Starting items are usual. Some regen for surviving on lanes. Ring of Protection
for quick Ring of Basilius
and thus more Dagger spam. Stout Shield
for later upgrade to Vanguard
Consider buying a Quelling Blade
for easy last hits. Works for Stifling Dagger
when attacking creeps with it.
If you get shutdown hard in lane (when dagger spam to creeps is also dangerous), buy Iron Talon
by disassembling Ring of Basilius
and starts jungling while taking 2 early level of Blur
to survive jungle. Buy Ring of Health
to dismiss any needs for further regen from courier and farm until you get Power Treads
For early game we buy Ring of Basilius
, Blight Stone
, and Power Treads
Ring of Basilius
for dagger spam, and later for pushing. Turn off when in laning phase so you don't push the lane. Upgrade this to Ring of Aquila
if someone else in the team plans to buy Vladmir's Offering
, otherwise keep it. RoA will delay the items we want in next section.
Even if you don't upgrade at all, keep that Ring of Basilius
as long as possible. It's good for pushing lanes.
for cheap damage utility to units and buildings alike. Later it upgrades to Desolator
instead of Phase Boots
because we want the tankiness against nukes rather than going glass cannon since if we can prevent buying Black King Bar
, we don't buy said item. Keep it to strength in fights, change to Agi when right clicking creeps, and change to Int when you cast abilities to farm.
Then let's go the next section where you guys will criticize my build...
AND / OR
Oooh I know what you guys thinking...
??? WTF!?? I CAN BUY BKB AND ITS BETTER!!
Well for you people out there thinking like that... News flash: Black King Bar
is pricey as hell. It costs 3975 gold!
And you probably need a lifesteal for Phantom Assassin
to go jungle which at the very least cost of 900 gold
. Totalling 4875 gold
of passive farming. Too much gold needed when you want to be active at 15 minute mark.
meanwhile gives more ultility at price cost of 2225 gold
First and foremost it gives:
- 250 HP
- 8 HP Regeneration
- 100% chance to block 32 Damage.
It seems simple and probably doesn't give much, but in early game it does huge.
means she can tank one extra nuke
that otherwise will kill her.
The damage block gives her the ability to cut creep wave from enemy lanes. Combined with Blur
effect, she can do this sneakily and will be safe until the enemy get notification that their tower is attacked by your own creeps.
The damage block also gives her the ability to jungle with minimum damage received and the extra HP regen will return it back quickly. Thus, she effectively bypass the need for lifesteal.
Also the HP regen means she can be active in farming jungle after pushes or fights.
Ultimately, it only consumes one slot! One! You can fill any spare slot for useful ultility item (After TP scroll of course) like wards, smoke, etc when your support asks you to bring one.
I know, I know, I just said we don't need lifesteal in like 3 paragraphs above, But Vlad is not just for you, It's also for your team... And creeps.
+4 Armor, 15% Base damage bonus? Life steal all for your teammates?
Rush this instead of Vanguard
when you don't need to tank or your teammates can tank the enemy nukes. Vlad will give them better chance to survive on right click attacks after nukes (which means more nukes from them).
Most importantly, Vlad works with Corrupt (Desolator) UAM, another reason to avoid buying other form of lifesteal. Make sure to buy Morbid Mask
last before recipe as the lifesteal is blocked by Blight Stone
Getting both Vanguard
and Vladmir's Offering
is not a bad idea. They make Phantom Assassin
so tanky at the cost of low damage. Get these two first when your team can wipe the enemies without much damage input from you or your team likes to run minus armor heroes like Slardar
, Vengeful Spirit
that can enhance your damage.
Returning to finish one of these two after Desolator
is not bad either, because you will benefit much from them.
Since we want mid game dominance, Desolator
is the cheapest right click damage item and have powerful synergy with Stifling Dagger
and Coup de Grace
, works on towers as well for extra pushing speed.
