Kardel Sharpeye, The Dwarven Sniper - Dota Hero Strategy Guide

Range: 550 | | Move Speed: 290 | Primary: AGI
Str: 16 + 1.7 | Agi: 21 + 2.9 | Int: 15 + 2.6
Damage: 36 - 42 | HP: 454 | Mana: 195
HP Regen: 0.73 | Mana Regen: 0.61
Attack Speed: 1.34 (+ 21% IAS) | Armor: 2

Kardel Sharpeye is a testament to his name and race. Using only his finely honed skills of marksmanship and his trusty rifle, he systematically destroys his opponents from afar. Taking great care to aim for the most vulnerable of areas, he is capable of severely injuring an opponent, and with a little extra time, has been known to simply dispose of an enemy in a single shot. His rifle is equipped with a secondary barrel, capable of launching a short burst of shrapnel at close range, causing massive damage.”

Why Kardel ?

I think the first obvious advantage Kardel has over other heroes is range. He has the LONGEST range in DOTA. He can shoot at towers without getting hit. Add to the fact that he has a very fast attack animation (3000), Kardel is an excellent harasser, last hitter, & denier. The next this is obviously ‘Assassinate’ one of the best finishing move in the game. With long range of 2500, you can assassinate running away enemies with the click of a button. This makes Kardel an excellent ganker as well.

Therefore, your role in the team is first and foremost a damage dealer. Early game you should focus on harassing your enemies with your long range and getting last hit and denies. As the game progresses, you become a damage-dealer & ganker, quickly running in & out of battle and finishing up escaping enemies. You will help your TEAM to victory. This content is created by WidjayaMan.

Skill Descriptions

ScatterShot | Mana Cost: 120 - Cooldown: 12 – Casting Range: 750 –Casting Time: around 1 second – AOE: 200

Fire a ball of shrapnel on the air which promptly explodes, dealing damage in target area. Each pellet deals 10-25 physical damage.
Level 1 - 8 Pellets.
Level 2 - 12 Pellets.
Level 3 - 16 Pellets.
Level 4 - 20 Pellets.

Scoffed by many and loved by others, Scattershot remains one of the love/hate skill in the game. You either love it or you don’t.

  • The pellets deal PIERCING DAMAGE, which deals deals 150% to creeps, 50% to heroes BEFORE armor reduction, and a measly 35% to buildings.
  • Its casting range is actually longer than a Tower’s range, so you can cast it without the tower shooting at you back provided you have line of sight of the tower.
  • Scattershot at level 4 will kill a ranged creep instantly.
  • Don’t waste it on heroes. You most likely will deal more damage by plainly shooting at them.

Headshot | Passive
Giving chance to stun target for a short duration and dealing bonus damage.
Level 1 - 30 damage, 25% chance, 0.1 second stun.
Level 2 - 30 damage, 30% chance, 0.1 second stun.
Level 3 - 40 damage, 35% chance, 0.2 second stun.
Level 4 - 50 damage, 40% chance, 0.2 second stun.

Excellent skill. Very annoying to enemies and it has a high percentage of happening. Basically a mini-MKB. It actually deals longer stun duration than MKB, but it gives you less bonus damage.

  • Headshot is considered a ‘Ranged Bash.’ The damage is hero type physical damage, that means it’s not blockable by magic immunity and it’s reduced by armour type hero resistance and armour value. The stun is blockable by magic immunity.
  • Which means, Headshot will trigger Linken’s disentangle and cooldown, allowing you to then assassinate an enemy hero with Linken.
  • BKB will ONLY block Headshot’s stun, but the bonus damage will still goes through.
  • Headshot works on your own creep, which is excellent for denying.
  • When you have MKB and both stun occurs at the same time (which is highly unlikely, but possible), the latest skill learned or item acquired will override the other. For example, if you Learn Headshot level 12-15 and then acquire MKB at level 16, when both stun occurs you will deal only MKB’s damage and stun duration.
  • Regarding Headshot + MKB : Remember that Bash stacks diminishingly.
  • One thing to point out is that Headshot is extremely useful to cancel Chanelling spell.Sand King doing a Burrowstrike – Epicenter combo? Start shooting at him and pray that Headshot kicks in.
Take Aim | Passive
Permanently adds attack range.
Level 1 - Adds 55 range.
Level 2 - Adds 110 range.
Level 3 - Adds 165 range.
Level 4 - Adds 220 range.

The skill that gives you the longest range in the game, Take Aim is a skill that is useful at all stages of the game. Having more range gives you both offensive & defensive advantage, as you have an edge in reacting to the enemy.

