Dota 2 7.29c: How to play Grimstroke?

Grimstroke, the ascended Ashkavorian (Image via Valve)
Grimstroke, the ascended Ashkavorian (Image via Valve)

Grimstroke is a ranged, intelligence hero in Dota 2. He is primarily played as a support and is one of Dota 2's most unique heroes.

Grimstroke has been one of the most popular heroes in the Dota 2 pro circuit since his release. His toolkit allows him to combine with most heroes in Dota 2, thus, he is one of the rare heroes that is compatible in almost every game.


Grimstroke's first skill is Stroke of Fate, is a nuke that damages and slows enemy units in a straight line. Every subsequent enemy is dealt with increasing damage.

His second skill is Phantom's Embrace, this skill summons a phantom that latches onto an enemy silencing them. The phantom then returns to Grimstroke and can be attacked by the enemies to destroy it.

His third skill is Ink Swell, this skill empowers an ally for 3 seconds, increasing their movement speed. After the duration of the spell, any enemy within a 400 radius will be damaged and stunned.

Finally, Grimstroke's ultimate ability, Soulbind, binds two heroes together. Any unit-targeted spell effects both heroes that are bound together.

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How to play Grimstroke in Dota 2?


Grimstroke is best played as a support. However, players have frequently played him in mid. Playing Grimstroke in mid is a high-risk, high-reward move and is not recommended for new players.

Grimstroke's Early Game

Grimstroke's ideal early game items (Image via Valve)
Grimstroke's ideal early game items (Image via Valve)

Grimstroke's spells are some of the strongest early in the game. Players need to start spamming his spells to harass their enemies. Therefore, a lot of mana regeneration is required. Some health regeneration items for both Grimstroke and his core are also useful.

A Magic Wand and Arcane Boots should be Grimstroke's first items. Both items provide bonus regeneration for Grimstroke and allow him to increase his efficiency early in the game.

Players are advised to use Ink Swell on their cores and run at the enemy heroes. With a core like Juggernaut or Ursa, Grimstroke can secure easy kills in the lane.

Grimstroke's Mid Game

Grimstroke's ideal mid-game items (Image via Valve)
Grimstroke's ideal mid-game items (Image via Valve)

Grimstroke's ability to combine with allied heroes is second to none in Dota 2. Most of his spells work perfectly with other heroes. Players are advised to disassemble Arcane Boots to make Aether Lens and Tranquil Boots. This maximizes efficiency.

Players should purchase Aghanim's Shard as soon as it is available. The Shard upgraded Ink Swell is one of the best spells in Dota 2. Aether Lens helps Grimstroke position himself better during team fights.

Mid-game, players are advised to join every team fight and cast their spells off-cooldown. A perfectly placed Soulbind on two enemy core heroes can instantly win fights for Grimstroke's team. Players are also advised to keep casting Ink Swell on their allies during fights.

Grimstroke's Late Game

Few Late Game items for Grimstroke (Image via Valve)
Few Late Game items for Grimstroke (Image via Valve)

Late in the game, Grimstroke's Soulbind becomes one of the only spells that can disable enemies with a Black King Bar. As a result, his presence becomes crucial during team fights. The hero doesn't necessarily need any other items to be useful.

Players are advised to keep their distance and avoid getting picked off by the enemy. During team fights, one should prioritize getting their spells off before the enemy can kill them.

The Scythe of Vyse can be useful since Grimstroke can hex two enemies at once. Octarine Core, Arcana Blink, and Aghanim's Scepter are luxury items that can be useful too.


Grimstroke is one of the best heroes in the Dota 2 meta right now. Pros play this hero very frequently after it received a buff for its Aghanim's Shard. Grimstroke is a complex hero, but can be learnt relatively quickly.

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Edited by david.benjamin
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