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Adapted Aggressif Build: Masaaki14's guide to Phantom Lancer

May 11, 2016 by masaaki14
Comments: 0    |    Views: 2270    |   

Aggressif, what can i say?

DotA2 Hero: Phantom Lancer

Hero Skills

Spirit Lance

2 3 5 7


1 8 9 10

Phantom Rush

4 12 13 14


6 11 16


15 17 18

Adapted Aggressif Build: Masaaki14's guide to Phantom Lancer

May 11, 2016


Hello guys, welcome yet again to my second guide in DotaFire. This time we will be looking at Phantom Lancer. Not just any Phantom Lancer build, but the build used by agressif from CDEC during TI5, with a little twist made by me.

This build allows Phantom Lancer, who is usually cast in a farming role until he gets Diffusal Blade and a survivability item, to take part in teamfights early while farming. All this will be explained in more detail when we actually go into the guide.

For now, take note that this build is not uncommon at all on Phantom Lancer, only that i see many people still deeply rotted in the old school thinking that PL needs to farm his core items before fighting, and refuse to take part in early fights. I hope that this guide can convince people to get out of that thinking and start using PL's potential in early fights properly.

About the Guide

Unlike my previous guide on Tiny, this guide will be focusing on one specific way of playing Phantom Lancer. This style focuses on taking part in early fights and using PL's midgame prowness to wreck havoc within the enemy ranks, while farming up for the lategame.

This can be treated as a way to play safelane no.2 Phantom Lancer, or in a team with 2 pos.1 carries, have PL take fights while a Sven is still farming. However, do remember that PL is a hero that needs quite a lot of farm to scale into the lategame, so you should not have a carry that is too greedy share the farm with him, like a Naga Siren or a Meepo. He still needs to farm, and cannot survive on only kills, like a Bounty Hunter can.

That being said, in order to play this style of PL, you need to take note that there are certain skills you must have.

1. You must have a good game sense.

Without a sense of what fights you can take and when you need to run, it is very easy to feed using this build. This isn't hard to do, you just need to judge what certain heroes can do to you at each stage if the game, and this mostly comes from experience.

2. You need to be efficient at transitioning between farming and fighting.

This build focuses on early fighting, and PL is a hero that needs farm. Yes, he is strong in the midgame, but without enough gold he cannot fight other carries in the lategame. You need to be good at finding farm while fighting, and not spend all your time searching for kills.

3. Your team must be able to support you.

Now, i don't mean your team must have fantastic supports, or that you must play with your friends to do well. This simply means that you cannot be the only one in your team fighting. Your team composition must be able to take early fights and assist in wrecking havoc among the enemy ranks. PL is squishy, and if anyone tries to play aggresif PL by himself, without a team to take fights with,he will just be feeding. I suggest to go for the mainstream PL build and farm for the lategame if you are playing as a hero wannabe.

And that's it, simple as that. Of course, this might seem like it takes insane skill to pull off, and you need to be as capable as aggresif to pull this off, but i assure you, it is not as hard as it seems. If i can do it, so can you.


So, Lets get right into business, and first of all, I assume you are familiar with Phantom Lancer, and his inherent strengths and weaknesses. So, here is a list of what this build is strong at, and weak at.

  • Plays Actively, Good Presence
  • Your team will not be playing 4v5 like with most other hard carries
  • Global presence with Boots of Travel
  • Able to switch between farming and fighting mode very fast(think Spectre)
  • You put yourself in danger by taking part in fights before you get core items.
  • Dependant on momentum, you need to be somewhat successful in early fights. Even a tie might be disadvantageous for you.
  • Less farm if you do not snowball.
  • Needs more Teamwork than normal PL


This is your main(only) nuke. Use it to slow enemies and hit them, not much else to say here. You can use this to harass enemy heroes once it i at level 3, but before that it isn't worth the mana.

I almost always max this skill first, only when i'm faced against an extremely aggressive early game team, i might put more points into doppleganger first, just to be safe.

How you use this skill determines a good PL from a normal PL. New PL players use this skill purely as a gap closer/escape across cliffs, and i'm not saying that it is wrong, but that is also not all the skill is for.

Keep in mind the dispell ability built into doppleganger, and the brief period of immunity. The dispell really helps against things like silences and certain spells that would hurt you a lot otherwise, like Ignite or Overgrowth, and the immunity is, simply put, a weaker version of illusionary rift. You can use it to close gaps while dodging storm bolts and similar stuff if you can predict the timing right.

Maxed second, because remember, this build is all about early engagements after a few stats. 10 seconds cd on this skill really helps a ton.

After getting your other 2 skills maxed, there is a little choice to be made. In the skill build i used at the top, i maxed Phantom Rush next for chasing purposes, and also because in most games, Drum of Endurance and the Magic Wand is enough to keep me alive, at least in my matches. However, you can also choose to put 1 value point into this skill, and put some points into stats until you feel tanky enough. I do sometimes do this, when the enemy has a lot of AoE, or heavy nukes.

Hit people and get illusions, to hit more people. This is what allows PL to be an effective early ganker. It takes a sharp eye to find the real PL without AoE, and it allows PL to run over most heroes by confusing them with tons, and i mean tons, of illusions.

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