Keeper of the Light Guide by Miposhka
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Miposhka & Co.
Date: 03/2018
Keeper Of The Light

Welcome to our KotL Guide!

Welcome to Miposhka's Book of the Keeper of the Light, a hero guide part of the Book of Dota series!

Here you will find all the information you need to learn to play KotL on a high level – from drafting and builds to the optimal playstyle in different lanes and situations. We hope you’ll enjoy this guide and find it useful!

Miposhka KotL

Draft: Try to draft KOTL with strong front line pushers that can fight in the early-mid game if you want to utilize the Aghanim's timing, or with powerful team-fight heroes if you want to emphasize on your ultimate.

Early: Babysit your cores but also try to stack camps and to farm them with Illuminate (you can share the farm with your cores). This way you will reach core items faster. Moreover, you are not the best lane support and you are a terrible ganker, so your options are limited.

Mid & Late: If you can, finish the game in the mid game with your first few daytime pushes with Aghanim’s. If this is not the game plan (or it's not possible) – utilize your anti-pushing and farming potential to stall the game and get luxury items. Use your ultimate to win 5v5 fights for your team.


Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov
Endorsement & Info

Miposhka is the captain and support player for Team Empire and his biggest achievement so far in his pro career is getting 7th-8th place at TI7 after eliminating EG from the tournament to the surprise of many.

He is also a god-tier support in pubs, a genuine and lovable person and an all-around-nice-guy.

Nikolay "CTOMAHEH1" Kalchev
Info & Editing

CTOMAHEH1 started his pro career as a support in Basically Unknown together with Mind Control. Since then he has consistently been playing on the European T2 scene, most recently on Unchained Esports.

His highest placement on the EU ladder is top 100 - he plays all roles (mainly support), which is untypical for high-ranking players and shows his great versatility and understanding of the game.

Kyril "MrNiceGuy" Kotashev
PM, Writing & Editing

Esports and gaming enthusiast since forever and founder of Dotahaven.

Has been playing Dota since 2005 (5.84). An Ancient I player in Dota 2.

From Light's Keep, Light's Keeper rides!

Keeper of the Light is a rather unique support hero. He is, hands down, the best anti-pusher in the game thanks to his long-range, spammable AoE nuke- Illuminate. In addition, he is one of the very few heroes who can provide his allies with mana sustain, creating an opportunity for interesting combinations and contributing to a powerful lane. Finally, he has great team-fight potential thanks to his ultimate.

The hero excels in 5-man Dota strategies thanks to his ultimate and possible Agh's push timing.

KOTL Loadout
Level 1
Level 15
Level 25
Very Low
Very Low
Very High
Very High
Very High
Very Low
Very High
Very High
Very High
Very High
Very High
Very High


Anti-Push: Illuminate is arguably the strongest anti-push spell in the game as its sheer damage potential and the ability to use it from a very long distance (without committing to a fight) can make pushing practically impossible, especially in the early and mid stages.

Team Fight Control: KotL's Will-o-Wisp is a very powerful team fight control spell. With Refresher, it could become impossible to deal with. Blinding Light also shouldn't be underestimated - it's especially powerful at messing up the initiation follow-up of the enemy team.


Magical AoE Damage:  Illuminate is not only a defensive spell - a well-aimed blast can turn a fight around, especially if it hits multiple targets. It is hard to land as it takes a lot of time to cast; however, in cluttered team fights and in chokepoints, it can be devastating.

Fast Farmer: For a support, KOTL is a very fast farmer because he has the opportunity to clear instantly very big creep waves (and stacked camps) with Illuminate. This means that if there is space on the map for him to get creeps, which the cores aren’t getting, he can acquire significant items and become a danger to the enemy team. He is also one of the very few supports that can effectively farm the jungle.

Fast Movement: As all mounted heroes, KOTL has a very high movement speed (335). This means he loses less time in traveling between destinations, and that he can possibly run away from unwanted engagements (if he is not disabled), which is an important trait given his overall bad survivability.

Unlimited Mana: It is always a good thing to be able to not worry about your own mana and use your spells often, which is the case with KOTL. However, Chakra Magic shines the most when you combined with mana dependent heroes as it can make their whole game much easier and increase their impact.



Weak Survivability: KOTL has a low HP pool, low armor, no escape mechanism, and no reliable disable. If you overextend in any way and get focused when you are playing him, you are very likely to pay with your life. This will be a big problem for you in fights as you want to stay alive and spam your spells as much as possible (mostly Illuminate). You are not the type of support that is happy with jumping in, using his/her important spells and dying. You excel in prolonged engagements where you can spam Illuminate repeatedly and give mana to allies.


No stuns: Latching to heroes is generally very important for supports, especially in the laning phase as it is the only reliable way to set up a kill. The lack of reliable stuns makes KotL a bad roamer.

Unreliable damage: Illuminate deals heavy nuke damage, but it is very hard to land because of the very long cast time. It makes KotL's damage potential very hard to use if he's not at the perfect position and if the fight is very dynamic.