Having a Skull Basher
is a given when you already buy Vanguard
. Later it upgrades into Abyssal Blade
. Although Abyssal has a price of 1550 gold
for just recipe (very costly recipe) which is why Abyssal Blade can be delayed until you run out of space or the game demands it.
is probably the most interesting choice. Why Diffusal?
First, it purges. The Purge effect can be used to "clean" yourself from Silver Edge
's Break effect, or Bloodthorn
's Soul Rend or even silences. But most likely, you will use it for offensive to prevent enemies escaping. The Agility stats means more damage and more attack speed. The purge also stops Ghost Scepter
(which an item they will most likely buy considering how destructive you are), no more safety in Ghost Form for the enemies.
Sadly, the Mana Burn is a mere bonus damage and considered separate damage instance (meaning doesn't stack with your crits), but otherwise welcomed. Well, if Mana Burn stacks with your crits, I guess Butterfly
is useless for Phantom Assassin
The Item is cheap, a mere 3150 Gold
. Cheaper than even Eagle Song (which costs 3200 Gold
) but gives better stats and easier to build. For Extra 700 gold
, you get extra 10 Agi stats and 5 Int when upgrading the diffusal.
For a total 3850 Gold
, you get same stats as Butterfly
. Of course, in late game situation Butterfly
is superior, but it's an uphill battle to get said item. One can say, for PA, Diffusal Blade
is a bootlegged version of Butterfly
Next is Manta Style
Manta deserves a special mention in this side. First of all, it's easy to build. It also gives powerful Agi stats (more damage), decent health, extra movement speed, and most importantly the self purging when using its active (the illusions created from this can also mana burn the enemy when you have Diffusal Blade
. The active is more of the No-charge cost version of Diffusal Blade, but only able to cast to self and has some cooldown. The illusion when crits, deal some decent damage, don't underestimate this.
MONKEY KING BAR
So, you somehow are not able to end the game when you have Diffusal Blade
or Manta Style
... don't worry, PA still has more options.
is a powerful item to push T3 towers. Extra armor for your creeps and friendly heroes (+9
when you have Vladmir's Offering
) and minus armor aura (-5)
for enemies and towers. -12 Armor
(AC stacks with Deso) is no joke when you have crazy crits backing you up, and towers will melt under your attacks. Don't dismiss the attack speed bonus as well.
Monkey King Bar
is only needed when enemies have evasion in their team. The damage is good, but Assault Cuirass
delivers better utility.
is the ultimate item when facing heroes with good right click attack speed or BAT
(base attack time) and have Monkey King Bar
to back them up (use the active to stun them up). Another primary reason is that it saves an item slot for more late game items. Although Facing one MKB heroes is fine, but when facing many... look at situational items.
Consider selling Diffusal Blade
in exchange of Eye of Skadi
when the game goes super late. Despite the UAM doesn't stack, the stats you gain makes up for it. Besides Stifling Dagger
already done most of the job of slowing down enemies.
HAND OF MIDAS
HOOD OF DEFIANCE
BLACK KING BAR
Get Hand of Midas
under 7 minutes! Meaning you probably can only get this when you have first blood or your allies often come to your lane to gank or set up kills (or somehow someway you get free farm). Getting this has crazy requirements, but you don't want to delay your items. Always skip this if you cannot fulfill that requirement.
Next is Hood of Defiance
I know... you are going to cry for my blood once more.
HOOD!? WTF!? FIRST IS VANGUARD!? NOW YOU WANT TO BUY HOOD!?
Hood of Defiance
is dirt cheap. Only costs 1750 gold
, less than half from Black King Bar
. Of course it comes at the cost of unable to block stuns, but it can mitigate major magic damage. Read the item's active. It's that powerful. Especially when against heroes like Necrophos
, Ancient Apparition
or any heroes that has crazy nukes but don't have amazing crowd control. Later (and I mean LATER), it can be upgraded to Pipe of Insight
. It can also be said, Hood of Defiance
is the bootlegged version of Black King Bar
Also, it doesn't matter now if in one team has two Pipes. There is no cooldown to get the actives from one pipe to another.
