Crixalis the Sand King Guide & Walkthrough

Crixalis was a normal scorpion in Kalimdor’s deserts. For unknown reasons, he evolved much faster than his brothers, growing extremely large. Because he was still susceptible to the Sand King King’s mind control, he was summoned and is now guarding the Frozen Throne. While much larger, Crixalis still possesses his scorpian abilities, such as the power to burrow into the ground and resurface elsewhere, impaling all in his wake. His tail contains a violent venom, which causes his enemies to explode. Scouts have discovered that he can create large tremors in the ground, killing anyone distracted enough to get near him.

Sand King

Base HP: 492
Base Mana: 208

Strength – 18 + 2.3 (Primary)
Agility – 19 + 2.1
Intelligence– 16 + 1.8

Base damage 43-59
Attack range of 128 (melee)
Base Armor 3.7
Movement speed of 300

Strengths and Weaknesses

Has a great AoE damage, can turn out the game with good placed Epicenter.
Not items
Fast farming with Caustic Finale.

Epicenter needs great timing and positioning.
Possibly targeted by all enemy hero after you initiate.

Skill Descriptions

Burrowstrike (E)

Shadow Strike

The Sand King burrows into the ground, tunnels forward impaling everything above him, then surfaces.

Level 1 – 100 damage, 400 maximum range.
Level 2 – 160 damage, 500 maximum range.
Level 3 – 220 damage, 600 maximum range.
Level 4 – 280 damage, 700 maximum range.

Mana Cost: 140
Cooldown: 11

A really usefull skills. Stun enemies in a row and in the same time moving yourself. Use it for initiate, chase and escaping.

Sand Storm (R)

Blink Strike

Sand King creates a fearsome Sand Storm. The storm blinds his enemies and he becomes invisible to them. In the same time his opponents take damage.

Level 1- 20 damage per second, 200 AOE, invisibility lasts 20 seconds, 0.3 second delay before revealed
Level 2- 40 damage per second, 250 AOE, invisibility lasts 40 seconds, 0.3 second delay before revealed
Level 3- 60 damage per second, 300 AOE, invisibility lasts 60 seconds, 0.9 second delay before revealed
Level 4- 80 damage per second, 350 AOE, invisibility lasts 80 seconds, 1.2 seconds delay before revealed

Mana Cost: 60/ 50/ 40/ 30
Cooldown: 40

The damage isn’t good for farming. The only reason you want to take it is for the invisibility. Sometime helpfull in a emergency situation.

Caustic Finale (L)


Each of the Sand King’s attack injects a deadly venom that causes the target to explode violently on death, dealing damage in an area.

Level 1 – 90 damage.
Level 2 – 130 damage.
Level 3 – 170 damage.
Level 4 – 220 damage.

Orb effect
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A

Great passive skill for farming. You can kill a wave of creep in a couple seconds. The only drawback of this skill is it’s Orb effect.

Epicenter (C)

Coup de Grace

Sends a disturbance into the earth, causing it to shudder violently. All caught within range will take damage, and their attack speed and movespeed slowed by 40%.

Level 1 – 2.0 second casting time, 6 pulses of 110 damage, each pulse has a 300 AoE.
Level 2 – 2.0 second casting time, 8 pulses of 110 damage, each pulse has a 350 AoE.
Level 3 – 2.0 second casting time, 10 pulses of 110 damage, each pulse has a 400 AoE.

Mana Cost: 175/ 250/ 325
Cooldown: 140/ 120/ 100

Magnificent skills! Massive damage and the same time slows enemies. For maximal results, often combined with Blink Dagger or Burrow Strike. The only problem is, the enemies will try their hardest to cancel this.

Skill Build

Level 1: Burrowstrike
Level 2: Sandstorm/Stats
Level 3: Burrowstrike
Level 4: Stats
Level 5: Burrowstrike
Level 6: Epicenter
Level 7: Burrowstrike
Levels 8-10: Stats
Level 11: Epicenter
Levels 12-15: Caustic Finale
Level 16: Epicenter
Levels 17-21: Stats
Levels 22: Stats/Sandstorm
Levels 23-25: Sandstorm

Burrowstrike is taken and maxed early for obvious reason. It will be your primary combo combined with Epicenter. When Burrowstrike already level 4, you are ready to ganking any hero. One point on Stand Storm can save you from early gank focused on you. Only take one level, you only want the invisibility, not the poor damage.

