|Hey everyone, welcome to this collaborative guide for Nyx Assassin. In this guide, we'll be going over all the essential info you'll need to get started with our favorite sneaky bug. This guide is aimed at lower level play or for players unfamiliar with the hero.|
Impale - Provides a strong stun that can hit multiple enemies in a line. Enemies will tend to move in random directions in order to avoid the stun, always try to anticipate their movement and cast accordingly. This skill is more difficult to use than other similar skills such as Lion’s Earth Spike, because you can only target the ground, not directly the enemies, meaning you’ll have to aim manually and risk missing your targets.
One way to make sure that you're going to hit your targets is to allow them to attack, use your Spiked Carapace first to stun them, and afterwards follow with an Impale that theoretically cannot miss. Be creative!
Positioning is key! Always look to position yourself in such a way that you can hit enemies in a line, maximizing the effectiveness of the stun and damage of Impale. This skill used properly in the right circumstances can even match Tidehunter’s Ravage!
This ability can also hit invisible units, meaning you can use it to anticipate the movement of enemies that are trying to escape with low health using invisibility and maybe take them down in a cool fashion. Play smart!
The stun is relatively long at maximum level and hitting multiple targets can be team fight winning. Make sure to pay attention if your teammates also have stuns, as it would be ideal to always chain your stuns rather than overlapping them (e.g. if your Lion has stunned enemies first, wait for the stun to almost run out and then stun yourself, to maximize the stun duration and effectiveness). Efficiency makes a great difference in the long run!
Meteor Combo Tip! The stun of Impale lasts for 2.6 seconds (2.85 with level 10 talent) and will not be able to always chain stun some heroes with Meteor Hammer. Even though the channeling time of Meteor Hammer is 2.5 seconds, it still takes an extra 0.5 seconds for the meteor to actually land, making it a total of 3 seconds to hit your target, giving them a window of 0.4 seconds between the Impale and the meteor landing to escape. For example, during that 0.4 seconds window, Lifestealer can quickly use his Rage and any hero owning Black King Bar can activate its magic immunity effect.
However, there is a smart way to do it! In order to chain stun a hero that has an escape mechanism, you need to hit your Impale at maximum range and instantly after start channeling your Meteor Hammer. This can be tricky to time and hit, but it will be a confirmed chain stun. The logic is that, while the spikes are travelling and the enemy will be hit with the last spikes, it gives you a few extra milliseconds to channel Meteor Hammer and then it will successfully hit. In conclusion, whenever you've used Vendeta and you're scouting, it's better to go for the maximum stun range instead of initiating with a basic attack, even if you're losing the bonus damage. (great tip by /u/physiCS_Nevermore, thank you!)
Advanced Tip! Impale has a short casting animation before the skill is used, allowing you to cancel the animation and cast again if you feel like it will miss. You can also use animation cancelling in order to be unpredictable and make it difficult for enemies to dodge your Impale. Animation cancelling can be done by using the “Stop” command that is commonly bind on the “S” key. Feel free to practice in demo mode, it’s not easy to pull off but it’s definitely a valuable mechanical skill to know!
Mana Burn - Great ability against high intelligence heroes (e.g. Outworld Devourer, Tinker, Silencer). Will burn their mana, reducing the amount of abilities they can cast in fights while also dealing high burst damage based on the mana burnt. Can also be used in the laning stage to force enemy laners to use their mana regeneration. Enemy heroes without mana to cast their abilities are always weaker in fights!
Very short cooldown at maximum level - only 4 seconds, meaning it can be used actively in fights for maximum effectiveness and also to remove Linken’s Sphere Spell Block easily without wasting many resources (as it blocks a targeted ability, meaning Mana Burn ‘tanks’ that shield and removes it cheaply).
Quick cast animation, meaning it can be used right after you use your stun, resulting in very high burst damage (depending on the intelligence of the target hero).
Because mana burnt is calculated as a percentage of intelligence, generally it will only take 3 casts to fully deplete an enemy’s mana, especially on heroes that don’t buy mana items (generally hard carries such as Drow Ranger and Anti Mage or heroes that prefer stats over raw mana such as Puck and Necrophos). Particularly effective against heroes with low mana pools and high costing spells, or frequently cast spells, mainly strength heroes such as Earthshaker, Bristleback or Night Stalker. Although the amount of mana burnt (and thus damage) can be low, they’ll be unable to cast as many spells due to lower mana pool.
Spiked Carapace - Very strong defensive ability that can easily cancel channeling abilities that deal damage and also enemy initiators. Main counter for heroes such as Snapfire (can cancel her Mortimer’s Kisses), Tinker (can stun him by walking in March of the Machines), Outworld Devourer (can stun him by positioning around Astral Imprisonment) and many others!
The stun is relatively long and in combination with Impale it can result in a 5 seconds stun on multiple targets in a fight. Look for enemy spells and attacks that deal the most damage and try to block those with Spiked Carapace, as the damage received is negated and also reflected back to the attacker, meaning they could receive high amounts of unexpeted damage (e.g. Lion’s Finger of Death, Lina’s Laguna Blade).