Like I stated above, get Black King Bar
when the enemy has many stuns and loves to put them on you. Don't get both however, they are redundant. Definitely buy this when YOU are the one that has to put down Enchantress
Last, but not least, is Silver Edge
. If you read at my Abyssal Blade
section, then this is the situational I mentioned about. Here is why:
The best way to to get away from Monkey King Bar
is to not get seen.
WOOOHOOO AND THE DARWIN AWARDS GOES TO.................???
Jokes aside, I'm serious when I say invincibility is the best counter to MKB. No enemies can right-click attack you when you are not visible to them, it's just Dota logic.
Also it gives extra benefit. Go invis with the active, wait for your team to distract them, wade through their team, attack the most dangerous enemy, then use Phantom Strike
. Bam they're dead. You can even be the last "to enter" the battle to smoke the troublesome guy out.
What you hate are not melee MKB carriers, but the ranged ones like Sniper
, or Dragon Knight
. Especially DK, I hate that guy so much. So stupidly tanky, stupid regen, stupid stun duration, stupid dragon form, stupid no cast time abilities.
Holy hell, I hate that guy.
Though I love it when my teammates git good with that guy. 4head.
Rants aside, Phantom Assassin
usually does not suffer from getting kited due to Stifling Dagger
and Phantom Strike
, but she still does suffer from it when the enemy RANGED carry waits you to use Phantom Strike
on his ally then proceed to strike you down. (If facing melee carry, you can always switch target without getting kited because they have to come close to you as well). Hence the need for invincibility on demand to search that damn annoying guy and smoke him out.
There is more utility to Silver Edge
than countering MKBs. It can also be used to wade battlefield to search those troublesome supports in the back line like Witch Doctor
, Ancient Apparition
that waits for opportune moment to cast their abilities, then kills them before they are able to do so.
Although this applies in general, not just as a PA. Silver Edge
is a potent tool when facing a 3-2 line up. Meaning 3 heroes on the front, 2 back line heroes (or I usually point them as the smoothers) backing them up or vice versa. In these line up, the ones that are dangerous are not the carry (if melee) or even the tankers, it's the back line heroes, especially in early game because most of the time they have dangerous ultimates that will rekt your team. Invincibility will give the benefit to search for them or even surprise them because back line heroes most of the time are easy to kill.
That's why in certain game, Blink Dagger
maybe ideal to some heroes, but Silver Edge
can do better.
Although you probably wonder, doesn't Shadow Blade
offers the same? at cheaper cost as well...
My answer will be because Silver Edge
has decent stats, but most importantly it can be disassembled. (Some heroes in some games better just have the Shadow Blade
and not Silver Edge
and save the gold for some better items, but this item is good on Phantom Assassin
is now made from Shadow Blade
and Ultimate Orb
(6.87). This means, you can get Manta Style
faster by using Silver Edge's Ultimate Orb and only has to farm Yasha
and the recipe. Silver Edge
can be farmed again at later time, and should be done so because it gives powerful stats and Break Effect can bring victory in late game.
Besides, who expect a late game Silver Edge
when most of the game the enemies are used to visible or blinking heroes??
Enemies and Allies
This build puts Phantom Assassin
into an independent strong front liner while also giving some benefits to her team. She works well with practically any heroes with some exceptions like perhaps Faceless Void
because of his Chronosphere
However, there is one item that will always be your ally in anyway possible:
If an ally builds one, he is your bestest friend. No ifs or buts. HE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND. The item is far from ideal for PA, and the mana cost is too big to even be used by your tiny mana pool. But when an ally has it, she nearly becomes god like in early game.
will save your pretty ***, count on it, especially when you want to put early game dominance.
If some heroes like Tidehunter
wants to build Blink Dagger
, stop him and ask him to build Mekansm
. Because you will be in the front line, baiting enemies to come for you, get some hit, get healed by mekansm, then Tidehunter use tentacle rape for you to finish the job. He doesn't need to do surprise tentacle rape when you already bait the enemy to the ideal position. And he can spend the money for Aghanim's Scepter
because of AoE minus armor nuke.
