Hello and welcome!
Phantom Assassin (hereby known as PA) is an AGI carry that functions best in the safelane with proper supports. Famed for her huge physical DPS she is not a hero to mess with once she hits level 6. Although PA can very easily function as a super good late game carry, this guide focuses on her ability to dominate mid game fights provided RNGesus is with you. The reason PA is capable of being a mid game carry is how easy it is for her to farm thanks to Stifling Dagger and the fact she needs very few items to start hitting like a truck. Farming away for 45 minutes getting 6 items is all well and good, but with this guide you'll be able to go around killing and fighting in 20 minutes or less resulting in maximum fun by all.
Please remember that every game is different and that no skill/item build works for every game. This, like all guides, is just a rough outline. Be fluid when you play and adapt your play to suite the game!
This guide is also available via steam here: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=297849489 Please subscribe, rate, etc. I'm open to all forms of criticism and comment - constructive or otherwise.
Good luck and may you crit often.
When to pick
- When you wanna play PA (most important factor, IMO)
- When the enemy line up has little lockdown and consists of squishy heroes
- When your team needs a safelane farmer
- When your team needs some physical DPS punch
- When your team is midgame focused and has very little late game potential
When not to pick
- When you don't want to play Phantom Assassin
- When the enemy team has a lot of lock down and disables
- When the enemy team has enough magic damage to melt you
- When you don't trust your supports to look after you in-lane
- When your team already has a safelane farmer/carry
- Very fun hero to play
- Very versatile item builds
- Good survivability later on
- Doesn't need 45 minutes worth of farm
- Great DPS
- Makes you feel like a god amongst men when you start getting those crits
- Squishy early game
- Vulnerable if unsupported
- Can be outcarried late game
- Very RNG based. Be prepared to crit every creep but not a single hero
This is what allows PA to farm so well so early. We max this first to increase the damage it deals. At low levels, use this to grab last hits. 60 pure damage should be enough to grab any last hits you need. Don't be afraid to use this often. When chasing or fighting the enemy, this spell should hardly be on cooldown. It keeps them slow and also has a chance to crit making it a wonderfully spammable nuke.
So much utility. This can be used defensively or offensively, getting you out of harms way or straight into the thick of it. Max this second to reduce the cooldown to arguably abusive levels. With a CD of only 5 seconds at level 4, you can have the bonus attack speed (a whopping 130) bonus for essentially a whole fight. Because of this, you will proc your items and crit often.
Survivability in a nutshell. A gigantic 50% evasion at level 4 will usually force the enemy team to buy a Monkey King Bar, which is a lot of gold they could spend elsewhere. This skill will keep you alive despite how squishy PA appears to be. A recent change has actually buffed this skill, making you invisible on the minimap when no one is near as opposed to when you're about to get into a fight. What this means is that your rotations aren't gonna be spotted by enemy wards so you can really sneak up on people in the midgame. It's probably better for a late-game carry PA, though, since this skill will now allow you to farm lanes in secret thus reducing your chances of getting ganked.
SPLAT! This skill is super crazy. By super crazy I mean it gives you the ability to kill enemy heroes in a single blow later in the game. Coup de Grace gives you the ability to stomp in the midgame with unparallelled DPS thus allowing you to snowball out of control before the enemy carry has enough farm.
Solid regen. Some people are inclined to get two sets of these instead of one + Healing Salve. I'm quite partial to one of each, but do what feels best for you.
Burst regen. Helps recover after a failed enemy gank, which is why I prefer one of these aswell as Tangos
Good stats and builds into a Bracer later.
Literally the best item in the game for it's cost. 3 of these will do just fine.
Something Phantom Assassin players often ponder is whether to get more damage to help nuke down the enemy or to get more attack speed to allow for more Coup de Grace procs. There is a very simple way to find out what you need... Are you winning?
Winning = Damage
If you and your team are winning the game then focus on acquiring more damage. This will help you focus down the enemy during the fights and increase the snowball. Faster fights mean more time to push lanes. Phantom Strike increases your attack speed anyway so damage should be a priority to end the fights rapidly.
Losing = Attack Speed
When you're losing fight after fight and are down on towers you must focus on getting more attack speed. The reason being is that in this position your team should be avoiding big fights and going for pickoffs on lone heroes. More attack speed means you'll crit said lone heroes down before the enemy can respond and wipe your team off the map. It also helps you farm faster so you can worry about getting ganked less.
- Midgame teamfight oriented heroes eg Treant Protector and Zeus
- Heroes with good lock down eg Lion and Shadow Shaman
- Supports that can help net kills and protect you in lane eg Crystal Maiden and Earthshaker
- Tanky initiators that force the enemy to divide their attentions eg Tidehunter and Axe
- Heavy harassers in lane eg Weaver and Keeper of the Light
- Heroes with high magic damage output eg Lina and Lion
- Heroes that will roam on you and gank you non-stop all game eg Pudge and Queen of Pain
- Heroes with stuns, slows and other good lockdowns eg Bane and Earth Spirit
To conclude, Phantom Assassin is a very fun safelane carry due to her ability to fight much earlier than others carries. Stay safe in the early game when you're most vulnerable by using Stifling Dagger until you're confident enough to last hit properly. Always be looking to kill who you're laning against. First blood or a normal kill in the laning phase can really make a difference. Farm up until you have Phase Boots, Drum of Endurance and Helm of the Dominator then join the fights! Black King Bar should be your first follow on purchase if you're gonna get it. Roam around and get as many kills as you can to enable your snowball, but don't get stupid and dive tier 4 towers.
Thank you for reading and have fun out there!