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Advanced Guide to Owning with Lanaya the Templar Assassin

May 27, 2015 by Shigu
Comments: 17    |    Views: 28805    |   

My Personal Preference (Mid-Lane)

DotA2 Hero: Templar Assassin

Purchase Order

Bottle Rush (starting)

Iron Branch
Iron Branch
Iron Branch
Tango (Shared)
Tango (Shared)

Early Game

Magic Wand
Boots of Speed

post 10-minute

Phase Boots
Magic Wand
Mithril Hammer

Mid Game

Magic Wand
Phase Boots
Town Portal Scroll

Mid-Late Game

Phase Boots
Blink Dagger

Late Game

Boots of Travel
Manta Style
Blink Dagger

Luxury Items

Boots of Travel
Divine Rapier
Heart of Tarrasque

Rejected Items

Shadow Blade
Silver Edge
Skull Basher
Eye of Skadi
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
Diffusal Blade
Dagon 1
Blade Mail
Battle Fury
Armlet of Mordiggian
Aghanim's Scepter

Optional Items

Urn of Shadows
Ring of Aquila
Monkey King Bar
Moon Shard
Mask of Madness
Glimmer Cape
Force Staff
Power Treads

If there are no supports :(

Animal Courier
Observer Ward

Hero Skills


2 3 5 7


4 9 10 12

Psi Blades

1 8 13 14

Psionic Trap

6 11 16


15 17 18

Who am I?

Hey guys! This is my first time to write a guide here in dotafire so please pardon my mistakes and feel free to comment, rate, criticize(thumbs down), etc. I would be updating frequently, either editing my mistakes or adding new-found builds. ^_^

This guide is about the ever so beautiful Lanaya the lovely Templar Assassin. I have read a lot of guides and I also know the traditional builds of her skills and items so this is a guide focusing her gameplay, weaknesses and my preferred item and skill builds. It won't go over too much into her skills' definitions or such so head back now if you prefer a more basic guide. This is like a guide for experienced TA players who know her basics and such and just need a bit more understanding. On the other hand, if I feel like it I might add the basics here as well hahaha and if you think I should just let me know in the comments portion.

I am not those pro Templar players like Ferrari_430(I highly recommend you all to watch his gameplay on youtube). I can call myself a mediocre player but I think I'm still newbie learning as well. I won't promise that this would be a clear guide but it will be pretty detailed.

These are gameplays of pro players using Templar in either a ranked or a pub match:

I am a Secret to be Revealed...


"Lanaya, the Templar Assassin, came to her calling by a path of curious inquiry. Possessed of a scientific bent, she spent her early years engaged in meticulous study of nature's laws--peering into grimoires of magic and alchemy, recreating experiments from charred fragments of the Violet Archives, and memorizing observations of the Keen recordkeepers. Already quiet and secretive by nature, the difficulty of acquiring these objects further reinforced her skills of stealth. Had she been less retiring, she might have become notorious among the guilds as a thief-scholar. Instead her investigations led her into far more obscure corners. As she devoted her furtive talents to unlocking the secrets of the universe, she instead unlocked a secret door that exists in nature itself: the entryway to the most Hidden Temple. The intelligences that waited beyond that portal, proved to be expecting her, and whatever mysteries they revealed in the moment of their discovery was nothing compared to the answers they held out to Lanaya should she continue in their service. She swore to protect the mysteries, but more to the point, in service to the Hidden Temple she satisfies her endless craving for understanding. In the eyes of each foe she expunges, a bit more of the mystery is revealed."

Lore-wise, I think Templar Assassin is the strongest character there is. Refraction manipulates her psionic veil, that Lanaya bends nature's law to her will. Able to bend nature's law is quite the power almost likeable to that of Enigma's in a way. Additionally, her traps are her "eyes" and imagine if there is no limit to how many Traps she can put... She is the world itself./color

Brief Review and Skill Recap

Templar Assassin is a very good and capable mid hero who eats most of the heroes early game but eats mostly squishy nukers and/or supports late game without a Desolator. If you see people choosing Shadow Fiend, Drow Ranger, or Zeus, she is one of the best possible counters. Templar Assassin is a very squishy agility hero without her Refraction active or if the charges ran out. The trick here (mentioned in several guides) is to activate refraction beforehand then engage when the buff is gonna expire and/or the cooldown is almost over. This way, you'd get 12 instances each of the buff since you'll be popping the refraction twice. This, although it sounds so good to be true, have a downside. The mana cost is a bit high, popping refraction twice would melt your mana bar down to half or maybe 3/4's. You need fast reaction time and deep knowledge of her gameplay to use her to her max potential.