  • At level 4 this skill makes your range 770
  • To be able to shoot outside of Tower’s range, you only need level 3 Take Aim.
  • Some people have argued that getting Level 4 Take Aim too early will give you problems with getting Experience. This is NOT true but it can happen. The Experience AOE is 1000 and your range is only 770. But when you are shooting the melee creeps from 770 away, the range creep will probably be outside your EXP range.

Assassinate | Mana Cost: 175/275/375 - Cooldown: 30/20/10
Take time to draw the bead and then deals a large amount of damage at a long range.
Level 1 - Deals 355 damage at 1500 range, 1.7 seconds casting time.
Level 2 - Deals 505 damage at 2000 range, 1.6 seconds casting time.
Level 3 - Deals 655 damage at 2500 range, 1.5 seconds casting time.

The signature skill of Kardel. This is the targetting spell with the longest casting range in DOTA, which makes this one of the ultimate KS-ing skill. A proper use of Assassinate also makes or break a Kardel player. Ask yourself, are you the kind of player who will cast assassinate when your 4 other teammates are already surrounding this enemy hero to death?

  • Without any other Magic Reduction item, Assassinate will instantly kill enemy heroes below 266 / 378 / 491 HP at appropriate levels.
  • Note the casting time of 1.7, 1.6, and 1.5 seconds respective to their levels. Do not foolishly cast assassinate in the middle of enemies to shoot a running enemy because a stun will cancel your assassinate and probably you’ll be killed too.
  • Targeted enemy hero will have a buff status on its hero status saying that he’s about to be assassinated.
  • Assassinate’s cooldown was nerfed some version ago into 30/20/10 (before it was 5 seconds at level 3!)
  • When you’re invisible and you cast Assassinate, you will remain invisible until the last moment before your bullet fires.
  • Assassinate has a semi-true sight effect, which means you can target a wind walking away Clinx/Gondar/PL/Any other hero with lothar and it will still hit them. Note that neither you or your allies can see the enemy, only the spell does.
  • You must actually have vision of the hero to be able to cast it. This means either one of your ally / creep must be within range of that hero or you can plant observer wards to give you advantage.
  • Linken completely blocks Assassinate. Make sure Linken is on cooldown by either shooting at him a few times until Headshot fires or having your teammate cast a spell on the enemy first.
  • Just like any other ultimate, you can target an enemy with activated BKB but it will deal zero damage. Don’t waste it.
Skill Build

1. Take Aim
2. Headshot
3. Take Aim
4. Headshot
5. Take Aim
6. Assassinate
7. Headshot
8. Take Aim
9. Headshot
10. Stats
11. Assassinate
12-15. Stats
16. Assassinate
17-20. Scattershot
21-25. Stats
  • Take Aim & Headshot are interchangeable. Usually when the enemy in my lane is range / nuker I will go Take Aim first, and the other way around when the enemy is melee. Giving your more distance not only keeps you further away from harm’s way, but also allows you to harass a lot better because you can now shoot an extra shot or two before the enemy is outside your range.
  • I suggest you take stats points in level 10, and 12-15 before you take Scattershot. This of course can be flexible depending on game situations.. but on most games you’ll need to buff yourself up a little at this stage of the game. +10 all stats will help immensely.
  • Scattershot is suggested to be taken around level 17-20. OMG NOOB Scattershot sucks oneoneleven last hit is more g0su ~ I’ve heard it said. If you hate it so much, go ahead and skip it. I never said that Scattershot should replace last hitting, however there’s no denying that Scattershot accelerates your farming because you can clear a wave / neutrals camp, and switch to another location quickly. The argument that it pushes the creeps too far to the enemy tower is correct. Yep, you DO want the creeps to move forward in this case, since its progressing toward late game.
  • As expected, get assassinate whenever available.

Core Item Build
[ Boot of Travel – Bracers – Desolator – Butterfly – Heart of Tarrasque ]

Optional Items

[ Hand of Midas - Hood of Defiance – Buriza-do Kyanon ]
Other Items & Comparison

Orb of Choice?

Desolator is preffered over S&Y and Skadi because the other two does a crappy job in boosting your DPS, simple as that. With the game designed to be faster, it is important to boost your damage as early as possible, thus makes it non-viable to go either S&Y or Skadi anymore. Yes I do realize that Desolator ‘reveals’ your bullets, however at this stage of the game you are no longer playing Hide-and-Seek anymore. Moreover, Desolator is cheaper than both S&Y and Skadi

Where did you go?

