Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Guide

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Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Guide

Weaken foes with your icy grip and shatter them with your chilling touch by following this detailed Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Guide

None may stand the death and decay this frosty elemental brings, following Kaldr the Ancient Apparition and his arsenal of bone-shattering ice magic.

Ancient Apparition is a ranged Intelligence Hero who begins the game with a decent 560 HP and 351 Mana. He has good starting armor of 2.3, but a below-average movement speed of 285 and attack damage of 49.

Ancient Apparition (AA) can be pretty challenging to play, especially his global ultimate, which needs to be timed perfectly to utilize its devastating effects fully. He is quite squishy and must have proper positioning to stay alive. He is good at harassing enemy cores and disabling them if they loiter. Depending on levels, a decent amount of farm is enough for this elemental monster to impact the game. 


Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Guide

Credit: @Valve

Let’s look at the icy abilities of Kaldr and learn to utilize AA to its fullest potential.

  • Cold Feet – Ancient Apparition places a freezing hex on an enemy unit that deals damage up to 90 (130 with level 10 talent) per second for 4 seconds. If the enemy has not moved a distance of at least 715 (1015 with level 15 talent) from the cast point by the end of the duration, they will be frozen in place for up to 2.8 seconds. Finally, AA’s level 25 talent turns Cold Feet into an AoE ability that casts the hex to every enemy unit in a 450 radius. 
  • Ice Vortex – Ancient Apparition creates a powerful icy vortex that slows enemy movement and reduces magic resistance by up to 25% (30% with level 20 talent) within an effect radius of 300. Enemy units affected by Ice Vortex are also damaged per second by up to 36 throughout its duration of up to 12 seconds.  
  • Chilling Touch – Ancient Apparition focuses his magic to infuse attacks. Casting it increases AA’s attack range by up to 240 (540 with level 10 talent) and grants bonus damage of up to 160 (240 with level 20 talent). Enemy units hit by Chilling Touch have their movement speed slowed by 100% for up to 1 second. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Scepter.
    • Aghanim’s Scepter Upgrade: Removes the cooldown and reduces Mana cost from 60 to 30.
  • Ice Blast – Ancient Apparition sends a tracer towards a target location across the battlefield to send forth a blast of icy death. To use Ice Blast, AA must first send a marker that moves straight to the target location. Once the marker is stopped to confirm the target area, Ancient Apparition sends a blast of hail with a minimum radius of 275 and a maximum of 1000 that deals instant damage of up to 400. Units hit by the blast are also frostbitten, and they take damage of up to 32 per second and cannot heal or regenerate any health throughout the duration. Falling under up to 14% (18% with level 25 talent) of the current HP will cause enemy units to fatally shatter. The frostbite lasts for up to 12 seconds. This ability can be upgraded by Aghanim’s Shard.
    • Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade: Causes enemies within the blast radius to be frozen for 60% of the current Cold Feet stun duration.
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  •  Level 10 – +40 Cold Feet Damage Per Second or +300 Chilling Touch Attack Range
  •  Level 15 – +300 Cold Feet Breaking Distance or -2s Ice Vortex Cooldown
  • Level 20 – +80 Chilling Touch Damage or +4s Ice Vortex Duration
  •  Level 25 – +4% Ice Blast Kill Threshold or 450 AoE Cold Feet

Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Guide – Tips 

Ancient Apparition can be a deadly opponent in teamfights, as his abilities to buff, debuff, disable and finish off enemy Heroes are profound. With his Cold Feet and Ice Vortex, he can slow and disable any enemy Hero that tries to approach or flee from a fight. Furthermore, his Chilling Touch makes him difficult to lane against, with the increased range and damage giving him the power to harass enemy laners from afar. Finally, his Ice Blast can quickly initiate a team fight or end a fleeing Hero with ease, putting his opponents in a situation where they will fear falling under the deadly HP threshold. 

Ancient Apparition is usually played as lane support, except playing a roamer when paired with another support with a reliable stun. In the lane, AA can use Chilling Touch to harass enemies effectively and Cold Feet to punish any overextensions. But due to his low durability, he needs to have good positioning. 

