|2.||Pros / Cons|
|3.||Skills and skill build|
|6.||Balanced mid-game value build|
|7.||Farming Spectre (Radiance + Manta)|
|8.||No, seriously, how does that freaking hero carry?|
|9.||Spectre in action (replays)|
|10.||Friends, Foes and Food|
|11.||Fun ways to play Spectre : troll builds!|
|13.||Credits & changelog|
Spectre is a hard carry who relies on applying constant pressure on the enemy team with her global presence.
She has the ability to excel in both teamfights and solo pickoffs, all this while having all the free time in the world to farm on her own, since her ultimate allows her to join any fight, anywhere, just by pressing a button.
She is well known for being one of the very best late game heroes in DotA, able to decimate entire teams with the combination of her ultimate, and one of the best scaling abilities in the entire game, Dispersion. However, she can do much more than simply farm to secure your team's late game.
She is a very versatile carry who can be built in a lot of different ways, and can adapt to almost every situation. She has no rigid item build, and a lot of items are actually surprisingly good on her, giving a lot of room for experimentation, definitely the most fun part about the hero. This adaptability can make her a good pick in many lineups.
Having a very strong mid-game, significantly more so than most hard carries, since she has the ability to have high damage and chasing power even without items...her ability to gank and teamfight even early into the game should never be underestimated.
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+ One of the hardest carries in the game. A farmed Spectre can almost win teamfights 1 vs 5
+ Fairly tanky. Dispersion makes survivability items scale really well on her
+ Global presence. Can jump instantly on any enemy hero!
+ Lots of free time to farm thanks to Haunt
+ Good ganker
+ Great teamfighter
+ Can initiate teamfights. Good synergy with other AOE initiators.
+ Counters enemy initiation (disables Blink Daggers)
+ Desolate is the strongest attack modifier for illusions in the game
+ Can be played both as a farmer and as a ganker. Great balance between fighting and farming, since she can farm and look for kills at the same time with her ultimate.
+ Doesn't need a lot of time to come online. Already very strong in the early-mid game with limited farm thanks to Desolate and Dagger
+ No, seriously, doesn't need to farm for 35 minutes to be useful. Can contribute a lot to early teamfights and defend against early push attempts. Perfectly viable as a mid-game fighting carry.
- Terrible lane presence. Can't do much in lane besides farming...or at least trying to.
- Needs a lot of babysitting from supports to secure your early farm in lane - don't expect much of that in pubs.
- Extremely easy to shut down in lane (e.g aggressive trilanes)
- Gank magnet
- Level-dependent (needs fast level 10)
- Bad agility gain. Weak right-click without Desolate (luckily she doesn't rely on it)
- Has no hard disable. Gets easily kited by mobile heroes
- Desolate bonus damage is unreliable, and easily countered (e.g illusion heroes).
- Slow farmer without an (expensive) farming item
- Long cooldown on ultimate (2 minutes). Haunt cooldown can make you vulnerable to 5-man pushes (luckily pubs suck at pushing)
- Partially countered by Black King Bar / magic immunity in general
||Spectre flings a dagger to draw a Shadow Path, dealing damage and slowing the movement speed of any enemies along the trail. Units hit by the dagger also trail a Shadow Path. While treading the path, Spectre phases through otherwise impassable terrain including up and down cliffs, and gains a movement speed boost.
||Deals bonus pure damage when Spectre attacks an enemy hero with no nearby allied units.
||Damage done to Spectre is reflected on her enemies, leaving her unharmed. The effect lessens with distance.
||Creates a spectral nemesis to attack each enemy hero after a short delay. At any moment during the duration, Spectre can use Reality to take the place of a given illusion.
Haunt illusions are uncontrollable, take extra damage, and deal less damage than Spectre herself. They move at 400 base movement speed and ignore terrain.
Spectre has only one possible role : safe lane carry. She needs to go to the safe lane (Radiant bottom, Dire top). You are the team's carry, and you absolutely need secure farm for the first 10-15 minutes of the game. If your team already has a safe lane carry, don't pick Spectre because you'll just have a bad time ; pick a support or an offlaner instead.
Be weary that Spectre's big weakness is the laning stage. This means that you absolutely need to lane with a good support/babysitter, ideally 2 supports, in order to secure your early farm. Again, if your team doesn't have at least one support, don't pick Spectre, pick Crystal Maiden or something.
