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How you should actually play PA - Just like MVP

August 8, 2016 by Potmbestherodota2
Comments: 16    |    Views: 90054    |   

How to actually Build PA

DotA2 Hero: Phantom Assassin

Purchase Order


Some valid item choices

If you think you will need Abyssal as soon as possible

Hero Skills

Stifling Dagger

1 4 5 7

Phantom Strike

3 12 13 14


2 8 9 10

Coup de Grace

6 11 16


15 17 18

Small guide update

I recently made a small update to this guide concerning building Vanguard early. I tended to disagree with rushing this item on Phantom Assassin, but I was influenced by a couple of comments to add an extra possible build.

I personally prefer having a Vlad's, for the lifesteal, and because in my MMR, at least, there tends to be 2 or 3 other carries on my team so Vlads helps them out as well. I understand the argument for Vanguard, but I would only tend to build it if you felt you really needed a very early Abyssal Blade. I think this item is situational, and not nearly as good as it need to be, at least on Phantom Assassin and Anti Mage, but if your team lacks stun and they have say, Storm Spirit, then feel free to go this route instead.

As you will find as you read on, this guide is here to dissuade you from playing PA as a ultra late game farmer, so whether you build Vlads or Vanguard is not the focus of this guide. I go for Vlad's, but that's what I've had a lot of success with.

Also on the note of how good PA is late game, I've had it pointed out that she is not really one of the best when it comes to the very late game, despite what I say later. I must say I agree that PA is best in the mid game, but I think it's only in the super late game when she drops off. If you play like I suggest, then the enemy Morphling or Chaos Knight should not get 6 slotted til very late on.

Anyway, this guide does tell you the proper way to play PA. Ignore every guide you see on this site which says Battle Fury is core. They are wrong. This is what you should do.


Hello mein comrade! In this guide I will show you the best way to play Phantom Assassin. It won't be a very long guide; it's only PA we're talking about, not exactly Meepo, but this hero is often played wrong so here we go.

This guide is here to basically encourage players not to build the same items every game, i.e. Battle Fury, getting a Black King Bar too late, and then, oh, whoops, the game is already over because mid lost and offlane fed and you can't do anything. I'm not saying don't go fury, ideally you want to, but I only do so if early game is safe and I am the only carry on the team, which, let's be honest, never happens.

So, what should you do instead? Well, allow me to say...

...welcome to playing Vlads-Deso PA! Trust me, this works.

Overview - Why I made this guide

SO. I was interesting enough in the intro for you to make it this far, so I'll quickly explain the purpose of this guide, which is to try and get you to play Phantom Assassin differently.

Let me first say that I do not think Battle Fury is a bad item on Phantom Assassin and you should never get it. But please, make sure that you are not going to ruin the game by building it. Get it if you are the only carry on your team, your team is having a fairly secure early game, and you are getting pretty damn good farm in lane. Don't be that guy who gets it too late and can't fight until about 30 minutes when you get a late Black King Bar, by which time the game is over. I've done it, you've probably done it, and I would chance that anybody who has ever played PA a few times has probably done it. Don't do it again...

So, the idea of this guide is to encourage you to get early fighting items. Phantom Assassin is not only one of the scariest late game carries, but is also fairly decent early on, and can get scary pretty soon after level 6 if you are ready to fight. I know you like farming and getting those flashy-super-cool-looking-in-your-inventory items like Abyssal Blade, Battle Fury, Satanic, Assault Cuirass, blah blah blah, but trust me, you can get them later.

My way to play it, which works pretty damn well, is to rush Vladmir's Offering, getting phase boots as you go, and then building a Desolator. This allows you to fight very, very, early in the game and allows you to deal a huge amount of damage with Coup de Grace, scarily soon. The new Stifling Dagger changes (6.87), mean that Desolator is even better on PA than it was before.

Your Role as Phantom Assassin

Everyone knows that Phantom Assassin is a hard carry right? You should get fury early in lane, farm for a bit, then join in and kill everything right?


When you play PA, you should be fighting AT EVERY STAGE IN THE GAME.

If you are playing PA in the safelane, which is generally where you go, you should have a tp scroll. If your mid is getting dived or gets killed by their mid who is on about 50 hp then tp in, use Stifling Dagger and Phantom Strike to get yourself a free kill worth loads of gold and experience.

My point is that PA is strong at all stages of the game, and that you should never avoid a team fight except if there is a really good opportunity to split push. When you pick it, you should be expecting to play high intensity, kill-a-minute DOTA.

