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Nyx Assassin

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Nyx Assassin
Nyx Assassin.png
Dire icon.png The Dire
18 + 2
19 + 2.2
18 + 2.1
Level 1 16 25
Hit Points 492 1100 1784
Mana 234 663 1144
Damage 49-53 84-88 121-125
Armor 3.66 8.56 13.85
Attacks / Second 0.7 0.9 1.12
Movement Speed 300
Turn Rate 0.5
Sight Range 1800/800
Attack Range Melee
Missile Speed Instant
Attack Duration 0.46+0.54
Cast Duration 0.4+1.1
Base Attack Time 1.7

Nyx Assassin is a melee Agility Hero who is a dedicated ganker until the end. Rather than focusing on enhancing his physical attacks like most Agility carry Heroes, Nyx Assassin specializes in killing lone and fragile victims with his high burst damage and various disables. Unfarmed carries, supports and many Intelligence spellcasting heroes with a low healthpool are easy prey for Nyx; he can open with a devastating backstab attack, followed by a painful stun and mana burn to deal even more damage and prevent retaliation. The Nyx Assassin also has a fantastic defense mechanism that not only blocks damage for a small amount of time, but reflects it back onto the enemy with a stun effect to boot. With his short cooldowns, the Nyx Assassin can continually dispatch key enemy targets, removing their ability and will to fight.


[edit] Bio

Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin
Play "The blessing of Nyx gives me all the purpose I require."
Role: Pip disabler.png Disabler / Pip ganker.png Nuker
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)

[edit] Abilities

Blocked by Magic Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Impale icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Point Enemies Magical
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.
Range: 700
Radius: 125
Stun duration: 1.27/1.77/2.27/2.77
Damage: 80/140/200/260
Cooldown 11 Mana 95/115/135/155
All zealot scarabs possess intimate knowledge of underground pathways, using them to their advantage.


  • Impaled units will be knocked into the air for 0.52 seconds before they are stunned.
  • Distance traveled is 700.
  • The path of spikes moves at 1600 movement speed.

Mana Burn
Blocked by Magic Immunity. Blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Mana Burn icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
Target Unit Enemy Heroes Magical
Destroys the target hero's mana equal to a multiplier of its Intelligence, and deals damage equal to the mana burned.
Range: 600
Intelligence multiplier: 3.5×/4×/4.5×/5×
Cooldown 28/20/12/4 Mana 100
The tome in Ultimyr describes one scarab with the ability to eat away at the minds of lesser beings.


  • Effectively burns 26.8%/30.7%/34.5%/38.4% of the target's maximum mana pool, provided it has no flat mana increase (e.g. Arcane Boots, Eye of Skadi).

Spiked Carapace
Blocked by Magic Immunity. Cannot be purged.
Spiked Carapace icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
No Target Enemy Heroes Pure
When activated, Spiked Carapace reflects and negates damage dealt to Nyx Assassin (max once from each source), as well as stunning the source of the damage.
Duration: 2.25
Damage returned: 100% of negated damage
Stun duration: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4
Cooldown 23/20/17/14 Mana 40
While their carapaces are relatively thin, they're guarded by a retractable field of razor-sharp spikes.


  • Does not prevent debuffs.

Not blocked by Magic Immunity.
Vendetta icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
No Target Self Physical
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.
Fade time: 0
Duration: 20/35/50
Bonus movement speed: 16%/18%/20%
Bonus damage: 250/400/550
Cooldown 70/60/50 Mana 160/210/260
The scarab kills for the glory of his queen.


  • If Nyx Assassin's invisibility expires, the bonus damage will not be applied to the next attack.
  • Nyx Assassin is revealed when he damages the target, not at the beginning of his attack.
  • Vendetta bonus damage cannot proc critical effects.

