster: Call of the Wild lvl 3+4 (Greater Hawk): 1 seconds
Duration: 4 seconds.

Goblin Techies: Remote Mines: 2 seconds

Goblin Techies: Stasis Trap: 2 seconds

Rooftrellen: Nature’s guise: Fade time: 0 sec
Duration : 15/30/45/60 seconds

In addition to the common ways to detect invisible units (later) the following skills/things will also reveal permanent invisible units:

  • any kind of silence except Black Hole, Last word, Smokescreen, Bloodrage, Infestation and Orchid. (cloud and soulburn based silence won’t reveal permanent invisible heroes)
  • any kind of pausing the unit

Like the most other types of invisibility a unit with permanent invisibility is revealed directly at the begin of it’s attack animation or when it uses a skill.

Permanent invisible units still have their normal collision size.

Little conclusion: hookshot can hit any invisible unit, but it also damages and stuns permanent invisible units.
chronosphere and global silence is a good counter to riki and the other units.

II.2 Windwalk

Windwalk was originally used in ladder like any other base spell. In this case it is the skill of the orc hero blademaster.
In Dota currently 10 units and 2 items use windwalk as skill.

  • Phantom Lancer (Doppelwalk)
  • Mirana (Leap)
  • Lanaya (Meld)
  • Bounty Hunter (Wind Walk)
  • Nerubian Assassin (Vendetta)
  • Abaddon (Borrowed Time)
  • Clinkz (Wind Walk)
  • Nerubian Weaver (Shukuchi)
  • Invoker (Ghost Walk)
  • Storm from Pandaren Brewmaster Ultimate (windwalk)
  • Lothar’s edge.
  • Phase Boots

Important Parameters for this guide:fade time, duration,backstab (actually every windwalk has the backstab damage set to true, but the allowed targets decide whether you “use” that backstab on enemies {air,ground,enemy,neutral} or not. for a short answer i will use “backstab: yes” if they have these targets and “backstab:no” if they have none.)

Phantom Lancer: Doppelwalk: Backstab: no
fade time: 0.001 sec
duration: 8 seconds
backstab damage: 0

Mirana: Leap: Backstab: yes
Fade time: 0.00 sec
Duration: 0.01 sec
backstab damage: 0

Lanaya: Meld: Backstab: yes
Fade time: 0.001 sec
Duration: 60 minutes
backstab damage: 0

Bounty Hunter: Windwalk Backstab: yes
Fade Time: 1/0.75/0.5/0.25 sec
Duration: 15/20/25/30 sec
backstab damage: 30/60/90/120

Nerubian Assassin: Vendetta: Backstab: yes
Fade Time: 0 sec
Duration: 20/35/50 sec
backstab damage: 225/375/525

Abaddon: Borrowed Time: Backstab: no (allowed targets “self” but you can’t attack yourself :P)
Fade Time: 0 sec
Duration: 0.01 sec
backstab damage: 0

Clinkz: Wind Walk: Backstab: yes
Fade Time: 0.6 sec
Duration: 20/25/30/35 sec
backstab damage: 0

Nerubian Weaver: Shukuchi: Backstab: yes
Fade Time: 0.001 sec
Duration: 4 seconds
backstab damage: 0

Invoker: Ghost Walk: Backstab: yes
Fade Time: 0.001 sec
Duration: 100 sec
backstab damage: 0

Storm: Wind Walk: Backstab: yes (backstab targets are all possible units, even buildings)
Fade Time: 0 sec
Duration: 20 sec
backstab damage: 100

Lothar’s Edge: Backstab: yes
Fade Time: 0 sec
Duration: 9 sec
backstab damage: 125

Phase Boots: Backstab: no
Fade Time: 120 seconds:
Duration: 5 seconds
backstab damage: 0

Windwalking units break invisibility after the casting time of a skill, directly at the beginning of the attack if backstab is set to no, or the backstab is set to yes and the target isn’t an allowed target for the backstab damage. Windwalking units with backstab set to yes and attacking an allowed target for the backstab get’s revealed once they reach their damage point.

Windwalking units will never autoattack

Windwalking units do not collide with any other units. an exception is using windwalk in combination with bladefury due to hardcoded issues.

Every kind of windwalk does not interrupt most channeling (does not work with Illuminate, Fiends Grip, Upheaval, TP scroll, Sandstorm or Charge of Darkness) spells except meld, leap and borrowed time (a trigger calls a hold position command)

When a ranged unit with Windwalk and Backstab set to true breaks out of invisibility with an attack it can’t place any other buff on this attack.

