Nyx Assassin

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This page is about the hero. For the goddess in Dota 2 lore, see Nyx.
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Nyx Assassin
Nyx Assassin.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
18 + 2
Agility primary attribute symbol.png
19 + 2.2
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
18 + 2.1
Level Base 1 15 25
Health 200 560 1120 1520
H. Regen 3.5 4.04 4.88 5.48
Mana 50 266 614 866
M. Regen 0.01 0.73 1.91 2.75
Damage 30‒34 49‒53 79‒83 101‒105
Armor 1 3.71 8.11 11.26
Spell Dmg 0% 1.13% 2.96% 4.28%
Att / Sec 0.58 0.7 0.87 1
Movement Speed 305
Turn Rate 0.5
Vision Range 1800/800
Attack Range 150
Projectile Speed Instant
Attack Animation 0.46+0.54
Base Attack Time 1.7
Magic resistance 25%
Collision Size 24
Legs 6

Nyx Assassin is a melee agility hero who is feared as one of the most effective gankers and solo-killers in the game. With his powerful burst damage nukes, Nyx Assassin specializes in disabling and killing lone and fragile enemies with little to no warning. He possesses an area nuke and stun ability in Impale, allowing him to disable enemies in a straight line in front of him while dealing damage. His Mana Burn ability can destroy a significant fraction of a target hero's mana pool while dealing the same amount as damage, making him the bane of weak intelligence heroes with lots of mana but very little health. Should the enemy attempt to attack him, Nyx Assassin can dissuade them with Spiked Carapace, stunning any heroes that attack him while reflecting their damage back at them. His ultimate, Vendetta, turns Nyx invisible, allowing him to deal tremendous physical damage to the next target that he strikes out of invisibility. Stalking from the shadows, Nyx Assassin can strike without warning and lay low his foes before they realize that their death is upon them.

Bio[edit | edit source]

Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin
Play "The blessing of Nyx gives me all the purpose I require."
Role: Disabler Disabler / Nuker Nuker / Initiator Initiator / Escape Escape
Lore: Deep in the Archive of Ultimyr, shelved between scholarly treatises on dragon cladistics and books of untranslatable spells, there is an ancient tome of entomological curiosities. Compiled by scholars, the book describes the telepathic talents of the zealot scarab, a strange species of social insect with abilities unique to all the seven planes.

Unlike most grubs of his colony, Nyx Assassin did not arise from metamorphosis with the plodding thoughts and blunted appendages common to the worker caste of his kind. For his was a special transformation, guided by the grace of Nyx. He was the chosen one, selected from the many and anointed with an extract of the queen goddess herself. Not all survive the dark blessing of the queen’s chamber, but he emerged with a penetrating mind, and dagger-like claws–his razor sharp mandibles raking the air while his thoughts projected directly into the minds of those around him. Of all zealot scarabs, he alone was selected for the highest calling. After his metamorphosis, he was reborn, by grace of Nyx, with abilities which shaped him for one thing and one thing only: to kill in the name of his goddess.

Voice: Dempsey Pappion (Responses)

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Impale icon.png
Target Point
Rock spikes burst from the earth along a straight path. Enemy units are hurled into the air, then are stunned and take damage when they fall.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0
Cast Range: 700
Spikes Travel Distance: 700
Spikes Radius: 125
Damage: 80/140/200/260 (Talent 130/190/250/310)
Stun Duration: 1.6/2/2.4/2.8
Cooldown symbol.png 13
Mana symbol.png 95/115/135/155
Does not pierce spell immunity. Attempts to damage if already hit enemies turn spell immune before landing.
Debuff Impale: Dispellable with strong dispels.
All zealot scarabs possess intimate knowledge of underground pathways, using them to their advantage.


  • The spikes travel at a speed of 1600.
  • While in the air, other units may pass below hit airborne units.
  • The damage is applied upon landing, not upon getting hit.
  • Impale can hit units up to 825 range away (700 travel distance + 125 width).
  • While Burrow icon.png Burrow​ed, the cast range and travel distance increase to 1225, and the cooldown falls to 7 seconds.
  • While burrowed, it can hit units up to 1350 range away (1225 travel distance + 125 width).
  • When Impale hits invisible units, the visual effects below the hit unit are still visible.

Mana Burn
Blocked by Linken's Sphere. Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Mana Burn icon.png
Target Unit
Destroys the target hero's mana equal to a multiplier of its Intelligence, and deals damage equal to the mana burned.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0
Cast Range: 600
Mana Burned per Intelligence: 3.5/4/4.5/5
Mana Burned as Damage: 100%
Cooldown symbol.png 28/20/12/4
Mana symbol.png 100
The tome in Ultimyr describes one scarab with the ability to eat away at the minds of lesser beings.


