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Example: Spirit Breaker ganks Crystal Maiden, and Zeus is on SB's team.

To my knowledge, if Zeus doesn't steal the kill with Thundergod's Wrath (but deals damage with it), Spirit Breaker gets the kill gold and Zeus gets nothing.

If Zeus does steal the kill, Zeus gets the kill money and Spirit Breaker gets assist money. If all of this is correct, Thundergod's Wrath will only benefit to the team's net worth (assuming Zeus is not within assist range) if Zeus steals the kills.

Thus the question: Is it possible to be rewarded for benefitting your team with Thundergod's Wrath globally (as opposed to actually being in the assist range of the fight) without actualy crippling everyone else (such as stealing kills right from under said Spirit Breaker's nose), or is my conclusion in the previous paragraph correct?

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No. Your assumption is correct.

Excerpt from, section Assists (AoE Gold) : http://dota2.gamepedia.com/Gold

All allied Heroes that are in a 1300 radius of a killed enemy, including the killer, will be granted a certain amount of reliable gold and experience, depending on the amount of allied Heroes in that area. Note that the assist counter on the scoreboard only counts assists that you dealt damage to, but gold and experience are awarded independently of your "assist" counter.

The same applies in the case of Ancient Apparition and his Icy Blast, to address that comment.

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    Well that's a bloody bummer. Then again, its also a great excuse to steal kills. Kinda makes you want a timer that keeps track of who recently dealt the damage to an enemy until he got killed. Would be so fair to heroes with global presence.
    – user1337
    Jun 9, 2015 at 12:30

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