Azwraith the Phantom Lancer is a melee agility carry and pusher because of his capability of generating multiple illusions in a matter of seconds. He requires deep cunning, positioning, and most importantly, great micromanagement as his illusions might just get in the way rather than help the situation if not utilized correctly. Many of his abilities help him in his creation of images, allowing him to always have a companion. He has a nuke ability in Spirit Lance, which deals high damage, slows the target, and creates an illusion at his target's location. His escape ability Doppelganger allows him to quickly relocate himself and any nearby illusions while creating additional ones, possibly tricking enemies into wasting their spells and time in trying to kill said illusions. His passive Phantom Rush allows him and his illusions to close the distance toward a target when issued an attack order, giving him the ability to quickly focus single targets in battle. His ultimate Juxtapose gives him the ability to generate a large number of illusions when attacking a target, while giving said illusions the ability to replicate themselves as well. Phantom Lancer is an extremely mobile hero who is hard to pin down and can quickly overwhelm his opponents in battle.
Also stops the lance from bouncing when hitting a spell immune unit.
- Spirit Lance travels at a speed of 1000 and can be disjointed.
- When it is disjointed, or when it cannot hit the target for other reasons (spell immunity, invulnerability, 林肯法球, etc.), no illusion spawns.
- Illusions of Phantom Lancer within 675 radius of Phantom Lancer cast a fake Spirit Lance.
- They play the whole cast animation and release their fake lances at the same time the real Spirit Lance is released.
- When illusions currently are not having any order and are standing still, they'll turn and face the target and cast the fake lance.
- When illusions are moving or attacking, they continue to do so and do not face the target. They still play the cast animation, overriding their move or attack animations.
- When canceling the cast, the illusions still play the full cast animation, but will not release fake lances.
- The fake lances do not interact with anything, deal no damage, do not slow and spawn no illusions.
- Doppelganger disjoints projectiles upon cast.
- Applies a basic dispel on Phantom Lancer upon cast.
- Phantom Lancer cannot do anything during the reappear delay. Any order given during it is queued as next order.
- Phantom Lancer and the 2 created illusions face the direction Phantom Lancer was facing upon cast.
- Other illusions which got gathered keep their previous facing angle.
- Phantom Lancer and his illusions are position into formation shaped like a plus (+).
- Illusions which were moving or attacking a target continue to move or attack their target after reappearing.
- The 600% damage taking and 20% damage dealing illusion looks like any other illusion Phantom Lancer can create.
- The normal damage taking and no damage dealing illusion is brighter and can be distinguished by Phantom Lancer and his allies from other illusions.
- Doppelganger cannot be interrupted by anything except death. This means when getting teleported (with e.g. Glimpse), Phantom Lancer still appears at the targeted area.
- Destroys trees within 200 radius of Phantom Lancer and every affected illusion.
- Requires a direct attack order to trigger. Auto attacks or attack ground orders do not trigger Phantom Rush.
- Cannot rush through units or over impassable terrain.
- However, units which cannot be attacked (invulnerable, target in ethereal state), cannot be targeted and rushed towards.
- Applies a haste effect on Phantom Lancer. Means his movement speed cannot be slowed while having the buff.
- Phantom Lancer can stop the rush by changing the attack target, issuing a stop order, or casting a targeted spell or item.
- Non-targeted items and do not cancel the rush. Items which can be double-clicked to cast on self still count as targeted.
- The move speed buff is also lost when Phantom Lancer gets stunned, cycloned, slept, hexed or hidden.
- Roots do not cause Phantom Lancer to lose the buff and he continues rushing once the ensnare expires.
- The only exceptions are Frostbite and Overgrowth, which cause him to not automatically continue rushing afterwards.
- Taunts cause Phantom Lancer to rush the taunting unit instead without making him lose the buff. Forced attacks caused by taunts also do not make him lose it.
- Illusions created by Juxtapose attack the target that the ability was triggered upon.
- This means that illusions created by Juxtapose use Phantom Rush when their target is in correct range.
- Affects all illusions of Phantom Lancer, not just the ones from his abilities.
- 树之祭祀 and 治疗药膏 are standard regeneration items that are useful for any hero to stay in lane longer.