When breaking out of windwalk with backstab set to “yes” the attack will never miss unless the opponent has a distance that exceeds the attackers motion buffer range (most units in dota have 250 MBR except anubseran (400), sacred warrior (500) and QoP (700)) when the attacker reaches his damage point

Little conclusion: Sniper and Shadow Fiend can cast their ultimate during Windwalk of Lothar’s Edge and get revealed when they finished their casting time.

II.3 Invisibility

Invisibility was originally used in ladder like any other base spell. In this case it is the skill of the human sorceress.
In Dota currently 1 unit uses Invisibility.

  • The dummy unit created by the skill sandstorm from Sandking.
  • You can watch for the invisibility rune properties here as well because i didn’t find any differences yet.

Important parameters for this guide: fade time, duration

Sandking: Sandstorm: Fade time: 0 sec
Duration: 20/40/60/80 sec

Invisibility rune: Fade time: 2 secs
Duration: 45 sec

Invisible units will never autoattack.

Invisible units have their normal collision size.

Little conclusion: it is the only kind of invisibility you can target an other units than yourself with (rune excluded). That doesn’t matter form Sandstorm because the dummy unit is told to only use it on Sandking.
Because Sandstorm is channeling you can interrupt it with silence, or an AoE stun and SK is revealed when paused.

II.4 Phase Shift

Phase Shift was originally used in ladder like any other base spell. In this case it is the skill of the elven Faerie Dragon.
In Dota currently 1 unit uses Phase Shift.

  • Puck (Phase Shift)

Important parameters for this guide: Duration, Cooldown

Puck: Phase Shift: Duration: 0.75/1.5/2.25/3 sec
Cooldown: 6 sec

Phaseshift doesn’t have a Fade Time, the invisibility is instant.

Phaseshifted units will never autoattack

Phaseshift can be used automatically. In this case it always triggers the unit would take damage. with only the hardcoded effects the unit would still take the damage. to avoid this puck gets added a triggered invulnerability.

Phaseshifted units still have their full collision size.

Phaseshift on autocast will not trigger if you use a channeling spell like boots of travel.

Shiva’s Guard will remove the invulnerability and Marker ability of Phase Shift from Puck, but not the Invisibility.

Phaseshift can only activate if the damage comes before any disable. f.e. Manavoid is evaded but stormbolt isn’t.

Pause and silence will instantly reveal phaseshifted units. (does not work vs. Puck because he has marker)

When using Lothars on puck you are able to walk around invisible but you still have the phaseshift animation.

Little conclusion: Puck’s Phaseshift is one of the 2 ways to survive culling blade below the critical amount of health. The other one is using ghost scepter.
Stormbolts and other disable skills with a projectile can’t be evaded with autocast=on Phaseshift but with a manual cast.

II.5 Burrow

Burrow is the base ability used for several units in melee for example crypt fiends.

In Dota actually 1 unit uses this ability, scarab.

Sightrange while burrowed: 400/400

Scarabs can’t move while burrowed.

Burrow is unsilencable except with doom.

Scaracs collide with other units but other units won’t collide with scarabs.

II.6 Wards

  • Goblin Landmines
  • Observer wards and
  • Sentry wards

Use another type of invisibility but there aren’t any big differences to the rest.
The fade time is 2 seconds for Land Mines and 0 seconds for Observer and Sentry Wards.
They don’t collide with any other unit and can only be revealed by True Sight.

III. Ways to reveal invisible units

If an enemy unit goes invisible you will still see it’s red circle for about a second. this makes it easier to aim AoE spells.

III.1 Truesight

	Skill			   AoE

	Dust of Appearance	   1250
	Lightning bolt		   900 (3 sec Duration)
	Thundergods wrath	   900 (3 sec Duration)
	Eyes in the forest	   600/630/660/690
	Sentry wards		   800
	World Tree		   900
	Frozen Throne		   900
	Towers			   900
	Fountain		   900
	Gem of true sight	   1100
	Necronomicon warrior 3     1100

These skills/items except dust of appearance have a fade time. once they are used/aquired every 0.5 seconds the AoE is checked for invisible units and in this case they are revealed. so there is a delay between 0 and 0.5 seconds the unit is revealed/sight is lost once it enters/leaves the AoE. Also note that Dust won’t reveal any wards.

