Dark Willow Dota 2 Guide 7.14: The Queen of Crowd Control!

A very vulnerable caster, Dark Willow is an expert at crowd control. Cursed Crown, Terrorize, and Bramble Maze are all extremely potent AoE disables, and Bedlam and Shadow Realm grant her an abundance of powerful magical bursts.

Nevertheless, despite her extremely low health, she is extremely susceptible to AoE spells, which can injure her and render her ineffective throughout the Shadow Realm. Additionally, magic immunity effectively counters Dark Willow, whose nearly all damage is magical.

The Best Dark Willow Item Build

Starting Items

  • Healing Salve
  • Tango
  • Faerie Fire
  • Null Talisman
  • Iron Branch
  • Clarity
  • Observer Ward
  • Boots of Speed

Early Game Items

  • Arcane Boots
  • Phase Boots
  • Veil of Discord
  • Blink Dagger
  • Glimmer Cape

Mid Game Items

  • Kaya
  • Rod of Atos
  • Eul’s Scepter of Divinity

Late Game Items

  • Scythe of Vyse
  • Bloodthorn
  • Guardian Greaves

Situational Items

  • Black King Bar
  • Mjollnir
  • Shadow Blade
  • Linken’s Sphere
  • Ghost Scepter
  • Spirit Vessel
  • Nullifier
  • Lotus Orb
  • Octarine Core

Comprehensive Spell Guide for Dark Willow


Bramble Maze

Multiple Bramble shrubs are generated by Dark Willow in a pattern denoted by the targeting indicator. An adversary who enters one of the Brambles will be anchored and gradually sustain damage. This spell is typically maxed out second, as it provides superior assistance in achieving solitary kills and ganking compared to Cursed Crown.

Although the Brambles do not grant true vision, they do illuminate in response to the approach of an unseen adversary. Due to the spell’s exceptionally lengthy duration, it can be utilized in advance to seize a tower or Roshan. Aim to position the center of the tightest area during ganking or combat where individuals are most likely to pass through, or through which your foes can escape more securely. Early levels have a very lengthy cooldown for the spell, so save it for critical situations or when you are attempting to slay an opponent. It also has a considerable amount of time to cast, so attempt to anticipate where especially swift foes will likely move during the casting process.

Shadow Realm

During her five-second untargetability, Dark Willow acquires an additional five magical damage and an expanded attack range on her subsequent blow. Damage is increased for a duration of three seconds, after which it attains its maximal bonus damage. Without an attack within the allotted time of five seconds, Dark Willow will forfeit the bonus damage. Because each skill point in the spell reduces the cooldown and increases the damage, this is achieved to its maximum first. Shadow Realm serves as your primary ganking and evasion ability, allowing you to destroy foes with a single blow and avoid targeted spells, respectively.

The utilization of Shadow Realm does not disrupt channeled abilities, including Town Portal Scroll, but it does fragment projectiles upon casting. This renders it a potent spell against incoming storm hammer attacks. When you cast, Shadow Realm also applies a phase to your movement, allowing you to traverse creatures more easily in order to flee or pursue foes.

Cursed Crown

Dark Willow bestows a curse on the target, which, for four seconds, stuns them and any nearby foes. This is typically topped out after one value point has been invested in it, as it is the least effective ganking spell early in the game. During the middle and latter stages of the game, it provides a great deal of control in team battles, where foes typically engage in close combat. However, in the beginning stages, foes typically have an easier time dispersing and avoiding stunning one another.

Moreover, it deals no damage, which further diminishes its effectiveness during the early stages of the game. Despite the target foe successfully evading the daze caused by a spell such as Nightmare, foes in the immediate vicinity will continue to be stunned. Simply remember that it can be neutralized using any standard dispel agent.