Yes, we finally do away with MKB, after I give in to the fact that its not the best DPS item on Kardel because he already has Headshot. You are not getting 30% chance of +90 bonus damage anymore, instead only 18% ( (100%-40%) * 30% ). The principal is similar to why heroes with innate criticals should not get Buriza.

Which boots?

I am really struggling with this. Being a DPS hero without Steroid spell unlike Clinx, Razor, & Viper, I am really leaning toward Treads to give you the much needed IAS boost. However, ultimately, the unlimited teleportation wins out. In addition, +30 IMS is more crucial than +35% IAS for Kardel, being one of the slower heroes. I understand this point might be debatable, but game experiences should tell you that map control is the upmost importance in winning the game.

Are you sure Desolator is better than all of these?

Since I know I’m getting a lot of flak for the Desolator choice Lets take a moment and throw some numbers around to see whether it’s really worth the hype I’m making it to be.

How important is keeping your shot ‘invisible’?

This seems to be a good half of the argument against Desolator, that it ‘reveals’ your attacks. We all know Sniper has a very subtle attack animation, which allows him to land a few shots before being detected by enemies. By ‘revealing’ your shots, the argument is that enemies now will focus fire you.

My take on it is this: Are the enemies only going to focus fire you if your shots are visible? Personally, if there’s a Sniper in the enemy team, I’m going to make sure we focus fire on him no matter what, whenever possible. The only time ‘invisible’ attacks helps you is in hiding your location IF you are out of enemy’s sight to begin with. The most common real-game situations that this applies to are in defensive situations, as in offense you will probably be in the main lane, and in ganks there’s no point to be hiding.

If you are backstabbing an enemy from the trees and you are alone, invisible attack wouldn’t help much because he will try to locate you in the trees and rape you then. If you have an ally(es), invisible attacks wont matter because they will hopefully take the attention away.

My personal conclusion is this: Invisible attacks is nice, but sacrificing it for corruption is more than worthwhile.


Early Game (1-8)

Early game is extremely crucial for Kardel. If you feed from early on, its extremely difficult to play catch up with your team.

When the game begin, get your Circlets & Tangos and see if you can get mid lane. You can even solo mid if you are comfortable with your teamates. If you are playing pub, let your teamates know that you want them to holler if any hero is missing. You are very fragile and an early game gank would easily kill you.

Do not be afraid if you find yourself soloing against 2 heroes, especially if not both of them are nukers / range. You should be happier if neither of them have nukes.

You should be able to easily assess the skill of your enemy from the first couple of waves. How do they attack? Are they randomly attacking or are they last hitting & denying? What happen when you land a shot on them, do they immediately retreat (cautious), do they attack back (aggressive), or do they just stand there as if nothing happen? (dumb)

Establishing your Early Game dominance.

Kardel is one of the better Lane Controller because of his superior range and his annoying Headshot. Beat your enemies to Last Hit & Denies. Harass them when they try to land last hits. If he does not have a nuke, he will probably move back, at which point you then go to the side of your melee creeps and continue to attack him if he comes back. This way you are pushing your enemy outside of the EXP range, which results in him being underleveled.

If you see that a nuker is moving toward you, move back. This requires you to have a basic knowledge of what spells your enemy has and how much mana they have & whether they can afford to cast their spells on you. If you are facing Ogre Magi or CM for example, and he/she is moving toward you, you can probably assume that he/she’s going to fireblast/frost nova you, therefore move back. You have superior range, so you shouldn’t be having lots of trouble. Hang back a bit and consume your Tango if you’re in trouble.

If you are in red health, assess your opponents whether he has the capacity to kill you with his spells. If you have a nuker in your lane, its not a good idea to hang around, retreat to your fountain & heal. Buy a town portal and teleport back to your lane.

Using your range for your advantage

If you are in mid lane, it is a good idea to get obs. Ward to grant you vision of the uphill. I think its still worth it eventhough wards are very expensive now. Why? Because this makes it easier for you to control your lane because eventhough you have range, its doing you no good if you cant seem the enemies because they are out of your sight. I’ll post a screenie when I have time.

Early Game kill with Take Aim, Headshot, and Assassinate

The fun begins when you hit level 6. Quickly check your enemy’s health and whether you can finish him with assassinante. If you are soloing on the side lanes and your enemy is hanging around with half health and he is NOT a nuker / without escape mechasnism and especially melee, you may try to backstab him from these following spots:

Just go right behind him with sufficient range and start shooting at him. Make sure you predict the creep wave (do not attack when the creeps are gone as that means the new wave is coming and will attack you). If he runs away and you cant catch up then cast your assassinate. Remember that level 1 assassinate will kill enemies when he’s below 266 health providing he has no planeswalker cloak. However, to be safe, wait until his health go down to 250 because it will regenerate by the time your bullet is leashed.