Okay, so dual lane with a support or defensive trilane with 2 supports. If you have that, the game is already looking pretty good. I mean, you could be laning with a Faceless Void...Pubs, right? :)
If you can afford to be a bit more picky, e.g if you're the captain in CM, some supports are better with Spectre than others. The best supports to lane with Spectre are defensive supports and harassing supports. Aggressive supports like Vengeful Spirit or Sand King are amazing with other aggressive carries like Chaos Knight or Sven, but with Spectre, they can't really do much, and you risk losing the lane because you can't make anything happen. Try to avoid supports who rely on getting early kills because a low-level Spectre just can't follow up.
Let's be honest : Spectre's potential to get kills at low levels is virtually zero. Spectre is a very passive carry until she hits ~ level 6. During that time, the only thing she can do is essentially sit in lane and farm. Your lane has to be a very defensive lane.
Don't take me wrong, Spectre can be a very aggressive early-game carry, but she needs *levels* before she can play aggressive, i.e she needs high levels in Spectral Dagger and in Desolate. She can't just go for first blood at level 1 like a Juggernaut can.
Here are some of the supports I think are good with Spectre. For some more info, you can look up Sando's guide on picking supports.
Here is a list of good items you can get on Spectre and in which situations to get them.
Spectre has several areas that needs focusing : sustainabiity, optional farming item, tankiness, movement speed/chasing ability, and finally building as much stats as she can, since all her skills scale with her HP ( Dispersion), and ger agility ( Desolate and Haunt).
So in a few words, if it's a stat item, then it's good on Spectre.
||Having good regen early is very important on Spectre because you should expect to be harassed a lot. Tango + Salve is recommended, don't go Tango + Quelling blade + Stout shield because this is too greedy and will force you to walk back to base.
Alternatively you can ask your supports for tangoes and go something like Tango + 2 Tango (Shared), and then you can get that Quelling blade.
||Stout Shield is a must if laning against ranged offlaners who harass you with right-clicks like Windranger, Weaver, or especially Broodmother. Also an amazing early tank item, great for surviving early aggressive play in lane. Always get it if facing a dual lane or trilane because it can really save your life. Upgrade to Poor Man's Shield to block a huge chunk of ranged harass and to tank up significantly.|
|| Quelling Blade is great on Spectre because her base damage sucks, it helps you get last hits and prevents the enemy offlaner(s) from denying your creeps.
Only get QB when you can actually farm the lane! This item is useless if you are getting zoned out by heavy harassment, or if the enemy offlane can actually kill you. In that case prioritize tank/regen items and forget QB.
||A casual Ring of Health is a great item to get in lane.
RoH is your best option to counter constant harassment in lane. Tranquil Boots used to be an alternative but since 6.79 tranquils aren't really viable on carries anymore. If you are facing steady harassment from heroes like Phoenix, Bristleback, Necrophos, Death Prophet, Lich, Undying, etc. then RoH is the way to go.
Also, RoH gives you enough sustainability during the mid-game, so that you hardly ever will have to go back to base to heal.
Upgrades into Battle Fury, Refresher Orb or Vanguard, but essentially it's always going to be Refresher Orb.
Don't ever sell the RoH! If you need the slot you can put in in the stash and build it into refresher later.
||Magic Stick/ Magic Wand are good picks on Spectre but they're only really recommended if you can make use of them during the laning stage, or if you want to fight early - if you just want to farm they're pretty useless. Stick is an absolute must if you're laning against spell spammers like Batrider, Tidehunter, Bristleback, Phantom Assassin, Skywrath Mage, Undying, etc. Recommended against dual lanes, and a no-brainer against trilanes.|
||A casual Bracer is the way to go if you need early-game tankability (+114 HP). Get one against heavy burst damage lanes, especially obvious "hero combo" lanes, so they can't burst you down from full HP. It's the best counter to those "tryhard" lanes like Bane+ Mirana, or Tiny+ Centaur Warrunner ...you get the idea. Upgrades into Drum.|
|| Hand of Midas can be a viable choice on Spectre because she is level-depedent in addition to being farm-dependent, and Midas will give her both farm and levels. Also, she's a pretty horrible farmer if you're not going Radiance, and Midas makes up for it with steady farm. She can use the attack speed well with Desolate.