Fnatic vs OG, TI8

Match ID: 4064796732

Fnatic win a game vs TI8 champs OG with KotL played by DJ. They draft him in an interesting strategy with Bristle and Meepo as cores. The combination of the three heroes is amazing for pushing because:

  • the tanky Bristle can stay in front and hit the tower
  • KotL stays further back and spams his Illuminate with Agh's, constantly healing the Bristle
  • if the enemy team decides to commit to a fight, the Meepo can always counter-initiate with his Dagger and huge AoE damage combo

Moreover, KotL can help keep Meepo alive with his AoE heal and if needed - Blinding Light.

DJ performs extremely well on the hero, finishing the game with 229 last hits and 477 GPM, invested in Aghs, Dagger, Force & Hex by the 36th-minute mark, effectively making him the 4th core for his team.


KotL is mostly picked because of a few possible reasons:

- Because of strong early-game Chakra Magic combos with heroes with spammable spells
- Because of his ability to flash farm (get more items than enemy supports), out-push waves and stall pushes
- Because of the possibility to go for a early-mid game push timing with Aghanim's
- And most importantly, because of the team-fight control he provides with his ultimate

Safe Lane Support:

KOTL is a good babysitter because it is very hard for your opponents to pressure your carry. They will have to fight through Illuminate blasts, which is a big problem. In that sense, KOTL is not the perfect babysitter in a 3v1 situation as he doesn’t excel in zoning out a single target (hard to land Illuminate on someone playing defensively). Nevertheless, he is one of the strongest heroes to relieve pressure against offensive dual or tri-lanes. In addition, having unlimited mana could make any lane partner of KOTL a much stronger laner (thanks to the possibility to spam spells). In that sense, KOTL is an ideal hero to protect carries who under normal circumstances are weak laners.

So, having KOTL in your safe lane will make your opponents think twice before contesting it with an offensive trilane. Even if your carry is not the type that can fight early on, Illuminate has the potential to punish tri-lanes severely and could win a 3v3 situation even if the other lane partners are not particularly strong fighters. If your opponents don’t commit to a fight, they risk being out-leveled, out-farmed and even zoned out by Illuminate. If they commit to a fight, they risk tanking a fully charged Illuminate on multiple heroes, which is very likely to turn the fight around.

If you are having a free lane, with KOTL you can stack two caps at once and later on help your carry to farm them with Illuminate.

Offensive Lane Support:

Because of his ability to give mana and because of his serious nuke, when coupled with strong laners, KOTL can be the ideal hero to challenge a trilane. The continuous usage of spells as a consequence of Chakra’s mana sustain, and the huge AoE nuke makes facing an offensive KOTL lane very hard.

Usually, when you choose this, it is a good idea to couple KOTL with either a hero that can latch and use nukes (Chaos Knight, Sven), so that it is much easier to hit your Illuminate, or a hero that massively benefits from Chakra (Bristle, Necro, Beastmaster).

If can dominate an offensive lane by constantly harassing and pushing on the creep wave. This way you can force your opponents to farm under tower while you are using the free time to stack camps and take bounty runes. By using this you should be able to out-level and out-farm your lane opponents by the late laning stage, when you farm the prepared stacks with your lane partner and Illuminate.


Good friends to have are:

In pushing strategies: Naix, Jugg, Luna, DK, Terrorblade

Lifestealer Portrait
Dragon knight
A strong 5-man pushing carry + KOTL’s Aghs Illuminate heal is one of the strongest pushing combos.

KOTL works great with heroes that can siege towers (eventually the enemy high ground) and need some HP sustain. You can provide it with the heal from Illuminate if you have Aghs. Moreover, if someone tries to initiate on your teammate, you can always use Blinding Light and disengage or his ultimate to turn the fight.

Mana Dependent Heroes: Chaos Knight, Sven, PL, Storm Spirit, Zeus, Invoker, QoP, Bristle

Chaos Knight
Phantom Lancer
Storm spirit
Zeus Portrait
Queen of pain
Bristle Portrait
Combining Keeper with heroes who have mana issues is always a good idea as he solves these problems easily and makes those heroes quite powerful.

In the laning phase, KOTL shines the most with heroes who have powerful, expensive spells they otherwise cannot afford to use frequently because of a low mana pool. With Chakra Magic, spamming those spells becomes possible, and you can afford to frequently attempt kills or simply harass your opponents out of the lane by continuously spamming nukes. A spammable nuke/disable also has great synergy with the CD reduction aspect of Chakra – KOTL can increase the fight impact of such heroes, not only their laning presence.

Later in the game mana, intensive spell casters benefit from having KOTL in the team the most as they have to go back to base to recharge much less often. Chakra also allows KOTL’s allies to use nukes more often to flash farm without worrying about not having enough mana for a fight.

