Dota 2 Sand King Guide – Builds, Abilities, Items and Strategy

Crixalis the Sand King is a hero that can cause chaos among the battlefield by constantly stunning multiple enemies as well as causing huge Epicenters that can wipe the opposing team pretty easily. He is also a very cunning hero that’s adept at catching enemies as well as escaping from them.

Burrow strike allows him to stun enemies in a line, as well as allowing SK to go up and down cliffs and other obstacles; Sandstorm allows SK to go invisible and damage enemies around him, and Caustic Finale makes every enemy hit by SK to explode and deal damage in the surrounding area. Last but certainly not least, his ultimate Epicenter deals a huge amount of damage and slows in an area around Sand King.

Pros and Cons

  • + One of the best teamfight ultimates
  • + Burrowstrike and Sandstorm make him very hard to kill
  • + Can easily farm stacked jungle camps
  • + Can stun multiple enemies constantly with a low cooldown
  • – Melee
  • – Epicenter can easily get canceled
  • – Needs a lot of positioning to be properly

Sand King Abilities

Sand King burrows into the ground and tunnels forward, damaging and stunning enemy units above him as he resurfaces for 2.17 seconds.

  • Range: 350/450/550/650
  • Damage: 100/160/220/280
  • Cooldown: 11
  • Manacost: 110/120/130/140

Your stun spell. As it gets leveled the range gets increased by a lot, allowing you to escape or initiate from further away.

CHANNELED – Sand King creates a fearsome sandstorm that damages enemy units while hiding him from vision. The invisibility remains for a short duration after the sandstorm ends.

  • Radius: 275/325/375/525
  • Channeling Duration: 20/40/60/80
  • Damage Per Second: 20/40/60/80
  • Delay Before Reveal: 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.5
  • Cooldown: 40/30/20/10
  • Manacost: 60/50/40/30

This skill allows you to dodge enemy spells and projectiles and is your main farming tool since it allows you to kill jungle camps and creep waves pretty easily

Caustic Finale
Sand King’s attacks inject a venom that causes enemy units to explode violently upon death, spreading area damage.

  • Radius: 400
  • Duration: 8
  • Damage:90/130/170/220

Another farming tool that can be used when Sand King is on a solo lane.

CHANNELED – After channeling for 2 seconds, Sand King sends a disturbance into the earth, causing it to shudder violently. All enemies caught within range will take damage and become slowed. Each subsequent pulse increases the radius of damage dealt.

  • Initial Radius: 275
  • Number Of Pulses: 6/8/10 (8/10/12*)
  • Pulse Damage: 110
  • Total Damage (full pulses): 660/880/1100 (880/1100/1320*)
  • Cooldown: 140/120/100 (120/100/80*)
  • Manacost: 175/250/325

*Aghanim Scepter Values

If it gets canceled while channeling, it will go on cooldown without doing anything so be careful when using it.

Sand King Skill Build

  1. Burrowstrike
  2. Sandstorm
  3. Burrowstrike
  4. Sandstorm
  5. Burrowstrike/Sandstorm
  6. Epicenter
  7. Burrowstrike/Sandstorm
  8. Sandstorm/Burrowstrike
  9. Sandstorm/Burrowstrike
  10. Stats/Caustic Finale
  11. Epicenter
  12. Stats
  13. Stats
  14. Stats
  15. Stats
  16. Epicenter

This is the most common way to play Sand King. Burrowstrike is the best spell to take at level 1 to get first bloods or to prevent enemies from getting first blood on you.

Sandstorm is taken next because it’s a great spell to use while laning, because you can easily dodge projectiles with it. As a special case if you are soloing, you can take Caustic Finale on level 2 to get an upper hand on the enemy solo, especially if he’s melee so he will take some damage when coming close to the wave.

Caustic Finale is a really situational skill, it’s up to you if you want to get it over stats.

The ultimate Epicenter is obviously taken whenever possible.

Sand King Recommended Items

Starting items: 3x Branch, Tango, Salve, Clarity
These starting items will give you some nice stats to get some last hits as well as giving extra survivability.

