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Dota 2’s newest hero, Grimstroke, is playable now

Mars joins the roster this winter

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Dota 2’s newest hero, revealed overnight, is Grimstroke, and he’s playable right now. Another hero, Mars, is coming later this winter.

Grimstroke is a support/disabler type with ranged attack capabilities. He’s something of a demonic artist, with four abilities that have paintbrush/ink motifs.

  • Stroke of Fate is a swath of ink that does increasing damage with each foe it strikes, while also slowing any it hits.
  • Phantom Embrace launches an inky ghost at the target, who grapples the enemy, silences and damages it. If the phantom survives the duration of that grapple, the victim takes heavy damage, the phantom returns to Grimstroke and refreshes the ability’s cooldown.
  • Ink Swell covers Grimstroke or an ally in ink, which silences them, gives them bonus speed and immunity to attacks. The ability ends with the ink exploding, to stun and deliver area-of-effect damage to enemies nearby.
  • Soulbind, per its name, binds one enemy to its nearest ally within range. Then, any spell cast on either of those enemies will affect both. The bond can be broken, but it means that the originally targeted enemy will be bound to the next nearest ally within range.

In Dota 2’s lore, Grimstroke was “groomed from a young age to become a guardian of his people.” However, “Grimstroke’s path to power was instead built upon a sacrifice he was all too willing to make: the lives of his entire race.” So the phantoms and the ink in his abilities are the “inky revenants” that were his people. Muahahahahaha.

Mars leads the video with a brief teaser, and nothing is known of him except that he appears to be able to summon soldiers to fight with him.

Grimstroke’s announcement coincides with today’s grand finals in The International 2018, which will see PSG.LGD against OG Dota, a team formed just three months ago, at 1 p.m. from Rogers Arena in Vancouver. The champion will take $11 million of a prize pool that is more than $25 million. You can catch the action via Twitch.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified one of the competing teams in the grand final. This story has been revised with the correct teams.

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