The companion of Dark Willow is released upon foes in the vicinity and inflicts damage upon her while circling her for a brief duration. Linked to Terrorize, this spell gains levels concurrently with the other. Bedlam can inflict a tremendous amount of damage when in close proximity to an enemy who is solitary, and even more so when one is able to approach them very closely. This is considerably simpler to accomplish with Shadow Realm, as it provides protection against the majority of damage and allows you to approach foes very closely, allowing you to even phase through them. Bedlam is inaccessible while Terrorize is in effect; it will become available once Jax has been returned in its entirety. With the spell’s extremely low expiration, it can be utilized to generate substantial creep-waves, provided that one possesses the necessary mana.


The pet of Dark Willow instills dread in every foe within the target area, causing them to retreat to their base. Furthermore, it is impossible to employ this incantation while Bedlam is in effect, and it is intricately connected to Bedlam. Terrorize has the same duration as Cursed Crown, making it an effective spell to combine with in a sequence. Bedlam can be used to pursue escaping foes; to do so, one must blink in their direction or approach them from behind while casting the spell. Terrorize is an exceptionally potent spell that can be employed against foes who are pursuing your companions or channeling spells; it is also exceptionally effective at kiting powerful carries.

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Level 10: +20 Damage or +125 Cast Range

The additional casting range is nearly always a wise decision, as it enhances the effectiveness of nearly all of her spells. Additionally, nearly all of her damage is magical, and due to her below-average attack range for a ranged hero, she rarely right-clicks. However, if your team requires additional physical damage or if you find yourself able to frequently attack foes during combat, the additional damage could be quite beneficial.

Level 15: +90 Gold/min or +40 Movement Speed

Utilizing the GPM while controlling a support Dark Willow can be advantageous, as it can facilitate item progression and encourage the purchase of support items. It can be advantageous if you anticipate that the game will continue well into the late game, irrespective of your role, as it can facilitate the acquisition of expensive artifacts like Scythe of Vyse. It is preferable to acquire movement speed for a primary role, as it facilitates kills and fight survival. In addition to accelerating the game’s conclusion, it provides an additional advantage in combat.

Level 20: 10% Spell Lifesteal or +300 Shadow Realm Max Damage

If you are in dire need of an additional advantage to ensure your survival in team battles, or if your current damage is more than sufficient, then the spell lifesteal may prove useful. In almost every circumstance, however, the additional damage is a far superior talent option. It deals a substantial amount of damage while on a 12-second cooldown, which will be of immense assistance in securing fatalities and delivering significantly more damage during team battles.

Level 25: +200 Attack Speed or +1.5 Terrorize Duration

Typically, the additional one terrorize second is ineffective and rather unimpressive. Unless the additional control it offers is absolutely necessary or if the additional kiting space can be effectively utilized, the attack speed is almost always the superior option. While the majority of your damage is generated by your abilities, the substantial increase in attack speed enables you to potentially inflict a respectable amount of damage with your right mouse button in the later stages of the game.

Build These Items on Dark Willow

Starting Items

  • Healing Salve
  • Tango
  • Faerie Fire
  • Null Talisman
  • Iron Branch
  • Clarity
  • Observer Ward
  • Boots of Speed

Early Game Items


Arcane Boots

In team battles, Arcane Boots are preferable for a support Dark Willow because they benefit her team more and enable her to cast more spells. Additionally, you may acquire them in the midlane lane if your team requires the vitality they supply and no one else has done so.

Phase Boots

The Phase Boots bestow upon a mid-level Dark Willow increased movement speed, right-click damage for farming and last-hitting, and protection against foes. This confers a formidable advantage. Additionally, the increased damage aids her in transitioning to the mid-game by augmenting the power of her right-clicks beyond what they would be otherwise.

Veil of Discord

A Veil of Discord is an excellent item to have on Dark Willow, as the majority of her damage is inflicted via her spells. The 25% magical damage increase will significantly increase the potency of all of her spells and her lethal potential. The item’s attributes are also excellent on Dark Willow, as despite her high intelligence gain, she has very low strength and agility gains and is extremely flimsy. As a result, the armor and HP it bestows are extremely useful.