Core: Boots of Speed, Blink Dagger, Magic Wand, TP Scroll

Blink Dagger is the best item that Sand King can get, without it you will always need to use your Epicenter in the middle of fights and risk getting it canceled. When you get Blink Dagger you can channel your ultimate and then Blink into the fights.

Luxuries: (Ultimate Boosting): Aghanim Scepter, Veil of Discord, Ethereal Blade

These 3 items will boost the damage that you can do with your ultimate, Aghanim gives a few extra pulses and slightly reduces the cooldown, Veil will directly boost the damage that you and your team can do in an aoe and EBlade will further boost the magical damage while disabling an enemy and it also gives you the very useful Ghost ability againsty right click enemies.

(Survivability and others): Black King Bar, Heart of Terrasque, Shiva’s Guard, Assault Cuirass, Necronomicon, Heaven Halberd, Scythe of Vyse, Boots of Travel, Pipe of Insight

BKB allows you to use ultimate on the middle of a fight without the fear of it getting canceled most of the time so the probability of a better Epicenter is better with it. It also fully protects you from killing yourself when the enemy blademails your ultimate.

With Heart you can quickly regenerate hp if the enemies leave you alone,  Assault gives your team a nice aura to push with and with Shiva you also get a very useful aura as well as another aoe nuke.

Necro gives you a very powerful pushing presence as well as the ability to spot invisible units when maxed. Halberd gives you some evasion as well as a very useful disable against ranged right clickers

Scythe of Vyse is the big luxury item that fits well on every hero so no surprise of this mention. Later in the game, Boots of Travel are a great choice.

Pipe is a great option against huge nuke damage and its very useful active Barrier, will mitigate a lot of magical damage to you and your allies.

Sand King Strategy Tips

As Sand King, you can go basically to any lane or not even lane at all since his Burrowstrike is a good spell to roam with. If you do go for mid, you should get a Bottle and gank with the runes. If you go for the safe lane with an ally, remember to stack the camps so that you can get big amounts of gold when your Sandstorm is good enough to quickly kill the stacks.

If you are soloing against another solo melee enemy, remember that you can take Caustic Finale and punish the enemy for coming close to the wave. The Caustic Bomb can be done by hitting every enemy creep once to spread the caustic debuff, then make them explode with a Burrowstrike. Doing this will instantly kill the wave and each of them will do atleast 90 damage, if enemies aren’t paying attention to this they can easily die.

Remember to bait and dodge anything thrown at you with Sandstorm, it’s a really cheap and effective way to make enemies like Vengeful Spirit and Queen of Pain waste their mana without doing anything.

Blink Dagger is such an important item on Sand King, since it allows you to channel your ulti in safety. But it’s also necessary to learn the use of the Shift key, so that you can imediately jump into battle without wasting too many pulses. This can be done by clicking your Epicenter button (usually R) and then press Shift + Blink Dagger button and click where you want to blink. Doing this will insta blink the Sand King right after the Epicenter channeling is done. The Shift key is also very useful to Blink and stun after a teleport.

Epicenter is a really powerful spell, so you need to manage its use. While in the early game you can use it on small skirmishes and killing key heroes, you should know when to and when not to cast it at late game. Whenever it’s on cooldown, enemies will feel a lot safer and may attempt to push your base or kill Roshan.

There are some enemies that can quickly disrupt your Epicenter usage, they are Pugna and Spectre. Be sure to hide away from Pugna’s ward or when you use Epicenter, your Blink dagger will get disabled because of the damage and you won’t be able to jump into the fight. Spectre’s ultimate will also disable your Blink Dagger.

Timing and positioning are very crucial to get the perfect Epicenter on your enemies, know beforehand where the fight will be and hide in the trees next to the location.

Most of the times it’s best to not be the one initiating, wait a bit for the fight to break out and then when multiple enemies are close together, channel Epicenter, jump in and try to catch multiple enemies in a line to make the most of Burrowstrike. If everything is sucessful watch them die.