However, Midas is still extremely situational and it's not recommended in most games because going Midas is only good if :
||Phase Boots are generally the way to go on Spectre, because the bonus movement speed helps a lot with chasing and escaping. They're the best boots if you want to go for early kills. Also a pretty big help for last-hitting.|
||Power Treads can be an alternative to Phase Boots, it's more a matter of personal taste actually. No mobility, but helps you tank up a lot (+ 152 HP!) and the attack speed is great with Desolate.|
||Orb of Venom is a cheap item that gives you a ton of chasing potential. The 12% slow stacks perfectly with Spectral Dagger and Phase Boots for a huge movement speed advantage, making running away from you almost impossible. A must if you want to play aggressive early.|
||You'd be surprised at how much you can do by grabbing an early Rune of Haste or Rune of Illusion. A haste rune gives you the opportunity to chase enemies endlessly with Desolate, and an illusion rune gives you triple Desolate! These runes are almost guaranteed kills if you manage to get your hands on them.|
||Urn of Shadows is a great early fighting item on Spectre because Haunt allows her to be there wherever there is action. This way you'll get a ton of urn charges and be able to heal yourself as much as you want, giving you pretty much infinite sustain. Also gives some nice HP.|
|| Morbid Mask allows you to jungle early. With Desolate and Power Treads, it's actually pretty fast. Goes into Satanic later.
Don't upgrade it to Helm of the Dominator early, there's no point. The only point of helm is to stack camps...you can't farm stacks, and the damage/armor from the item aren't needed either.
|| Drum of Endurance is a great choice for your first item. It gives you +9 to all stats, and a decent bonus to your movement speed ; the stats gives you the early tankability you need (+171 HP), as well as more agility and mana pool, which is a big help for your early game. And the movement speed helps you a lot for chasing running heores. Don't forget to activate the drum for chasing and escaping!
Drum is the best item to pick up if you want to play aggressively and gank in the early game ; however it's not very useful if you just want to farm.
|| Point Booster is possibly the most cost-efficient item in the game...and offers a solid alternative to drum.
It gives you the early tankability you need, it solves your early game mana issues, and it build into Eye of Skadi.
You can just grab one early and build it into Skadi later.
|| Radiance is the farming build on Spectre - it's the best item to get if you want to farm quickly, and it's the best build if you're going for the late game. It's also very strong in teamfights. However, you need to essentially be freefarming to get the Radiance in a reasonable time, and it won't be possible in every game - so choose wisely whether you want to go for it or not.
Having a Radiance allows you to :
Try to farm it quickly in lane, without wasting too much time/money on early game items. You really need it ASAP (15-20 mins).
Then, a good usage of Radiance to farm can get you to top farm levels (700+ GPM), and can make you 6-slotted at around 50 minutes.
Be warned however that you should never, ever, get a late Radiance on Spectre. A 28-minute Radiance on Spectre is like a 25-minute Battle Fury on Anti-Mage : a complete waste of gold. This is an extremely common error in pubs, don't make this mistake.
|| Yasha is a great item on agility heroes in general, and the movement speed is exactly what you need on a chasing hero like Spectre.
Upgrade it to Manta Style. Manta is one of the best items on Spectre in the game, because the illusions have Desolate...and deal the full damage from it!
Triple Desolate means that you get a bonus 65*3=195 PURE damage on each hit. On a hero with more than ~10 armor, it's actually more damage than a Divine Rapier!
Manta is your best ganking item, and it blows up lone heroes in a few hits.
|| Diffusal Blade applies its effect to every Haunt illusion, allowing your ultimate to damage every enemy hero, a bit like Radiance does, while being way more affordable.
This makes diffusal a cheap and cost-efficient teamfighting item for Spectre, a great pickup if you want to teamfight early a lot. For example, if you're playing against a pushing lineup, or any lineup that 5-mans a lot, it's recommended to go diffusal over manta because diffusal gives a lot of AOE damage in teamfights, while manta only deals single target damage on isolated heroes.
However, this item gives no survivability at all, so it's not a core item on the hero.
You should still buy this item whenever you're playing against Omniknight!
|| Eye of Skadi in hands down one of the best items on Spectre in the game.
It's purchased as a tank item as a replacement to Heart of Tarrasque - except that in contrary to heart it does much more than just give HP.
Skadi gives +725 HP, to compare with tha +1060 HP from Heart - except that Skadi also gives +3.5 armor, so actually the effective HP you get from heart and Skadi is comparable.
However, Skadi also gives +25 agility, which is a *huge* deal for Spectre who is a very agility-starved hero.
The slow prevents running away completely. And it goes through magic immunity!
Also, Skadi gives us infinite mana. It's a big help when we have a Refresher Orb.
Skadi is so good on Spectre, you can even consider stacking multiple skadis on her (yes, seriously!). There's just no other item in the game that gives so much survivability while also increasing your primary stat. Spectre is a pure stat hero, so the more stats, the better!
|| Butterfly is a good item on agility carries in general.
