Welcome to my guide of MID PHANTOM ASSASSIN. I'm guessing you already know more or less who this character and what she can do, so this guide is for more advanced players who want to try something new. People may laugh at the idea or call you noob for even thinking about going mid with Phantom Assassin, but believe it or not it can be done effectively and it is being done in the competitive scene. (Watch Arteezy or Eternal Envy) So I'm here to show you how you can do it and how it can be done. I'm not saying this is the only way to play Phantom Assassin but if you're looking for a guide to how to safe lane with PA sorry but this is not the guide for you. Anyways I hope you like my guide :D
About Me: I'm a 16 year old kid from the Philippines I may not be the best player out there or even near that but I love Dota and I love watching it so I want to share with you what I've learned from watching Dota :)
Stifling Dagger is a skill that is essential for PA in the Mid Lane, it has two main purposes. Last hitting creeps and harassing heroes. This skill used to be stronger just in the early game but now ever since it can deal critical damage it's a skill to be feared throughout the game. And don't forget about it's slow at level 4 a 50% 4 second slow this is definitely a broken skill. As well as its extremely long casting range.
At the laning phase you're going to want to spam this skill early on to secure last hits so you can rush that bottle and become more aggressive in your lane. Use this mainly on the ranged creep (since you're a melee hero). Also don't be afraid to spam this at the enemy hero as well to stop his Health potion or mana potion or to deny him from EXP. (Abuse this skills extremely far casting range)
Use it to find easy kills by ganking and just constantly roaming the map and abusing its slow and range
Use it for spamming the enemy heroes if you're defending the high ground or threatening to take high ground.
Phantom Strike is a skill that scales amazingly into the late game because of its short cooldown. The fact that you can use it on allies as well makes it an great escape mechanism as well.
This skill isn't so strong early game since it isn't as spammable and the amount of damage you can deal in 4 attacks isn't that high only use it in two cases. 1. If you're 200% that if you use it you will kill an enemy hero and 2. For escaping purposes.
You want to be roaming around with this skill and finding easy skills paired up with your dagger or don't be afraid to use this on neutral skills to speed up your farming. Hopefully you can get some skills with some easy/lucky critical strikes.
Late Game this skill paired with your dagger becomes your Bread and Butter. Late game with your BF(Battle Fury) and BKB and other high damage output items. You become a monster. With BKB don't be scared to just jump in first and start the clash.
Blur, this skill is absolutely essential when going PA mid, this with your poor man's shield lets you stay in the Mid Lane without going back home to regen. With this skill, it allows you to become a bit more aggressive in lane in taking last-hits or if you're going a against a melee enemy hero don't be afraid to trade some hits. And blur hides you from the minimap so enemy wards aren't a problem if they aren't paying attention.
Like said on top don't be afraid to move further down the lane to get last hits or to trade hits with the hero.
For me this is when the skill is strongest(will explain later why). In the mid game while this skill is already maxed don't be afraid to have some early clashes especially if your enemies are hitter heavy heroes. But abuse this skill in the mid game you can easily win those 1 on 1 fights.
This skill would be the best late game matched with your BKB if and only if you're opponent didn't buy an MKB if they didn't great for you, you become an absolute wrecking ball late game practically untouchable with BKB. But more often then not if you're not going against complete idiots they will get an MKB which completely negates your blur.
Coup de Grace:
What makes Phantom Assassin incredibly broken is her ulti. Some people may argue skipping it at level 6 because your crit will only hit 200-300 but still that's game changing damage. Once you hit level 6 you immediately become a force to be reckoned with.
Once you get this skill try killing your enemy lane hero or try ganking immediately since there's a good chance the other lanes don't know you're level 6 and you can use this to your advantage. And also with level 6, stifling dagger's potential becomes doubled, so don't forget to spam it.
If you know the enemies warded and you can't find yourself any easy/free kills don't feel bad to move into the jungle and start farming neutrals, with your ulti you should be able to clear camps fairly quickly.
If you feel like you're ahead and you got your Level 2 Ulti and Battle Fury force your team to group up and take early towers because by know your crits should be hitting 500-600
Let's put it this way with level 3 Coup de Grace and Good farm..... GG
4. Phantom Strike
6. Coup de Grace
11. Coup de Grace
12. Phantom Strike
13. Phantom Strike
14. Phantom Strike
16. Coup de Grace
You must follow this if you plan to survive in the middle lane. Phantom Strike is pretty useless in the laning phase since you don't have a support to get them easy skills, unless you have a nice teamate who ganks the middle lane. Dagger is best early on so you should max that and Blur is best mid game so max that next and it helps you way more then you can imagine.
Poor Man's Shield - essential to surviving in the middle lane.
1x Ironwood Branch - Does more then you think
IMPORTANT: Your teamates must give you a shared tango at least two but you can do with one just play safe.
Early on laning:
Bottle - It's essential for a mid-laner to pick up a bottle, for constant regeneration,so you can spam your skills. (Spam dagger to get that early bottle)
Brown Boots - Pick this up next because well it gives MS and boots actually can help a lot while on a melee hero as you can move quickly to creeps when you wanna last hit.