- 守护指环 is one of the components for a 王者之戒, which builds later into 天鹰之戒, but it cannot be purchased at the side shop.
- 铁树枝干es provides an extremely cost effective increase to his attributes, and can later be built into a 魔杖.
- 天鹰之戒 is a cheap way to get some damage and mana regen, so that you can use Spirit Lance more.
- 净魂之刃 has one of the few attack modifiers that work with illusions, and it is not watered down by the illusions' reduced damage - each hit from an illusion of Phantom Lancer will burn the full amount of mana, and deal the full amount of corresponding damage. It also gives a large amount of Phantom Lancer's primary attribute, agility.
- 幻影斧, when activated, will Purge debuffs, and create some instant illusions which can then multiply on their own.
- 恐鳌之心 provides Phantom Lancer with a large amount of much-needed HP, which carries over to his illusions making them harder to kill, and provided you're not bombarded with splash damage, Phantom Lancer's natural difficulty to pin down will make it easy for him to blend with his illusions and regenerate mid-fight.
- 蝴蝶 is a damage item that is a worthwhile late-game pickup on most agility carries. Illusions will also benefit from the evasion.
- 散夜对剑 provides strength and agility, both of which are useful on Phantom Lancer, as well as his illusions.
- 代达罗斯之殇 may be purchased if you need your illusions to deal extra damage, as they receive the critical strike.
- 辉耀 improves his farm which is otherwise fairly slow due to lack of splash damage, while granting an aura burn which synergizes very well with Phantom Lancer's strong chasing capabilities, making it almost impossible for his enemies to escape from him. It also provides a blind to enemies around him, causing them to have a chance to miss whatever target they attack until they get away from the aura, making him and his illusions more slippery.
- Though attack speed is still important on Phantom Lancer and still a by-product of making the hero stronger, it is no longer needed as much to create images as he now creates an image on every other attack at level 16.
- Illusions are counted as Heroes in a target check. However, they receive effects intended for units. An example is 巫医's Paralyzing Cask, which will stun Phantom Lancer's illusions by 5 seconds. Even with this fact, Hero-only spells like 司夜刺客's Mana Burn can be cast on illusions.
- Creating confusion for enemies is what Phantom Lancer is known for along with outnumbering the enemy. Use illusions to cause unnecessary chases, wasted skillshots, pointless ultimates, and frustration for the enemy. But be sure to pay attention to the real Phantom Lancer while his illusions run around, however.
- Illusions can have Shallow Grave cast on them if a Dazzle is on your team; you can further fool the enemy by making them chase the wrong Phantom Lancer.
- When choosing an item build, remember that not all passive abilities are shared with illusions.
- An 斯嘉蒂之眼 is an extremely effective purchase for Phantom Lancer - Great stats across the board, all of which will benefit illusions, and a spell immunity-piercing slow which, in conjunction with his slows and speed buffs, along with the mana drain from 净魂之刃 that prevents enemies from casting any possible escape mechanisms, will make Phantom Lancer impossible to escape from assuming no teammate is around to help his enemy.
- Because of the fact that illusions do not last very long, a 幻影斧 should be considered in every game if the player wishes to use Phantom Lancer's deceiving abilities effectively, as the illusions provided by it last much longer and hit harder, giving him a higher chance to bait the enemy into poor spots or using their ultimates without the real Phantom Lancer around.
- While incredibly strong against single target heroes, Phantom Lancer can find himself in great difficulty when facing off against enemies with a lot of strong Area of Effect abilities, especially in the early and mid game as his illusions are very easily disposed of without strong items (Examples of such heroes include 沙王 and 帕克). As a hard carry, he will become stronger as the game goes on while a very large percentage of those Heroes (including the ones previously mentioned) will see the usefulness of their abilities scale off severely; Some, however, can continue giving him problems in the late game (And arguably more trouble than before) and make you more of a threat to your own team rather than the enemy. Some examples of heroes that can counter Phantom Lancer strongly at any stage of the game are:
- 灰烬之灵 is very arguably the strongest possible counter to Phantom Lancer, for several reasons; However, the main one being his ability Sleight of Fist - This ability allows Ember to mark an area on the ground before immediately rushing to slash all enemy units marked within it. All slashes work exactly like Ember Spirit's regular auto-attacks (though with a bonus or reduced damage depending on the unit attacked), and Ember Spirit is invulnerable until all enemies have been either attacked or killed - with a 狂战斧 and any other strong auto-attack item like 代达罗斯之殇, Ember Spirit can easily destroy all of Phantom Lancer's illusions and even Phantom Lancer himself with a single Sleight of Fist. If there enough units within the radius, he could potentially kill an entire team with a single use of his ability. His Flame Guard creates a fire around him that damages all enemy units, being able to deal up to 1200 points of damage (before reductions) to a single unit if they stay near him through the whole duration, while his Fire Remnant produces an AoE explosion whenever he lands on top of it with Activate Fire Remnant.
