posted by aliasalina,
With Halloween right around the corner, it is time to highlight one of Dota 2's most prominent strengths: gruesome character design for the most bloodthirsty of heroes. This time it's all about looks – including one honorable mention at the top of the spooky-scale. Header image: Valve

The year approaches its scariest season and Dota fans don't have to miss out at all. Even if you're a hardcore gamer and spend most of your time on the beloved MOBA, you'll undoubtedly find more than enough "scary" in the game itself. The best part: Dota doesn't even require you to do a lot of reading-up on the lore to give you the shivers. For proof, just stick around and have a look and the five heroes presented below.

Lifestealer: mind-controlling lunatic

Photo credit: Valve

N'aix, the Lifestealer, has one of those bewitching faces that trigger all of your survival instincts at once, first and foremost: run. He really cannot do anything about it, seeing as he is just an unnatural hybrid of an insane prisoner and a fugitive wizard. That said, the resulting Lifestealer can hardly be considered a victim.

As he swiftly enters his prey's mind and controls their actions, running away really doesn't seem to be the wrong course of action when encountering this fellow. There's one issue though; if you didn't run as soon as you saw him, it's already too late - now if that doesn't make his looks even scarier...

Clinkz: the undead bowman

Photo credit: Valve

Now, Clinkz' association with Halloween should be a given, right? He is a skeleton, after all. A burning one, even. However, his scary apperance is almost a shame, as he only came to look that way by fighting a hellish demon to protect the land of his king. Dying upon killing the fire-breathing monster, he was granted eternal life – which, unfortunately, also locked him in eternal suffering as the burning remains of a man. While an unlucky coincidence, it makes for a great story as well as a fitting costume for this year's Halloween – as well as all those to come.

Broodmother: relentless spider-mom

Photo credit: Valve

All arachnophobic Dota fans might want to look away for this next one, just for a second. Our beloved Broodmother is really just a giant spider and as such an absolute no-brainer in our Halloween list. She does what you would expect any humongous, thinking spider to do: live in the dark corners of a vulcan and raise her little critters in tightly-woven family harmony.

Whoever isn't scared by the Broodmother's looks might still want to get going as soon as they step too close to said family. Our eight-legged friend only ever gets really dangerous around intruders in her "house", or rather cave. She might not be the ideal host for a Halloween party after all, so we better move on to our next candidate.

Shadow Fiend: black hole for souls

Photo credit: Valve

Nevermore the Shadow Fiend might not be the ideal guest for a Halloween party either, but at least he is a more stylish one. The dubious demon in the corner of the room, his hungry eyes searching everyone without giving away what he wants. Rightfully so, as most people tend to give soul-collectors a wide berth, if you think about it.

While the devil at least requires you to sign a blood contract, Shadow Fiend just stomps in with a search warrant and leaves with your soul. Be that as it may, he was perfectly dressed for the Halloween-occasion, so can you blame him? Can you really?

Pudge: bird feeder gone beast mode

Photo credit: Valve

Much like the Broodmother, good old Pudge is a must in Dota's ideal Halloween line-up. His story is similarly ordinary: Just minding his business feeding some carrion birds with severed warrior remains, he might have... well, he accidentally, maybe... tasted some of the body parts as well and is now a cannibal. What? That's not so bad for a Halloween party, is it? He doesn't have to work on his looks and the story for his character – ehm, costume is already perfect. You can't go wrong with this guy, trust us.

Honorable mention: Drow Ranger the psycho-cat

Photo credit: Valve

Dipping a little more into background stories, there is one quite disturbing theory that you don't want to miss out on for your campfire tales. While dear Drow Ranger doesn't naturally come with a very Halloween-associated look, her controversial Shadowcat Set might expose a sinister side of the archer. With the official backstory describing her fur-accessories as the skin of just any "big cat" in the Nightsilver Woods, the community fears it might actually be Luna's mount that she presents as her new wardrobe asset.

While opinions are split among Dota players, lore guru SirActionSlacks supports the theory of Drow Ranger's cold-blooded murder of Nova. Now, in the spirit of Halloween, let's try and anticipate the sheer psychopathic motivation the archer must have to wear the dead pet of a fellow hero as her new battle attire. Compared to some of the earlier mentions of this list, Drow Ranger's case admittedly isn't based on looks (even though that's controversial) – but with an act as cruel as that, she would certainly set a high bar for outright spookiness.

In your opinion, who is the most spooky-looking hero in Dota 2?

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