A side note, since runes are available every 2 minutes, check the time and plan your backstab accordingly. A double damage / haste / invible runes can translate into a free kill as well.

In the example above I just started shooting at Bloodseeker when he came close to the creeps. You cant see it too clear in the first picture, but Headshot actually kicked in which helped me to take his HP down. Sensing danger, he ran away, which of course, is too late. smile.gif

Some things about assassinate:

  • Do not use Assassinate to KS, for goodness’ sake. If your SA ally has been blink striking Zeus and there’s no way Zeus’s gonna escape, then don’t even try Assassinating him.
  • Give kills to whom kills belong and your teammates will respect you for that.
  • Because of your Assassinate’s range, Observer wards can be extremely useful.
  • Although you have a far Assassinate range, you will lose your target if he moves out of your line of sight into the fog of war. Therefore, planting wards at strategic locations will definitely help you out. Please give me some time to find a proper screenshots to illustrate this. The basic principle is to put these wards in locations where your enemies will likely pass when they run away.

  • Assassinate is also good to be used to soften up heroes when you know you cant take them 1v1 and you are alone.
  • When you’re defending that tower and your allies are busy elsewhere, Assassinate the pushing enemies to soften them up. Hopefully you made them rethink their plan.

Once you get your Boot of travel, look for opportunities to help your teamates in battles. Should your enemies try to push the mid lane early, teleport to help your ally and hopefully net some kills from fleeing heroes.

Mid Game (9-15)

Nothing much change in the gameplay in mid game. By this time assess whether your team is losing or winning, or whether the game is stale.

If you are having trouble with your mana, its advisable to grab a Sobi mask ~ it will help.

Be very wary that you are most likely the prime target of ganks. Most enemies will target you for ganking at some point in the game, especially when you’re pushing alone. Most enemies will target you first in team battles. Anticipate this beforehand & let your teamates know. I actually feel when that SA / Clinx backstab you in the midst of team battles, its better to run INTO the battle rather than trying to leave the scene because most likely your teammate wont run back to help you out when they’re busy in a team battle.

As soon as you have Desolator start sticking together with your teamates, as corruption is meant to be shared.

Scattershot-ing wisely

Once you have level 3 Scattershot (whenever it is), you may start using it to clear creep waves or neutrals. Scattershot is one of the most newbie-friendly skill, however it doesn’t meant that there’s not a wrong way to do it. To do a proper scattershot at the creep waves, you need to have proper positioning and timing.

First, notice the first picture. Ignore the X as it was confirmed that it doesn’t mean anything. cattershot’s damage is simply random in an AOE of 360. Just make sure to get all the creeps inside the circle.

Secondly, do not blast your scattershot immediately. This is probably the biggest mistake scattershot users do because by doing so your creeps will KS you. Wait until the creeps engage, and weaken the enemy creep by manually shooting at the every creep once and then immediately release your scattershot after counting to three.

The last part is to always check your mana pool to make sure that you have enough to Teleport away should you be backstabbed.

Scattershot should NOT replace last-hitting. This is especially crucial early game as you want to keep the creeps on your side as much as possible. This is why we delay Scatter until mid-late game. Use it to clear neutrals, or to clear creeps quickly before retreating / teleporting to join pushes / defenses.

Scattershot is excellent for defense. You should be leaping for joy when a Broodmother / KOTL / Enigma is pushing with all their minions as Scattershot would wipe them out very quickly.

Assassinating Wind Walking enemies

When you play Kardel and your enemies are Wind Walking heroes like Clinx, Gondar, or any hero with invisibility, do not fret. Although in 1v1 you’re very susceptible to Backstab, in team battles you will put an end to their royal plan where they think they can just run away whenever they want with Wind Walk. How so? Because Assassinate sees the invisible. This applies to Clinx, Gondar, SA, Rootfellen, Broodmother, POTM, and any other heroes with Lothar. The key is to make sure you target them JUST AS they are windwalking / going invisible.

In these screenshots, I & my ally SK were pushing the Bottom scourge towers & Gondar came to defend.
In the second picture you can see that Gondar, sensing that his chance to win the battle is slim, decided to WW away. He thought he was safe, however you can see from the status bar that he’s about to die. I targeted him for an Assassinate. So he did die.

Backstabbing Lone enemy

As you farm in early mid game stage, watch for enemy who is foolish enough to push too deep by himself. In high level matches this wont happen, but in lower level ones this OFTEN happen, so keep your eyes open. The following screenshot illustrates a perfect backstab attack.

