Azwraith, The Phantom Lancer
May 11, 2012
Introduction to Phantom Lancer
Phantom Lancer is a hard carry. If you don't know how to farm well and stay alive then you're probably better off choosing another hero. When you do pick him though, this guide will help you to bring out his potential.
With that said, welcome to this guide to Azwraith, The Phantom Lancer.
Pros and Cons
One of the best late game carries in the game
High base damage
Good late game pusher
Phantom Army can fight while he stays out of danger
Very item dependent
Inflexible item build
Dust counters Doppelwalk
Phantoms melt to AoE damage before Heart of Tarrasque
Phantom Lancer should always be played as a 1 on any team. This means that he has first priority for farming, killing towers, and having his lane ganked if he needs it. If you can help it, try to get the last hit on any kills as well, since you should be your team's main carry.
Azwraith has two general skill-builds. The first will max his Spirit Lance while maxing Doppelwalk directly after. This takes advantage of your amazing level one nuke, letting you help in any first blood attempt or simply harass your opponent out of the lane.
Once you have the Soul Ring/Tranquil Boots combo, spam your Lance whenever your Soul Ring is off cooldown. None but the strongest of heroes can stand up to this abuse.
You can also use the slow to help teammates escape an enemy, just be careful not to expose yourself when you do.
Doppelwalk is maxed second for its amazing utility. At level 4 it can make an instant illusion every 15 seconds for only 60 Mana. Use this to escape bad situations, scout, set up ganks, tank damage, bait abilities, or to add extra DPS to a push.
At level 9 you take one point in Juxtapose and then put your next two points into Phantom Edge; maxing them as quickly as possible afterward. These two skills are what make your late game so good. Once maxed, you will be able to create up to 8 illusions, each capable of producing illusions for you. This is in addition to the nice 20% Magic Resistance that you gain from Phantom Edge.
The second skill build is if you are under heavy harassment or need more early game strength. In this you put just one point into Doppelwalk for escaping, then max your Spirit Lance while taking stats at alternate levels. Take your ultimate at level 9 for the 10% Magic Resistance for added survivability. After that you max Juxtapose, taking Phantom Edge at 11 and 16, then get Doppelwalk at 15-18.
To start off with, grab a Tango or two, a Healing Salve, a Ring of Protection, then fill up on Iron Branches with whatever gold you have left over.
In your lane, turn your Ring of Protection into a Ring of Basilius. This will give you some much needed early Mana regen for you and your lane partner, and will also beef up your armor to help with any harassment the enemy throws your way.
After this, buy up your Boots and then a Ring of Regen. At this point, you can disassemble your Ring of Basilius and make your Tranquil Boots. These will make you very difficult to harass out of lane, keeping you in lane and farming for even longer.
Once you finish your Tranquil Boots, get your Soul Ring next. This, in combination with the HP Regen of Tranquil Boots, will give you the ability to spam your Spirit Lance, harassing almost any enemy out of lane.
With just a Soul Ring and Tranquil Boots, you will never need to return to the fountain as long as you don't die (and if you're dying a lot, then you shouldn't have picked such a hard carry).
If you feel like you need more survivability, the next item to grab is a Vitality Booster. For just 1100 gold, you gain a huge increase in your HP, which will also benefit your illusions.
Next up, you need a Diffusal Blade. This will give you great stats, a second slow, and the Feedback Orb, which is transferred to all of your illusions. With this item alone, you are a force to be reckoned with. Once you have it, feel free to join any teamfights or ganks, as the damage you can output will be sure to come in handy.
After your Diffusal Blade, it's time to save up 3800 gold. Yup, you're getting a Radiance. Now some of you will say "But if you want a Radiance you need to rush it!" to which I say "Shut up and play with your tinker toys, adults are playing DotA here."
Rushing a Radiance will just make you a complete non-issue for the other team for at least 25 minutes. In that time, you could have lost every single outer tower, and perhaps even a Barracks or two because your team has been fighting 4v5 the whole game. Getting a Diffusal Blade first gives you the damage and stats you need to contribute much earlier in the game.
However, Radiance is just too good on Azwraith to pass it up. The burn aura transfers to all of your illusions, meaning your single Radiance can spread across the entire map without you needing to be there. Your mere presence will be a constant 40 DPS across the entire enemy team. On top of that, with it your pushing and farming power will become absolutely unstoppable.
A Manta Style can be considered your core luxury item. It gives you a huge boost to all of your stats, more movespeed to increase your chasing power, and the active, Mirror Image, synergizes perfectly with your abilities. With it, you can remove any Dust or annoying DoTs, dodge incoming damage, and you will always have a couple Phantoms nearby if you didn't have time to prepare some before a fight.
After Manta Style, it's time to disassemble your Tranquil Boots. Say a heartfelt goodbye, since these boots probably kept you from ever returning to your fountain for the entire game. With just regular Boots left over, your next item is some Boots of Travel. Once you have them, you gain an omnipresence on the map. With BoT and your Phantoms, you can push multiple lanes at once without even needing to be there.
Late game, a Heart of Tarrasque makes you and your Phantoms incredibly resilient. This item turns you from a single hero with illusions, into a walking team of Phantoms. Without an extreme amount of AoE damage or concentrated attacks, your Phantoms will be free lay waste throughout any battle, shrugging off all but the mightiest of blows.
If you can't end the game after all of that, your last item will be a Butterfly. The massive increase in attack speed and damage, combined with the evasion, will take your already high DPS and make it Godlike. If you can't win the game with a Butterfly, you just can't win the game.
While in your lane, above all stay safe. The most important thing is gaining experience; getting gold is a luxury. Your Phantoms will let you transition into the jungle later, but for that to work you need levels, not gold. If getting last hits means dying then it's not worth it.
If you aren't in immediate danger get as many last hits as you can and use your Spirit Lance to harass the enemy. Call for ganks if you need to, and spend the rest of the time farming up your early game items.
With Tranquil Boots and Soul Ring completed, grab a TP Scroll or two, then continue farming and staying safe until you complete your Diffusal Blade.
Afterwards, your team should either push a lane as 5, or split up while you push a lane solo. With a tower of two worth of gold, and maybe a couple kills, you will be well on your way to your Radiance.
If pushing is out of the question at that point in the game, spend some quality time in your jungle. Make sure the to ward around the entrances to avoid any ganks while you're saving up for your Sacred Relic. Nothing is worse than having 3700 gold only to die before you can buy your Relic.
With your Radiance completed, you are now free to do as needed. You can either push, teamfight, or farm with ridiculous speed. Either way, stay safe and keep gaining gold.
In a battle, don't make the mistake of tanking for your team. You have a nice nuke and slow, as well as a large number of Phantoms; use these to help your team. You don't have enough HP before your Heart to take any significant damage. Just throw your Spirit Lance whenever you can, use your Doppelwalk to scout around, then wait for all of the crowd control and nukes to go down before you jump into the fray.
During the fight, stick to this plan:
1. Activate Soul Ring
2. Locate nearest enemy
3. Throw Spirit Lance
4. Attack them until the slow wears off
5. Purge them
6. Continue attacking, if they're still alive go back to step 1, if not go to step 7
7. Send all of your Phantoms to attack whoever you want then go back to step 1
Just continue pushing or farming until you have both Manta Style and Boots of Travel. With these, feel free to push every lane at the same time until you can take a Barracks and take the game.