Disables: Shadow Demon, Naga Siren, Lion, Shadow Shaman, Void

Shadow Demon Portrait
Naga siren
Shadow Shaman
Faceless Void Portrait
Combining KOTL with disables is a good idea - control spells make landing Illuminate much easier and increase KOTL’s usefulness in fights by a great deal.

Landing a fully charged Illuminate is quite hard as it takes a lot of time to cast the spell. If your opponents know it is coming, they will simply dodge it, and if they don’t, they might unwillingly move out of the way of the spell. So, heroes that can force your opponents to stay in one place make this much easier. This usually creates kill potential in your lane and makes it more powerful.
It is also generally important to combine KOTL with heroes who can control fights as you cannot and in that way, your allies compensate for your hero’s shortcomings.

Split-Pushing: Phantom Lancer, Naga Siren, Antimage, Luna, Alch, Clinkz

Phantom Lancer
Naga siren
Anti mage
Alchemist hero icon
Clinkz Portrait
Combining KOTL with strong split pushers and fast farmers is tactically powerful because KotL can buy time

Illuminate is one of the (if not the) best anti-pushing spells in the game. Blinding Light is also useful to slow down pushes. This could buy your split-pushing carry a lot of time to split-push and take trades. If the enemy team commits to a fight, Jhave your ultimate to win it.


KOTL is more of a strategic pick and therefore, is better/worse against whole lineups rather than single heroes. He has only one big direct counter (Nyx). Nevertheless, when talking about individual heroes, he has the same problems as most spell caster supports.

Strong Against:

Heroes who push with units/illusions: Broodmother, Terrorblade, Phantom Lancer, Naga Siren, Nature’s Prophet

Broodmother Portrait
Phantom Lancer
Naga siren
Nature's Prophet Portrait
If you want to deal with heavy pushers, KOTL is the most straightforward option.

You are the strongest anti pusher in the game thanks to your Illuminate, which naturally becomes a problem for heroes who rely on pushing. Heroes who rely on multiple squishy units (illusions or summons) to push down towers tend to struggle against you because those units usually die from a single KOTL blast. Nevertheless, heroes who push themselves rather than with summon still have problems because after one or two Illuminates that land, they are left on low HP and are, therefore, forced to abandon the push or face an unfavorable fight.

Weak Against:


Nyx: Nyx can create a lot of problems for KOTL. Since you are a relatively squishy hero Mana Burn late game does a lot of damage to you. Nyx can always scout for you and with the help of a teammate can easily pick you off. Most annoyingly, Carapace is extremely easy to use against Illuminate.

Magic immunity: Naix, Omni Knight, Juggernaut, BKB

Lifestealer Portrait
Omniknight portrait
Black King Bar
Magic immunity counters all your spells –offensive and defensive.

The damage you bring to the table with KOTL with your blast is a significant part of your contribution to the game, especially in fights, and these heroes don’t care much about it. Your control from Blinding Light and Will-O-Wisp is also countered by magic immunity.

Hero Hunters: Clockwerk, Bat Rider, Pudge, Bounty Hunter, Nyx Assassin, Slark

Bounty Hunter
Slark Portrait
Playing against potent pick-off heroes will require you to change your play style.

You are a very squishy INT hero without escape mechanisms or disables. If you get caught on your own by any of those heroes, you are dead. This is a problem especially if you are farming the woods or some lane on your own. You can easily solve the issue by sticking to your team at all times so that they can protect you. Since you are a back-line hero, it is quite difficult to initiate on you. Nonetheless, this will slow down your farm with Illuminate a lot.


Keeper Illuminate
Keeper Blinding Light
Keeper Chakra Magic
Keeper Will-O-Wisp

Channels light energy, building power the longer it's channeled. Once released, a wave is sent forth that deals damage and gives vision in its path. The longer it is channeled, the more damage is dealt.


Cast Animation: 0.3+0

Cast Range: 1800

Travel Distance: 1550

Wave Radius: 375

Max Channel Time: 2/3/4/5

Damage/Heal Increase per Second: 100

Max Damage: 200/300/400/500

CD: 10

Mana: 150/160/170/180

Aghanim's Scepter

Allows Illuminate to heal allies for 100% of its damage values during daytime.



 Illuminate is your bread and butter and is what you will be using constantly during the game. The spell charges 100 damage per second, which means that at lvl1 you can charge it for a maximum of 2 seconds, lvl2 3 seconds, etc. The important thing to remember is that you can cancel it (Release Illuminate) whenever you want, dealing the damage up to the point you have channeled. This means that you can decide how much damage you want to deal. Usually the more damage, the better, but in some cases, it is useful to cancel the spell a bit earlier: you can do this to ensure you are going to hit with the spell. Don’t get greedy with it by trying to channel the full 5 seconds every time - some damage is always better than no damage at all


The Illuminate blast has a great damage potential (not only does it deal 500 damage, but it deals it in a big AoE and it is spammable (the CD is only 10 seconds). The problem with the spell is that it is hard to land.