Skill Overview

Her Refraction is her greatest asset. I'd consider this a "nuke" since you can activate it frequently and it gives you bonus damage as well as it blocks 6 instances of damage at level 4, but sadly her only considered "nuke" is Meld. Meld is like a portable active Daedalus as I'd like to call it. It gives you Phantom Assassin like crits if maxed very early though I don't suggest this unless you think it'll be a sure-win game ;). People have underestimated this skill and used it mostly for escaping. Do not do this if they have strong AOE damage, I repeat, DO NOT DO THIS. I am speaking from experience and I tell you, it's not worth it. If they don't have strong AOE damage skills like Shadowraze or Dual Breath though, you may use it xD. This is so because if your gankers still stayed, you'd still get the normal experience gain but the opponent mid-laner would get the divided experience, because another of their teammate is in the lane and/or near the creeps. Psi Blades are her meat and cheese for me. It is usually maxed or even leveled last because they say it's not worth it or something like that. If you are a pretty experienced squishy melee player and you are comfortable and confident with it, why not? Psi blades give you extra range and it also slices into units behind the primary creep/hero that was attacked. She has a low starting range a bit less than Doom's and this skill makes up for it. The psi blades I think still hits invisible units so if there happens to be a riki and he's low on health, attack a creep in front of where you think he might be. Last but not the least Trap is her most defined skill. Not only does it provide vision but it also slows the enemy when triggered to a near 50% MS reduction. I didn't put Blink Dagger on her mid game items because with trap and the Yasha MS bonus, you'd quickly be near your target for a perfect Meld strike. Her skills have great synergies with each other; pop Refraction, spring Trap, go near and Meld strike and just hit away with your DPS items.



  • Not "that" item dependent.
  • Great flexibility. (can fit into more than 2 roles)
  • Huge burst damage without using items.
  • Tanky with Refraction on.
  • Easy to understand but hard to play.
  • She's a great looking girl. ;D
  • SQUISHY without Refraction on.
  • Level dependent
  • Team-oriented
  • You need to be alert and aware of the map especially with your traps' provided vision.
  • May be the first to be taken out during teamfights.
  • One of the most underplayed heroes in DotA 2.
  • Easily countered
  • Easy to understand but hard to play.
  • DOT spells like Doom, Shadow Strike, etc...
  • Radiance

Teamwork and Synergies

Templar Assassin is very dependent on her team. One slightest fail in ganking or roaming would end or simply degrade her usefulness in the game. Don't be scared of using her, believe me I failed a lot of times but that didn't stop me from wanting to learn her style more. As you can see in the above video of Ferrari_430's ranked gameplay, he was able to communicate with his team to run a smoke gank to Naga Siren when he was having trouble taking her down. He was also able to solo Roshan and lure the opponent team to the pit. There were some fail ganks he made but nobody's perfect. It's either the opponent team warded some places or they were playing safe and sticking together.

He did a Hand of Midas build; this is optional for Templar Assassin to rush most of her items. Yes, the price is costly but you'd get your Desolator faster than before with successful frequent ganks along with the extra xp and gold earned from sing Midas. Also, he achieved all of his items faster and got his butterfly under 30 minutes! I can't do that XD.

Her traps are valuable for initiating, ganking, vision, escaping, chasing and many more so always remember to check the shared unit controls so that your teammates may help you detonate them if you have poor map awareness.

There are a lot of heroes who work well with Templar Assassin. Armor reduction heroes like Slardar, Vengeful Spirit and Tidehunter works absolutely well. So I'm going to let the Armor reduction heroes sit aside for now and open up various heroes that can be paired up with Templar Assassin.

Here is a list of my favorite heroes that go well with TA and why:

  • Bounty Hunter-huge burst damage potential, bonus gold with Track.
  • Bristleback-armor reduction+slow, spammable Quill Spray.
  • Magnus-perfect for lining opponents up for your Psi Blades, huge burst damage potential, escape proof with Skewer.
  • Dazzle-heal+slow+armor reduction=DAZZUL XD
  • Disruptor- great harassing skills to keep enemy on low health, escape prood with Glimpse and Kinetic Field, silence.
  • Queen of Pain-slow+insane burst damage potential+great mobility.
  • Wraith King-stun+slow+can tank tower for you since he have Reincarnation (only if he's willing to give it up).
  • Crystal Maiden-stun+slow+global happy Arcane Aura+devastating SS= My Bae <3