- 斯温 is very close to being impossible to manfight as he has a built-in 66% cleave with Great Cleave, an armor buff that reduces all illusion damage to both himself and nearby allies with Warcry, and an AoE stun/nuke with Storm Hammer. On top of all, however, he also has his ultimate God's Strength which ups his base damage by up to 300% as much damage, and if combined with 代达罗斯之殇, he can easily wipe out Phantom Lancer's illusions in seconds. It is very much worth noting that cleave damage essentially acts as pure damage - Even though it is registered as Physical Damage by Damage Block and will therefore block (some of) it, cleave damage does not react to armor values whatsoever - This means that if he does build a 狂战斧, Sven does not even need to hit the real Phantom Lancer, as he would actually be dealing more damage than he would otherwise by hitting nearby illusions.
- While 撼地者 may not propose a big threat whenever his ultimate Echo Slam is on cooldown, it is a strong enough ability to destroy both Phantom Lancer and his illusions (and his team if nearby) whenever it is off cooldown as it has no upper damage cap.
- 沙王 is rarely mentioned as a counter as he may in some cases not pose much of a threat other than destroying his illusions with Epicenter, but he becomes an extremely deadly enemy once he gets his hands on 阿哈利姆神杖, as his upgraded Burrowstrike will apply Caustic Finale to all of his illusions it hits as well as Phantom Lancer himself. Once the illusions die or expire it will trigger a chain of damaging explosions that will deal high damage to Phantom Lancer and any nearby ally. If combined with Epicenter, this combo can potentially deal more damage than 撼地者's Echo Slam - all on a lower cooldown, making him an ever-existing threat through the game.
- 剃刀 is a powerful threat to Phantom Lancer due to Static Link. 幻影斧 and Doppelganger cannot remove Static Link (and as consequence, reveals which is the real Hero if Razor has targeted the real Phantom Lancer) nor can any other strong dispel such as Aphotic Shield, not even spell immunity. The only way to counter Static Link is through 林肯法球 or simply going out of the Link's range.
- 凤凰's AoE abilities can prove troublesome for Phantom Lancer. Fire Spirits dramatically reduce Phantom Lancer and his illusions' attack speed, as well as make fleeing difficult with Icarus Dive's movement speed reduction. Sun Ray deals Pure damage to all of Phantom Lancer's units, and Supernova is invulnerable to Phantom Lancer's illusions.
- In DotA, Phantom Lancer's in-game model was a fan interpretation of Kimahri Ronso, a playable character in the RPG game Final Fantasy X. As such, the Phantom Lancer of Dota 2 gained many similarities with Kimahri, namely the blue skin, humanoid feline appearance, and halberd weapon.
- This ability got replaced by Doppelganger in the 6.82 gameplay patch.
- Doppelwalk does not interrupt Phantom Lancer's channeling spells upon cast.
- The invisibility and illusion are fully independent from each other. When one of them ends, the other still persists.
- The illusion will automatically walk forwards in the direction Phantom Lancer was facing upon cast for about 3 seconds.
- Invisibility is broken upon reaching the cast point of spells or items, or upon landing an attack.
- Doppelwalk allows Phantom Lancer to path through other units, including wards, but not through buildings.
- Phantom Lancer can pick up, drop or attack items without breaking the invisibility.
- This ability got replaced by the reworked Juxtapose in the 6.82 gameplay patch.
- Increases Phantom Lancer's total base magic resistance to 32.5%/36.25%/40%.
- Affects all illusions of Phantom Lancer, not just the ones from his abilities.