In the first screenshot you see where I am in the map (notified by the red dot.) I was farming at the bottom lane when I saw Razor pushing by himself. I made my move and prepare to backstab him.

On the second screen you see we engaged. I get a few shots at him before he saw me there and the tower was helping me out too. A perfect set-up.

The third screenshot you see Razor realizing he’s got no chance against me and the tower and run away.

Notice from the map that I’m very far behind him but since I have vision I have no problem casting my assassinate.

The Art of Tree-Shooting

What is Kardel’s role in team battle? You should have discovered it by now. Your role is to stay away from the main battle while taking your enemies down one by one and unleashing Assassinate to finish running heroes. One way you can do this nicely is by what I call ‘Tree-Shooting’ This is feasible before you complete your Desolator that ‘reveals’ your bullets.

Tree-Shooting simply means shooting from the trees. The idea is that WHENEVER POSSIBLE, don’t shoot from the main lane that’s visible to your enemies, but shoot from unsuspectable locations instead. You have 770 range and some that can go pretty far. This can be done effectively when you are defending enemies’ push or attacking with your team. With your near invisible shots in the middle of chaotic battle, most enemies wont realize that you were there, slowly killing them.

In the screenshot above, Lycan was charging to my noob ally Medusa, not knowing I was there to defend him. I asked medusa to purge him while I kept shooting.

Finally realizing that I was around, Lycan tried to back off. It was of course too late. happy.gif

Tree Shooting can be done in various places in the map. Be creative, and look for spots behind the trees before you go into battle. The following are some spots that are pretty common, obviously there are more spots in the Sentinel section for this.

The spots with yellow dots are the area you can shoot from in team battles. Make sure that you are coming in from directions where your enemies cant see that you are there.

Late Game (16-25)

Hopefully you are close to finish your butterfly at this time. Continue to do what you are doing, play smart, don’t go gung-hoo as you are still the number one targeted hero in your team regardless.

The Art of mind games
As you organize your pushes there’s bound to be times where its just not going well as planned. Enemies ready to defend at their towers, all AOE spells casted, one of your ally misclicked and ran into the enemies & got killed, you name it. Which then usually resulted in a retreat. This is when mind games comes to play.. because what you want is for your enemies to THINK that you are retreating, when you are not.

The basic principle is never go home empty handed. Empty out your mana before you retreat to the fountain & heal. Always cast assassinate if possible before you retreat.

If your team is retreating after pushing mid and the enemies are pushing back, check if there’s one of them with low health for assassinate. Level 3 assassinate can kill enemies with 491 HP and its not uncommon in the excitement of the battle for enemies to continue to chase eventhough he has lower than 500 HP when he thinks he has his allies to protect him. In that case, make it look like you are retreating, but go the the river instead (make sure they don’t see you) as follows:

Then if they are not chasing you to the river (most likely they wont), aim your assassinate to the low-health hero. After you net your kill teleport yourself into safety.

A well played early-mid game ensures a pleasant late game play, a confucionist once said. If you deny/harass effectively and getting kills plentifully, late game play should be a breeze for you. Remember your role is to be your team’s damager from AFAR. Let your tank / assassin barge into the battle first and support them from a distance. With your high damage, you should be able to help your team to victory.

Happy sniping.

16 Comments yet..:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Bane Serbia said...

Very nice guide.
A lot of info for new players and new things for expirienced ones.
Well done!

Anonymous said...

not bad..i usually buy 2 mkbs....haha now only knew the effects

Anonymous said...

No lifesteal play what sniper.

Anonymous said...

if i where you... dont use desolator.. beter to build manta... great mini stun efect.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i think luthats may help at first game so as to keep away from gangs and not to be killed easly

Anonymous said...

nice guide! first blood!

Anonymous said...


-For Noobs

Anonymous said...

my general-use build...

1. basic items
2. threads (agi)
3. lothar
4. helm
5. butterfly

if there is still time, sell basics to get...

6. cuiras
7. divine (make sure you are careful not to die when you have this)
8. helm to satanic

Anonymous said...

don't you think satanic far suits sniper than desolator?

since he is awfully agile, he needs something to heal

Anonymous said...

worst than my badest dream invents for dwarven sniper

Kardel213 said...

id rather choose Manta Style than Desolator well at first thats my thing but then i realized that i die most of the time(enemies always attacks,seems like they are scared of me)cause desolator seems cool but if you have cuirass turn Kardel into a Tanker and a Manta RAMPAGE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

For me i pick desolator for dwarven sniper

Anonymous said...


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