The reason I like these heroes is because they can give you an early kill or assist. Bounty Hunter gives incredible burst damage with Jinada and Shuriken Toss. The Track skill also serves a great asset to the line-up. It grants bonus gold to the one who killed and the one who assisted in the kill. This will get you your Desolator much faster. Bristleback is another armor reduction hero with his Viscous Nasal Goo. The slow works great to slow them down for your early Meld strikes and his Quill Spray is also nothing to laugh at either. It is a great harassing skill early especially against tanky melee heroes like Axe. I bet you know the synergy with Magnus already so I might as well skip that. Dazzle works a lot like Bristleback with the heal from Shadow Wave and slow from Poison Touch. His weave gives a minus 1 armor every second and is stacked with the armor reduction from your Meld. Disruptor nets you an even earlier kill with the great harass from the Thunder Strike ability. His Glimpse and Kinetic Field prevents enemies from escaping and will annoy the opponent laner especially if they used a TP scroll to go back to lane. Queen of Pain and Wraith King works a like to each other. The slow from Shadow Strike makes you faster in comparison and Wraith King's stun is even better. Crystal Maiden is exceptionally my most favorite hero among the rest. Her Arcane Aura will be able to help you with Refraction's tad high mana cost. Frostbite and Crystal Nova immobilizes and slows the enemy for your perfect Meld strikes. Her SS, Freezing Field ain't supposed to be looked down either.

There are numerous others like Sand King, Lion, and Vengeful Spirit but these are my personal favorites and I think you'll find the synergy quite awesome as well. Either way, these aren't your lane partners as you are taking the solo mid lane. They can only synergize well with your ganks and team clashes.

Why should I buy this?

You should always go for the bottle rush starting build. The Bottle's just too good on Lanaya early than it is later on. Thus, you can start to dominate the runes with it even without the traps if you're lucky to have a slow MS opponent laner xD. On the other hand if you don't have any supports capable of giving you 2 extra tangoes, buy one for yourself. Yes, it will hinder your Bottle but it is always better than going back to the fountain and back to the lane again and again. Now I'll tackle through the items I had suggested in my build. If I didn't tackle some other items in this chapter just think for yourself about it as, I repeat, this isn't a basic guide.

Good things: It gives you more MS and AS as Templar Assassin. She is generally slow in both so grabbing one early is my cup of tea. It helps me land my Meld strikes and keep up chasing my enemies with Traps and Phase Boots. It can also be later upgraded into a Manta Style; with it, you may dodge projectile stuns like Sven's Storm Hammer and even Techies' Remote Mines if timed correctly.
Bad things: It is quite expensive for an early-mid game kind of item but trust me its worth it more than Blink Dagger.
Good things: This is my favorite item of all *^*. The crit chance and crit damage is just so awesome! Additionally to the damage and armor reduction from both Meld and Desolator, once upgraded into a Daedalus you'd reach numbers even beyond Phantom Assassin's Coup de Grace.
Bad things: I don't see much flaws when you buy this item actually. There is so much pros for it to be bad at all :\ but maybe other players think that the high cost of 2000+ gold can be worth it to be replaced with a Blink Dagger.

Good things: It is so good on Lanaya especially since her flexibility and map control is quite hard to achieve. Positioning with Templar ***sassin is also crucial and Blink Dagger covers it up quickly. You can land perfect Meld strikes and escape dangerous and sticky scenarios with this.
Bad things: For a mobility item like Force Staff, it is a bit overpriced as it doesn't give you stats or damage at all :(. I also hardly use it early game when I bought it since my teammates always have stuns for some reason. For me, it is also a waste of money early on, unless your team have a bad line-up or you think the other lanes are failing and you tend to be ganked a lot. You don't get stats or damage with Blink Dagger and most heroes have low MS early on that you can still keep up with them. I usually get this somewhere in early to mid game.

Luxury Items

Good things: You can now 1v1 Huskar yay! Haha but seriously it gives you hell of the lifesteal; 175% for 4 seconds is so high. It also directly increases the lifesteal granted by its passive part by 175%, resulting in 200% lifesteal. The lifesteal also stacks well with the unique attack modifier effects of Eye of Skadi and Orb of Venom
Bad things: It is very expensive, you might as well get a Heart of Tarrasque. Still not bad and the lifesteal is useful during clashes and fights, especially against tanky heroes like Centaur Warrunner and huge burst damage heroes like Queen of Pain.

