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June 22, 2012

Rubick For Dummies: Spell Steal Breakdown and FAQ

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Written by: Ayesee


Almost from the moment Rubick entered the test realm, posts have been littering every forum from the Dev Board to Reddit concerning the exact ways in which his Spell Steal mechanic interacts with the myriad of skills within the Dota 2. Because of that, a friend and myself decided to do a little research and testing of our own in order to create a bare-bones, basic post explaining some of the obvious and not-so-obvious ways the new fan favorite hero happens to work. If you're one of the many still confused by Rubick, the information below should help you sort things out!



- Aghanim's Scepter interacts with Rubick's Spell Steal in very unique ways. If a hero has a Scepter and Rubick steals a spell affected by that Scepter, Rubick will be able to cast the Ag's version of the spell. Likewise, if Rubick has a scepter and steals a non-Scepter version of the spell from an original hero, Rubick will cast the Ag's version. For example, if Rubick has a Scepter and steals Call Down from Gyrocopter, he will be able to cast the spell anywhere on the map (the Scepter upgrade for the spell) even if the original Gyrocopter player did not have Scepter at the moment it was stolen. Likewise, if the original Gyro player has Ag's in his inventory but Rubick does not, Rubick will still be able to cast the Scepter upgraded version of Call Down if it is stolen.

- Rubick's base casting animation for stolen spells is .1 seconds. What is especially unique about this, though, is that spells/abilities which have long casting animations (1+ seconds in some cases) DO NOT have this same long windup when used by Rubick. Though there has been some confusion on the subject (including more than a little on my end), casting animation is apparently completely different from "casting time," meaning abilities such as Sniper's Assassinate are not intended to be instantly cast by Rubick, while Earth Shaker's Fissure is meant to be used sans the wind-up. (Special thanks to Baloroth for pointing me to this thread to get the lowdown on the issue!)

- Spells which are channeled or require a channel of any sort when used by their original hero still require channeling when used by Rubick. Examples of this would be: Windrunner's Powershot, Sand King's Epicenter and Sandstorm, et cetera.

- Spells stolen must be spells which are manually casted, not passives or auto-proc/autocast spells. The best example of a very powerful spell which CAN NOT be stolen after it is used is Skeleton King's ultimate. Even though the spell costs mana, the fact that it automatically procs upon death (so long as SK has sufficient mana) means Rubick cannot steal it afterwards. The general rule is that for a spell to be stealable, it has to have been manually casted by a player via button presses.

- Orb effect skills can be stolen, but they function with Rubick's basic attack animation and attack speed and can only be stolen if they are manually casted as opposed to just toggled on autocast. Examples of this include Enchantress's Impetus, Drow Ranger's Ice Arrows, Huskar's Burning Spear, and all other similar spells.

- Stolen spells which create other creeps under the control of Rubick do not last if a second spell is stolen. Examples include Furion's Treants, Lycan's Wolves, Lone Druid's Spirit Bear, et cetera. For example, if Rubick steals the Summon Spirit Bear ability and uses it to summon himself a companion, the bear will immediately die once he steals another spell.

- When stealing a spell which is either dependent on or usually includes a secondary spell/ability, the second spell is not always included. For example, when Puck's Illusory Orb is stolen, Rubick also gains the ability to teleport to it (Ethereal Jaunt), effectively granting him two spells. Contrariwise, when stealing Morphling's Replicate ability, he DOES NOT gain the ability to switch places with the replicant.

- Abilities which allow Rubick to shapeshift DO NOT include spells built into the shape-shifted form. The primary example of this is Lone Druid's True Form ability. Rubick may steal the True Form ability, then morph into Bear Form just like Lone Druid. However, once he morphs, he DOES NOT gain the Battle Cry ability that Lone Druid gains. Battle Cry may nontheless be stolen on its own, though.

- Changes made to Rubick and his stats via stolen spells persist through death and through spell changes. The most notable example of this is Morphling's Morph AGI/STR Gain abilities. Whatever stat morphs Rubick performs will not reset upon death, or upon his stealing another spell. It is theoretically possible for a person to totally screw themselves by, say, morphing pure agility or pure strength while running away or in a team fight, dieing, then not being able to morph stats back to a more reasonable ratio until they are once again able to steal the Morph ability from Morphling.

- Rubick can steal additional spells while shapeshifted into other forms. Examples of this include Lone Druid's True Form, Dragon Knight's Elder Dragon Form, and Lycan's Shapeshift. For example, Rubick may steal Dragon Knight's Elder Dragon Form then, upon seeing the Dragon Knight cast Dragon Tail, steal Dragon Tail without breaking the stolen Elder Dragon Form.


- If Rubick steals Broodmother's Spin Web ability, he is rendered invisible and receives bonuses on his own webs, but not on those of the original Brood Mother.

- Rubick can steal Battle Cry from Lone Druid, but does not receive it upon stealing True Form and morphing.

- When Rubick steals Summon Spirit Bear from Lone Druid, his summoned bear does not receive the stat bonuses granted by Lone Druid's built in passive abilities.

- When Rubick steals Replicate from Morphling, he does not receive the ability to swap to his replicant.

- Skeleton King's Ult cannot be stolen.

- Rubick may steal Overpower from Ursa, and when he uses it he does so with his standard ranged attack animation.

- When stealing Dragon Knight's Elder Dragon Form and using it, Rubick becomes a “baby” dragon version of whatever level the ability happened to be when stolen, and he can continue to steal and use other spells without breaking Dragon Form.

- When stealing Shadowraze, Rubick is granted only whichever ranged version of the spell was last used.

- Rubick may steal Doom's Devour, but upon using it is not granted any additional abilities or passives, making the spell little more than a way to instantly kill a creep. He may, however, steal a creep ability Doom himself casts after having used Devour to obtain the ability.

- Rubick cannot steal Quas, Wex, Exort, or Invoke.

- Rubick can steal toggle abilities, such as Pudge's Rot.

- If a spell has an associated stat or "counter" off of which a spell scales (the obvious example being Shadow Fiend's Requiem of Souls), he will steal a static copy of that stat or counter when stealing its associated spell.

- Any items put on a Spirit Bear which has been summoned via Spell Steal will drop when the bear dies.

All of the above information has been assembled through about 30 minutes of research and about an hour of testing with a good friend of mine... in short, I'm 100% sure I've missed some things. GO TEST ON YOUR OWN! Then come back here and comment as to what you've discovered, and tell me about anything this dummy may have missed =)


Aaron "Ayesee" Chambers serves as Executive Manager and lead Dota 2 caster for It's Gosu eSports. A former radio DJ and print journalist, Ayesee now devotes his full energy to eSports and studio voice work.

Twitter: @ayesee

Stream: AyeseeTV


Comment (1)

  • dima_dagon wrote

    gj. didnt know about aghanim. mb smtimes will buy :D

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