Your number one priority is to be in the fog of war. If your enemies see you, they will be able to dodge the spell quite easily. Channeling your blast when you are visible is only an option when your opponents can’t move (thanks to disables by your allies). Secondly, you need to decide where to aim. Generally, the safest option is to aim at your target (especially if it is farming the lane/jungle and staying in one place), but if the target is moving in one direction, you can aim it in front and release when the target has moved into the range of your spell.


While you are charging it, it removes the fog of war (illuminates) an area in front of you and the area becomes larger with every second charged. This means that you can use the spell to scout as well. It is very useful to gain vision in the Roshan pit, especially when you want to contest a Roshan attempt by your opponents. You can also use it to gain vision on a high ground (to help an ally deward or scout out if enemies are there), but remember that if your enemies see you, they will move out of the way, usually before they get revealed.

A blinding light flashes over the targeted area, knocking back and blinding the units in the area, causing them to miss attacks.


Cast Animation: 0.3+1.07

Cast Range: 550/600/650/700

Radius: 600

Knockback Distance: 350

Damage: 50/100/150/200

Miss Chance: 70%

Knockback Duration: 0.4

Miss Duration: 3/4/5/6

CD: 30/25/20/15

Mana: 100/125/150/175

Blinding Light


Blinding Light is your only tool to disengage, so don’t hesitate to use it right away if you (or an ally) gets focused. The knockback and miss chance might buy you some time to run away (you are a fast hero).

The real power of Blinding Light is in fights. Provided an ally gets focused, you can push all attackers away, buying some time for him/her to recover and run away. 


You can push enemies towards your allies to allow initiation or to put them in the way of some spells (including your own Illuminate). Try not to push your enemies apart from when you have some kind of AoE initiators. Concentrate on pushing some of them towards the others, which will make initiating easier for your ally.

Remember that you can use the knockback to push targets on or off high grounds and other impassable terrains. If you manage to do that, you can isolate them from the fight which is incredibly useful. It is hard to achieve this, however, as such terrain isn’t always available.


Finally, don’t underestimate the miss chance. If you get a couple of opponent physical damage dealers with the spell and they don’t have any means to dispel it for a rather long duration, their DPS will be severely reduced, giving your team a good opportunity to fight without being worried of dying fast. The later the game goes, the more valuable the miss (and the spell as a whole).

Restores mana to the target unit, increases its mana capacity, and reduces the cooldown of the next spell they cast.


Cast Animation: 0.3+1

Cast Range: 900

Mana Restored & Increased: 75/150/225/300

Cooldown Reduction: 3/4/5/6

Buff Duration: 15

CD: 17/16/15/14

Mana: 0

Chakra Magic

Chakra is a very powerful buff, especially in the early game, because it allows your allies to spam their spells more often (because of the extra mana and the CD reduction).

To get maximum utility out of the spell you need to spam it on cooldown on whoever needs mana at the moment. Inside fights (unless some ally desperately needs mana) you need to think of the CD reduction aspect – casting Chakra on an ally who can utilize the 6 sec reduction efficiently could be extremely powerful in certain situations(for example if you use it on Naix before he uses Rage he will have only 4 sec till the other Rage).

Mana sustain:

When it comes to mana sustain you need to make a decision which target to prioritize (yourself included). In the laning stage, the priority is the ally with the most powerful spammable nuke (PL’s Lance, CK’s Bolt, Sven’s Hammer, Zeus’s Lightning Bolt). If there is such an ally, however, and you aim to restore lots of mana to him, you will have to tune down a bit the Illuminate spam as otherwise, you will not have enough mana and CD to restore your own and your ally’s mana. If you are on very low mana, always choose yourself as you need to have mana in order to Chakra your allies (don’t forget it has a mana cost).

CD reduction:

The CD reduction aspect is a bit more complex because it is very situational. In a game, your decision as KOTL is on which hero to cast the buff, while it is up to your ally to use the optimal spell for the CD reduction. Bear in mind that Chakra reduces the CD of passive skills as well (e.g. BH’s Jinada, Weaver’s Geminate Attack).

The CD reduction is constant rather than percentage based, which means it is not very useful on spells with very long cooldowns. It gives most value when combined with spells with a relatively short CD – the buff would allow the allied hero to use the spell two times in a very short window in a single engagement. This could drastically increase the impact of the hero in the fight.

A great example is CM’s Frostbite – with a max level Chakra Magic and 4th lvl Frostbite, CM would be able to chain-stun her target. Other extremely potent examples are Zeus’s Bolt, Lancer’s Lance, CK’s Chaos Bolt, WK’s Wraithfire Blast, BH’s Jinada, etc.

Summons Ignis Fatuus at the targeted area. Alternates on and off every second. When active, it causes all enemies near it to stare hypnotized at it. Can be attacked by units outside of the radius, dies after a certain number of attacks.