Good things: It is not really a must but rather a very useful optional item. If you think that they are targetting you mostly and you die quite easily, the pocket suicide active in Bloodstone kills you directly granting allies in an aoe a heal. Not only that, the mana regen is very great on Templar Assassin if you're running out of mana very fast.
Bad things: The suicide button active needs fast reaction, especially when they have burst like Zeus and Lina. If you're looking for mana regen, there are a lot of extensions like Scythe of Vyse or Linken's Sphere.

Good things: This is excellent on Templar Assassin. It solves your MS problems and you can instantly teleport tower to tower or creep to creep after 60 seconds of cooldown. If the enemy is "ratting" hard, this is the best solution.
Bad things: It is useful early on, but your cores are far more worth it. There are not much deeper downside to this item though.

Good things: This is like the elixir of life in DotA 2, personally. It grants you huge ton of health and health regen that is pretty useful when they have strong DOT damage that burns of your Refraction's defensive charges.
Bad things: It is quite expensive for an early-mid game kind of item but trust me its worth it more than Blink Dagger.

Optional Items

Good things: It gives you mana regeneration enough to keep your Refraction active. The heal it gives you will also keep you in the lane or keep you from going back to base to heal-up after you gain charges from your ganks. Be cautious as to have only one Urn of Shadows in your team only.
Bad things: Your Bottle is enough to keep you active in lane and you can refill it either with the runes or by bottle crowing.

Good things: The temporary slight boost to your armor, damage and mana regenaration is nothing to look down upon. The agility stat gain also helps a lot in last hitting and you can mess up your lane's farm by toggling the aura effect on and off once in a while.
Bad things: It delays some of your items, and its not that useful anymore mid-late game. It's still an ideal item for beginners to get used to TA's style.

Good things: It is the perfect counter to Phantom Assassin's Blur and Windranger's Windrun abilities. It grants you the true strike buff which ensures your attacks to never miss, even if you're downhill. This will be your core item once the enemy picked some heroes with butterfly as their core item and skills that grant them evasion. It gives you a mini-bash to some of your attacks as well.
Bad things: There is no bad thing about this item unless you are getting it for the damage gain only. Only grab it if the enemy have annoying evasions.

Good things: AS items maxes out Lanaya's potential. Moon Shard grants you 120 agility gain and with the help of your Meld and Desolator, you burst down heroes in only a matter of seconds.
Bad things: The cost is worth it if you don't have anything else to buy but I'd rather get a Butterfly because it also grants you evasion with the Talisman of Evasion.

Good things: When activated, it gives you loads of attack speed that you'll think Templar Assassin is on a rage. It eats away enemy health while restoring that of yours with the life-steal effect. Your Refraction will also nullify the amplified damage you will be receiving
Bad things: Life-steal isn't bad on Templar Assassin but the damage amplification is too much for her. The AS and life-steal won't be used to its full extent if you are "burst-ed" down first.

Good things: If you want to play mind games with the enemy and you don't have enough farm for a Blink Dagger, this is your best friend. Simply run uphill if you are getting chased and glimmer cape out if they don't have sight of uphill. There is a 0.4 second fade time so time well. Your opponents will think that you have melded and spam DOT spells on that location. Most normal pub players won't check the item you have unless they died and have nothing else to do.
Bad things: This falls to the rejected items like Shadow Blade but I've seen some players use it quite well. Blink Dagger is more worth it as the invisibility will be nullified with Gem of True Sight, Dust of Appearance and Sentry Wards.

Good things: Mobility is great for Templar Assassin and this is why Force Staff is here. It allows you to get out and in to fights and clashes. with ease and it has a low cooldown.
Bad things: Stuns and slows will still let the enemy chase you down. I get this if its too late to get a blink dagger(like far too late).

Support Items

If you have already picked Templar Assassin and your teammates picked Queen of Pain, Faceless Void, Slark and Storm Spirit, you are the most flexible member to be able to support the team with Observer Ward and the Animal Courier. If this is so, your job is to now burst down enemy supports and squishy initiators with your Meld strikes. Remember to also ward and deward with your Traps and Sentry Wards later on.

Skill Build and Winning the Lane

The first level in Psi Blades grant you more range so that you can't get harassed by the melee heroes' auto attacks. This is more useful than a level one Refraction as you can hit creeps and harass your opponent at the same time with the passive spill "cleave". I always grab this whether my opponent is ranged or not.

You should now deny, harass and last hit at the same time. Max out Refraction and Meld simultaneously. Although, don't forget to grab a second level of Psi Blades to land your Meld strikes better as Templar Assassin's range is still pitiful with a level one Psi Blades.