III.2 Faerie Fire

	Skill				 Duration

	Track				 30 sec
	Amplify damage		         30 sec on heros, 120 on creeps
	Charge of darkness	         until barathum reaches his target or he cancels the charge

III.3 Ensnare

Invisible units don’t get hit by ensnare but once a unit is ensnared it remains visible until the ensnare effect wears off.

	Skill			Duration

	Slithice - Ensnare	2/3/4/5 sec
	Meepo - Earthbind	2 sec
	Dark Troll Warlord	1.5 sec
	Pit of Malice		1.5/2/2.5/3 sec

III.4 Entangle/Entangling Roots

Invisible units don’t get hit by entangle but once a unit is entangled it remains visible until the entangle effect wears off.

	Skill		      Duration

	Spirit Bear lvl 3,4   3 sec on heros and creeps above lvl 5, 8 sec on creeps below lvl 6
	Overgrowth	      3/4/5 sec
	Frostbite	      1.5/2/2.5/3 sec on heros and creeps above lvl 5, 10 sec on creeps below lvl 6

III.5 Shared Sight

Enemy units which shares sight with an allied unit are shown on the minimap. you can attack them but it’s not possible to cast targeted spells on them.
Since you can’t click them to attack them you need to do it before they get invisible or move next to them (Minimap) and trust autoattack.

Skills that grant shared sight:

  • Strygwyr’s Thirst
  • Assassinate
  • Charge of Darkness

III.6 Hex

Hexed permanent invisible units can’t get invisible as long they are hexed. Units with windwalk can get invisible while they are hexed. A part of animation is still played when the unit is changed back even if it is invisible at this time.

	Skill					 Duration	Voodoo (Rhasta+Lion)	  1.25/2/2.75/3.5 sec
	Hex (Guinsoo)			 3.5 sec

IV. Spells that work on invisible units

The complete list is downloadable. see the attachment

V. Projectile Dodging
Most Projectiles in Dota can be dodged with Invisibility. It works with all attacks from ranged units or spells which use a projectile assumed the effect when the projectile reaches the target isn’t triggered.simply get invisible before the projectile hits.

Death Pulse can’t be evaded:

But Hellfire Blast can:

the attachment only provides informations about the moment the projectile hits, but not if projectile dodging is possible with mini invisibilities like leap.
in most cases it works, for triggered projectiles with a side effect other than damage it depends if the target is visible at the moment the projectile hits.

these triggered projectiles are:

  • Stormbolt (both damage and stun are evaded)
  • Spirit Lance (only damage is dealt)
  • Mystic Snake (no damage is dealt, no mana is stolen)
  • Stifling Dagger (only damage works)
  • Venomous Gale (both slow and damage is evaded)
  • Chain Frost (both slow and damage are evaded)
  • Death Pulse (damage is dealt in any case)

VI. Auras on invisible units
If an invisible unit is providing an aura it will only affect himself and no other units.
Exception: Tornado building damage aura (Radiance)
VII. Credits

Plumps: Testing
DonTomaso: Q&A + Guide of all hero stats, descriptions and abilities
Protomanx1, Robzor: Q&A
Tales: Triggered Skills explained
Mugen: Guide on Creeps and Summons
1239: special thanks on adding much stuff and keep me occupied updating the guide
Wyvernoid: Typos

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  1. Phoenix says:

    I just saw your deviations. Your first deviation’s quite cool. But I didn’t get what’s on the boy’s left leg. I guess it’s a small rocket launcher. 🙂

  2. carlo from pinas says:

    thanks for some info.. i just want to share some details about the new nature’s guise of treant.. the new with this skill is when treant is invisible(nature’s guise) then he cast a spell he will still be invisible, but of course he should be near in a tree. Dagger, manta, dagon and others will work with invisible but
    i think any spell is allowed but im not sure about some items like tp/bot and others because i’ve not tested it yet.. sorry for my bad english 😀

  3. Phoenix says:

    Thanks for reminding me… I’ll add that soon after testing it. 🙂

  4. carlo from pinas says:’re welcome sir. xD

  5. Mentalcheez says:

    Where’s the attachment link?

  6. Phoenix says:

    I’m sorry for the late reply… The link is as below

    I’ve added the link in the guide as well. Thanks 🙂

  7. google says:

    I liked your article
    thanks to google I found you

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