Cast Animation: 0.1+1.27

Cast Range: 900

Radius: 675

Attacks to Destroy: 4/5/6

Hypnotize Movement Speed: 25

Number of Flickers: 3/4/5

Initial Delay: 1

Off Duration: 1.85

On Duration: 1.3

Wisp Duration: 9.35/12.5/15.65

CD: 80/70/60

Mana: 100


Will-O-Wisp is a powerful team-fight spell. It is quite easy to use because it has a big radius and you could catch multiple heroes inside.

When you use it on a single target, consider two things:

  1. Can the target kill the Ignis Fatus? If this is possible, especially if the target is a melee hero, don't put the wisp too close to him/her. Remember that you can use Blinding Light to protect the wisp.
  2. Can the target run out of the Will-O-Wisp range? In such cases make sure the enemy hero is not too close to the edge of the spell. Remember that you can use Blinding Light to push the target back into Will-O-Wisp range.


The spell has amazing synergy with Refresher. Casting two ultimates on top of each other makes it almost impossible for the enemy team to move out of the range or kill them. The reason is that you can time them so that the active time of one overlaps with the inactive time of the other, which will give your opponents very short windows of free movement.

Remember that the spell has an initial delay of 1 sec. Your goal is not to overlap the ON duration of the two ultimates. This means that, ideally, you want to cast the second Will-O-Wisp approximately in the middle of the ON duration of the first Will-O-Wisp. This way the second one will activate shortly after the 1st one deactivates.

Skill Builds

Standard KOTL Skill Build
Keeper Illuminate
Keeper Chakra Magic
Keeper Chakra Magic
Keeper Illuminate
Keeper Illuminate
Keeper Will-O-Wisp
Keeper Chakra Magic
Keeper Illuminate
Keeper Chakra Magic
Keeper Blinding Light
Keeper Blinding Light
Keeper Will-O-Wisp
Keeper Blinding Light
Talent Icon
Talent Icon
Keeper Blinding Light
Keeper Will-O-Wisp
Talent Icon
Talent Icon
Pros: maximum wave clear; good mana sustain;
Cons: low levels in Blinding Light (big CD, low DMG);

Your skill build is relatively easy, you want to max your Illuminate and Chakra with a value point in Blinding Light at some point.

On lvl1 your choice is between Chakra and Illuminate. Usually, you want to go for your nuke – it deals up to 200 damage on lvl1, which makes it a powerful zoning-out tool. Getting Chakra is good only if you have a good combination with your teammate (for example you can get Chakra and use it on Bristleback so he can spam Quills).

Chakra is the usual spell that gets high leveling priority because it increases the laning presence of you and your laning partners tremendously. Illuminate is the second skill maxed, but it is common to level both Chakra and Illuminate simultaneously. If your emphasis in the early game is on flash-farming the jungle, you can even prioritize Illuminate over Chakra.

You delay your lvl10 talent - it's not significant and you need more levels in your other skills first.


+200 Illuminate Keeper of the Light Damage/Heal

+2 Will-O-Wisp Flickers

+300 Chakra Magic Mana
+40% Magic Resistance
+350 Cast Range
+40% XP Gain
+25 Movement Speed
8% Spell Lifesteal

Lvl10: You are a very quick hero and combining your natural MS with the MS from the talent is usually way better than the spell lifesteal.

Lvl15: Cast range is the usual choice - KotL doesn't care that much about levels after lvl15 because his 20 and 25 talents aren't game-breaking.

Lvl20: Depends on the game you play - if you play against good magic damage heroes you should go for the Magic Resist, otherwise, Chakra should be your choice.

Lvl25: On lvl25 the heal isn't this significant and you usually want to buff your ultimate for longer team fight control.

KotL Item Builds:

The build of KotL consists from team utility items (usually saves for your teammates like Glimmer and Force Staff) in the early-mid game and Refresher Orb in the late game. Aghanim's could also be very powerful, but it is situational: if you are a part of a 5-man pushing strategy, get Aghanim's and use the daytime push timing to try to break the enemy base. If the game plan is not to push from early on, then skip the Agh's in order to get the Refresher faster.

Standard Build:

The proposed build is common for KotL. The Glimmer + Force help you and your teammates survive early-mid game engagements. Will-O-Wisp with Refresher helps you win 5v5 fights. It is possible to skip Gimmer or/and Force to get the Refresher faster if the game consists of many 5v5 fights. In most cases, however, the utility of the two support items outweighs the cost of a slower Refresher.

Starting Items
Animal Courier
Wards Icon
Early Game
Tranquil Boots
Force staff
Mid Game
Glimmer Cape
Refresher orb
Late Game
Lotus Orb
Animal Courier

Clarities: As every hero KOTL needs regen to stay in the lane. Even though he has a mana sustain mechanism, getting some clarities from early on is a very good idea. You will be able to both use Illuminate often and cast Chakra on your allies. Furthermore, even if you cast Chakra only on yourself, in the early levels it is not enough to sustain frequent usage of your nuke (which is quite expensive even on lvl1).