Traps will be your best friend from level 6 and onward. This will prevent you from being ganked and even turn their gank against them if you have back-up. Always have at least 1 trap in or outside the Roshan lair; especially if there is an Ursa in the opponent team. You can kill him or anyone else, plus you can steal the Aegis of the Immortal.

Communicate with your supports and especially if you're ganking. They'll be the essential core setters of the gank, as most supports have at least 1 disable/slow/stun. After they have disabled the enemy, you pop Refraction and quickly land a Meld strike. The damage output is very high and Meld's armor reduction is applied before the strike hits. If you think that s/he can still survive the gank after the duration of the disable is over, slow him down with your Trap.

Do not try to tower dive the enemy even if your opponent is slowed by your Trap unless you are sure you can come out alive. Even with a level 2-3 Refraction, if the enemy has back-up waiting for you to dive in and make a mistake or if s/he has a stun, you're in for some real trouble bro.

When the late game comes
You'll be on your own
They are frightened of
My skills to kill their supports
When the late game comes
late game comes, when the late game comes

As my medley says, your role in the late game is to kill their supports. Most initiators are basically supports (i.e. Tidehunter). After you get rid of their supports before a clash starts, either the clash will be delayed until the initiators respawn or you won their failed clash. Space will be created for you either way to push their towers down. Your Desolator will be melting those tower in a matter of seconds.

Tips in Laning:

  • Denying the creep with your Refraction on will not use up the charge. Use this to your advantage and either try to last hit with Psi Blades and/or harass the opponent and deny their farm and xp gain.

  • Do not get too overconfident with your Refraction and Meld.

  • Remember to always place traps between your lane and the runes, this way you can be the winner in a race to get maybe a double damage rune or haste rune. Who knows, you might turn the race to a kill you can get. This will also provide vision that can prevent an upcoming gank.

  • Carry a Dust of Appearance if you're planning to gank a lane with an invi hero like Nyx Assassin, Riki, Mirana so on and so forth to secure the kill and not let them escape.

  • Do not, I repeat, do not buy a Gem of True Sight unless you have take out 2 of their barracks or tier 3 towers at least. The lost of a gem means the 900 gold you (or your support) bought will turn into nothing.

  • Do not solo-gank early game.

  • Zeus' Lightning Bolt reveals you in your meld for a brief moment like all other invisible buff.

  • Keeper of the Light's Blinding Light removes Meld.

  • Drow Ranger's Gust silences you and removes Meld.

  • Any repositioning skill will remove Meld.

  • If you cannot secure the kill, don't bother chasing and just go back to farming your lane.

  • Trap are seen with Sentry wards and Gem of True Sight.

  • Each Trap give 1 gold bounty when destroyed.

  • Bottle crow when you fail to get the runes. Do it often as the side lane shops have most of the early game items needed for the safe and off-lane heroes.

Knowing When to Gank and not Gank

Lanaya is also labeled both a carry and a roamer. She gets her bounty mostly from side lane enemies; meaning she ganks pretty often to get her items faster. Basically, you start ganking when you reach level 6. Most other players however can even gank without reaching level 6. Was the gank a coincidence? Sheer luck? Or skill?

It will be either your teammate ganking mid for you or you gank their lanes.

Ganking is generally leaving your lane to aid the side lanes in killing their enemies. Technically you'd get the kill since you bothered to help; you earned it, but even the assist gold is worth it to get that Desolator much faster.

Feel free to gank when

  1. Your team's lanes are pushed back but yours is quite pushed in.
  2. They are having trouble against the harass and cannot farm well.
  3. The hero they chose have a few set of stuns, slows and disables.
  4. You have nothing else to do and want a number in your kills.

I learned most about ganking from this Youtube vid over here and I suggest watching it.

Now you should always gank as a mid hero. Even heroes like Puck, Shadow Fiend and Storm Spirit will always casually roam and gank. When your teammates ask for a gank, do not deny. They will be more determined in getting rid of the opponent than you are.
Do not waste time sitting in the jungle waiting for the enemy to make the slightest mistake. The time will be better wasted farming mid lane and denying the mid laner their gold and xp.

Also as much as possible, do not cross the rivers when trying to gank. Invisibility is also a key factor when ganking. This is because the river will usually be warded always. nonetheless their jungle will also be warded especially when playing safe. I suggest getting or having:
  1. Smoke of Deceit
  2. Shadow Blade
  3. Rune of Invisibility

Now you'll never know.

This is the end of the guide as the heading implied.

Feel free to rate, criticize, thumbs up or down. Again, this is my first guide whatsoever so pardon my mistakes and correct me in the commend section ^_^ Till the next time I update this guide, see ya'll!

My secrets...spilled.

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