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Phantom Assassinator

June 10, 2014 by bwy3
Comments: 19    |    Views: 13030    |   


DotA2 Hero: Phantom Assassin

Purchase Order


Boots (pick one)

Core (choose wisely)

Do Get

Try NOT to Get

Hero Skills

Stifling Dagger

1 3 7 9

Phantom Strike

2 5 8 10


4 12 13 14

Coup de Grace

6 11 16


15 17 18

Phantom Assassinator

June 10, 2014


To Me

Hi, this is my first guide here and I was inspired to write it after two good games as Phantom Assassin (PA). (Matches 708921584 and 708606788). I've learned a lot from this site since I started playing a month ago and wanted to give back, since I don't see any builds like the one I've used. It's probably quite nooby, but it's partially inspired by Purge (details below) and worked in pubs, at least! Try it and enjoy. I will keep it short and to the point: stomping pub games.

To the Hero

PA is a carry with basically only right-clicking potential. His strength is the element of surprise.

Start Game


Try your best to go safe lane with a baby-sitter; best-case scenario, he will be ranged, have a disable, and not contest your farm. Don't go ganking.

Starting Items

Pro noob tip for noobs like us - use Stifling Dagger to last-hit. This is what the Clarity is for.

Skill Build

Priorities are to
  1. lower the cost and raise the damage of Stifling Dagger for easier farm (I'm not that good at last hitting but I find that 2 levels makes it easy).
  2. get some points in Blur (almost a free Talisman of Evasion) and your escape, Phantom Strike
  3. stay at relatively high health and wait for kill opportunities. Chill close to your tower, never taking damage, because of Stifling Dagger's range. Because in the beginning of the game, PA is hella good for a hard carry, and you want to use your regen for after you go for kills.

Early Kills

Speaking of being good early game, here's why this is a pub-stomping snowball guide. You can pretty easily get early kills with PA, which makes snowballing that much easier. Here's how. Wait until you get a few levels in Stifling Dagger and Phantom Strike. Also let the enemies' health drop to about half; usually, you can count on your partner harassing them, since players in pubs often ignore creeps and attack heroes while laning.

Let the enemies push the lane up to your tower. This should happen because you should never be auto-attacking the creeps, and the enemies probably will be. They may also gang up on your lane partner (remember, you're hanging back) and chase them into the tower! [BREAD AND BUTTER ALERT] Drop your Stifling Dagger, then Phantom Strike to the enemy, and get a few hits in. Use another dagger or blink if you can/need it. If they can make it back to their tower, fall back, and await another chance.

NOTE: having a good support will make this ridiculously easy.

Mid Game


  • Get either Phase Boots, for staying on top of someone you've blinked to longer, or Power Treads, for attack speed and some stats. It's a personal preference thing.
  • Choose wisely between core items. You will need Morbid Mask in general, so it's the first item I usually get after my boots.
    Skull Basher and Maelstrom are amazing items on PA. You can stun enemies after blinking to them, and proc more crits. Attack speed is very good on PA, for crits and life steal.
    Battle Fury is almost mandatory, since it helps with teamfights, lifesteal and farming, plus I'm pretty sure the regen is useful. It costs a lot, but is mandatory if the enemies have any illusions.
    Black King Bar is mandatory if the enemy has many disables.
Notice how much utility PA gets out of a few low-cost items, unlike other hard carries (silly Alchemist and Faceless Void). About 4000 to 6000 gold, and you'll carry very well already mid-game.


You don't have a good escape, so stick with your team, behind the initiators. Wait for stuns to go down [BREAD AND BUTTER ALERT], dagger a target, BKB if necessary, blink to him, and watch him die. Repeat, spamming Stifling Dagger and Phantom Strike. As a rule of thumb, push with about as many heroes as the other team has alive.

Note on Farming

Jungle whenever possible, kill creep waves whenever safe. Spam your Phantom Strike every time you can, to do it faster and because of its low cost.

Late Game

You're a carry, and you're farmed. This is your time. Use your [BREAD AND BUTTER] and help your team wipe the opponents, then push. Notice how the big items are mostly all built from the core items from mid game.
Shadow Blade would be nice early game, but delays more important items too much. You can get it if for some reason you need to push safely.
Hood of Defiance is another item good against heavily nuking teams, though you should also be using your BKB in team fights if that's the case. You're almost immune to right-clicks with your evasion, but nukes still hurt.

Buddies and Nemeses

Heros with stuns, slows and pushing power make you very happy.
Heros with stuns, evasion and general right-click immunity (grr, Omniknight) make you sad, but luckily, they're rare. Consider getting a Monkey King Bar for those with evasion, and be happy if you force your enemies to do so as well.

Thanks for Reading

I learned almost everything I know from Purge playing Phantom Assassin, and his commentary is excellent. Watch the game if you want to be a good PA.

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