A special mentioned hero:
Purist Thunderwrath maybe your arch-enemy in lore, but you are best friends in lanes and fights.
is a lesser mekansm and sync well with you who will most likely be in the enemy's face.
With Repel you have portable BKB, thought don't count on it so much, it has very low cast range.
Her strongest counter when using this build most likely candidate is Spectre
because of her Desolate
ignoring evasion and Dispersion
just ****s your team up. Dragon Knight
is also a strong counter when he buys Silver Edge
, because his stun is instant and long duration. Sven
is also a dangerous enemy when they have repositioning heroes like Magnus
and Dark Seer
. His Great Cleave
will put you down without even touching you directly.
Two heroes deserve special mention that can counter your *** to next sunday:
has become the most dangerous hero because that chicken bird will fry you to crisp with Sun Ray
. With the 6.87 patch many people loves maxing Sun Ray
first over Fire Spirits
, making the bird your most deadly opponent from the early game!
is pure damage so no amount of protection will save you, and the only thing counter this is Black King Bar
. BUY IT WHEN FACING PHOENIX, IT'S MANDATORY.
ALSO THE EGG, DON'T FORGET THE EGG IN EARLY GAME. You can't cast Phantom Strike
on the egg, making you a sitting duck trying to destroy the egg with your pitiful attack speed.
is already a counter to her because of his pure damage skills. Becomes even more dangerous because the buff to Blade Mail
Of course the most dangerous counter to her now is this one item:
will and always will be your downfall, no matter what shape and form, especially with the recent buff in 6.87. If an enemy has this item, IGNORE
him until the item is on cooldown. And when you have the mistake to throw a dagger at him and he pops Blade Mail, PRAY IT DOESN'T CRIT BECAUSE BKB WON'T SAVE YOUR *** NOW
The second item is Monkey King Bar
but it's obvious and I have given some ways to deal with this item in earlier section.
Viable Items but I do not recommend
This is my thoughts to certain items, you may agree or disagree depends on you.
These items are:
SANGE AND YASHA
is good but countered by Monkey King Bar
. With Blur
, you already incite most enemies to buy Monkey King Bar
making this item less than ideal. This item is trumped by Eye of Skadi
when being seen this way.
Sange and Yasha
probably the most viable here, but one I still did not recommend. SnY doesn't offer anything beside stats, some health (+16 Strength), some damage (+32 attack damage: +16 from bonus, +16 from Agi stats), attack speed bonus (+32 attack speed: +16 from bonus, +16 from Agi stats), and Maim ability, which in my honest opinion not that much needed because you have allies in battle and have QW abilities to catch up. It's good, but that's it.
The item is just good, not great.
The health bonus is tremendous, but we don't need that much since we are already tanky enough with Vanguard
. The Agi stas are good, but there is something better. And most importantly, it cannot purge negative buffs, so buying this item can get her getting kited when enemies cast slows on you or even silence you to prevent escape or fighting back with Phantom Strike
and also forces you to buy Black King Bar
in later stages.
meanwhile purges negative buffs, so less dependent on Black King Bar
. Gives Strength but not overwhelmingly so. Giving less damage for you, but compensated by being able to summon illusions, and also gives better attack speed (+41 attack speed: +26 from stats, +15 from bonus). The utility is just far, far better.
Manta also can be build from some parts of Silver Edge
, making her more open to options. Sange
however offers no benefit at all to her, even when disassembling SnY for Manta. Most that you can do is selling that item, and that is what I call inefficiency. When going mid game dominance, inefficiency is your worst enemy.
While of course some games may demand more health and that extra 'oomph' to kill enemies, most of the time, you want Manta Style
. Besides, the cost difference between these two items are mere 850 gold
Third is Heaven's Halberd
, it falls the same way as Butterfly
but far worse because the item doesn't give many benefits for its costs.