Needed in almost every game!

Dota 2 Item Guide: Lights Out With Black King Bar

Dota 2
Dota 2 bkb pa cm

Use BKB when you actually need it. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

Out of all the items available in Dota 2, Black King Bar is probably the most game-changing one. It’s almost as necessary as boots. So what's up with that?

We continue with our Dota 2 Item Guide series and after covering some situational items like Blade Mail, Orchid Malevolence, and others, it’s time for Black King Bar. It’s really hard to find a Dota 2 match without someone purchasing a BKB in it.

What's Black King Bar?

Let’s start with a short overview of BKB.

  • Patch created: Somewhere between 5.41 and 5.50
  • Total cost: 4050 gold
  • Grants: +10 Strength, +24 Attack Damage
  • Active: Avatar – Grants Spell Immunity Duration decreases with each use. (Duration: 10/9/8/7/6/5 ; Cooldown: 70 seconds)

Compared to some of the other items we’ve already looked through, Black King Bar is basically ancient. That’s hardly surprising as it’s an essential tool that brings balance to the game. In terms of stats, it’s hardly worth it but the active can make all the difference in most situations.

Avatar applies a basic dispel and makes you spell immune for the duration. The only downside to it is the long cooldown and reduced duration with every use. Don’t get baited into using it. Note that you can’t have BKB active and use Ghost Sceptder or Necro’s Ghost Shroud at the same time. That’d have made the user simultaneously immune to both physical and magical.


Your tears are delicious, spell users.

When to Get It?

The only reason to get a BKB is to counter the enemy team. If your opponents have a lot of magic damage and disables, it’s a no-brainer that you should get it. If you delay buying it for too long, however, you just might lose your base in the process.

Carry heroes will usually need a BKB in pretty much every game unless they have a built-in form of spell immunity – such as Juggernaut, Lifestealer. There are also heroes that aren't considered carries but can greatly benefit from a BKB. The common thing here is a powerful ability that requires channeling like with:

  • Enigma
  • Witch Doctor
  • Crystal Maiden
  • Pugna
  • Sand King

When to Not Get It?

Enigma bkb pa dota 2

Enigma doesn't care about your BKB. (Image credit: Valve Corporation)

On the other hand, there are situations where Black King Bar isn’t a good choice. These include high physical damage coming from the enemy team (Phantom Assassin/Sven) or spells that completely ignore the spell immunity provided by Avatar. The latter include:

  • Enigma’s Black Hole
  • Magnus’ Reverse Polarity
  • Pudge’s Dismember
  • Axe’s Berserker’s Call
  • Bane’s Fiend’s Grip
  • Doom’s Doom
  • Bloodseeker’s Rupture
  • Faceless Void’s Chronosphere

BKB can still be useful to negate some of the magic damage, dispel annoying debuffs or negate the return from Blade Mail but it might be better to invest in other forms of survivability. If spell immunity doesn’t quite cut it in a match there’s always the option of status resistance.

Status resistance is a rather new mechanic that was added in patch 7.07. It reduces the duration of most negative debuffs. If the enemy team has a lot of spells that pierce spell immunity, try investing in status resistance or other defensive stats.

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For more Dota 2 guides and news such as the best safe-lane duos in Dota 2 check EarlyGame.

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