On early game, Stats is ways better than Caustic Finale. Stats will give you more HP and additional Mana for your combo. Taking Caustic Finale early will make you pushing too fast and make you vulnerable for ganked. The only chance you will want to take Caustic Finale early is when you are facing melee hero on your line. It will help you harass the melee enemy heroes while last hitting. On level 12-15, maxed Caustic Finale and you will farm like crazy.

Item Build

1. Gauntlet of Ogre Strength + Circlet of Nobility + Tangos
2. Empty Bottle
3. Finish Bracer
4. Blink Daggers
5. Boots of Speed
6. Second Bracers
7. Finish Boots of Travel

Your core item should be like this:

Bracers Bracers Power Treads Helm of Dominator Monkey King Bar

The most important thing about Epicenter is the positioning and timing. Blink Dagger is the perfect tools to meet the demand. In order to have an effective role throughout the game, you must be ready for ganking and initiating once you’ve prepared for your items.

Bracers will cover your lack of additional Stats item, while Bottle will cover your regeneration and make you stay longer in the line. After get the Dagger, to maximize Sand King role as ganker, upgrade your shoes into Boots of Travel. It will help you farming and initiate ganking in the same time.

Late Game Items

Heart of Tarrasque + Heart of Tarrasque + Assault Cuirass

Typical Sand King team battle role is to jump into the enemy with the Epicenter and then tanks all the damage. That’s why in the late game you will need mass HP and armor boost.

Blink Dagger vs Black King Bar

Blink Dagger is better than BKB because Blink Dagger helps you gank (which is what Sand King would do besides farming, tanking and initiating battle) and gives the value of surprise when you deliver your Epicenter. Usually the enemies would scatter around if you get a BKB, activate avatar and cast burrow+epi, but with Blink Dagger comes the value of surprise. Without them knowing, you could deliver your Epicenter more effectively, and will help you much more in initiating battles.

But it seems the spell immunity of BKB is attracting a lot of people to buy it. But you must note several things. There are a lot of spells which go through avatar and deals a 0.1 second ministun, which cancels your Epicenter casting. You can just activate Avatar every 100 seconds while Blink Dagger can be activated every 25 seconds. And the last, BKB doesn’t offer you anything to help you relocate, which can be used in a lot of things. Even so, if you indeed have a big trouble with Epi+Blink, this item still help you.


Start off by going to the lane of your choice. The good thing about Sand King is he is an excellent solo hero, yet an excellent dual-lane assistant as well. So, it doesn’t matter if you solo or not. Start off in the lane being very, very passive. Once you get in a lane, before the first wave comes in, try to creep block. It’s alternately pressing move and stop in front of the creep wave to delay them in their arrival. This pushes your enemy creeps nearer your base, and gives you a wider capacity to quickly level up.

Don’t burrowstrike yet in level 1 unless the enemy is escaping with an uber low life to make a first blood. Like everything that happens, kill and last hit creeps, and level. Don’t do anything to kill the enemy yet. Just farm and get your level up. Once you get to level 6, you are a killer with Burrowstrike + Epicenter. This period of the game, this simple combo can take out many enemies with their predictably low life, also mentioning this combo is devastating anytime.

When you encounter a normal stunner (Vengeful, Skeleton King), let them hit you or your ally with their stuns and do your thing. It’s better if they are stunning you while beside your tower. After all stuns are drawn, you do the burrowstrike, and then the usual epicenter. It’s a very easy task, but not as easy when you encounter two stunners. You may want to call some reinforcements. When facing stompers, it becomes harder because when you burrowstrike them, you have to go a little bit farther to them where you land to prevent getting stomped on, especially when casting your ultimate. And aside from the usual stun skills, there are some skills which deal a 0.1 ministun like Lunar Beam, Void, etc. So don’t be fooled by those skills which you think are purely nukes. They might have a twitty stun to destroy your Epicenter casting.