Magic Wand - These charges will save your life, I promise you. Against a caster/spammer hero this item is the best but if you're going against a example Pudge it can stil help.
Town Portal Scroll- You're going to want to ALWAYS AND I MEAN ALWAYS carry around a TP Scroll aside from the fact that almost every hero should do this, PA can easily turn around fights or chase down weak heroes with a support TP.
Phase Boots - I choose phase boots over treads for this particular build because it's more of "Kill your enemy in one phantom strike kind of build" So that being said phase boots gives more damage. Plus it makes your more mobile
Battle Fury - You commonly see people in pubs rushing their battle fury I'm here to tell you that is a extremely bad idea on PA. Unlike on Anti Mage who has incredible stat gain treads isn't needed until later on and same with phase because of blink. But on PA you really should have your upgraded boots, Bottle, Magic Wand, and Poor Man's shield. Even though you get those items first you can still get your Battle Fury before 20 minutes. While getting your Battle Fury I suggest you getting your claymore first and you can't carry anymore items because your slots are already full. You won't be needing a void stone or ring of health first because you already have your wand and bottle for that.
Black King Bar - This is a MUST GET for PA unless of course you're going against a team with ZERO disables which is highly unlikely. BKB is probably the best item on PA since you rely on aggressive play and you quickly become the center of attention and BKB becomes your best friend when this happens. Don't delay this item it is needed for PA.
Skull Basher - If you feel like you've missed out on kills because your enemies have too much escapes this item is for you. Or if you're team has zero stuns get this as well. Last case, if your team is more gank oriented or if you have a good partner in crime such as Crystal Maiden I suggest going this and the fact that you can upgrade it later on to Abyssal Blade is just fantastic.
Manta Style - This item is very good because it may not give as much damage and is much more expensive but transitions PA to a more hitter oriented hero since it gives attack speed and agility, and also gives good all around stats. When to get this item, I suggest getting it if you're team is more team fight oriented since your illusions can just wreck mayhem on them(they get crit also) or if your enemy doesn't have good crowd control heroes. Or (but I don't highly suggest it) if you're team is more pushing oriented.
Helm of the Dominator - This item can turn around fights in a snap since a critcal strike will heal you insanely, the reason why I didn't put it above is because I still believe a lockdown item is more important or one that can help your team more. Maybe if your team has a lot of disables and lockdown this will be a better item pick over basher.
Butterfly - Sadly the evasion part doesn't stack with Blur but still it gives +60 Damage and good attack speed and 4.29 armor from the agility. Get this item if you go manta style because this is a good item like mentioned awhile ago if you want to transition to a more hitter oriented PA.
MKB - MKB, getting this item just makes your critical strike unfair, with this item you can easily hit 1.5k Critical strikes which can one hit most supports. But get this item if you see and enemy hero building a butterfly as to negate the evasion.
Assault Cuirass - If you feel that the enemy heroes are getting to tanky STOP building damage and go for Cuirass you have to understand that life doesn't make a hero tanky it's his armor. So how to counter this ***ualt Cuirass's negative armor aura and the attack speed it gives means.... MORE CRITS
Mjollnir - This item is the ultimate item for a hitter oriented PA (Check Build 2). Although with this item your crits will only hit 1k you can be expecting them A LOT MORE, and don't forget the active static charge is pretty amazing especially when you're getting focused on.
Satanic -Not much to say here gives good life and good lifesteal, the active can potentially let you win a 1 on 5, I suggest getting this if your team doesn't have a true tank.
Abyssal Blade - If you're got a skull basher I highly suggest you upgrade it to this immediately. What can I say + 100 DAMAGE that's an automatic plus 450 damage to your critical. Aside from that if you're going against a lifestealer or alchemist or any hero that does wonders with a bkb don't forget that Abyssal's active goes through BKB. The combo is Dagger+Blink(Don't attack yet)+ Active of Abyssal+ BURST HIM DOWN.
SPECIAL SECTION FOR BUILD 2
This build is PA played in a different sort of light you become a attack speed focused hero though your damage may not be as high your attack speed will be lightning-fast. You'll be amazed what wonders this build could do, although it isn't as effective since you don't build battle fury (as it wastes to much time) If you have a Magnus in your team, I would scrap build number 1 completely and just follow this build because if your Magnus just keeps on using there's no need for a anymore as it does the same thing. P.S. If you have a battle fury and empower on you, the cleave stacks meaning the person behind will potentially take more damage then your main target.
Start of the game:
I presume you already read the sections above, so once the game starts you're gonna wanna spam your supports (if you're solo queuing) for a tango since your starting items will be a and a you'll only be left with 25 gold. If your supports are complete *******s and ignore you, just buy a poor man's shield and play sort of passively so you can get that bottle.
Laning Phase/ Early Game:
When the game starts you're going to wanna play neutral spamming dagger to get those quick last hits so you can get your bottle and start being more aggressive. If you're going against a melee hero by level 2 once you pick up start trading hits because you will more often then not land more hits then him. With power of dagger and great attack animation of PA you should be able to win your lane fairly easily. If you're going against a high damage hero such as Exort Invoker or a Melee hero who picked up a quelling blade, I suggest you pick up a quelling blade of your own as well. Always watch out for runes if you pick up a haste or double damage rune don't be afraid to go for a kill in the middle lane or to gank other lanes. And hides you from the minimap so even though it's warded you can still gank if they're heroes aren't paying attention.