Blink Dagger

A Blink Dagger is nearly always a potent item on Dark Willow due to its exceptional compatibility with the Shadow Realm. She is significantly more likely to avoid damage during the three-second cooldown and be able to avert peril as she becomes untargetable. Notwithstanding the presence of AoE damage on the opposing team, it remains highly effective in numerous combat encounters and circumstances wherein you remain unaffected and can nonetheless exploit its formidable evasion capabilities. Additionally, a Blink Dagger enables you to close the distance on solitary, out-of-position foes and unleash Bedlam upon them. This is effective due to the spell’s high damage-to-solo foes ratio. Additionally, a Blink Dagger will facilitate the positioning of Bramble Maze and Terrorize, despite the fact that they already possess a considerable range. Numerous top-tier Dota 2 players would immediately choose this.

Glimmer Cape

A Glimmer Cape is an excellent defensive item for both the Dark Willow and her companions, making it a potentially potent item for a support Dark Willow. Additionally, the magic resistance is exceptionally robust against formations that deal a great deal of magical damage. Its utility is diminished for a mid-level Dark Willow due to its failure to enhance her hero’s strength, thereby impeding her ability to transition into the mid-game.

Mid Game Items


A Kaya is a valuable item on Dark Willow due to the fact that nearly all of her damage is inflicted by her spells; thus, the damage amplification increases her total damage output. The mana cost reduction is also advantageous, given that the mana requirements for all of her spells are quite high, and the additional intellect grants her more mana to purchase spells during battle. In general, the Kaya is an excellent item to have on a mid-level Dark Willow due to its low cost and ability to seamlessly integrate her into the mid-game.

Rod of Atos

A Rod of Atos can be an exceptionally potent weapon against heroes who are protected by Blinks or similar spells that impede their deceleration. You can link your Rod of Atos and Bramble Maze for a total of 4.5 seconds, which is sufficient time for a Cursed Crowd to strike and further immobilize them. This is extremely potent, as it grants you lengthy disables for a single target and a window during which Bedlam can inflict substantial damage. The additional strength aids in tanking, while the intelligence assists in managing the spells’ high mana requirements.

Eul’s Scepter of Divinity

A powerful item on Dark Willow, an Eul’s can be utilized both offensively and defensively with great effectiveness. By applying Eul’s post-Curse Crown to a foe, they will be rendered immobile for 2.5 of the four-second cast time, significantly impeding their ability to flee prior to being stunned. The item’s characteristics are also exceptionally advantageous for Dark Willow. Investing in this item is highly recommended when confronted with silences or projectile stuns, as it significantly increases your resistance to death and potentially grants you the ability to activate Shadow Realm in the aftermath.

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Late Game Items

Scythe of Vyse

A Scythe of Vyse will grant you an additional disable as well as an exceptionally potent late-game lockdown. Additionally, it provides extremely potent stats that will assist you in continuing to cast spells during the later game’s lengthier team battles. Additionally, it functions exceptionally well with the level 10 cast range talent if selected. It is an exceptionally potent late-game item for Dark Willow, enabling her to significantly increase her contribution to Dota 2 competitive team battles.

Guardian Greaves

Securing Guardian Greaves as a late-game item for a Dark Willow support is an extremely advantageous move. By purging oneself, one can eliminate debuffs such as silences, enabling the use of Shadow Realm for survival or Terrorize to clear space for companions. Additionally, the HP and mana regeneration will significantly aid in maintaining your companions’ health throughout the middle and late stages of combat. It can be a respectable item on a mid-Dark Willow if you do not require additional power, if you can obtain it before any of your allies, and if the sustainability and self-purge it provides are of great benefit to you.

Situational Items


Black King Bar

If you are subject to a large deal of AoE magical damage, such as Epicenter, and AoE disables, a Black King Bar can be an invaluable item. It will also grant you magic immunity, which will protect the Shadow Realm from the majority of adversaries’ targeted spells and make you considerably more difficult to defeat. This subsequently enables you to employ it in a more combative manner.