[edit] Recommended items


  • Starting Items: These items provide agility and intelligence bonuses, both of which benefit an agility-based nuker. The Mantle of Intelligence not only increases Nyx's mana pool early game, but will build into a Null Talisman, and eventually a Dagon. Since Nyx relies largely on spells to deal damage, at least one Clarity may be necessary to ensure he can effectively trade blows with enemy laners.
  • Early Game: Boots of Speed give a speed boost to help positioning and ganking, as well as building up into Arcane Boots later. Null Talisman provides a good spread of stats, and will build into a Dagon later. Urn of Shadows provides some much-needed sustenance to ensure that Nyx's health is topped off whenever he ganks. Urn of Shadows also provides some handy strength and mana regeneration as well.
  • Core: Arcane Boots gives a mana pool boost, and a bit of mana sustain. This will help ensure that Nyx does not run out of mana, and can use his full nuke when needed. Dagon synergizes with Nyx's role as a nuker. Nyx is also one of the few heroes in the game where upgrading Dagon is a viable option.
  • Situational: Scythe of Vyse allows Nyx to have a greater presence in teamfights by providing him with another disable, as well as providing enough intelligence and mana regeneration that he will likely never run out of mana. For a more aggressive playstyle, Heart of Tarrasque will provide enough health and sustain for Nyx to soak up damage and more safely engage multiple foes. An Ethereal Blade provides an extra damage spell, and can almost completely eliminate the danger of enemies who rely on autoattacks. While under the effects of Ethereal Blade, Nyx can still cast his array of spells, and will deal 40% bonus damage to his primary target.

[edit] Equipment

[edit] Tips

  • As Vendetta's invisibility dispels only when your attack connects the enemy, it is nearly always best to deal your backstab damage before your Impale and Mana Burn follow-up.
  • Use Spiked Carapace only just before your Impale's stun times out, so as to reduce the enemy's chances of noticing the effect and holding back their counterattacks until the Carapace expires.
  • If you know that you are targeted for a delayed or long-range nuke (such as Sniper's Assassinate or Invoker's Sun Strike), it can be a good idea to purposefully time your Spiked Carapace to reflect the incoming damage. This will aid your team by disabling or even killing the caster. Spiked Carapace makes Nyx a good counter for Keeper of the Light through the early-mid game.
  • Vendetta's fade time into invisibility is instant, and can be used to dodge many spells provided the enemy does not possess True Sight.
  • It can sometimes be necessary to not use Vendetta to open ganks or fights, leaving the spell to chase down a fleeing enemy with the high speed boost. Vendetta is also a great escape mechanism if need be.
  • Spiked Carapace is arguably one of the best defensive skills in the game that when used properly can disrupt whole teams and save you from many deaths despite your low health pool. Sometimes it might be a good idea to max it before your Mana Burn as the increased stun duration will come in handy when combined with your Impale.
  • Due to its scaling Mana Burn becomes more powerful as the game progresses as it reduces the mana and damages its target based on their intelligence. High intelligence gaining heroes with low health pools such as Pugna, Enigma, Silencer make excellent targets later in the game.
  • When the ultimate is level 3, use it when the cooldown is on 49 seconds so you can attack the enemy and stun him, then fade again and attack it another time.

[edit] Trivia

  • 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.
  • Nyx Assassin reveres Nyx as his Goddess (and has quotes such as "Nyx bestows her grace"), and Nyx is the Greek Goddess of the night (which might be explained by Nyx Assassin's invisibility).
    • Nyx is the daughter of Aether, whose name translates into Sanskrit as "Akasha", Queen of Pain's name.

[edit] Update history

June 14, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace charge not getting used when hurt by an invulnerable source.

March 28, 2013 Patch

  • Fixed Impale icon.png Impale traveling too far.

March 07, 2013 Patch

February 07, 2013 Patch

August 02, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed Spiked Carapace triggering on HP removal.

July 27, 2012 Patch

  • Fixed being able to miss Vendetta.

July 26, 2012 Patch

[edit] Balance changelog


  • Impale icon.png Impale cast range now matches the travel range.
    • This has no impact on the length of the area the impale covers.


  • Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace no longer stuns your hero when your summoned units proc it (the summoned units get stunned instead).
  • Impale icon.png Impale no longer has unit targeting, it is now only a point targeted spell.


  • Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn drain and damage decreased from 5x Intelligence to 3.5/4/4.5/5x.
  • Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn mana cost rescaled from 130/120/110/100 to 100.


  • Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace
    • Duration reduced from 2.75 to 2.25.
    • Cooldown increased from 14 to 23/20/17/14.


  • Vendetta icon.png Vendetta damage increased from 225/375/525 to 250/400/550.


  • Base HP regeneration increased to 2.5.
  • Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn
    • Drain amount increased from 4*Int to 5*Int.
    • Manacost rescaled from 90/110/130/150 to 130/120/110/100.
  • Vendetta icon.png Vendetta movement speed increased from 10/15/20% to 16/18/20%.
  • Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace reworked:
When activated, Spiked Carapace reflects and negates damage dealt to Nerubian Assassin (max once from each source), as well as stunning the source of the damage.
Duration: 2.75
Damage Reflected: 100% of negated damaged
Stun Duration: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4
Manacost: 40
Cooldown: 14


Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace:
Temporarily enhances the Assassin's chitinous armor with organic barbs, causing him to prevent and reflect the next player based damage instance and stuns the target. Lasts 4.5 seconds.
Duration: 4.5 seconds
Damage return: 100% (after resistance on your hero)
Stun: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4
Cooldown: 10
Manacost: 50
Note: Only triggers on player based damage, both physical and magical. Does not prevent status debuffs. Spikes visually grow out of the hero when he is in this state.


  • Vendetta icon.png Vendetta cooldown decreased from 90/75/60 to 70/60/50.
  • Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn cooldown decreased from 35/25/15/5 to 28/20/12/4.


Maximum summons reduced from 2/4/6/8 to 2/3/4/5
Infestation dps increased from 20 to 40
Infestation aoe increased from 275 to 300
Cooldown rescaled from 14/11/8/5 to 26/19/12/5
Manacost rescaled from 10 to 40/30/20/10



  • Mana Burn icon.png Mana Burn can no longer target creeps since it no longer affects them.


Old Mana Burn:
Burns: 70/120/185/260
Manacost: 65/85/100/115
Cooldown: 7
Cast Range: 500/575/650/725
New Mana Burn:
Burns: Mana equal to 4x Int
Manacost: 90/110/130/150
Cooldown: 35/25/15/5
Cast Range: 600

[edit] Replaced Abilities

Spiked Carapace (Old, pre-6.75)
Spiked Carapace icon.png
Ability Affects Damage
No Target Enemy Heroes Pure
When activated, Spiked Carapace reflects the next damage instance dealt to Nyx Assassin from a player controlled source, as well as stunning the hero that caused the damage.
Duration: 4.5
Damage returned: 100% of reduced damage
Stun duration: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4
Cooldown 10 Mana 50
While their carapace is relatively thin, it's guarded by a retractable field of razor-sharp spikes.


  • Does not prevent debuffs.

Urna Swarm
Unknown icon.png
No Target
Raises a Scarab from a corpse. The Scarab can burrow to hide itself, or use Infestation to silence and deal damage over time in an AoE.
Maximum Scarabs: 2/3/4/5
Cooldown 26/19/12/5 Mana 40/30/20/10


  • Scarabs have 450 movement speed, 200 HP, 6 armor, 1400/1400 normal vision, 400/400 burrowed vision and 26-38 bounty.
  • Scarabs are immune to magic.
  • Infestation silences and deals 40 non-stacking damage per second in a 300 AoE for 3 seconds.
  • Burrowed Scarabs are invisible and immobile.

Spiked Carapace (Old, pre-6.67)
Spiked Carapace icon.png
The Nyx Assassin forms barbed layers of chitinous armor that increase its defense and returns damage to enemy melee attackers.
Bonus armor: 2/4/6/8
Damage returned: 10%/20%/30%/40%


  • It returns the amount of damage before Damage Block, armor type and armor value reductions.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] See also