Weeks ago we wrote about an impending doom in our pubs and pro games: a hero so annoying and disruptive, he would make people forget about Bounty Hunter. Riki has made quite the splash at the Manila Major, and his pub stats indicate that without any further balancing, he’ll keep on roaming.
We’ve shown you how the hero works, how the concept of his roaming works--but how does one deal with all of that? What heroes and playstyle does one need to embrace to win vs. Riki?
This is the most common skill and item build for Riki in pro games
Like any roamer, Riki disrupts lanes, most prominently the midlane. Passive lanes or laning behaviour is a good way to make sure Riki has to work for his levels, as he can punish aggression quite quickly and can turn around engagements with a Smoke Screen.
Passive laning--meaning keeping the lane equilibrium back, not pushing for kills and staying in range of either tower or allies--is important, as it prevents Riki from getting kills. He is weak early on as he only has a few skillpoints available, meaning before level 3 he can’t Blink Strike out of invisibility and then slow a hero with a Smoke Screen. If he doesn’t get any kills, he has to soak the experience from one of his lanes and that is not effective. Unlike other roamers, such as Mirana, he also can’t farm at all in the jungle, so if you don’t see him on the map, he is definitely waiting on a lane.
Smoke Screen may be a good silence, but it’s an even more effective slow (25%). The spell has always been great, but it was never levelled up much, as you needed other spells to be an effective core Riki. The roaming version uses the spell not only as a massive AoE silence though, but also as a strong slow initiation, something Bounty Hunter’s Jinada used to provide before it got nerfed to now 15%. Knowing that, you need to position yourself in the lane as mentioned above--always in range of a tower or an ally to make sure you can be helped or Riki’s efforts can be punished.
Because Smoke Screen is an AoE spell, grouping up in teamfights needs to be avoided for effective initiations. Ideally, Sentries and Dust should be distributed among multiple heroes so Riki can’t just focus down the support that bought everything. Bursting down Riki early is important, and there’s no shame in using an ultimate for him if it means taking him out early.
Vision and positioning on the map is in general something you need to be wary of. Riki is a better Bounty Hunter, as his invisibility is always up. He can place wards without anyone knowing it, so your game sense needs to be on extra alert when facing a Riki. Vision is as crucial as ever against him. Make sure to place Sentry Wards only in positions where Riki can not destroy them easily, so on highground or hidden in trees. Especially in the midlane, it’s important to not lose your sentry early on, or else you’ll have difficulties playing safe vs Riki.
Similarly to Bounty Hunter, counters, or most pubstar counters really, a good Riki counter has disables or defensive skills, while also not being squishy. Winter Wyvern is a solid pick against Riki, whose sole source of damage is his regular auto attacks. Splinter Blast provides sufficient, but more so, reliable burst damage as it hits invisible units. Positioning for Wyvern is key though, as the hero’s turnrate and low mobility make it difficult to escape a Smoke Screen.
Night Stalker could also work as a core, but he’s worth mentioning in the support section, as he embodies the type of hero Riki can’t pick off. Night Stalker is tanky and mobile and once he picks up an Aghanim’s and Gem, he can give you the edge in the vision game against the stealthy assassin. Crippling Fear is a reliable silence that prevents Riki from having the impact in teamfights he needs to have.
Omniknight is in somewhat of a love and hate relationship with Riki. There certainly are reasons why he works well against him, but also why he doesn’t. Omniknight is tanky, provides the necessary defensive abilities to save teammates from clouds and burst, and is a natural Force Staff carrier. That said, Riki’s silence and his natural item progression into a Diffusal Blade certainly counter Omniknight. However, there is an argument to be made that forcing out Diffusal Blade charges for Repel could be beneficial.
Oracle is another hero that provides a lot of defensive abilities, but Fortune’s End is also a good offensive spell to possibly ensure a kill on Riki. The ability to save somebody inside a Smoke Screen and also to cancel a potential Diffusal purge make Oracle a well rounded hero to counter the pesky roamer.
Disruptor works great as well, as he is yet another natural Force Staff hero, and his AoE spells make it difficult for Riki to properly maneuver in teamfights, forcing at the very least Blink Strikes. In the early game especially though, Disruptor allows you to get kills on Riki, considering how Thunderstrike provides you with the location of the hero for better and more efficient Dust or Sentry usage. Most important of all though, Glimpse can prevent Riki from being as elusive as he’d like to be, especially after using Trick of the Trade.
Often times it is the midplayer who suffers the most from Riki’s impact. If you wish to pick a midlaner into a Riki pick, look towards heroes that aren’t squishy or rely on their spells to survive a gank. Think of a hero like Puck, who could die during a single, properly executed Smoke Screen.
Templar Assassin is a solid mid hero that doesn’t suffer too much from a roamer such as Riki. Refraction can help mitigate most of the damage dealt, and it requires Riki to at least purchase some form of detection. Her damage output and the Psi-Blades also allow her to kill Riki if he plays too aggressively. In the midgame, she can also blink out of Smoke Screen initiations, if her Refraction is up.
Dragon Knight is a tanky core that, in order to be killed, he would have to be stunned or slowed more than what the Smoke Screen provides. His high armor and HP allow him to stand inside of Riki’s ultimate without even flinching, and DK also has a reliable stun to pick off Riki with. Progressing into a Shadow Blade also forces Riki to purchase more detection, hurting his economy and delaying any midgame item pick ups, while Silver Edge’s break mechanic also disables Cloak and Dagger.