Get it if you need the evasion.
It's a great pickup if the enemy team has 3 or more right-clickers. However it's pretty useless if they have only burst damage, in which case HP items are way better.
Butterfly is a great counter to right-click heroes who can't decently get Monkey King Bar, such as PL, Naga, OD, Antimage, Ember spirit, Tiny, Invoker, Lycan, Enchantress, Chaos knight...
|| Skull Basher is your manfight item. Get it if you want to increase your 1 vs 1 potential by a ton. Basher will make you a better 1 v 1 hero than anything else you can get.
It's the best item to get if you want to manfight these tanky carries like Lifestealer, Sven, Huskar, Ursa, Wraith King, Alchemist, etc.
Another very useful part about basher on Spectre is the fact that it prevents enemies from escaping you with a Town Portal Scroll, even if they activate BKB beforehand!
|| Satanic is essentially the best late-game survivability item...if you use the active well. It heals you from low to full HP in seconds, even for a hero with terrible right-click damage like Spectre.
The synergy with Dispersion is notable, and the lifesteal stacks with Eye of Skadi.
Get it if you want to tank up even more in the late game. A well-used Satanic is far better than a Heart of Tarrasque.
||After you picked up a few items, getting Refresher Orb becomes a better choice than getting more damage items : double Haunt is better than slightly improved Haunt!
Double Haunt lasts for an insane 14 seconds, essentially guaranteeing you to win any teamfight. Getting refresher usually ends the game. Alternatively, you can keep farming and use your ultimates regularly to apply an incredible amount of ganking pressure.
Since the item doesn't give any stats, you can simply leave it in your base or on a courier to free an item slot.
A great late game item.
||Spectre is one of the best Aegis of the Immortal users in the game. Don't hesitate to "feed" in teamfights when you have aegis : deal full Dispersion damage, respawn, and Haunt to clean up.|
||Your luxury upgrade to Skull Basher. Most of the time, a basher is more than enough though, and you'll probably never get to that point.
The only thing that Abyssal Blade gives is the reliable stun on activation, but other than that it's a very cost-ineffective item.
Get this when you absolutely need the stun to lock down the enemy carry 1 vs 1.
||Eat a Moon Shard when you're 6-slotted...not before. 'nuff said.|
||The Pig Stick deserves a mention because it is an item that counters every hero. Is there an enemy hero you can't deal with? Need an idea to counter him desperately? Here is one : turn him into a pig, and eat bacon :P
Scythe is a pretty weird item to get on a carry like Spectre and it only makes sense if you absolutely need it to shut down a hero you can't deal with.
Abyssal Blade is almost always a better choice because you get a bash and a damage bonus, while scythe gives you very little. But abyssal only makes sense if you can actually get in melee range! For some heroes it's just impossible (e.g Weaver, Anti-Mage, Storm Spirit) and "sheep" is the only option.
This is your last resort item.
|| Octarine Core...the ultimate luxury item. And I'm talking 8-slotted kind of luxury on an ultra-fed late game Spectre, since there's literally no reason to ever buy this item before that point.
Octarine reduces Haunt cooldown. That's it. Literally all the item does. Dispersion can NOT lifesteal so don't get your hopes up. Yes, Desolate and Radiance can technically lifesteal but it's so negligible that you can forget about it immediately.
Is it worth it? Well...no, not really. The item gives no stats, and Spectre is a pure stat-based hero...so this is just a more expensive and extremely watered down Eye of Skadi.
However it *does* make sense in the ultra-late game to buy this, since if you keep it in your stash in base, you can reduce both Haunt and Refresher Orb cooldown when you use these abilities from base.
So an ultra-luxury for 2-hour games when you're ridiculously fed and out of slots. That's it. And it's not even about carrying it...just keeping it in your stash or on a courier for the cooldown reduction.
||Never miss a single kill on an invisible hero because you didn't have Dust of Appearance.
You'll be going for solo kills on isolated heroes a lot anyways, so even if your team is smart enough to buy dust they won't be there when you need it.
Again, you need to be able to solo kill invisible heroes so stop blaming your supports and just go buy your own dust.
||Ah, Vanguard...a pretty controversial item that used to be fairly bad on the hero before the 6.85 patch, but then was made viable again on her thanks to the changes to Dispersion and Desolate.
Dispersion synergizes extremely well with damage block the same way Bristleback does, since you only block the reduced damage, not the full damage. Besides the armor from the item helps as well.