  • Applies the damage first, and then the mana loss.
  • Effectively burns 29.2%/33.3%/37.5%/41.7% of the target's maximum mana pool, if it has no flat mana bonus.
  • Despite dealing the damage first, the damage is based on how much mana the target actually lost from Mana Burn.
    • This means, when cast on an enemy who has for example 5 mana left, it also deals only 5 damage (before reductions).
  • While Burrow icon.png Burrow​ed, the cast range increases to 1050.

Spiked Carapace
Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Spiked Carapace icon.png
No Target
When activated while above ground, Spiked Carapace reflects and negates damage dealt to Nyx Assassin (max once from each source), as well as stunning the source of the damage. Activating Spiked Carapace will not break Vendetta invisibility.
While Burrowed, Spiked Carapace instantly stuns nearby enemies when cast.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Burrow Stun Radius: 300
Damage Reflected: 100% (Talent 200%)
Carapace Duration: 2.25
Stun Duration: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4
Cooldown symbol.png 25/20/15/10
Mana symbol.png 40
Buff Spiked Carapace: Undispellable.
Debuff Stunned: Dispellable with strong dispels.
While their carapaces are relatively thin, they're guarded by a retractable field of razor-sharp spikes.


  • Spiked Carapace interrupts Nyx Assassin's channeling spells upon cast.
  • Can be cast during Vendetta icon.png Vendetta​, without breaking the invisibility. Breaks the invisibility of other sources.
  • Only reflects player based damage directly towards the damage dealer. A unit can only be affected once per cast.
  • Although the damage dealt to enemies is equal to the amount of damage blocked, the effects work independently from each other.
    • This means Spiked Carapace always blocks one damage instance, even when the source is spell immune or invulnerable.
  • The reflected damage has the no-reflection flag, preventing its damage from interacting with other sources of damage with that flag.
  • Spiked Carapace only negates and reflects the 3 damage types. It does not react on damage flagged as HP Removal.
  • Spiked Carapace has a global range and affects units through the Fog of War or invisibility.
  • When cast while Burrow icon.png Burrow​ed, the spell immediately applies its stun to all enemies within its radius.
    • Since Spiked Carapace has no base damage, hit units are not damaged upon cast.
    • Nyx Assassin still receives the cast buff normally, which can still reflect damage and stun enemies.
    • However, the buff does not affect enemy units which have been hit by the stun upon cast. They can normally damage Nyx.

Pierces spell immunity. Play
Vendetta icon.png
No Target
Self / Enemies
Allows Nyx Assassin to become invisible and gain a speed bonus. If Nyx Assassin attacks to break the invisibility, massive bonus damage is dealt with the attack.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Fade Time: 0
Damage: 250/400/550
Move Speed Bonus: 16%/18%/20%
Duration: 40/50/60
Cooldown symbol.png 70/60/50
Mana symbol.png 160/210/260
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Grants the Burrow ability.
Buff Vendetta: Undispellable.
The scarab kills for the glory of his queen.


  • Vendetta does not interrupt Nyx Assassin's channeling spells upon cast.
  • The attack out of Vendetta cannot miss.
  • Vendetta's damage is applied in a separate damage instance, before the attack damage.
  • The bonus damage is not added to Nyx' attack damage.
  • The invisibility is broken upon reaching the cast point of spells or items, or upon landing an attack.
  • Vendetta allows Nyx to pass through other units, including wards, but not through buildings.
  • Nyx can pick up, drop or attack items and runes without breaking the invisibility.

Cannot be used by illusions. Pierces spell immunity. Play
Burrow icon.png
No Target
Nyx Assassin buries himself beneath the battlefield over a short duration. Once burrowed, Spiked Carapace instantly stuns nearby enemies when cast, the range of Mana Burn and Impale is increased, and Impale's cooldown is decreased. While burrowed, Nyx Assassin is stationary, unable to attack and invisible. His health and mana regeneration are also increased, and he gains damage reduction from all damage sources.
Cast Animation: 1.5+0.1
Fade Time: 0
Max Health/Mana Regenerated per Second: 1.5%
Incoming Damage Reduction: 40%
Impale Cast/Travel Range Increase: 450
Impale Cooldown Reduction: 6
Mana Burn Cast Range Increase: 300
Spiked Carapace Radius: 300
Cooldown symbol.png 0
Buff Burrow: Undispellable.
Some castes of Zealot scarab are known to create small burrows to lie in wait, ready to ambush their prey.