AA spends most of his game babysitting his lane carry, so once the carry is farmed enough to lane on his own, Ancient Apparition needs to get some levels.. Remember to stick with your team when you can, and assist ganks with your global ultimate. With a few kills and assists, you will have enough Gold to get more necessary times. 

Dota 2 Ancient Apparition – Pros and Cons

Here are the coolest strengths and melting weaknesses of our cold-hearted ice elemental.


  •  One of the most potent teamfight ultimate
  • Can scout with his long-range abilities
  • Counter to Heroes who depend on heal
  •  Good at harassing and zoning enemies in lane


  • Squishy and slow
  • Precision and prediction are essential for the best use of his abilities, especially Ice Blast
  • Dependent on levels
  • Dependent on ultimate to have a solid teamfight impact

How to play Ancient Apparition

Follow this short guide to get an icy grip on Ancient Apparition’s playstyle, and with practice, you can stop enemy hearts and shatter their will with your unforgiving magic.

Starting Items

You are pretty squishy in the laning stage, so remember to get a Tango and Healing Salve for regeneration. Pick up a few Iron Branches for cheap bonus attributes, which you can later turn into a Magic Wand. 

Carrying around 2 Clarities is advised, as you are quite Mana-dependent in the early-game, especially if you plan to spam Chilling Touch to harass.

Early Game

Unless you are roaming with another support, your primary objective is to babysit your carry and pull lanes to control the creep wave. Let your carry farm up his items; do not worry about yours. As time passes, you will eventually have your Boots of Speed and Magic Wand. 

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If you are playing a roaming role, you are expected to pick up at least 2-3 kills in the early game, allowing you to pick up an Urn of Shadows. This enables you to trickle down your enemies’ health further when combined with Ice Blast. If you do not have the expected impact, stack a few creep waves for your carry between your rotations.

Mid Game

Once your carry is farmed enough, pick up your level 6 and watch the map for opportunities to use your Ice Blast globally. Attend fights  whenever you can, as the kills and assists will help you get your Arcane Boots. 

If you are successful and gain a lot of Gold, you can invest in Eul’s Scepter of Divinity, which you can combo with your skills to fatal effect. Your abilities are perfect for taking Heroes dependent on HP regen, so remember to focus them in teamfights. 

Late Game

Late-game is where you become a target for enemy carries, so picking up items like Force Staff, Glimmer Cape, or Ghost Scepter helps you disengage any initiation attempts on you. If you picked up a Hand of Midas earlier, you might have enough farm for a Spirit Vessel or Rod of Atos, making you more impactful in teamfights. Aghanim’s Shard is not a game-changer for you, so farm up your Aghanim’s Scepter instead.

If you are rolling in dough, pick up a Guardian Greaves or a Scythe Of Vyse, as both will help you sustain your Mana Pool, and the latter will also provide you with an additional hex. Going for a Refresher Orb is overkill, as shutting down health regeneration on any target for up to 24 seconds spells certain doom.

Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Counter

Here are some heroes that are effective against Ancient Apparition and have no trouble staying warm during his icy apocalypse.

  • Anti-Mage– His Blink can quickly help him escape your spells, and his Counter Spell helps him with magic resistance. It can also reflect your Cold Feet, trapping you. Finally, Mana Break and Mana Void devastate Ancient Apparition. 
  • Riki – His Blink Strike followed by a Smoke Screen, lets him jump onto you and silence you, preventing your casting and slowing your movement. Furthermore, he can dodge AA’s Ice Blast with Tricks of the Trade. 
  • Lycan – His Shapeshift increases his movement and makes him unslowable, which he can use to escape Ancient Apparition’s Abilities or effortlessly chase him down. Furthermore, his Summon Wolves units can also deal heavy damage through Ancient Apparition’s low armor. 
  • Terrorblade – His Sunder allows him to exchange his HP with any ally or enemy, even while affected by Ice Blast. Furthermore, Terrorblade’s Metamorphosis and other abilities effectively take down the low-armored Ancient Apparition easily.


We regularly upload guides for your favorite Heroes, so keep an eye out for more to come.  

Dota 2 Ancient Apparition Guide
The Old One
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