This makes Vanguard/ Crimson Guard a really strong early fighting build, since the only thing Spectre needs to fight early is survivability.
Besides, rushing a full utility item like Crimson guard does *not* slow down your farm since it allows you to tank jungle creems and kill them with Desolate, allowing you to flashfarm the jungle.
|| Spectre isn't really a Black King Bar carry, because Haunt makes her pretty hard to focus down, also because she's generally not afraid of tanking damage with Dispersion.
Still, BKB is an absolute must in some games where the enemy team has a lot of disables. It's a big help if you're having trouble against heroes like Outworld Devourer, Invoker, Lion, Tinker, Huskar, Necrophos, and several others.
||Not usually an item you build on carries, but Blade Mail has a good synergy with Spectre's role as a tank.
Get it if you get focused a lot, especially by squishy DPS heroes.
A great item to get if you want to screw up with Death Prophet, Tinker, Phantom Assassin, Riki, Drow Ranger, Sniper, Ursa, Invoker, Huskar...
|| Mask of Madness is a really fun item on Spectre that essentially gives you a Rune of Haste on demand, as well as tons of attack speed. It's the best chasing item you can dream for, just follow people around with Desolate while they can't outrun you.
Get it as a first item if you want to go for it, max Desolate at lv 7, and go gank as much as you can in the early game.
Of course, there's an obvious downside...but no pain no gain, right? :)
|| Monkey King Bar could almost be in the "avoid" list. You should essentially never build this.
Even if the enemy heroes have evasion, Desolate can't miss - the damage is applied before the attack. It's not worth it to build MKB just to make your physical right-click go through, if you can use manta + Desolate instead.
Besides, it's just a damage item, and damage items are horribly bad on Spectre.
Only get it if you can't rely on Desolate AND the enemy heroes have evasion...which is rather unlikely but it makes sense if you want to manfight a Phantom Lancer or Naga Siren.
Essentially it's only useful against illusion heroes who make Butterfly.
As a redeeming feature it prevents enemies from escaping you with a Town Portal Scroll.
||Halberd gives you almost nothing in terms of damage, however it helps you tank up a lot and it gives you an amazing active to shut down right-clickers.
The disarm is especially good against ranged DPS heroes like Sniper, Clinkz, Drow Ranger, Viper, Templar Assassin, Morphling, Medusa, Gyrocopter...the only downside is that it gets dispelled by BKB.
Get it if you need the active to shut down right-clickers, preferably those who don't build BKB.
||I never build Heart of Tarrasque on Spectre because I feel that it's essentially outclassed by Eye of Skadi and Satanic in every way on this hero. Essentialy Skadi gives strength AND agility, while heart gives only strength, making skadi more cost-efficient all around.
Still, it's a very good item on Spectre who really needs the tankiness for Dispersion. The passive heal is great to heal up between fights.
||The only reason to ever build Battle Fury on Spectre is to deal with Phantom Lancer. That's it.
The Spectre versus PL matchup sucks, and bfury is actually the best item in the game to deal with PL (or, more accurately, the only decent one). Radiance is pretty useless against illusion heroes because the damage over time is too low and doesn't scale well. And Mjollnir is also pretty 'meh' against PL because the damage doesn't scale (making Bfury cleave deal up to 4 times as much AOE damage in average per hit as Mjollnir lightning, just do the math)...and please don't be that guy who thinks that the Mjollnir active does anything against PL, since he'll just use Diffusal Blade to dispel it, making the shield virtually useless against any decently played PL.
Bfury is maybe not the "optimal" farming item on Spectre, but it's still pretty decent, so you can go for it when playing against PL...since it *does* allow you to manfight PL which is awesome. Just don't buy it in other situations. Also, it's pretty bad against other illusion heroes since Naga Siren will just be split pushing not manfighting you, and Chaos Knight and Terrorblade will out-damage you easily battlefury or not.
||Kind of an awkward item to build on an illusion hero, Mjollnir can still be a good option on Spectre. If you want to get it, get it first as a farming item, as an alternative to Radiance.
It's a great item for farming (while admittedly less so than Radiance+Manta), the attack speed works well with Desolate and Skull Basher, and lightning procs give you good teamfight presence. But the great part about this item is the active : cast it on yourself, jump in the middle of teamfights, and when you get focused watch the lightning fly :)
|| Assault Cuirass is an item that became good on the hero with the 6.85 change to Dispersion. Having high armor no longer reduces the physical damage you deal with Dispersion, while making you survive it much longer...making your overall dispersion damage output much higher. Added bonus : the negative armor aura actually increases your dispersion damage, since it's physical!
