Defenders 031: Sand King
December 22, 2011
Sand King, as promised. Sit back, while Player 13 hits you with a little history lesson.
- Adam C. Beamish
Hey it’s Player 13 again. Today’s hero is Sand King. Probably the hero I’ve played the most, logging entire weekends at the lancentre with my buds playing nothing but Dota and the occasional X Hero Siege. We were losers, yes, I know. But it was in that dark crucible that I was forged into the player I am today.
Sand King has been changed and reworked a number of times, but his flavour has always stayed the same. When he was first released in 5.84a, his stun had no cooldown. I was challenged to a 1v1 by a friend, who then proceeded to use it to absolutely destroy me. It wasn’t until afterwards that I learned that the lack of a cooldown was the result of a bug, and not part of his design. Talk about being trolled.
Then he had that stupid sand trail slow that did next to nothing, so everyone and their mother would get stats instead to help his low mana pool as a strength caster hero. I was so happy when it was replaced with a straight up damage buff orb effect. Battlefury for the win? I’ll admit his current orb is less bland and just as effective in its own way.
There was also a burrow ability, where you’d invis on the spot kinda like Lanaya, but it looked like you were underground. You couldn’t attack, but you could still cast Burrowstrike and your ulti, and it would do an aoe stun where you emerged. Noobs like me would stay in the same spot for ages waiting for a hapless victim. At some point there was an exploit where if you burrowed at the end of your burrow strike, you could stay ‘underground’ and walk around perma-invised. It took a gentleman not to exploit that bug.
I remember being the first in my local group to think up of Blink Dagger ulti, which is when I really fell in love with him. This was especially good back when Blink Dagger’s range was huge, could be used in combat, and the ulti casting time got shorter with levels. With enough mana, he always had a way out of a gank. And that was before they gave him Sandstorm! The Dota2 version is even cooler, with SK muttering incantations while he channels. It’s that kind of attention to detail that makes Valve so awesome.
With so many changes across so many versions, and now Dota2, I can’t help but get nostalgic over this old fave.
Who’s your most played hero of all time? How have they gotten better or worse since you first used them?