The hero of our today’s guide is a fairly new addition to Dota 2. Grimstroke was added to the game only a year and a half ago. As often, on the release the hero was literally broken. His spells dealt way too much damage and mana costs were too low. After several nerfes, Grimstroke still remains quite strong, but sadly his win rate says otherwise. Currently Grimstroke has the lowest win rate among supports in Immortal, Divine, Ancient and Legend brackets. Hopefully, this guide will help Grimstroke players to raise his win rate.
Table of contents
Role in the game
Grimstroke is usually played as a support or roamer. However, he can work as an offlaner or midlaner as well, as he has many active spells and can take advantage of them in all stages of the game.
The purpose of Grimstroke in the game is to disable his opponents with slow, silence and stun. The hero is very good at team fighting, split pushing and defending towers. Once Grim gets himself a Scythe of Vyse, he can provide an insane impact in fights by himself.
- Stroke of Fate is a powerful split pushing tool. The ability allows Grimstroke to kill the creep wave very fast. The spell is very good for ensuring last-hits of ranged creeps in the lane and harassing enemy heroes.
- Phantom’s Embrace applies a very annoying silence and deals quite a lot of damage if the opponent will not be able to kill the phantom. Usually, the ability will force enemy heroes to attack phantom in fights, which can win some important time in the fight for Grimstroke’s team.
- Ink Swell can stun the enemy hero for a total of 3.7 seconds on its max level. The ability is very good for setting up kills or even protecting your teammates in fights. Ink Swell works best with melee heroes in a team and initiators in general.
- Soulbind is a very good counter to mobile enemy heroes, such as Storm Spirit or Queen of Pain. Once two enemy heroes binded together, they will not be able to use any escaping spells. By casting a spell on a binded hero it will also work on another. The spell is very good in combination with Phantom’s Embrace and any single-target disables or nukes.
For the laning stage, Grimstroke needs a lot of consumables to be able to trade his HP and harass opponents effectively. As your starting items, you should purchase six Tangoes, a Healing Salve, an Iron Branch, a Clarity and three Enchanted Mangoes.
As Grimstroke has four active spells, your goal for the early stage of the game is to get yourself an Arcane Boots and Magic Stick. Thanksfully, you should not have any trouble getting these items since you can secure yourself easy last-hits with the help of Stroke of Fate.
Coming to the mid-game, complete a Magic Wand, get yourself an Aether Lens by disassembling Arcane Boots and finish your mid-stage build with Force Staff. With these items, you are going to be able to provide a lot of impact in fights.
Good late-game items for Grimstroke are Scythe of Vyse and Blink Dagger. With these two items, in combination with Soulbind, you are going to be able to force team fights and set up a lot of important kills.
As Grimstroke is a key team fight hero of his team, very often the enemy team will try to focus you down first. Aeon Disk can become a handy purchase for the late-game in this case.
Just like any other support, Grimstroke should do anything possible to secure as much farm as he can for his carry. Trade attacks effectively with enemy heroes, while also harassing them with Stroke of Fate. Use this ability to ensure last-hits of ranged creeps in case your carry is not able to do so. Aim to make a stack of a small neutral camp at 1:53. Pull it whenever the lane is pushing.
Pay close attention to the middle lane, as you have a potential to make counter play in case of aggressive actions of the enemy midlaner. Thanks to Ink Swell you can punish enemy heroes for aggressive dives.
Build your gameplay around farmed cores of your team. Grimstroke has three active supportive spells, which he can use to assist in making kills.
Always be ready to defend towers. Grimstroke is one of very few heroes in the game, who can defend towers from a fairly large distance. By killing all the creeps with Stroke of Fate you can delay the push of the enemy team by a lot.
During fights aim to use Soulbind on the most mobile heroes. Bind them with teammates, so they would not have a chance to escape. Grimstroke has a decent cast range on his spells, it gives Grim the ability to position himself safely in fights.
Use Smoke of Deceit to your advantage at key points of the game. Cooperate with your teammates to take full advantage of Soulbind in fights.
Allies and counters
- Grimstroke benefits from playing with heroes, who have either single-target disables or nukes. Grim works very well in combination with Doom, Lina, Lion, Shadow Shaman and many other heroes. He is also very strong in a pair with Pugna, as Decripify prevents enemy heroes from destroying Phantom’s Embrace.
- Grimstroke is a great counter to mobile heroes, such as Queen of Pain or Storm Spirit. Once these heroes get binded to their teammates, they have no chances to escape.