A solid pickup against a heavy physical damage lineup.
This is the non- Radiance build on the hero, where you simply stack stat items. It gives the hero really strong fighting potential in the early-mid game, so that you don't have to wait until the late game to be useful. It's extremely cost-efficient, and you can go for this build in literally every game.
Of course the farming speed of this build isn't as high as the Radiance build, however it's still pretty decent, since Desolate allows for pretty fast farming in the jungle, sustained by a regen item.
It's by far the best build if you have useless supports and a terrible laning stage, since it doesn't have item timings : no matter how much you fall behind, just follow the build and you can come back. This build is the reason why Spectre is a good hero at any MMR, even in the trench tier where nobody plays support : even if you get no support in lane, you'll come back eventually if you play the hero well and the game goes late.
After the usual laning items detailed in the items section, it's recommended to buy a regen item in every game, since you spend a lot of time taking harass in lane and/or taking hits from jungle creeps. You have 3 options : Ring of Health (great in lane, builds into Vanguard or Refresher Orb), Morbid Mask (an item for jungling early), and Urn of Shadows (for a ganking playstyle). Always get one of these.
For the boots, Phase Boots are the best to get kills especially with an Orb of Venom, however Power Treads gives precious HP and give attack speed to get more Desolate. Choose your boots depending on the situation, generally go treads if facing burst damage, phase if you have an advantage and think you can get early kills easily.
When Spectre hits level 6, don't forget that she has one of the highest kill potentials in the game. She can jump literally any hero across the map and right-click her for 65 pure damage damage a hit...on top of her regular damage. Don't be that guy who AFK farms with the hero without having early game impact...just like Faceless Void, just because you're a hard carry doesn't mean that you can't get early kills. Spectre is bad in lane, but good everywhere else. So make those first Haunt ganks count, you can easily be 4-0 ten minutes into the game with this hero...and if you do that it's essentially GG.
Then for the build, we build some tankiness next with either Drum of Endurance or Point Booster. Drum is better for chasing but Point booster is cheaper and builds into Skadi - both choices are good.
Then we go either Yasha/ Manta Style for additional chasing/ganking power, or Diffusal Blade for early teamfight presence. The choice here depends on what you're playing against. Do you think that you can get solo kills? Rush manta, it literally melts isolated heroes. Is the enemy team 5-manning all the time and/or pushing your towers? Diffusal is better, since it deals good spread damage in teamfights. Always go diffusal against pushing lineups, however otherwise diffusal is optional and you can skip it.
Eye of Skadi is typically the next item, because it's just that good on her.
Buy Skull Basher if you want to manfight or cancel TP scrolls.
Spectre can farm both the lanes and the jungle thanks to Desolate, so you can just move from camps to lane and get good farm. You don't farm that fast, however you can farm literally all the time since you can join fights at any moment with Haunt. Generally prefer farming your side of the map and the jungle camps closest to your base if you're afraid of ganks.
The build comes online very quickly and it only gets better as the game goes late. It's a perfectly safe build and you can't go wrong by going for it in any situation. This is not a fallback build! Sometimes it's the best build even if you're freefarming in a cozy trilane.
But if you prefer killing creeps and not heroes, here is the...
This build is focused on one thing only : satisfying your burning hate for creeps. And making tons of money in the process. You can get 6-slotted at 45 minutes with this build, provided you have good farm in lane and good micro skills.
Radiance rush is the most effective farming build. The best case to go for it is if you actually win your lane and freefarm for ~15 minutes. Of course you need good supports for that...or useless enemy offlaners.
Radiance needs to be *rushed*. Please, no Vanguard into Radiance builds, it takes just too long for the radiance to come online : a late radiance is just bad because farming items need to be gotten early, when you still have time to farm with them (do you see Anti-Mages going Vanguard into Battle Fury)? Just grab the minimum items so you can actually farm the lane and not get harassed out like Ring of Health, Poor Man's Shield or Magic Wand, get plain Boots of Speed or *maybe* Power Treads (never buy Phase Boots is that build), and then go straight Sacred Relic.
But what about ganks? With no HP, aren't you going to feed the enemy gankers? Well, not really ; you don't need to tank up to avoid ganks. Best way to avoid ganks is to not be out of position : Observer Wards and map awareness. Being tanky won't prevent you from feeding, only map awareness will. If you don't have wards, then you might as well buy wards yourself because 150 gold delays your Radiance by way less than any tank item you can get!
