Credit: DOTA 2


An elemental released from an icy comet, Morphling is a powerful agility-based ranged hero. Morphling is an interesting character as well as he can shift his primary attribute between Agility or Strength, giving him the ability to be a ferocious ganker or amazing tank. Morphling’s roles are Carry, Escape, Initiator, and Nuker. His role as carry is supported by end game luxury items such as Manta Style and Ethereal Blade, with Manta Style allowing Morphling to create multiple powerful illusions and Ethereal Blade giving him the ability to defeat any hero with a combination of item use and skills listed below.  Morphling can initiate by sweeping up heroes with a tidal wave and then stunning them with Adaptive Strike. Finally, Morphling’s best trick is his escape role where if he has a replicated illusion, he can take its position as a moment’s notice, escaping all conflict immediately.


  • Waveform – Morphling turns into a powerful tidal wave, damaging for up to 325 with maximum skill points.
  • Adaptive Strike – An ability that will depend on what the current primary attribute is. If the agility is the primary and 50% higher than strength, it will deal maximum damage but only deliver the minimum amount of stun time. If strength is 50% higher than agility, then it will deliver the maximum stun time of 3 seconds and the minimum amount of damage.
  • Morph Agility/Strength Gain – Perhaps the skill that makes Morphling unique, this skill will allow Morphling to take strength points and convert them into agility points or vice versa. One thing players need to keep in mind is that using either of these abilities cost 30 mana per second, and also provides passive bonuses to the player’s selected attribute.
  • Replicate – This skill will allow Morphling to create an illusion of any friendly/enemy target that will last 60 seconds with maximum points put into the ultimate skill. The illusion can dole out 50% of the target’s damage and will receive 100% damage.
  • Morph Replicate – Referred to above in his role, this is Morphling’s escape tool. Wherever the replicate target is, Morphling can immediately switch to its position escaping unharmed.
Morphling Skill Overview
Credit: Dota 2

How to Play Morphling

  • There is no quick tip on how to play as Morphling. His abilities and roles allow him to adapt to whatever situation is needed. Morphling can initiate a fight by damaging with Waveform and stunning the target with Adaptive Strike. If things get hectic, Morphling can use Strength Gain, Replicate, and then Morph Replicate to escape. 

Recommended Level Build

Players may want to swap Morph with Waveform, but either way level Adaptive Strike last.

  1. Waveform
  2. Morph 
  3. Waveform
  4. Morph
  5. Waveform
  6. Replicate
  7. Waveform
  8. Morph
  9. Morph
  10. Adaptive Strike
  11. Replicate
  12. Adaptive Strike
  13. Adaptive Strike
  14. Adaptive Strike
  15. Attribute Bonus
  16. Replicate

Item Optimization for Morphling

Optimization with Morphling is interesting because the player has to manage his items to adjust to agility and strength. Iron branches make sense in the beginning because they will apply to both. Power Treads is a no brainer as they can be switched to whatever attributes the player needs at the time. Linkin’s Sphere will give players more attribute bonuses later on and will even protect against targeted spells every 17 seconds. Ethereal Blade is highly recommended for ganking players and Manta Style for illusion madness end game.

  • Starting:
  1. 4x Iron Branches
  2. 2x Tango
  3. 2x Healing Salve
  • Core Optimization:
  1. Ethereal Blade
  2. Ring of Aquila
  3. Wraith Band
  4. Linkin’s Sphere
  • Luxury:
  1. Manta Style
  2. Eye of Skadi
  3. Butterfly
  4. Heart of Tarrasque


  • If players are stunned, Morphing to Strength can still be used and boost Morphling’s hit points.
  • Did I mention picking up Manta Style? Get it! It is a must have.
  • To use Ethereal Blade effectively, players need to do the following: Morph to Agility, use the item’s Ether Blast (2x primary attribute + 75 damage) giving your next ability a 40% magic damage boost, and then finish the target off with Waveform or Adaptive Strike. This combination is brutal.

Final Thoughts

Morphling is a difficult hero to master but that is part of his appeal. His ability to defeat any enemy makes him a formidable hero that the opposing team will often avoid, knowing his destructive potential.