Can be casted during Vendetta without breaking the invisibility, meaning you can block incoming enemy attacks and abilities without losing the invisibility and movement speed bonus (e.g. good for escaping).
Low cooldown and mana cost at maximum level makes Nyx Assassin difficult and annoying to deal with in fights.
Vendetta - Can be used both offensively and defensively. It’s ideal to not use Vendetta defensively too much when it’s at level 1, since it’s cooldown is relatively long. However, once you’ve reached level 2 or 3 in Vendetta you can use it more freely as its cooldown will be shorter and duration longer.
Deals high pure damage and applies Break on the target hit. This is a great ability to deal with heroes that depend on passive abilitities, since Break completely disables their passives. Common examples would be Bristleback, Phantom Assassin and Timbersaw, Break greatly reducing their power. The pure damage dealt is also useful since it goes through all types of protection (armor and magic resistance).
Can be used in combination with Impale and Mana Burn to hunt enemy heroes and burst them down. Calling your teammates to join you when looking for enemy heroes to burst is best, as the extra damage will increase your odds of killing your targets (e.g. Invoker can Sun Strike your target, Ancient Apparition can use their Ice Blast, Lifestealer can Infest you while invisibile).
The first attack when coming out of Vendetta cannot miss, meaning it can also be used to deal with enemy heroes that depend on evasion (e.g. Phantom Assassin, Windranger)
|Meteor Hammer offers great utility in helping your team push towers, or stunning enemy heroes for 5+ seconds if chained correctly with your Impale. Gives more than enough time for your teammates to burst down the targets hit.|
|Eul’s Scepter of Divinity is another item that has great utility. Setting up your own stun or a teammate’s stun, buying more time for your team to arrive to help you, and another way to cancel channeling spells or enemies trying to teleport out. All the item’s components aren’t too expensive and offer good bonuses when bought, meaning it’s an easy item to get as each component is great to have on their own and doesn’t cost too much gold.|
|Blink Dagger has fallen out of meta in the recent patches but continues to be a great item at setting up multiple hero stuns, chasing enemy heroes or escaping. However, offering no other bonuses and with a 2000+ gold cost, having no setup (someone that could initiate first to make your Impale easier to land) makes it an item that shouldn’t be bought first, but can be good if your team lacks ranged initiation or you prefer the mobility this item provides.|
|Aghanim's Scepter significantly increases your durability and makes you really annoying to deal with, especially during high ground defense. Increased casting range on Impale and Mana Burn will allow you to disable and slowly burn mana on any enemy hero that gets near your towers. Requiring only 3 Mana Burns to fully drain an opponent’s mana, and having a 4 second cooldown, coupled with increased mana regeneration to keep casting this spell, Aghanim's Scepter can make Nyx Assassin reeeeeeeeeally painful to push into. It loses some effectiveness in team fights but can still be effective if it becomes a long drawn out fight.|
|Nyx Assassin's spells originally have quite a short cast range, making it difficult to get off without putting yourself in danger. Aether Lens can also be crafted by disassembling the Arcane Boots and using its Energy Booster. Good mana regeneration allows constant use of spells either to kill or farm, however, struggles to find its place over better utility items such as Eul's Scepter of Divinity or Meteor Hammer.|
|Very strong item in most situations. Great boost to mana and mana regeneration while providing a reliable 3.5 seconds disable. Always great to have but takes time to save gold for. In combination with your Impale, it’s going to offer more than enough time to take down any unlucky enemy hero.|
|Good at removing negative buffs off teammates and yourself, has interesting synergies with Spiked Carapace, counters enemies with multiple targeted abilities (e.g. Lion, Lina).|
|Allows you to not get focused down and helps you get off your abilities before getting killed. As with many other supports, generally remaining alive and getting off your stun is more valuable compared to the damage. Being alive for longer also helps you provide more support for your team through multiple stuns and abilities used.|
|Good item to counter heavy physical damage dealers (e.g. Juggernaut, Phantom Assassin) and to boost your own magical damage output. Can also be used to quickly burst down enemy heroes, especially if your teammates can also deal high amounts of magical damage. Fun and effective in combination with Dagon (very situational).|
|Provides you with the ability to push units around. Can be used to save yourself and your teammates while also enabling you to push enemies out of position (e.g. when pushing high ground, you can push them out of their base when they're not careful). You can replace Blink Dagger with this item when the enemy team has too many ways to disable the blink (e.g. Zeus, Spectre, Raddiance). Alternatively, you can get both items if you feel like you need the extra mobility!|
|Powerful item that counters healing and offers sustain for your team. Great pickup against heroes like Morphling, Death Prophet and Alchemist. To be more specific, this item's active ability applies heal reduction, health regeneration reduction and life steal reduction on the unlucky target. Having the early Urn of Shadows is also great, as it offers some stats and bonus mana regeneration. Make sure to only build these items if no one else in your team does!|
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