When to pick

I wouldn't really say there are any situations where Phantom Assassin is totally impossible to have any impact...but there are some heroes you should be wary of. I'll list some, there may be others, but here are a few that come to mind:

- Axe. The new Blade Mail is pure evil incarnate, you all know how good a BM carrier Axe is, so be careful.
- Slark????? At the moment Slark is a complete pain and is spammed continuously. He's here mostly as an example of someone who's a pretty good Silver Edge carrier, which disables Blur and Coup de Grace and handles a Monkey King Bar quite well on top. Also Shadow Dance means you can't hit him for a while during which he can hit you, but you can jump out of that I guess, and things like Manta Style, Black King Bar and even Diffusal Blade can get rid of that silver edge nonsense, so he's not really that much of a pain I guess.
- Ancient Apparition is a bit annoying due to Ice Blast preventing you from lifestealing, but you can kill it easy really.
- Windranger??? is quite good at killing you, and Monkey King Bar suits her really well. Be wary.
- Lina is here because she's an example of one of those magical damage heroes who can blow you up pretty fast, and with an Aghanim's Sceptre she is especially dangerous.

But yeah...once Phantom Assassin gets going and gets a Black King Bar she's generally a pretty good no-nonsense hero who just cries you down and doesn't care who you are. It helps if the enemy doesn't have any spell immunity piercing control, but she kinda out-carries everything really... Maybe Medusa, Wraith King, Chaos Knight, Tiny and Templar Assassin??? can beat you late, but PA stands a pretty good chance against all of them. The crit is just too good. With your dream six slots and Divine Rapier, unless they have a Reverse Polarity or Black Hole, it's kinda game over.

Quick note about the Skill Build

Not much to say here, max Stifling Dagger first, skill ult at 6, 11 and 16, and put points in your W and E depending on what you feel is better. I generally like to just put a point in Phantom Strike and max out Blur first. One point is really all you need unless you feel yourself needing to blink around more often in which case adapt the skill build accordingly, but otherwise you want to get as much evasion as soon as possible. Take advantage of the fact that it will be ages until they get a Monkey King Bar on the enemy carry, so enjoy 50% evasion while it lasts.

Here we go - Items Explained


You who have decided to carry on PA.

PLEASE make sure that it really, I mean really, is totally 100% OK, not gonna throw the game, safe to build that Battle Fury.

Too often people try to get a Battle Fury, take too @$%ing long and yeah, we lose because of it, because they can't fight, and it takes them until about the 30 minute mark before they have a BKB, by which point they're pushing high ground, their mid Zeus is beyond godlike and their [{Sven]] has an MKB.

It can work, but it really limits your ability to fight early. Build it if you won't be needed for a while, but generally, I find it more fun not getting one most of the time.

Rather I like to build, a FAST Vladmir's Offering, getting Phase Boots, not Power Treads, (better boots for early fighting and chasing, and you get attack speed with the q anyway, and they give more damage), and then building a good old Desolator.

- Vladmir's Offering is an amazing item for PA. It gives her everything she needs, a bit of lifesteal, decent health regen, enough mana regen to last you the whole of the game, its cheap, easy to build, and helps your whole team out and most importantly allows you to FIGHT EARLY.

- Desolator is brilliant. You have a Vlads for lifesteal, so you can get a UAM, so get this thing. Pretty cheap, armour reduction, **** tonne of damage, and makes those dagger crits that we all love so much more powerful.

-Look, just get a Black King Bar. This situations where you won't need it are very rare, you'll know when you're in one, so please, buy a BKB - is it really too much to ask?

After you've got a BKB, or not, you're basically free to get whatever the hell you want. If they don't have a good MKB carrier, **** it, get a Butterfly and if that's not enough, get a Heaven's Halberd. Get a Linken's Sphere if you need it; get a Manta Style if there's some nasty thingy you want to dispel, and get a Skull Basher for all your bashing needs - although, don't rush an Abyssal Blade...this item is not as good as it used to be, and there are much more fun things to be getting on with, but if they have a Storm Spirit feel free to get one and shut that stupid clown up for a while. The list of valid items goes on and on....

Thinking about longer games, Assault Cuirass is pretty cute, Satanic is your super late item after you've moved on from your Vlads-Deso if the game goes on long enough, and you should pick up a Monkey King Bar if you need it. Also, you can always come back to a Battle Fury later if you want.

Everyone should try it once in a while

Get a Divine Rapier every now and then, it's so fun. Your crits are just ******ically huge...


oh yes, where was I, nearly done.

Final Comments

I think I've covered everything I wanted to say. It suffices for me to say that Phantom Assassin is one of my favourite heroes and one of the most satisfying to play as well. I hope this guide helps you have more success playing the hero.

Thanks for reading this far, be sure to chuck in any comments you have, and lemme know what you think!

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