Hello everyone! My name is James, and Phantom Assassin (PA) is one of my top heroes for several reasons. What I really dig about her is how she can completely carry public games on her own. She’s one of the few heroes in the game who can rock a 1 vs 5 scenario. Even if she doesn’t pull off a rampage, she almost always walks out of fights with kills under her belt and makes a clean getaway. PA’s got a rep for dishing out massive crits, and once she’s geared up, she can take down enemies in just a few hits. Now, to really make her shine, she needs a decent amount of gold and some key items, especially a Black King Bar (BKB). Being one of the top PA players worldwide (I’m ranked for PA), this guide is your ticket to becoming a formidable PA player.
Before we start this awesome killer build, you all should know that after this new update, the behavior score game is changed and to overcome that, we are offering behavior score boosting service to help people match up players with high behavior scores!
When it comes to Laning Options for Phantom Assassin:
Playing Phantom Assassin (PA) on the Safe Lane:
In most cases, you’ll find PA holding down the safe lane, with at least one support having her back. She spends this phase racking up last hits and fending off enemy harassment while working towards the items she needs to start doing her thing solo. With her Stifling Dagger and Phantom Strike, she can help set up kills for her lane buddies and escape ganks quite reliably if she gets a chance to use Phantom Strike.
Playing PA on the Mid Lane:
Depending on who she’s up against, PA can work the mid-solo – one of my personal favorite ways to play her! While she might not have the highest base damage and can be an easy target for harassers, Stifling Dagger lets her nab last hits from a safe distance and keep the enemy on their toes. Both Stifling Dagger and Phantom Strike can be used for disabling and initiating when your support buddies swing by for ganks. Plus, the extra experience and gold help PA become a force earlier in the game.
Moving on to the Game Phases:
Early Game Guide for Phantom Assassin:
Remember, the items might need some tweaking based on who you’re facing, but the build I’m about to lay out is solid for most PA games. Early on, PA’s main focus should be on those last hits – without core items, she won’t pack much of a punch in fights. Start with a Quelling Blade, Tangos (if your supports are feeling generous), Slippers of Agility, and a Circlet. During laning, prioritize last-hits and grab two Wraith Bands and Power Treads. After that, put your nose to the grindstone and farm up your Battlefury (although sometimes, Desolator might be the better call – in that case, I’d suggest grabbing three Wraith Bands for that extra DPS).
Mid Game Guide for Phantom Assassin:
Now’s the time to get in the mix – keep farming, as you’re still a bit squishy without that BKB. However, keep an eye on the mini-map for opportunities to swoop in and snag kills in fights your teammates are already in. The goal in the mid-game is to snag your Desolator (if you went Battlefury first) and then get that BKB. These are your must-haves before you really start to shine.
Here are your go-to mid-game items for Phantom Assassin:
- Power Treads give PA a big boost in combat effectiveness and survivability with extra agility and attack speed. She can switch to strength for more health or intelligence for spells, particularly for repeatedly using Stifling Dagger.
- Battlefury secures PA’s farming capabilities for the late game. The damage and cleave make clearing creeps a breeze, whether for farming or pushing, and the health and mana regen keep her topped up.
- Desolator lets PA apply an armor debuff from a distance with Stifling Dagger, softening up targets for her team and herself. The damage boost also amps up the killing potential of Coup de Grace, especially when combined with the armor reduction on enemies that PA pounces on.
- BKB provides PA with much-needed spell immunity, letting her brush off enemy disables and nukes as she dives headfirst into fights. The extra health boosts her survivability, while the damage ramps up her attack power.
Late Game Guide for Phantom Assassin:
This is where things get situational, depending on the heroes you’re up against and their item choices. Here’s my recommended 6-slot build:
- Power Treads
- Abyssal Blade
- Monkey King Bar (MKB)
And you can swap out Abyssal Blade and/or MKB for:
- Nullifier: Great for countering enemies trying to dodge your high damage with Ghost Scepter. Dispelling Ghost Scepter with Nullifier turns the tables.
Assault Cuirass: When facing a team with high armor or tanky heroes, AC is a solid choice. It pumps up your damage output when you crit. Plus, enemies often stack up on armor when facing PA to mitigate her damage. AC counters this nicely!
Talent Tree Tips for Phantom Assassin:
- Level 10, +15 Damage: This is the no-brainer choice since you’re the main damage dealer and carry.
- Level 15, 15% Life Steal: This one’s non-negotiable. PA needs solid life steal to hang tough in fights. It also pairs beautifully with your ultimate, giving you a heap of HP, and heals with every Crit. With this talent and a Desolator, you can solo Roshan!
- Level 20, -4 Armor Corruption: It dishes out even more damage by lowering enemy armor. And it stacks with your Desolator too. I tend to pass on the +30 Blur Evasion since you already have 50% Blur. Most enemy carries will grab an MKB or Silver Edge, making this talent nearly moot.
Level 25, Triple Stifling Dagger: Both talents can work, but nine times out of ten, this one’s the champ. Three daggers that can Crit late game? That’s a game-changer in team fights, especially since they’ll get the Battlefury’s cleave! Plus, when defending waves, this can practically clear the whole lot (thanks to the Battlefury cleave).
Key Tips for Winning with Phantom Assassin:
Being a top PA player hinges on knowing when to jump into the fray. Get yourself in a good position and be patient. Your weak spots are always crowd control and high-damage nukers – so they’re your first targets. Once you’ve taken them out thanks to Blur, you’re almost guaranteed to dominate the physical showdown.
Let your team lead the way and wait for the high-damage nukers/crowd-control foes (usually the supports) to reveal themselves. Pop that BKB and dive right in (take them out).
Remember, your skills aren’t just for offense – they’re your lifeline. PA’s got three abilities that make it easy to evade enemies. Use Dagger to slow, Blur to vanish (like a smoke bomb), and Phantom Strike to blink around. And remember, you can use Phantom Strike on neutral creeps and teammates too, so keep that in mind.
Lastly, be on the lookout for chances to lifesteal from neutrals. Sometimes, it’s smart to retreat from a battle when your HP is low, clear a neutral camp (with that sweet 15% life steal, you’ll be back to full health), and then dive back in!
Synergies, Combos, and Pals:
- Slardar and Vengeful Spirit: They pile on even more –armor.
- Witch Doctor’s Maledict adds serious pure damage when combined with your Crit.
- Magnus’ Empower greatly boosts PA in Crit damage and cleaving attacks. It also speeds up her farming. And with Reverse Polarity, enemies are clumped up nicely for PA to shred through with Battlefury and/or Empower.
Counters and Heroes to Ban:
- Axe can be a real pain with Blademail – the trick here is to bait him and wait for Blademail to go down before diving into fights. Use your Dagger to kite him.
- Broodmother is a menace until you snag that Battlefury, then it’s “bye-bye, spiders.”
- Heroes like Lina, Lion, and Sky, who pack heavy nukes, can make your life miserable. Keep your head down, farm that BKB, and then say hello.
- Razor’s Static Link is a direct hit to your damage output. The trick is to bait the Static Link and kite Razor.
Like many other agility carries, PA isn’t a fan of burst magical and pure damage. Despite her respectable armor growth from agility, her modest strength means spells can take her down quickly. That’s why building a BKB is essential for spell immunity. It lets you ignore mana-burning abilities, break debuffs, and shrug off magical nukes, so you can stay in the fight long enough to take out key enemies. And, with your lifesteal talent and Blur, physical damage dealers will feel like they’re just tickling you.