Wards Icon
Tranquil Boots

Tranquil Boots: With the HP sustain from the Tranquils and the mana sustain from your Chakra you will almost never be forced to go back to base. In addition, the “break” mechanism of Tranquils is not that bad for you as you don’t want to be in the middle of the fight, and if you get initiated upon, other boots are unlikely to help you survive anyway.

Force staff

Force Staff: Force is very useful in any situation as you can save yourself or your allies with its active ability. In addition, you benefit from the stats.

Glimmer Cape

Glimmer Cape: It is one of the best utility items for your teammates. Your defensive positioning in fights allows you to use Glimmer very easily at the right time and save allies from getting focused.

Refresher orb

Refresher and Will-O-Wisp have one of the best spell-item synergies in the game because of the ability to cast two ultimates on top of each other and to overlap their active and inactive timings - this will give the enemies caught in the AoE very short times of free movement.

Lotus Orb

Lotus Orb: Since KOTL is a utility hero that usually has high GPM, getting Lotus Orb on him is a great option if you can make good use of the dispel and spell reflect. The relatively bad stats that the item gives are not a big problem for KOTL because of his item independence.


Boots of Travel: Since you don’t really need any boots upgrade, you can opt to leave your boots as normal Boots of Speed until you get to a point in the game when you can afford BoTs. Generally, you want to stick to your team, so having BoT’s isn’t a priority. Nevertheless, the item gives you some opportunities because you are great at pushing-out waves.

Other Items

Early/Mid Game
Infused Raindrop
Aether Lens
Late Game
Ghost Scepter
Aeon Disk
Scythe of Vyse
Infused Raindrop

Rain Drops: You are a very squishy hero, raindrops can save your life versus magic damage nukes.


Bracer: if you are too squishy in the early game, get one (or two) Bracers. Generally speaking, Keeper prefers to stay out of danger rather than tank damage, but sometimes a few Bracers coudl help you survive nuke damage and disengage.

Aether Lens

Aether Lens: Lens is very situational but its still very good. If you are trying to stay as far away from danger as possible in fights the extra cast range will help you.


Aghanim’s Scepter: the ability to heal your allies through Illuminate take your hero to a whole new level when it comes to pushing. During fights, because of the AoE heal your Illuminate deals, it is a good idea to point it towards the general fight area, and when it is about to hit, to warn your allies. This will allow them to adjust their positioning and benefit from the HP burst. It's easiest to use when your allies are pushing towers because the fight will be static.


Blink Dagger: Can be very useful for KOTL since you see your enemies before they see you (from cliffs) you can initiate with Blink and Blinding Light and push out enemies towards your team. Blink can also be your second escape tool (after Force/Glimmer).

Ghost Scepter

Ghost Scepter: later on in the game, immunity to physical damage could be your saving grace against fed carry heroes. A Ghost Scepter coupled with your Blinding Light will make you very hard to kill with physical attacks, which might buy you enough time to get out of a bad situation or get help.

Aeon Disk

Aeon Disk: if you are playing against heave burst damage Aeon might be best defensive option - most likely enemies will try to kill you early in the fights if they can get to you.

Scythe of Vyse

Scythe of Vyse: As one of the most universally useful caster items, later on, the Hex can both save your life and help you bring down elusive enemies. You are one of the very few supports who can afford to buy it and in addition, it solves one of your major problems - you don’t have lockdown.


Octarine Core: you have a lot of active spells and you tend to get at least a few items with active abilities – the CD reduction is extremely good in the very late game. The extra HP is also always welcome.

Early game

KOTL 350px

The early game for KOTL, besides your usual support duties, is all based on your Illuminate and Chakra Magic. You want to use the two spells to dominate your lane and provide a good start to the farmer in your lane. If you feel that your lane is secured already you can move to the jungle, make some stacks and farm them.


The best thing you can do to farm up with KOTL is stack jungle camps and Illuminate them. Early in the game, your blast will do only 200 damage. Consequently, it is best to stack 1-2 times a camp and bring it down with 2-3 blasts, which will give you quite a lot of resources.

You can stack two camps at once thanks to the long range of your blast. At the 52nd second, you can cast and release Illuminate right away in the direction of the camp which is further away from you and then immediately use auto attack on the camp close to you (and run away). This way when the spawn time comes, both camps will be outside of their spawning box and will stack.

When farming with Illuminate, because of its AoE potential, it is best to stack camps before you use it. The more low HP units there are, the faster you will farm. Another thing to remember is that with the 2000 range it has if you position yourself correctly, you will be able to hit two camps at once.


Passive Harass:  Your high range and high movement speed means you are quite good at passive harass. What you are not good at, however, is trading hits as you have very low HP and low armor. However, ideally, you want to kite and hit without getting hit yourself.

Active Harass: Illuminate harass is quite powerful not only versus single enemies but versus dual or tri-lanes. Because of the very high damage and high AoE, if you hit multiple enemies 2-3 times, you might force them to use all their regen and even get back to base. The most important thing to do, as we already mentioned, is to cast it from where you are not seen. Otherwise, it would easily get dodged. If you know your opponents expect it, you might cast it a bit behind them, so that when they back off to dodge it, they actually get hit. Most of the time, however, aiming at the actual heroes is your best option.