But, what if your supports *are* actually weak, and you still lost your lane to those annoying dual/trilanes...how do you get your Radiance? Don't fret : here comes the Morbid Mask build, where you can simply get your radiance from the jungle! Go Power Treads and Morbid Mask (that's it, nothing more!), and then just leave the lane that your supports lost (no point insisting, you can do nothing about that) and simply go jungle with Desolate...until you have your radiance. You can still get a <20 minute radiance pretty reliably with this build, even from a bad lane!
Ok, so we have our Radiance. Radiance is an item that's essentially good at one thing : clearing creep waves. You can clear jungle camps with it as well but clearing lanes is always more efficient. So just wander around and clear those creeps, using the wards that your supports graciously bought to avoid getting ganked.
Don't forget though : always, always use Haunt to assist your team! Because you want to farm doesn't mean that you should forget about your main job as Spectre : ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON THE MINIMAP! Haunt even without Reality can be a huge help to your team and will win a gank or teamfight especially with the Radiance burn. It's understandable if you don't want to reality in because you're too squishy but at least PLEASE assist with ult whenever you can.
So how's the farm going? Decent but not great? - Well this is because Radiance as a standalone farming item is just not that good. Sure you deal 50 damage per second to creeps but it's slow as hell and you always need to move around next to the creeps, not only you are exposed to ganks but it's really inefficient. You take about 10 seconds to clear a jungle camp (15 for a mud golem camp o_o), and you don't have Blink to move between camps. So there's no way you can even think of keeping up with good farmers like Anti-Mage who clears camps and waves in 3-4 hits, or Shadow Fiend and Meepo who can just two-shot them in a split second.
So there you have two options. Either you can build a big survivability item like Eye of Skadi or Heart of Tarrasque to be the unkillable Spectre on the front lines with the radiance burn...or you can build a Manta Style to farm ultra fast.
To make Radiance a good farming item, the best way is to use it with Manta Style. The Manta illusions carry the burn aura, potentially tripling your farming potential if you use them well. So we go Radiance into Manta!
Manta Style is an item that is meant to be *spammed*. With its ultra low cooldown and 20 second duration, you can have the illusions up more than half of the time. The only limitation is mana, but we're going Eye of Skadi next so it won't even be a problem anymore.
Are you in the jungle? Manta Style, split your illusions, and go farm three jungle camps at once!
Are you in a lane, and afraid of getting ganked? Manta Style, A-click one illusion on the enemy base, and it will keep farming and pushing the lane for you without any risk!
Essentially, 1 illusion = 1 free jungle camp, or 1 free creep wave. The gold you can get from that is ridiculous and it makes you one of the top farmers in the game.
So NOW the farm is going well! You can go Boots of Travel next, because it allows you to get those creeps a bit faster than Town Portal Scrolls, but it's kind of greedy so avoid doing this if you're gtting pressured. For the rest of the items, as I said Eye of Skadi next is my favorite but then you can get essentially anything you want because at that point you're just rolling in cash :=)
Have fun burning those creeps and mass spamming illusions for fun and profit!
Spectre can be a pretty confusing hero if you're not used to playing her. How does she carry exactly? Why is she so scary late game? How to play the early-mid game to get to that point?
So here are a few tips on how to use her skillset to its best potential.
Starting with a quote from one of the most inspirational members on Dotafire :
[One must] Bring both defense and offense together to defend in an offensive manner - Kyfoid
This is pretty much the philosophy behind Spectre's build and playstyle. In her build she needs a mix between tankyness and damage. That's why an item like Eye of Skadi is so good on her : because it's one of the rare items that gives both tankyness (725 HP) and DPS (25 agility).
Carrying = dealing lots of damage and owning the late game, especially in teamfights. Spectre carries in two ways :
- Desolate + illusions. She creates a lot of illusions from Manta Style and Haunt with a possible Refresher Orb, and all these illusions apply a 65 PURE damage nuke on each hit. In the end that's a ton of damage. This makes Spectre at the top of the charts in terms of most hero damage dealt. This scales best with stacking agility items because more AGI = more attack speed for illusions = more procs.
- Dispersion + high HP and "extra lives". Dispersion starts off really weak early game but it becomes stronger and stronger as a damage source as you gain more HP. Don't be that guy who maxes Dispersion first on Spectre, it's a late game/very late game skill. There is a point in the late game where you can just stand in the middle of teamfights like you don't care, let people focus you, and then get a free new life with Satanic, Aegis of the Immortal, Cheese or buyback. You'll have dealt like 800 damage to the whole enemy team, you tanked all the enemy fire meaning that your team dealt a lot of damage as well, so everyone is running for their lives, and you can just Haunt to clean up.
