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The Guide to the Dragon Knight

Hey guys, this is my first ever guide about my favorite hero ever since I have been introduced to the DOTA world. Any comments are appreciated since I have to still perfect the hero.

I. Introduction
DK, as most of you know, is a hybrid of a tank and carry. He has by far the highest armor among all strength heroes and has the highest armor (with Dragon Blood) among all heroes in the game, a whooping 20 base armor! That's not including the +20 bonus stats. He also has the longest non ulti stun duration. So, this is one tough knight to take down.

II. Pros and Cons
Some are mentioned above such as the highest stun duration for a non ulti and the highest armor among heroes in the game.
-Has a passive hp regen making lane survival no probs
-Ulti lasts 1 minute and cools down to 55 sec.
-Ulti is non wasteable, meaning even after using it, you can farm with it
-Versatile hero
-Nice stats and stats gain for a STR hero

-low MS (290)
-low mana pool, can't spam Breathe Fire
-not really useful when human form

III. Skills and Skill Build
Breathe Fire
-Breathes fire at enemy units, dealing damage.
level 1- 75 damage, 100 mana
level 2- 150 damage, 110 mana
level 3- 225 damage, 120 mana
level 4- 300 damage, 130 mana
Constant 12 sec cd, 500 cast range, 50-250 AoE, cone type

As you can see, this is your nuke. This can hit mechanical units such as the meat wagon or the glaive thrower but not towers, ancients and magic immune units. And though it is tempting to use this for farming and weakening heroes, DO NOT. You are not a magician or wizard, you are a knight, you do not have the luxury of spamming it. If you are weakening, please save at least mana for 1 Dragon Tail and Scroll of Town Portal just in case.

Dragon Tail
-Davion bashes a melee-range enemy target with the fury of a dragon's tail swipe. Stuns the target and deals minor damage.
level 1- 25 damage, 2.5 sec stun
level 2- 50 damage, 2.75 sec stun
level 3- 75 damage, 3 sec stun
level 4- 100 damage, 3.25 sec stun
Constant 9 sec cd and 100 mana, 150 cast range

Anyone who uses this to 'kill' or 'farm' is either bored, noob, retard or is a lvl 0 noob. This is your set-up skill as well as disable skill. You either kill or run with this.

Dragon Blood
-Grants Dragon Knight blood from his ancient ancestral dragon heritage, which increases health regeneration and armor.
level 1- 1 hp/sec, +2 armor
level 2- 2 hp/sec, +4 armor
level 3- 3 hp/sec, +6 armor
level 4- 4 hp/sec, +8 armor

Without upgrading this, DK has 12 armor. With level 4, you're a walking shield. But don't expect to be invincible with this. This is just to upgrade your tanking capabilities.

Elder Dragon Form
-Transforms the Dragon Knight into a powerful elder dragon.
Level 1- Green Dragon with corrosive attack
Level 2- Red Dragon with Strong Splash attack
Level 3- Blue Dragon with Frost Splash attack
Constant 60 sec duration and has 500 attack range, 50 mana and 115 sec cd(if you used it and stayed alive for 60 sec, you get 55 sec cd)

Awesome ulti. The corrosive attack deals poison damage even to towers, 20 dps. The Green Dragon is great for pushing. Once itís leveled up to 2, it turns to a Red dragon with splash attack and 5 bonus damage. Lots of people underestimate this dragon due thinking that the green is much more powerful due to its DPS abilities. Think again. The Red Dragon is able to farm and destroy creep waves as well as weaken and probably kill heroes in clashes. The Frost Dragon is able to weaken heroes with ease due to its frost effect. Any hero without a stun or an escape mechanism will die.

Skill Build
1. Dragon Tail
2. Dragon Blood
3. Breathe Fire
4. Dragon Blood/Breathe Fire
5. Breathe Fire/Dragon Blood
6. Elder Dragon Form
7. Breathe Fire/Dragon Blood
8. Breathe Fire/Dragon Blood
9. Breathe Fire/Dragon Blood
10. Breathe Fire/Dragon Blood
11. Elder Dragon Form
12. Dragon Tail
13. Dragon Tail
14. Dragon Tail
15. Stats
16. Elder Dragon Form
17-25. Stats

Dragon tail is learned first for disabling, escaping and killing or weakening with the help of allies or when enemies stray near your towers. Dragon Blood and Breathe Fire are learned alternately or you could max out Dragon Blood for survivability or Breathe Fire for an AoE nuke. Leveling Dragon Blood will increase lane survivability. Leveling Breathe Fire lets you have a strong nuke for finshing blows or for weakening but remember, YOU DO NOT HAVE A HIGH MANA POOL. Do not carelessly spam it for no reason. So I suggest balancing Dragon Blood and Breathe Fire. But it depends on your gameplay, if you're defensive, max out of dragon blood and if offensive, then max out Breathe Fire.