You should be very careful about your mana. Don’t overdo it, as Chakra early on, especially if you want to use it on your allies, wouldn’t be able to sustain constant Illuminate spam.

Finally, if Illuminate hits the creep wave, you will push out the lane, so try not to do it when you harass. When you are fighting, though, you shouldn’t think about it.

Kill Potential:

Your kill potential resides in Illuminate. Thanks to Chakra and harass spam, your opponents will often be below max HP. If they overextend, this will be a great opportunity for your allies to latch with some disable. All you need to do is aim the Illuminate at the target and release it before it runs out of the hit radius. Afterward, try to chase for some auto attacks.

Without setup, you have a very low kill potential as even if you hit your blast the targets will simply run away. Aim for kills only when you know you can get them. Otherwise, try to babysit/harass/zone out or farm the jungle.


In the early laning stage, the most important timing is your second level in Chakra magic as it will allow you to sustain more Illuminate spam, in addition to recharging the mana of an ally who is spamming a spell as well.

Early Game Rorations:

  • Ganking

Ganking with KOTL is very hard as you have no way to latch onto your target. Most of the time you are much better off staying in the lane, or if you have off time, farming the jungle so that you get more items and levels faster, and you can start pushing as 5.

If you need to gank for some reason, stay outside of vision, channel Illuminate and tell your allies to latch. Afterward, you can help by pushing the target back with Blinding Light.

  • Counter-Ganking

You can use Blinding Light to create some space between your ally and his attackers, which might be enough to let them get away.

  • Anti-Pushing

Anti-Pushing is your forte, so always try to be in a position to do it. If you see that your opponents at some lane are beginning to push, teleport to that lane and start channeling Illuminate. Early on in the game, if your opponents don’t dodge your blast (which is fairly hard), it is almost impossible for them to push through the wave as it kills off the creeps and damages them severely. This means you should be able to save even your T1 towers for a rather long time.

Of course, you should channel Illuminate from a safe distance - it has 2000 range, there is no need to expose yourself to any kind of danger.

Defensive Lane Priorities:

In a defensive lane, you want to create space for your carry to farm and farm yourself, if possible.

Create space and provide free farm for your carry through harassing and zoning out.
In the off time, stack jungle camps and farm them with Illuminate or pull regularly.
Check runes and ward.
Hard Support or Semi-Support:

Either one is OK for KOTL since he is both good at zoning out and at farming the jungle efficiently. You want to do both things if possible; however, your priority is to babysit your carry and create space for him/her to farm - especially if the offlaner is pressuring or if there are multiple enemy heroes in the lane. You should use both active and passive harass to drive the enemy offlaner backward as often as possible.

If there is a better hero at zoning out than you in the lane, you should leave this job to him and take advantage of the speed with which you farm the jungle - stack camps for yourself and blast them down. You are also very efficient at defending towers from early on, so if a tower is pressured TP there to defend it.

Video Example:

Starts with Boots and his team use smoke in the base, because they know that KOTL with boots and smoke can outrun anyone on the Dire side and place the ward before they come.

Notice how at 1:17 KOTL drags the creeps behind the tower and farms them with the small camp. After this, at min 2 he stacks the big camp and controls the bounties. With the constant pressure coming from KOTL and Beast, they manage to kill the Underlord twice.

By pressuring and pushing out the wave KOTL creates a lot of space for himself and he is able to stack the big camp. Unfortunately, in this example, the enemies manage to take over control of that area and to farm it. This is a relatively big mistake and if you are worried this could happen you need to bring your allies to fight back the enemies and take the stacks.

Offensive Lane Priorities:

KOTL is a good partner for a dual lane and usually is used to babysit a farming core while pressuring the enemy lane. Dual lanes with KOTL usually don’t attempt to kill, but to disrupt the farm of the lane opponents. Push-out the wave (while harassing the enemy heroes) and use the free time to stack camps, control runes, etc.

Use Illuminate and Chakra to harass your opponents and make them farm under tower.
Use the free time to stack the jungle and control the runes.
Ward and Deward.
Dual Lane Combos:

Cores with spammable spells:

Bristle Portrait
Legion commander
Phantom Lancer

As your goal in the lane is both to create space for your core to farm and to pressure your lane opponents at the same time. Your best partners are cores who can use farm well but in the same time have spammable spells that benefit from Chakra.

Mid & Late Game

kotl immortal 350px

In the mid and late game, your main tasks are the regular support’s tasks. Stay with your team and help them out, ward and deward. Your major contribution to team fights is your ultimate, so make sure to be positioned safely behind your allies. Use it to counter-initiate and combine it with Blinding Light and Illuminate.

If the game goes late, out-push the waves with Illuminate.

Stick with your team, contribute to team fights.
Farm the lanes and jungle if you have time and space.