  • The cast of Burrow is not registered as a spell cast and thus does not proc any on-cast effects.
  • Burrow lasts until unburrowing or using Vendetta icon.png Vendetta​.
  • Nyx Assassin can still be moved by spells and can still teleport while burrowed, without getting unburrowed.
  • Nyx Assassin still has to turn to cast spells and use items as usual, even if the burrowed (dirt mound) model does not visually turn.

Unburrow icon.png
No Target
Emerge from the burrow.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Cooldown symbol.png 0
Some castes of Zealot scarab are known to create small burrows to lie in wait, ready to ambush their prey.


  • Replaces Burrow icon.png Burrow​ until used or death.
  • The cast of Unburrow is not registered as a spell cast and thus does not proc any on-cast effects.
  • Interrupts Nyx Assassin's channeling spells upon cast.
  • Instantly reverts all bonuses provided by Burrow.
  • Uses a different sound when unburrowing inside the river.

Talents[edit | edit source]

Hero Talents
200% Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace​ Damage 25 +40 Movement Speed
+40 Agility attribute symbol.png Agility 20 +120 Gold/Min
+50 Impale icon.png Impale​ Damage 15 +12% Magic Resistance
+175 Health 10 +5% Spell Amplification
  • Upgrading health increases maximum health capacity and keeps the current health percentage.
  • The magic resistance stacks multiplicatively with other sources of magic resistance.
  • The damage bonus to Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace​ increases the damage to 200%, not by 200%.

Recommended items[edit | edit source]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango and Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve give Nyx Assassin basic health sustain, allowing him to continue laning despite enemy harass.
  • Poor Man's Shield icon.png Poor Man's Shield improves Nyx Assassins resistance to attacks by reducing their damage by 20, as well as almost a full point of armor. This helps withstanding enemy hero harass in the offlane, and potentially trading hits with them. Because Nyx Assassin is an agility hero, it also gives 6 damage and attack speed, making last hitting easier.

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed allows Nyx Assassin to chase or flee enemies more easily, and is important for getting within range to cast Impale icon.png Impale​ on a gank target.
  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots are crucial to obtain in order to allow Nyx Assassin to roam for ganks. It increases the size of Nyx Assassin's mana pool, allowing him to more easily cast his full combo of spells, and boosts his movement speed slightly to provide extra mobility. Most importantly, the active allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his own mana pool in order to ensure that he is able to continue roaming without needing to return to base as often.
  • Ring of Health icon.png Ring of Health Gives Nyx Assassin extra health regeneration, paired with Arcane Boots and an occasional shrine usage allows to almost never go back to base. The item builds into Aether Lens later on.

Core items:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter unlocks Burrow, which can give Nyx Assassin's team a strong advantage when sieging or defending, by improving both Impale and Vendetta abilities - reducing their cooldown and increasing cast range. The burrow ability also significantly boosts Nyx's Health and Mana regeneration, allowing to disassemble the Arcane Boots and use Energy Booster part for Aether Lens.
  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens improves cast range on Impale icon.png Impale​ and Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn​ and any active single target items Nyx has (like Eul's Scepter and Dagon), as well as slightly boosts their damage. It synergises greatly with Burrow icon.png Burrow​, which also improves abilities cast range, providing a whooping 1570 units maximum range on Impale and 1370 on Mana Burn. This
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll is important to have on all heroes at all times. Nyx Assassin's ability to initiate and kill using Vendetta icon.png Vendetta​ means that global positioning is key for allowing him to capitalize on any opportunities to secure kills.
  • An occasional mid-game Clarity icon.png Clarity brought together with other items allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his mana pool while not fighting, which is crucial since most of his spells will consume almost half his base mana pool with a single cast. Having the mana to continue casting gives Nyx Assassin more chances to use his disables to score kills.

Situational items:

  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a strong casting item that boosts Nyx Assassin's ability to roam and gank. The increased intelligence and mana regen help to sustain his spell casting, ensuring that he doesn't have to return to base to replenish mana, and the increased movement speed gives him more mobility for hunting down enemies. The cyclone can be used to dispel debuffs from Nyx Assassin while providing temporary invulnerability, or can be cast on an enemy as a further disable or to guarantee an Impale land.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger greatly increases Nyx Assassin's mobility, allowing him to jump on top of enemies and initiate without relying on Vendetta. In particular, being able to quickly re-position to cast Impale can allow Nyx Assassin to stun multiple enemy heroes at the start of a fight, and in a pinch Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace​ can be used to prevent enemy initiating nukes from putting it on cooldown.
  • Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon greatly boosts Nyx Assassin's burst alpha, giving him much more kill potential. The item boosts his intelligence, allowing him to more easily cast his spells, while the active can be added on top of Impale and Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn​ to deal tremendous burst damage to a single target to secure a kill.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is a handy utility item that grants Nyx Assassin many strong bonuses. It provides more intelligence for increasing the size of his mana pool, as well as HP regen for sustaining his health pool. The active greatly improves Nyx Assassin's mobility, allowing him to re-position for casting his spells, or chasing and escaping more easily. In a pinch, it can also be used as a cheap way to break an enemy Linken's Sphere prior to landing other disables and nukes, and can even be used to re-position Nyx Assassin during Burrow icon.png Burrow​.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse gives Nyx Assassin an instant ranged hard disable, useful in many situations. As well, it gives him stats across the board, particularly improving his intelligence for more mana and providing powerful scaling mana regen to allow him to roam independently.
  • Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade is a strong nuke booster that improves Nyx Assassin's ability to burst down enemies. As his primary attribute is agility, the bonus agility will increase the damage that Ether Blast deals, which will also greatly slow its target's movement speed while weakening their magic resistance, leaving them wide open for Impale, Mana Burn and Dagon.
  • Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere greatly improves Nyx Assassin's survivability, and allows him to engage and gank enemies through single-target disables. The Spellblock allows Nyx Assassin to ignore any targeted disables that enemies may try to hit him with, allowing him to continue pursuit and kill the enemy.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward can be useful to purchase on Nyx Assassin, as he is a very heavy roamer who can place wards before or after ganks to spot out enemy movement to strike again.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango is a strong laning item, as it provides a small boost to HP regeneration, augmenting his innate base HP regen to greatly increase his survivability in the off-lane. It can also be consumed for instant mana replenishment to be able to cast one more disable or nuke to secure a kill.
  • Bottle (Full) icon.png Bottle is a very strong self-sustain item that allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his HP and mana, increasing his autonomy. As he constantly roams, Nyx is able to easily pick up runes to refill his Bottle, and utilize the runes during ganks as needed.
  • Ring of Basilius (Active) icon.png Ring of Basilius provides Nyx Assassin with a boost armor, damage and mana regeneration. It is a good cheap laning item, that is especially good when laning together with another hero. Can be disassembled later to use the Sage's Mask in Eul's Scepter or Urn of Shadows, for example.
  • Boots of Travel 1 icon.png Boots of Travel is an expensive investment, but greatly increases Nyx Assassin's ability to move around and secure kills for his team. The increased movement speed makes it easier to scout and roam for kills, particularly when further boosted by Vendetta, and the global teleport allows him to show up to get kills whenever opportunities present themselves. As well, it provides a way to easily return to base to retrieve items and replenish HP and mana, or quickly return to the field after respawning.
  • Necronomicon 1 icon.png Necronomicon is an unorthodox utility item to build on Nyx Assassin, but can be useful in certain situations. The ability to summon minions to assist him during ganks can increase the odds of getting a kill, and upgrading to level 3 Necronomicon provides True Sight that can debilitate an enemy's chances of using invisibility spells to escape. It also provides teamfight contribution, adding damage output on top of Nyx Assassin's disables and nukes.
  • Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade does not give Nyx Assassin many strong attribute benefits, but can be a strong utility item nonetheless. While Nyx Assassin does not rely on his physical attacks to deal damage outside of Vendetta, he can use Diffusal Blade's purge to pin down enemies and remove their buffs during ganks.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb allows Nyx Assassin to further use the enemy's spells against them on top of Spiked Carapace. Echo Shell can give Nyx Assassin a 5 second window with which to reflect enemy spells rather than 2.25, and even though it doesn't block the damage done by these spells it can reflect debuffs and stuns rather than just the damage. It also provides armor, increasing Nyx Assassin's survivability, and HP and mana regen for self-sustain.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence provides Nyx Assassin with a soft disable that can greatly improve his ability to gank and kill enemies. By silencing an enemy during a gank, Nyx Assassin can prevent them from casting retaliatory disables to get away; as well, his high burst damage can take advantage of the burn damage at the end of the silence to increase the odds of getting a kill during a gank. The item also provides increased intelligence and mana regen, further improving Nyx Assassin's ability to roam independently.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Audio[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Nyx Assassin's original name was Anub'arak, and he was titled "Nerubian Assassin". Both were changed in the transition to Dota 2 due to copyright reasons.
    • Anub'arak is a character of Blizzard's franchise "Warcraft", who first appeared in the campaign of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. He was the king of the Nerubians, a race of malevolent arachnids who were slain and raised as undead.
  • Nyx Assassin's fun name in DotA was Anoob'arak.

Gallery[edit | edit source]