Queen of Pain is vulnerable, as she is squishy and may rely on her blink, but in the midgame she can easily take advantage of her burst damage. Equip her with a Dust of Appearance, and she can hunt Riki by herself, often without using her ultimate. Her range allows her to play at least somewhat safe in lane, though vision is definitely necessary to keep life simple.
Beastmaster may not be a midlaner primarily, but he certainly is one of the stronger Riki counters. The vision he provides, later with Necronomicons as well, is key in staying safe against Riki, while his abilities and his boar can make life really difficult for the assassin as well.
Riki is in a good place right now, which is why it’s so important to know his counters. An almost 53% winrate in the 5k bracket with a 25% pickrate show that the hero is not to be underestimated. This doesn’t even include all the times the hero is banned, as he certainly is, considering his roaming strengths. He is still not a must pick for every game, but he can be picked first to force your opponents to pick and play in a certain style, or be last picked to disrupt everything the enemies have built up. The heroes highlighted above can very well deal with him without adapting their playstyles too much.
1st comment, smallest dick ^
I mean third
Stop the first comments.
Ive always enjoyed roaming as riki even before the pros did it.
ever since his rework ive been going phase, urn, diffusal, yasha, and depends on the game from there
I used to go HC riki, even after rework.
Blink dagger is the way to go. With it and ult, riki becomes almost as elusive as puck.
Core Riki is still best, he was buffed by OSfrog not for to be support
Riki offlaner got no fear, 2 sentrys qblade and tangos and nothing can happen.
Roamer riki is pisck waste. Why talkign about pro games when 80% population here stays in random pub games.
The best counter i find to heroes like Riki, BH and Clinkz is Spirit Breaker, the charge + dust And Urn is a Great counter to these Heroes.
riki is love riki is live
Riki is not op. Stop spreading any news that might make stupid idiots think he's op. I want the article about 6.88!
@Suco de Piru I am waiting for that too! xd
What about dealing with phantom riki??
how to deal with timbersaw and tinker ... as a support and also a core with no mobolity skills ... DansGame
Rip Phantom Riki
@Purplevoodoo What is phantom riki? :3
Disruptor maybe work in highrating games with roam riki, but pos 3 riki with fast diffusal will easy kill this lowhp supp in smoke. Only works after forcestuff (but try to buy it with 0/10 at 5 position). I don't like guys like abba or orgemagi, they are really annoying for rikii.
on june 4 something really bad happened to riki
i like riki with or against a jungling carry. after the early 2-min roaming phase, riki could just farm in the safelane while the safelane ursa, who should have a morbid mask like now, go farm in the jungle. that way you have an extra core without putting too much burden on the pos 5 support.
also, picking riki in the 2nd phase in captain's mode gives the drafter a slight edge in terms of the flexibility of the draft, as you can run riki as a roamer, a farming support and a jungling carry, or as a carry paired with io
bring back #PhantomRiki
23rd comment, bit*hes xD
hi guise me nob riki is so op omg so hard to kill
despite he's annoying and succesfull, i dont think that was necesary make an article of how to counter a "35min difussal blade riki".. it is like make articles of how to counter every support in the game
Orb of venom at the beginning, boots and maelstrom are a must on Riki. Wind lance, blight stone can be very useful early game.
Also a basher can be essential, works perfectly with the maelstrom and riki's ulti. When you ulti 5 heroes dmg is half of their hp or more, till they get out. You need to roam with riki a lot especially if they use sentry wards. Chnage lanes, and go gank
It can create perfect ganks, when playing with lifestealer, or a good spirit breaker and other heroes.
If you're losing to Riki it's your own damn fault.
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i have 900+ matches on Riki. LOL
@iDestroyer filthy riki spammer
"This is the most common skill and item build for Riki in pro games"
> max smoke first > blink second and inv last
what kind of riki is this? bounty hunter? what? " Riki is a better Bounty Hunter", the hell is this, where is the mini stun and track on riki?
Roamer riki is just so sad to see, he is a carry, he need items to rekt everyone
Why the hell would you buy wards, rush S&Y/manta and basher
And as I always said: True sight is expansive. Don't waste time with vision, you are riki. If the ennemies want to see you, just let them see you.
Never listen and try to act like pro players, they are on their own meta.
You want to stomp like Phantom riki?
Hard carry rush S&Y basher DB and dagon.
And don't say that Omni is a counter, its absolutly wrong, riki rekt this guy because of diffusal.
TL;DR: Pro players play riki as bounty hunter, think that he is a better bounty hunter... But he is not. Just go carry and rekt the shit out of your ennemies. AFK farm until 3Rapier and daedalus.
http://www.dotabuff.com/players/258263789/matches?hero=riki see my riki plays ez as fuck 5k mmr
Were's Necrophos he can kill riki with death pulse and heart stopper.
What about fuckin slardar?
Riki is strong because his backstab (many people dont know this)
I prefer u counter with bristle, because he is tanky and he have good passive
Or bloodseeker , coz riki HP is very low
Bounty hunter is bad counter, because good riki know how to deal with bounty hunter/slardar easily
And i prefer u buy mkb because his smoke give 70% evasion, u can kill him even in his smoke after mkb
I agree with Reagaemane..Slardar and gondar's ult can be countered,since diffusal blade is one of riki's cores.It can purge off debuffs and Riki can be now as elusive as puck.A lvl.1 four-second ult. is nothing to scoff at since blink dagger's break cooldown is just three seconds.It's like you have a Sleight of Fist and a little invulnerability of Phase shift.
Helping ally riki become fat is really effective to win the game...
But the only feared weapon that feared by riki is sentry ward. its better than dagon...
thats why ward is the deadliest item.
i like to pick lina while the enemy is riki... so i can going tactical warding and laguna 'em up.