Everytime you almost die with a very low life and the enemies don’t have a stun anymore, burrowstrike to retreat. Not to stun them forward. I’ve seen that sometimes that their Sand King just uses the Sand Storm (If they do have one) after landing. That’s a very bad move.

There isn’t really an “art” of Burrowstrike + Epicenter, as it isn’t rocket science. Yet, it is one of the most effective “moves” in DotA. It usually never fails. First, find a spot that is in the fog of war or out of sight of enemy heroes. Be at most 900 units away from the enemies. Begin channeling Epicenter, and after the green light goes away and you start pulsing (You may miss 1 or 2 pulses if you are a begginner, it’s ok) immediately blink into the center of the enemy Heroes. After your pulses are up, Burrowstrike the remainders (if there are any) to sweep easy double kills.

A common misconception is when you Blink in with Epicenter “on” you should immediately Burrowstrike the enemies – This is false. If you do this, the time the enemy heroes spend in the air for Burrowstrike, they enemies are invulnerable, which means, no Epicenter damage. Wait untl all pulses are clear OR you can get a kill with a Burrowstrike.

Some people like to Channel Epicenter and then Shift-click Blink dagger so they wont miss a pulse – I do not like this as the target you want to blink to 2 seconds ago may change in the 2 seconds of channeling.

Now you’re leveling and maxing Caustic Finale with you, you’re purely a farming machine. With the technique I explained earlier, you’d gain a lot of money in no time and you’d farm for your BoT, and your luxury items if you really are left alone to farm for yourself. In every 3 waves killed, you may have pushed far into the enemies’ territory, so go neutral creeping for a while, then when the enemies counterpush, prepare in a spot to release an Epicenter + Blink to the team, while possibly calling your allies for reinforcements. Whenever you really find the enemies missing, warn your allies. They’d probably gank your allies in the other lanes, but mind your own business. Once you get near them, they’ve succeeded in killing the hero, and aswell preventing you from leveling up. Never let them succeed, so never get fooled.

The time you are ready to do the Epic + Blink, try to let the opponents push (While doing so, hide in a perfect spot), let an ally draw stun, cast Epicenter, and blink in. Usually you become the target of enemies so when you think you can’t handle them after 4 seconds, call your allies (Not necessary if you can handle them). While the enemies are trying to escape, chase them and if possible, do a burrowstrike. Your enemy should possibly be dead by now. However, some enemies might do the opposite. If they don’t die, you should decide whether to chase them or to get away since you can still be harmed even if the enemies have a very small amount of life. Never chase heroes when you know they have higher movespeed than you (Unless they are in your burrowstrike range).

Before the mid game ends, some enemies may be fed up with hp increasing items. You should gank less since a single Epicenter won’t do the trick to some heroes, whereas you can still live up to your killing power if the enemies are fully incapable of surviving any immense damage.

You are currently excellent in defending. Mind you, even if the creeps are those 833 hp/ 603 hp creeps pass by you, you can tank their 50+ damage, plus you may have an Cuirass. Don’t worry if you loose around 100 – 200 hp each wave as you regenerate fast. Usually, 3-4 kills per large creep wave solves a problem even if they are numerous. Do not fret.

After level 16, your epicenter is deeply flawed, and you may have to do other roles than initiating and tanking. You may have been doing less ganks since you have to defend your lanes. If someone else will take over defending lanes, you can not just defend, but push. You have the power, Burrowstrike + Caustic is a great pushing skill. Watch minimap when pushing and quickly teleport if most of your enemies is missing. Buy some luxury with the gold from pushing.

In the late game, you’re a Damage Dealer and also Tank. Now with the crazy farming you’ve done, you may have even reached the gold to get a HoT. You are now extremely fat and ready to tank damage. You have many escape mechanisms, burrowstrike, blink, sandstorm. In the three, only sandstorm is purely to help you. Blink and (possibly) Burrowstrike is for initiating your combo. This way, we can say that Sand King only has one skill that is solely used for escaping, and the other two is for engaging in battle. When come to the team battle, pick a hiding spot. When your team ready, cast Epicenter and surprise the enemy by blinking them. They should be focus their damage on you. Brace yourself and face them, even if you die, you already do your role. By the time you tank the damage, your ally should do pretty much damage to the enemies and even get some kills.

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