Hey guys. Today we will talk about a carry hero, who unlike many other heroes of Dota 2 has insane physical burst damage. Phantom Assassin may burst down any enemy heroes in a space of a second without any troubles. The longer the game goes, the more dangerous PA becomes.

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Table of contents

Role in the game

Phantom Assassin mostly picked as a carry. In this position, she can secure all the necessary items and then provide a lot of impact in the game. In rare cases, the hero may be used as a roamer or midlaner.

The purpose of Phantom Assassin in the game is to farm her key items and then demolish enemy heroes in fights with her high physical damage bursting potential.


Stifling Dagger is your harassing, farming, and killing tool. The spell is very good at ensuring last-hits in the lane. The spell applies slow de-buff on impact and also deals damage of a hero, including any item modifiers and her passive abilities.

Phantom Strike is your mobility and killing tool. The spell makes PA blink on top of the desired target, whether it is an enemy or teammates. If you blink on top of an enemy you also get a bonus attack speed for 2 seconds.

Blur makes PA invisible unless enemy heroes are near. The spell is very good for farming stacks of neutrals and moving around the map without being noticed.

Coup De Grace is a signature ability of Phantom Assassin, which makes her so strong. The spell gives a chance to apply an insane crit on each attack passively.

Dota 2 guides: Phantom Assassin. How to play PA carry| GOSU.AI


So first off, Phantom Assassin is very dependent on items. Without good items, this item can’t bring necessary damage into the fight. If she doesn’t burst the first target she jumps on, PA is going to have a lot of troubles in the fight.

For your starting items, you should get yourself two sets of Tangoes, Quelling Blade, Iron Branch, Slippers of Agility, and a Faerie Fire. Faerie Fire not only gives you the ability to survive in the early fight but also provides an additional two damage.

In the early-game bring yourself two Wraith Bands, follow them up with Power Treads, and a Magic Wand.

Dota 2 guides: Phantom Assassin. How to play PA carry| GOSU.AI

In the mid-game, you should go for Battle Fury, Desolator, and a Black King Bar. Battle Fury is important on PA, as this hero lacks farming potential. With BF you should have no trouble getting all other necessary items, plus this item gives you extra damage. Skip the BF only in these cases, when you need to join fights very early. If the enemy team has a very good start you should go immediately for Desolator to join fights right away. You should also not go for BF if you have Magnus in the team, as he can help you with Empower.

In the late-game, your goal is to get Abyssal Blade and Satanic. After your default item build is complete, you can consider going for Divine Rapier.


The first thing worth mentioning is that Phantom Assassin is not very good at Bounty Rune’s fight. Consider twice whether you have the upper hand in the Bounty fights, try not to lose too many resources doing so.

In the lane, your goal is to secure as many last hits as possible. Use Stifling Dagger to ensure last-hits of ranged creeps.
Your power spike comes when you reach level 2. If you have a strong support you might be able to get easy kills in the lane.

Phantom Assassin is not good at pushing towers, so make sure to destroy the enemy offlane tier-1 Tower with the help of minute 10 siege creep. After you do so, you should start farming in the newly gained area around this tower, pushing offlane and killing closest neutral camps in the meantime. Use Blur to farm ancient camps. It is going to let you not waste any resources.

Your job is to get your first major item as soon as possible. Let it be Battle Fury or Desolator. Once you get BF you are going to farm a lot faster and are also going to be able to participate in some fights. With Desolator you should force your teammates to use Smoke of Deceit, force a fight around Roshan pit, kill your opponents, and get Aegis of the Immortal afterward.

With the addition of Black King Bar, you should start fighting as often as you can. Having Battle Fury, Desolator, and Black King Bar is your biggest power spike of the game.

The most important thing of the Phantom Assassin gameplay is making smart moves. Do not join fights too early, come to fights only if you are sure you are going to get some kills and not die at the same time. Play on your farm. Get your items and win the game.

Dota 2 guides: Phantom Assassin. How to play PA carry| GOSU.AI

Allies and counters

Phantom Assassin is a great counter to squishy and mobile heroes. PA is a well-known counter to Anti-Mage and Sniper.

The best counters to Phantom Assassin are Morphling and heroes, who can apply a lot of pressure on her in the lane, such as Timbersaw and Axe.