In the late game, a Mjollnir can be an extremely potent item, particularly when combined with your level 25 attack speed ability. The active is effective when cast on a tanky ally, and the magical damage complements the enhancement of your spells. It is typically unnecessary because your strength is derived from your spells, but if you require a greater output of physical damage, it can be a useful addition.

Shadow Blade

A Shadow Blade is occasionally a potent ganking weapon. When facing opponents in the early or mid-game who frequently farm the jungle or drive waves out, employing a Shadow Blade can assist you in controlling the map and executing solo kills on them with greater ease. Avoid utilizing this item if your team is already composed of invisibility characters or if they are unable to gain control of the map by the midpoint of the game.

Linken’s Sphere

A Linken’s Sphere may prove to be a useful item when facing off against formidable single-target disables. The Shadow Realm will typically sustain you long enough to prevent these from becoming a concern. Nevertheless, if you continue to be ensnared in combat or if the opposing team has an abundance of single-target abilities, Linken’s Sphere might be a worthwhile acquisition.

Ghost Scepter

A Ghost Scepter may prove to be a valuable asset when facing formations that consist predominantly of corporeal right-clickers. It is a comparatively inexpensive item that significantly increases Dark Willow’s survivability against farmed carries and is especially effective as a support.

Spirit Vessel

A Spirit Vessel can be a potent item on a Dark Willow that provides support when confronted with numerous heroes endowed with potent healing abilities. Excellent statistics are provided, and Dark Willow’s propensity for ganking enables her to amass a substantial number of charges during the middle of the battle.


A Nullifier can be a potent item on a Dark Willow at her core, as it increases her strength in team battles. The capacity to mute and delay a target significantly complicates the survival of foes who have no natural escape routes. In other words, Bramble Maze becomes significantly more effective in the absence of defensive spells or abilities such as Dark Pact, allowing you to slow them down prior to stunning them with Cursed Crown.

Lotus Orb

When faced with formations that feature numerous single-target spells and/or negative benefits like slows or silences, a Lotus Orb can prove to be a formidable asset. The ability to purge silences, which prevent the deployment of Shadow Realm, is frequently critical to one’s survival. Additionally, it can be utilized subsequent to the casting of Shadow Realm to grant a brief period during which foes will be averse to attempting to cast charms upon you, thereby prolonging your life.

Octarine Core

Octarine Cores are excellent late-game additions to Dark Willow cores. Given that her spells deal nearly all of her damage, the reduction in cooldown will enable her to execute all of her spells more rapidly. Her frequent purchases include Scythe of Vyse and Linken’s Sphere, both of which benefit from the reduced cooldown. Lifesteal will additionally sustain her life and provide her with a substantial HP restoration while she is casting Bedlam or Bramble Maze.

Challenging Match-Ups for Dark Willow

Mobile/Blink Heroes

Heroes possessing Blink or other escape spells are rendered exceedingly vulnerable to the Cursed Crown and Bramble Maze combo. Despite the fact that there is a small gap through which foes can flee, Terrorize can still be utilized to disable them and prevent them from escaping.

Are Disables/Damage/Silence

Dark Willow Can Still Be Damaged by Spells Like Burrowstrike and Waning Rift Despite Employing Shadow Realm Defensively. Dark Willow Is Unquestionably Irritated by Ao E Damage, and A Bkb May Be Required in Certain Circumstances. Silences Are Especially Effective Against Dark Willow, as They Prevent Her from Employing Any of Her Spells, Including Shadow Realm, Which Is Her Primary Survivability Ability. Dark Willow Is Also Extremely Vulnerable to Cleave Damage, Particularly if She Is Positioned in Close Proximity to An Ally Who Is Susceptible to Cleavage.

Faceless Void & Monkey King

Terrorize Is an Exceptionally Potent Spell that Counters Chronosphere and Wukong’s Command. It Can Be Employed to Dislodge Void from Your Companions and To Displace Monkey King from His Circle, Thereby Nullifying the Effect of The Spell.

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