The beautiful guide to playing Spectre
October 20, 2012
Hello everybody, this is the beautiful guide to playing Spectre. This is my first guide and if it shows, I'm really sorry. This guide isn't the most original guide (not by a long shot) and you may see some similarities to other guides. That said, I don't think all other guides quite do this character justice in explaining it, so read up!
Disclaimer: Not every game you play is the same, so level up Spectre's skills as needed. What I put up there is what you would level up in an ideal scenario.
This skill is what you'll be leveling up first and what you'll be maxing out first. It doesn't do a ton of damage, but it's one of those moves that never miss once you lock onto the enemy, meaning it's quite reliable. But the damage isn't what matters with this skill. When you use Spectral Dagger on an enemy hero, it not only slows them down, but it leaves a trail that ignores terrain and increased your movement speed. This spell is great for chasing down foes and because of it, you don't really need to upgrade you boots until late game. Not only that but it's one of the best escape mechanisms in the game because you can send a good ol' Spectral Dagger to an inaccessible location on the map, then TP away (with the TP scrolls that you are always carrying). Also, don't be afraid to use this to secure kills. You are the carry. Get nice and fed.
This skill is what you'll be leveling up after spectral dagger (and one level of dispersion). This move makes you do extra pure damage if you attack someone that has no allies near them. This move makes you a ganking monster. At level 4 it gives you a bonus 65 pure damage per hit. This move combined with Spectral Dagger will lets you chase down and kill anyone who finds themselves alone.
This is the skill that you'll be leveling last, and it's not because you don't love it. Dispersion lets you reflect some of the damage that you take at whoever is nearby you. Because of this Spectre is nice and bulky and this helps add to your DPS. You should take this once at level 2, but the damage you're taking isn't enough during early game to warrant leveling it up anymore until later in the game.
This skill is straight up gangster. It creates a super feisty illusion next to every enemy in the map and you can take the place of any of them (but doing so ends the ult). This is an amazing ult because it gives you sight of every single enemy in the map. You can use this early game to gank frail characters like Sniper and Crystal Maiden. It works well with all your skills, allowing you to wreck them one on one and chase them down if they decide to dip out. Plus, the illusions get Desolate damage and mana burn damage from the Diffusal Blade, making it an amazing team fight spell late game. This ult is super versatile and I love it more than my ugly son.
Disclaimer: Not every game you play is the same, so buy items according to Spectre's needs. What I put up there is what you would buy in an ideal scenario.
As for your early game, the tangos and salves will let you stay in lane without having to go back to heal. The quelling blade will help you get early game last hits to get the farm that Spectre so desperately needs. The iron branches are just good all around as they give you basic stats. You'll want to rush Ring of Health cause that item is so incredibly good. It's like having a never ending tango, letting you stay in a lane longer. Afterwards, you'll only need to get the basic Boots of Speed because of all your great chase mechanisms. Then, finish of Vanguard in order to get the bulk that Spectre needs.
The first damaging item you'll want to get is Yasha. Yasha will give you bonus movement speed, another reason why you don't need to upgrade boots yet, and will give you a bit of bonus attack speed and damage. Once you get Diffusal Blade, you'll be able to start out a good bit of your enemies. The mana burn damage stacks with your Desolate passive and also transfers to all of your sassy Haunt illusions, making it a fantastic item. On top of that, Diffusal Blade's active, Purge, allows you to slow enemy heroes making your chase that much better. The Purge on the Diffusal Blade can also be used to get rid of annoying buffs that your enemy may have on themselves. Once you run out of charges for your Diffusal Blade's purge, I highly suggest upgrading it to Diffusal Blade level 2, but no earlier.
Last, you'll want to get Manta Style. The ultimate orb that builds into this will help round out your character, and the two illusions that you create also get mana burn and Desolate, making you a killing machine.
Luxury and Situation:
First of all, I didn't put Radiance in the core because it doesn't work all too well with the current item build's synergy. Although it transfers to all the illusions, the damage does not stack as more illusions come into play, making it second in priority to getting Diffusal Blade, and it doesn't help further your one versus one capabilities, so Manta Style comes before it as well. It is much too difficult to farm, and isn't quite as important as the other items. But, it isn't a terrible late game item, so keep it in mind.
Next, I put Orb of Venom in the Situational Build because it is a great early game item. It only costs 350 gold, and slows the enemy. The reason it isn't core though, is because it isn't entirely necessary, and doesn't build into anything.
In terms of late game, only get Butterfly if you aren't taking too much damage. If you are, get Heart of Tarrasque, as the extra health gives you more late game tankiness and with Dispersion, more DPS. Get Basher/Abyssal Blade if you are having a tough time chasing down enemies (which should be illegal with this build). Sange and Yasha has slow if you want a more reliable item to help you if you're having a tough time chasing down enemies (illegal). Get BKB if you're having a tough time with stuns and burst damage. Get Satanic if you're having a tough time surviving, although I would get either Satanic or Heart of Tarrasque, not both. Get Boots of Travel if you're too cool to use Haunt. The rest of the items are just Situational Damage items, so I wont mention them (I also usually don't buy them L0L).
Town Portal Scrolls:
Always carry these around, I swear to god. It would be silly to escape using a Spectral Dagger only to get stuck in some trees. They're only 135 gold. GET THEMMMM!
How to play this Mofo
You should spend your early farming... preferably a support babysit. Spectre is very farm dependent so spend your early game being very cautious and only get kills if you can do so safely. Dying will make the rest of the game much harder for you. Once you get Haunt, try to use that to score some kills. Map awareness is key. Once you get Vanguard, you should be able to be a bit more risky with your play style.
This is when you should have Diffusal Blade, with this you should be chasing down people and using Haunt to score a kill whenever it's off cooldown. By this point you can carry your team and Haunt should be useful in team fight as well. Once you get Manta Style, unless your teammates have been feeding hard, you should be uncontested in one on one DPS.
This is when you get all of your sexy items. If you aren't carrying already, those luxury items will give you that extra pep in your step. At this point you should be sticking with your team and only using haunt in team fight. With the Diffusal Blade damage and Dispersion damage, it can do quite a bit of damage. You should be working on picking off the other team's hard carries or their initiation (Tidehunter, Enigma, Magnus, Sand King, etc.) and chasing them down at low health.
Spectre's a great character but very farm dependent. She's fantastic at chasing down enemies and her fantastic ganks allow her to get fed early game. I hope you enjoyed my guide and if I left something out or you think there could be a better addition to my build, feel free to comment. Also, I suggest reading the "Spectre the Alternative Guides (ANTI alt-tab)" Spectre build by SP12. It has some interesting alternatives that are for the most part viable. Have a beautiful day.