Laning Phase/ Early-Middle Game:
During this phase of the game you should have your Upgraded Boots, your bottle, Magic wand, and don't forget a TP Scroll (explained above why it's important). If you're having a fairly good game, try picking on heroes and going for fights because you should be winning those easily, on the other hand if you're having a bad game move over to the jungle and start taking those neutrals, or you can try moving to any free lane and pick up some farm and exp
By now you should have your Battle Fury and your role is more gank oriented, if you did a good job in the mid lane you should be more or less ahead of everyone else except for the enemy carry. Start taking towers and grouping up with your teamates and take the fight to them. If you're team is playing bad and you're behind have your supports buy some wards put down some defensive wards and keep on farming neutrals, (with your battle fury you can take down the ancient camp) if you're supports suck, buy wards yourself and stop complaining you make back 150 gold fast. Know that PA can easily comeback from a game with some good items, so if you feel you can't win clashes at the moment farm up a bit and you should back in it in no time. As any good dota player you should always carry a you'll be surprised what a simple TP scroll can do for you. Always try TP supporting to your teamates if see there's a clash coming in another lane. Or if you're team just took a Tier 1 tower top quickly TP bot and start pushing there.
By now you should have your and an component to your basher or manta style AT LEAST. BKB is literally game changing for PA because the other team has to technically wait for your BKB to finish before they can actually kill you. Start taking Tier 2 towers etc.. Another thing with PA is don't be a afraid to tower dive with PA because half of the time the towers attack will miss so no problem.
My favorite part of the game, when PA because IMBA **** by now you should have your BKB,BF, and either your Manta or Basher and maybe 1.5k or 2k in your pocket. Since you're the core hero always save for buyback don't think that just cause you have money spend it, I've seen and played games where they/I had up to 5k-6k in my pocket.. It's normal. By now you're gonna be taking high ground and the bad news is your BKB is probably down to around 4-6 seconds so you're gonna have to make sure to time your BKB perfectly. You're pretty hard to burst down so only use BKB when you really need too. Tip: If there's an enemy with a hex via skill or Scythe of Vyse take them out first because hex's disable your Blur and you wouldn't want that.
You may see PA as just a pub-stomping hero or a noob hero but she's actually not she's used at the highest levels and Competitive teams such as Navi or Alliance or DK have a hard time finding counters for her.
Here are Arteezy from EG and Eternal Envy from C9. Arteezy is one of my favorite players and is where I originally learned this build from.
Here are some competetive gameplays of them using PA
Friends and Foes
Your best friends here would be hero's who can buff you as to increase damage or attack speed anything that benefits your damage output.
[magnus]: This guy Magnus I personally this is the ultimate best friend of PA because is just made for PA. Here is a video of Alliance doing this combo.
Another one is [vengeful spirit] her gives a ridiculous 36% bonus damage and plus her gives a minus 6 armor and you know what that means 2K CRITS FOR DAYS and aside from that is a good lockdown
I guess you could say any heroes that give aura buffs are good with PA but these are my favorites. I guess I could give a special mention to Elder Titan's which basically removes armor but his other skills don't synergize so well with PA.
Her main foes would be bane[bane],doom [doom] and razor[razor]
Bane: Although you definitely won't be against a bane in the middle lane so no need to worry about enfeeble that much but Fiend's Grip is always a worry since it goes through BKB
Doom: Also not an enemy you are likely to face in the middle lane but in the latter part of the game if he uses doom you're pretty much screwed it removes Blur and Coup de Grace but I suggest if you see an enemy doom as your teamates to build a vlad's so you can lifesteal your way to survival :D
Your worse enemy you can possibly face in the middle lane... two words STATIC LINK
I'll just give what I feel I do very effectively and what works well for me.
1. Only applies for the Radiant Side if you're having a hard time in lane or you've pushed up too much time it correctly and stack the nearby camp or if you check top rune and there's nothing there stack the ancients or stack ancients and then check rune.
2. When taking neuts or laning and you see that you aren't getting that much critical strikes that means that they're coming so if you for example attack 7 times and zero crits use your next attacks on heroes since you're more likely to crit your next attacks.
3. The cooldown for and are different so when chasing down a hero wait till both of them are off cooldown and then do your Dagger + Blink strike Comobo
That's pretty much it, I'm not saying this is the only way to play PA but I saw there was no mid lane guide for PA and I felt like dotafire.com needed one so here! Comments and criticism are very much appreciated, this is my first guide ever so I'm hoping to make more in the future so I need your advice. Also ask any questions I will definitely answer them as soon as possible and If you feel like something should be added to the guide tell me right away and I will do my best to add it ASAP.
If you wanna play with me or practice with me my steam account is http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198047371968/ FEEL FREE TO ADD ME :D
THIS GUIDE ISN'T DONE YET I JUST WANT TO PUBLISH BUT I WILL BE CONSTANTLY UPDATING IT TY