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5 Votes

Community Guide to Nyx Assassin (Support)

April 8, 2021 by Hades4u
Comments: 0    |    Views: 47999    |   

Position 4

DotA2 Hero: Nyx Assassin

Hero Skills

Nyxth Sense (Innate)


1 3 5 7

Mind Flare

11 13 14 16

Spiked Carapace

2 4 8 9


6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

Vendetta applies Break for 5s
600 Mind Flare Radius
+120 Impale Damage
+0.5s Spiked Carapace Stun
-3s Mind Flare Cooldown
+0.5s Spiked Carapace Reflect Duration
+0.2s Impale Stun Duration
+50 Vendetta Damage

Community Guide to Nyx Assassin (Support)

April 8, 2021


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.

Please feel free to leave any comments or suggestions if you have feedback on the guide. Without further ado, let's get started!

Note: You might find DotA specific terms used throughout the guide. Feel free to let us know in the comments if something is unclear or to check out this useful DotA glossary! :)

Abilities & Talents


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)

Max Priority


Bonus damage, lower cooldown, longer duration makes maxing the ultimate the priority whenever possible. The stun duration and damage from Impale (Q) makes it a good skill to max to set up a kill on enemy heroes. With Mana Burn (W) and Spiked Carapace (E) scaling as the game goes on and enemy heroes get stronger, they are lower priority skills to max early on. The lower cooldown and increased stun duration on Spiked Carapace make it better to max it over Mana Burn.

Only get an early point in Mana Burn (W) when you're against heroes with high intelligence that enjoy to spam abilities, such as Skywrath Mage, when the ability would be most effective. This way, you'll be getting a lot of value from a single early point, without needing to invest more points until the later stages of the match.


+0.25s Impale stun duration - 6% spell amplificaiton is fairly underwhelming compared to a +0.25s bonus stun duration. With this talent, Meteor Hammer becomes an easier follow-up stun on any targets caught up in Impale, making you a potential team stunner every time Impale and Meteor Hammer are off cooldown.

+250 Health - Both choices are good for level 15. In most cases it’s better to go for the bonus health, as it’s going to increase your durability during fights and allow you to cast more of your abilities before getting killed. However, the bonus movement speed can also be good to boost your mobility, feel free to go for it instead if you feel your enemies are getting away and the extra movement speed could help with that.

+140 Impale damage - More damage on a stun is always a good thing. The increased percentage of damage return on Spiked Carapace is hard to use, hard to pinpoint specific damage instances in hectic team fights, and originally Spiked Carapace is used for it’s stun rather than damage, thus the other talent is kind of unreliable.

However, if there are enemy heroes that have big single instance bursts, such as Lina’s Laguna Blade, Lion’s Finger of Death, Keeper of the Light’s Illuminate, etc, then the percentage of increased damage return on Spiked Carapace can be a good talent to pick.

Vendetta unobstructed pathing - Free pathing during Vendetta will allow you to scout a lot better in later parts of the game, especially if you don’t know whether the enemy team has vision or not, being able to go into trees or over cliffs where the enemy can’t chase you might save your life. The utility it provides is very good, and is usually better than +100 agility.

The agility bonus gives you 80 Attack Speed and 80 damage, but you don’t attack in fights, bonus armor - it isn’t your job to tank in fights but it can be useful. Most of the time Vendetta unobstructed pathing will give you greater benefits than these bonuses.


Starting Items

The two sets of Tangoes together with the passive health regeneration provided by the Enchanted Mangoes will be more than enough to keep you alive throughout the early game. You’ll be using your abilities constantly to harass and keep your enemies under control, and for this the two sets of Clarity and the mana provided by Enchanted Mangoes when consumed will keep you fueled enough to always be able to cast your abilities when needed. Feel free to use the courier whenever you run out of health and mana, in most cases it’s better to spend some gold and stay active instead of always retreating to base.

Early Game


You will have to make the choice between Tranquil Boots or Arcane Boots. Since you’re going to be building multiple items that provide mana regeneration later on, you don’t necessarily need to get Arcane Boots for yourself. However, if nobody on your team is buying Arcane Boots, you can consider getting them as it’s going to be keeping your team with a mana boost during fights. Tranquil Boots in most cases is better because it increases your mobility and regenerates your health very quickly, meaning you are always able to fight and move quickly wherever you’re needed.

The Magic Wand will gather charges whenever enemies cast spells in your presence. These charges will be useful in many situations, as they’re going to be giving you an instant boost of health and mana, potentially saving your life or giving you extra mana to cast an ability when you really have to but don’t have any mana left. A great item to consider on any hero!

Core Items

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.

Situational Items

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!


Early Game

Since Nyx Assassin has a high base health regeneration, you can use this to your advantage to trade blows with your enemies, as you’ll regenerate the health lost much faster than they will. This will force your enemies to use their regeneration items constantly and to buy more in order to stay in lane. Forcing your enemies to use their regeneration or even go back to base will make them lose gold, time and experience, giving you the edge in the early game.

Most of the times you’re going to be against 2 heroes on lane, meaning you should try to always position yourself in such a way that you can stun both enemies when using your Impale. Remember that Impale stuns all targets hit in a line and it can only be cast on ground, not on target, meaning you’ll have to carefully aim every time when casting Impale.

Securing last hits is essential in the early game. Use your harassing capabilities and abilities to deny creeps from your enemies while securing creeps for your own lane partner or even yourself. Always keep in mind that ranged creeps give the most experience and denying them is very valuable, but so is securing your own ranged creeps, meaning it's almost always worth it to sacrifice your mana and cast Impale to secure a ranged creep last hit or deny.

Mid Game

Gank heroes and scout with your Vendetta. Try not to reveal yourself the map, and if you don't have a choice, try for as little time as possible. You being off the map forces the enemy to play more cautious and thus miss out on opportunity to farm and make plays. Enemies will be scared and their paranoia will force them to buy wards to keep an eye on your movements. Know your power! ;)

Positioning is key in team fights, as your stun is very powerful and hitting multiple targets at the same time can easily turn fights around. Also, be mindful of spells to actively counter with Spiked Carapace, such as ‘uncontrollable damage’ (any Radiance carrier, Ember Spirit’s Flame Guard, etc), or big area ultimate abilities like Sanity’s Eclipse or the aforementioned Mortimer’s Kisses.

Black King Bar is your natural enemy, your job now is to survive until they run out of magic immunity and you can land your stuns or initiate onto Black King Bar carriers from invisibility before they can react.

Late Game

Once the duration on Black King Bar on the enemy heroes decrease, your game becomes a lot easier. Try to survive the 5 second window that Black King Bar offers the enemy heroes by itemizing against their damage and running down the time ( Eul's Scepter of Divinity is 2.5 seconds of immunity, Ghost Scepter is 4 for physical damage).

Afterwards, enemy cores are fair game, your cores should dispatch of them during a stun or two. Don't forget to always use your Meteor Hammer and any other abilities or items at your disposal, don't give your enemies any chances!


Thank you for reading this community guide to Nyx Assassin! If you liked the guide, don't forget to vote and leave us a comment with your thoughts! If you have any suggestions, criticism or other feedback, comments of all sorts are appreciated. Good luck in your Nyx Assassin games!

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