If you are playing in a 5-man pushing strat, your big timing is your Aghanim’s and every daytime after that. During the day you want to fight and take objectives (Rosh, towers, eventually the high ground).

Another importat timing is Refresher - it makes your team fight control potential even stronger, which could help your team win engagements.

Comeback Potential:

The laning doesn’t have a great influence on Keeper’s play style. Regardless of the laning outcome, you want to stick to your priorities (mentioned above). Because of your flash farming potential, if the laning stage goes badly, but you have space on the map (e.g. enemies are farming up instead of applying pressure), you have the option to stack camps and farm your items (Refresher) quickly. This will allow you to fight more efficiently as a team. In that sense, KOTL is a rather good catch up hero, and getting nothing during the laning stage isn’t the end of the game for him.

Use Illuminate to push-out waves and stall the game. Anti-push and slow down pushes by the enemy team.

If your carry doesn’t have items with which to kill creeps fast (i.e. a Spectre without a Radiance), you can use Illuminate to help him/her bring down the creeps. Nevertheless, you need to be careful not to get the last hits as your carry needs the gold.


  • 5-man Pushing

When you are pushing with your team, your task is pretty simple. You must stay further back in a safe position and spam Illuminate so that it is difficult for your opponents to defend (it is hard to engage in the Illuminate blast heal/damage). Always try to push in the daytime if you have Aghanim’s. 

If you cast Chakra before Illuminate, you will have it again right away. Don’t go too far in - your team relies on your heals and possibly on your saves if you have defensive items. You don’t want to die early because if you die it might be the end of the push.

Always be ready to counter-initiate with Will-O-Wisp and possibly Blinding Light.

  • Split-Pushing

You rarely split-push yourself since you are squishy and have low tower damage, but you can out-push the waves very fast if you need to.

  • Anti-Pushing

Generally, the most efficient way to stall pushes is to spam your Illuminate so that it hits as many targets as possible and drives them away from the tower, and even cast Blinding Light to push heroes away from the tower and give a miss chance, making their DPS output weaker. Make sure that you are doing all of this from a safe distance.

Use Will-O-Wisp if the enemy team commits to a fight.

Vision and Map Control:

As a support, it is your task to win the Ward wars against the enemy supports. You are a very squishy hero without escape mechanisms, so be very careful not to overextend. It is a good idea to ward and deward while sticking to your team.

You can use Illuminate to scout high grounds. This is most useful when you suspect your opponents are killing Roshan. You can stay at a safe distance and cast Illuminate towards the Roshan pit. After a few seconds of charging, you will gain vision in the pit and with it - valuable information.


You are a terrible ganker. Your main contribution is the Illuminate damage if your team has tons of disables and the ability to push the target back with Blind slightly. If you are ganking a key target, don't be afraid to commit Will-O-Wisp if your team lacks disables.

Team Fights:

You are a back-line hero in team fights. Unlike most supports who need to stay safe in fights, but at the same time need to enter them at the right time to use their disables, which exposes them to danger, you don’t have any incentive to get in the middle of the fight. All of your spells have a very decent casting range, which means you can be useful from a safe distance.

Use Blinding Light optimally: this generally means to take advantage of the knockback - to create space between the enemies and one of your allies, to clump up your enemies so that they are susceptible to AoE spells, or to push them over an edge in order to separate them from the fighting and disable them from contributing too much. Even if you don’t have a great opportunity to exploit the knockback, cast it for the sake of the miss chance on enemy right-clickers. Don’t forget to release your Illuminate if you see a good opportunity (enemies are leaving the AOE or you have to heal allies ASAP).

Use Will-O-Wisp at the right time - usually when the enemy team commits deep to the fight. This will make it very hard for them to disengage and leave the ult range or to kill the wisp. Protect it with Blinding Light if needed. Use Refresher if you have it to make your ult even stronger.

Use Illuminate to deal damage from a safe distance. Combine it with AoE control - your ultimate, Void Chrono, Ravage, RP, etc., to ensure the blast lands.


(pre 7.20)

Yapzor uses Blinding Light and Force Staff to save his carry and then uses his other abilities (Blast and Mana Leak) to help his team secure two kills - on the enemy Slark and Sand King, who were the initial aggressors in this situation. Blast and Blinding Light make KOTL great at such defensive fights.


Farming with KOTL is quite simple - you channel Illuminate for 4-5 seconds, release it and then take all last hits. Alternatively, you can stack jungle camps and get them down with Illuminate spam.

Rather than how to technically farm, what you need to think about is when it is a good idea to farm. You don’t scale too well with items after Refresher, so farming is not a priority for you. There are limited resources on the map, and it is highly likely that some of your allies need the farm more than you do. If you are taking every opportunity to flash farm any incoming lane waves rather than leave them for your allies, you might end up starving out your carries, which is a negative contribution to the overall goal - winning the game. So, always bear in mind that farm is limited. The more map control you have, the more space you will have to farm (three lanes, 2 jungles). Otherwise, you will have to leave farm opportunities to other heroes.