IV. Items
Listed below are the item builds for DK (semi-carry/tank)

Starting items
-Stout Shield
-2 Clarity potions
-Set of Tangoes
-3 Ironwood Branches

Core items(Not in order of purchase)
-Boots of Speed/Power Treads/Phase Boots
-Helm of Dominator
-Magic Wand
-Vanguard(Bracers if you donít like this. But it will be justified later.)
[-Ring of Basilius/Soul Ring/Urn of Shadows/Bottle] (Optional)

Dream items
-Power treads/Boots Of travel/Phase Boots
-Heart of Tarrasque
-Assault Cuirass
-Buriza/Manta Style/Monkey King Bar

[Dragonís Wrath Items]
-Power treads/Boots of Travel/Phase Boots
-Heart of Tarrasque
-Assault Cuirass
-Divine Rapier
NOTE: This is you Dragonís Wrath item build. I put this up because of its perfect combination of offense and defense. With a 4k hp, 500+ damage, 40 armor, fast attack speed, imba out-of-battle regen and imba lifesteal, this is THE ultimate build for DK emphasizing his Tank-Carry hybrid, a DPS-er and a Tank. But this build will most likely never be used (not because itís a Ďforbiddení build) due to the fact that games usually never drags this long.

Vanguard Justification

You buy stout shield because youíll be buying Vanguard; Ring of health for lane survivability, Vitality Booster for tank-age, depends which you like first. Now let me justify the Vanguard. Though you may be hard to kill, you have to be harder due to the fact you WILL be aimed by most heroes because you are the tank, youíll go into battle first. Plus, Vanguard is what I like to call, the Mini Heart of Tarrasque right now. You'll need Vanguard because HoT is a LUXURY ITEM. Getting HoT will mean the game hasn't ended or you have farmed and killed heroes too fast. I know most of you do not buy this because DK has a good hp pool, can survive lanes well and stuff like that. But remember, YOU'RE THE FRIGGIN TANK, people will depend on you to save them and like what I said, youíre the first one to charge into battle. A tank is someone who can absorb loads of punishment and with Vanguard on DK, this justifies the tank role. This is NOT waste of inventory slot.

NOTE: If you still think Vanguard is too expensive or is a waste or youíre confident to tank without it, buy Bracers instead.

You're first core item should be Boots and Magic Stick. Then go for Vanguard. Follow my note if you have doubts with Vanguard.

[Buy your Upgraded Boots next.] (Optional) You can skip this until later if you want.

[Buy you mana regen item. Either SOUL RING, URN OF SHADOWS, BOTTLE OR RING OF BASILIUS] (Optional) If you plan to buy this, Iíll help you decide which of the 4 you prefer.

The next item you should get should be Helm of the Dominator. This is good for your tank and carry role. Seeing as DK has good AS for a STR hero and has a power base damage, this should fit you well. +5 armor is no joke as well. I prefer to go for Helm of Iron Will first because Mask of Death just gives lifesteal unlike Iron Will which gives you regen AND armor.

Next should be Armlet of Mordiggan. The reason why we buy Dominator first is the life steal to nullify Armletís degeneration once activated. It also gives you nice HP bonus, attack speed bonus and damage when activated.

NOTE: if you prefer Mask of Madness, go ahead, instead of buying Armlet and Helm. However, Mask of Madnessí benefits are only burst Attack speed and lifesteal and a drawback of amplified damage you received after the duration of Frenzy while synergizing Armlet and Helm gives you more benefits than just MoM.

If you havenít upgraded you Boots, nowís the time.

Choosing your Magic Item


-Introduced recently, this item synergizes with STR heroes. At the cost of some of your life, you get 150 mana for 10 seconds. You could use that mana for a Dragon Tail and an Elder Dragon Form or just a Breathe Fire.

-Gives you armor aura, mana regen aura and slight damage. This synergizes with the carry-tank role of DK. Good for summoners and junglers.

-A fairly new item as well, gives you mana regen, slight hp boost and for DK, slight damage. Gives you free flasks with every killed enemy hero nearby. Good for gankers, especially STR gankers.

-Gives burst regen and is able to keep power ups/runes. Every ganker and roamerís item.

So choose, but remember this is optional. If you think you can survive without the mana regen, donít get these, magic wand maybe enough for you.

Choosing your Boots
Slight stats boost, AS bonus- Power Treads

Chasing Ė Phase Boots

[Mobility and Map Control Ė Boots of Travel] (Get this if you can, but I suggest the cheaper ones. 2200 gold can be spent on something more important)

Never liked fancy stuff and is short, sweet and basic Ė Boots of Speed

So to summarize it, your core item build should look like this (not in order of purchase):
-Boots of Speed/ Power Treads/ Phase Boots/ [Boots of Travel]
-Vanguard(Bracers if you don't like Vanguard)
-Helm of Dominator
-Armlet of Mordiggan
-Magic Wand
-Bottle/Ring of Basilius/Soul Ring/Urn of Shadows

NOTE: As much as possible, try to bring a scroll of town portal with you at all times.

