Phantom Assassin Dota 2 Guide – How to Assassinate Heroes in 7.07d

Phantom Assassin is an agility hero that can be played as a safe or mid lane carry. In lower MMR brackets, she’s one of the most feared heroes in the game. Here are the areas in which Phantom Assassin excels:

  • She has excellent mobility. With 305 movement speed and the ability to blink to any target within 1000 range every 5 seconds (using the Phantom Strike ability), Phantom Assassin can move in and out of combat as she desires, blinking on allies and foes alike.
  • She can deal high amounts of physical damage, due to her Phantom Strike attack speed bonus and her Coup de Grace ability. This passive ability, which constitutes the hero’s ultimate, is one of the features that make her so notorious. With a 15% chance to deal 230%/340%/450% damage in one hit, Phantom Assassin will often blink on a target and kill it in just a few attacks, before it can even react.
  • She’s one of the hardest heroes to kill with basic attacks. Blur gives her 50% evasion (at level 4) and in the absence of a Monkey King Bar, a Silver Edge or a Blood Thorn, trying to defeat a Phantom Assassin in this way can be a very frustrating task.
  • She can slow an enemy’s movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds and damage it with her Stifling Dagger. This ability, combined with Shadow Strike, makes it hard for her targets to escape her attacks.

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Phantom Assassin Item build

Being a hero that relies exclusively on right click damage to farm, destroy buildings and kill enemies, Phantom Assassin heavily depends on good items to have a significant impact on the game. Here are some of the most important items you should consider buying in Dota 2 esports:

  • Phase Boots: the added speed from its active is excellent on any melee hero that needs to stay close to its targets, and the +24 bonus damage also synergizes well with Phantom Assassin’s abilities.
  • Ring of Aquila: this will provide the mana regeneration you need, but you should only buy it if you aren’t building a Vladmir’s Offering.
  • Vladmir’s Offering: gives you mana and health regeneration, lifesteal, armor and damage.
  • Stout Shield: gives you good protection against physical damage in the early stages of the game.
  • Vanguard: this item can greatly increase the hero’s health and survivability, and can later be upgraded into an Abyssal Blade. However, you should only buy this item early on if you aren’t building a Vladmir’s Offering or a Hood of Defiance.
  • Quelling Blade: this will improve your last hitting and your farming speed after the laning phase.
  • Hood of Defiance: an excellent alternative to other health regeneration items like Vladmir’s Offering and Vanguard. This item is a great choice against line-ups that deal heavy magical damage, making your hero hard to kill even by its greatest counter: nukes.
  • Desolator: this is generally the first damage item you should build on the hero.
  • Basher: synergizes well with the attack speed bonus you get from Phantom Strike, allowing you to stun targets and often kill them before they can react.
  • Black King Bar: if you’re facing a team that has a lot of disables and magical damage, you should buy this item either before or just after the Desolator.
  • Manta Style: allows you to remove a lot of debuffs and confuse your enemies. It also gives a nice boost in multiple areas: movement speed, damage, attack speed and stats.
  • Sange and Yasha: if you need the added movement speed and the ability to slow your enemies even further, this item can be very good against certain line-ups that excel in the mobility department.
  • Linken’s Sphere: nice to have against long duration single target stuns and powerful ultimate abilities that pierce magic immunity: Duel, Rupture, Doom, Fiend’s Grip etc.
  • Satanic: this can be good in the late game if you have high damage, as it will basically bring you back to full HP with just a few attacks.
  • Battle Fury: this item is good when facing illusion based heroes like Phantom Lancer, Naga Siren and Terrorblade, because it makes your basic attacks do cleave damage. It also improves your ability to farm by a lot.
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Phantom Assassin Abilities Explained

Stifling Dagger

This ability allows Phantom Assassin to slow an enemy’s movement speed by 50% for 1/2/3/4 seconds. It also damages the target, dealing 65 (base) + 25%/40%/55%/70% of Phantom Assassin’s attack damage as physical damage. Furthermore, it applies attack effects from items and abilities. So for example, if you have a Skull Basher, your Stifling Dagger has a 25% chance to stun the target.

Phantom Strike

Phantom Strike acts like a blink, except it’s targeted at a unit. You can use it on allies, foes and creeps of any kind. When jumping on a target that can be attacked, you gain +130 attack speed for 4 seconds or the following 4 attacks.


This passive ability gives you 20%/30%/40%/50% evasion and makes you disappear from the other team’s minimap when being more than 1600 units away from enemy heroes.

Coup de Grace

This passive ability constitutes Phantom’s Assassin ultimate and grants her a 15% chance to deal 230%/340%/450% damage with her attacks. It also applies to her Stifling Dagger.


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Best Phantom Assassin Talents

  • +15 damage / +150 health – Early on you are quite weak against magical damage, and even against physical damage (because in most cases you will max out your Blur ability last), so the second talent is usually better.
  • +20% cleave / -4 armor corruption – The first option is generally better because it allows you to farm faster.
  • Double Strike Stifling Dagger / +20% lifesteal – The second talent is much more reliable.
  • +25% Blur evasion / +5% Coup de Grace – Since your opponents will almost always have Monkey King Bars at this point, the second talent is usually better.

Skill build

When playing Phantom Assassin, it’s generally a good idea to max out Stifling Dagger first and go for a 4-1-1-1 build for the first 7 levels. Afterwards you can maximize either Blur (if you need better defensive capabilities) or Phantom Strike (if you’re mostly focused on farming creeps).

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When to pick the hero

Phantom Assassin is very strong against line-ups that mostly rely on physical damage, lack high bursts of magical damage, and have carry and mid-lane heroes that don’t naturally buy a Silver Edge or a Monkey King Bar.


Being an assassin, Phantom Assassin is a great pick whenever you want to quickly close the distance and eliminate an enemy hero during team fights, and at the same time have excellent ways of dealing with basic attacks.

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