The BKB or Black King Bar is essential to winning games in Dota 2. Dota is a unique game with equal opportunity in the game of counters. If a mechanic exists in a game, there is sure to be a way to mitigate or prevent its effects. This is all due to Icefrog’s design philosophy, even if it creates broken shenanigans for each patch.
It was this idea that made Dota’s memorable moments—think Topson Gyrocopter. Having the counters to an annoying problem can win you games, so don’t be greedy.
What is the BKB?
Dota’s iconic counter item is the Black King Bar (BKB). It is unique across MOBAs because it’s an item that grants immunity to most spells and effects. Though it’s the only time of its kind, heroes in Lifestealer and Juggernaut have this mechanism in their kits.
Black King Bar is a powerful item, but not a lot of people are buying it— often citing that it’s boring. Why do players often find it a boring item to buy?
How BKB Works
Black King Bar is an item that grants the ability: Avatar. When activated, it grants its user Spell Immunity, causing a visual golden effect when active. The downside is every usage decreases the duration of Avatar, to a minimum of 6 seconds.
7.32 gave BKB a mana cost of 50 and its cooldown up to 90 from 75 in patch 7.31d. These changes made it so BKB didn’t get to be the be-all-end-all item for cores, yet its importance is unchanged.
BKB is an item that enables a hero to survive a Dota 2 Disable and dish out their abilities. However, Primal Roar, Supernova, and some Disables can circumvent BKB. Yet, it’s better Spell Immunity than nothing.
When pressing BKB, it removes most effects from the user, including certain buffs. Be aware since it doesn’t protect against Nullfier as well, and doesn’t dispel disarm upon activation. The goal then is to know what goes through BKB and see what doesn’t affect you.
Just Buy the Item, Please
There is a tiny flowchart for when to get BKB. If the enemy has heavy magic and Disable, you buy it. If they don’t, then you contemplate buying it. A game where BKB isn’t valued is non-existent in the current meta of gameplay.
The value of getting magic immunity cannot be understated, the key is when to get it. Switching up the priority in the item purchase could be game-winning. But the problem is that the item doesn’t get bought most of the time.
It’s a boring item because for most players it doesn’t bring any damage. A meme in the community is that players would buy anything but the Black King Bar. Dubbed the “yellow item,” BKB gets criticism for being present in every game for things to be playable.
Many players lose games due to their refusal to get this item, and few learn from that mistake. No matter how unintelligible your cores are, do not stop yourself from telling them to buy BKB.
It is an item that generates controversy and criticism for being powerful. Yet, the ironic thing is that Dota wouldn’t have developed the iconic disable spells without this item. Tell your cores to buy BKB because you might as well play League of Legends without it.