The reason why this is your core item build is because it balances you role as a carry and tank. Nice Hp, plenty of sources for regeneration, nice damage, good attack speed, and nice armor, characteristics a tank and a carry needs and should have.

Any extra gold you will receive will be used for buybacks. However, if you think the game will last a bit longer, buy your items for the Dream Build. I suggest you should buy Messerschimdtís Reaver for Satanic or Heart of Tarrasque. And if it still goes on, buy Assault Cuirass by buying Hyperstone first.

If and ONLY IF, the game hasnít ended, you are confident if your skills and your opponents do not have any back-up plan to counter you guys, go for the Dragonís Wrath build. This build will own opponents. Unless youíre a troll, charge in battle without any strategy and think youíre invincible, then this build is not for you.

V. Other items
Any item is good with DK but is optional and depends with your strategy, situation and play style. And anyways, it will be fun trying out the items as long as they can synergize well. The items rejected are the following:

-Aghanimís Scepter
-Refresher Orb

If you donít know the reason whyÖHell no, you should know the reason whyÖ

NOTE: Oh and another thing, and this is to all those pubbies and those buying Battle fury for DK. Battle fury DOES NOT give the cleave damage when you turn into Elder Dragon. Cleave is STRICTLY for melee. Splash is for ranged but the splash of Magnataurís is an exception. Itís splash means cleave.

Buff placer items
Items such as Stygian Desolator and Eye of Skadi will change the effects of your Elder Dragonís attack. It is not advisable to buy Skadi because your level 3 Dragon has the same effect. Stygian will replace the effects of the Corrosive Breath, Frost Breath and the Splash attack.

Situational items-Kelenís Dagger
-Black King Bar
-Hood of Defiance/Pipe of Insight
Among the 3, Dagger is the most viable, you can use it in most games. Trade it in for your Magic Wand or, if you did buy, your Mana regen item. Black King Bar, Hood and Pipe is used in heavily gank-oriented teams.

VI. Strategy
Early Game(Level 1-9)

-You should farm for your items.
-Do not go roaming since that is not your job. You also do not have roaming skills.
-Do not try supporting heroes which need help if they are too far but if they badly need it, you have no choice.
-Do not try to be a tank just yet. You are not yet fit to that especially when dealing with spellcasters. However, you should know when to save or defend you allies whenever they need it.
-Do not try killing heroes like you can. You will not be able to kill with ease unless your opponents are noob, your allies are great supporters, you are in Elder Dragon Form and when opportunity strikes.
-As much as possible, do not go saving allies from afar UNLESS they badly need it.
-Survive for less gold loss which can delay your items.

Mid Game(Level 9-16)
(Items you should have at least are MAGIC STICK, VANGUARD or BRACERS for tank-age and BOOTS for your horrible MS.)

-Farming is still good for your next items but contribute to clashes which are within your range, as in not too far unless you can reach them with a scroll. Unless your allies are good at juking and can survive with low hp, do not help if theyíre too far.
-You are able to tank and defend your allies but as much as possible, do not die when defending them. Also know when to defend. A 4v1 battle will ultimately mean that the solo hero will die. Unless he can survive and there are others ready to back you up, do not engage.
-Try getting more gold to attain your tank items because it is here where things get tougher. Killing heroes is easier now but donít go recklessly. The bounty will be a big help for your item build and the experience is great.

Late game(Level 16+)
(You should have your core build by the time you reach within this level range, at least by level 18)

-You are now a tank and carry. (Assuming youíve done well in the early and mid)
-Do not charge recklessly into team battles without the help of your allies.
-Plan your kills well. Do not just DPS your way through.
-Farm less but not too less, just enough that creeps will not enter or destroy your base. Neutral farm near allies with opponents in case they need help.
-Do not go killing enemies from afar unless you over-level them at least by one level or unless youíre going to gank them.
[-Try completing the Dream or Dragonís Wrath Build] (OPTIONAL)

VII. Ending
So this is the end of my Guide. I wonít be talking about hero synergies and stuff like that because, well, DK synergizes well with most heroes. Plus, it depends on how skilled the players controlling the heroes are and how good your teammates are, thatís my stand. Heroes to watch out for are those spell casters and those that can waste your mana and break your defenses. This guide has not much visuals for the reason that I am a noob at doing this because this is a first for me. Also, this guide is for a carry-tank DK, the usual role, do not limit yourself to just playing him this way or any other way suggested by others. Comment and suggest more competitive gameplay that I may perfect the DK.

Thanks to Icefrog, Blizzard, Playdota and the readers! ^_^

Knight Davion the Dragon Knight
Author: Omega Dragrus X
Map Vers.: 6.67c

The Guide to Dragon Knight

Offense and Defense

Date Posted: 05/21/10
Last Comment:22/08/2012
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