So the logic behind her build is that you need to stack agility, and you need to stack HP.
Don't go for full right-click DPS builds like Daedalus/ Mjollnir/ Monkey King Bar or such. Spectre doesn't carry with direct right-clicks and she will get outcarried easily if you play her like this.
Don't go for full tank builds like Crimson Guard/ Heart of Tarrasque/ Blade Mail either. You're not Bristleback or Axe. Unlike them you don't just need to be tanky, you need agility and you need movement speed as well, otherwise you deal no damage and you can't chase down anybody, meaning no kills.
A balanced build would be for example Drum of Endurance/ Manta Style/ Eye of Skadi/ Satanic.
As for the playstyle :
- In the early-mid game, you are basically a global ganker like Nature's Prophet, who specializes in taking down isolated heroes with your Haunt and Desolate.
- In the mid-late game, you are a temafighter who waits for your team to initiate first and then Haunts to snipe isolated heroes at the edge of the teamfight, while creating extreme confusion with illusions everywhere.
- And in the late/very late game, a bit like Pudge, you'll have snowballed into an unkillable tank that walks around with 3500 HP and twice that much in effective HP because you have Satanic...and Aegis...and buyback. Killing you deals 980 damage to the whole enemy team (again times 2 with Satanic, times 3 with aegis on top of this, times 4 with buyback on top, etc). This way you can tank up as much damage as it takes until the enemies start scattering...and then snipe them with Haunt.
This is why Spectre is so good late game, because you just can't kill her, she always comes back, and everytime you kill her you're just killing your own team ^^
These two replays can give you a pretty good idea of what Spectre can do as a mid-game carry even with terrible farm and/or getting shut down in lane.
You can follow everything said here except the Tranquil boots.
Spectre is getting picked in TI4! : Newbee vs EG game 2 - TI4
A great game of EternalEnvy playing Spectre (starts at 2:10:00). Spectre solo offlane against a trilane and still doing really well. That's how it's done, kids :)
Here's a few perfectly silly ways to play Spectre. Play her like that if you just want to screw around. Some of these could actually be semi-viable in some very situational cases but they're mainly there for trolling.
These are just for fun and no compensation will be given if anything bad happens. To be honest, I'd probably just have a laugh :=)
Again, skip this section if you just want a serious way to play the hero.
Still there? Ok, let's go for some greedy stuff that you should probably never do :
Solo mid Spectre
Spectre's ganking and snowballing potential with a level advantage can be so ridiculous in some games that it makes you want to play her as a solo mid.
But...isn't Spectre a hard carry? Isn't she supposed to farm? Well, yes, she does like farm and her late game is amazing, but just look at her skillset. Her first skill is a chasing skill. Her second skill makes her deal additional damage to an enemy who is alone. And her ulti allows her to instantly jump on any enemy hero. Well, if you ask me, that's a pretty good ganking solo mid we have there :)
So yeah, you can try playing Spectre mid and play her basically like a Night Stalker. I've done that a few times to screw around and it worked pretty well. No, I don't have the replays, they expired. But if you want an example look at this one :
EternalEnvy playing Spectre mid (starts at 2:11:00). Against a Storm. And honestly Storm is really good against melee mids. So it's doable!
But...doesn't Spectre suck in lane, especially as a solo 1 vs 1? Well yeah, she does suck in lane, but Night Stalker and Pudge suck in lane just as well and people still play them as solo mids - it's not worse than playing these guys mid.
So...what does she get out of it?
As we see Spectre is a carry who offers great versatility, and has an extremely adaptable playstyle, from rushing Yasha + Orb of Venom or Mask of Madness and going to gank straight away, to rushing Diffusal Blade for early teamfights, or going for a full farming build with Radiance and settling for a 50+ minute game. The key to playing Spectre is to know how to adapt her build to the situation, and not be stuck into a specific premade build. This versatility makes her a good pick for almost any game, as long as you can secure her biggest weakness - her laning stage.
Thanks for reading, I hope that you found this guide useful, and that you had as much fun reading it as I had writing it ;)
Any kind of constructive feedback is welcome in the comments.
Thanks to SadOnionDota (Youtube) for the Spectre theme song. Check out his channel!
The credits for the pictures go to :