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.
| Azwraith, the Phantom Lancer
| Play "We outnumbered you. We outnumber them all!"
|| Carry / Escape / Pusher / Nuker
|| The remote village of Pole had no knowledge of the wars raging in the heart of the kingdom. For them, the quiet of spear fishing and a family meal were all that a full life required. Yet war came for them nonetheless. Joining the able-bodied conscripts as they filed past their homes, the humble lancer Azwraith vowed to bring peace to his kingdom, and in so doing, his people. Placed with his kin in the vanguard of the final assault against the Dread Magus Vorn, the cost to his fellows was absolute. As the charging force battled toward the fortress, Azwraith alone among his kind remained standing, and he alone was able to infiltrate the keep. Focused and infuriated by the slaughter of his brothers, Azwraith bested each of the wizard's deadly traps and conjured guardians. Soon the simple fisherman arrived at Vorn's tower sanctum. The pair dueled through the night, pike to staff, as chaos raged below, and with a deafening cry Azwraith pierced his enemy. But the wizard did not simply expire; he exploded into uncountable shards of light, penetrating his killer with power. As the dust settled and the smoke of combat began to clear, Azwraith found himself standing among a throng of his kin. Each seemed to be dressed as he was, each seemed armed as he was, and he could sense that each thought as he did. Aware that his allies were approaching, he willed these phantoms to hide themselves, and one by one they began to vanish into nothingness. As the soldiers came upon the sanctum, they found the warrior that had bested the wizard. When they approached their champion, the lancer vanished. The pikeman who had stood before them was no more than another phantom.
|| Barry Dennen (Responses)
- Spirit Lance travels at a speed of 1000 and can be disjointed.
- 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.
- 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.
- Phantom Rush can trigger on any target, including wards and buildings.
- 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, casting a targeted spell or using certain items.
- The following items can be used during the rush without canceling it:
- Animal Courier, Arcane Boots, Armlet of Mordiggian, Black King Bar, Blade Mail, Bottle, Buckler, Butterfly, Cheese, Crimson Guard, Drum of Endurance, Dust of Appearance, Ghost Scepter, Magic Stick, Magic Wand, Mask of Madness, Mekansm, Necronomicon, Pipe of Insight, Phase Boots, Power Treads, Radiance, Refresher Orb, Ring of Aquila, Ring of Basilius, Shadow Blade, Satanic, Shiva's Guard and Soul Ring.
- 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.
- When the target turns hidden, invisible, teleports far away or moves into the Fog of War, Phantom Lancer rushes towards the unit's last known location.
- Ring of Aquila is a cheap way to get some damage and mana regen, so that you can use Spirit Lance more.
- Diffusal Blade 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.
- Manta Style, when activated, will Purge debuffs, and create some instant illusions which can then multiply on their own.
- Heart of Tarrasque 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.
- Butterfly is a damage item that is a worthwhile late-game pickup on most agility carries. Illusions will also benefit from the evasion.
- Sange and Yasha provides strength and agility, both of which are useful on Phantom Lancer, as well as his illusions.
- Daedalus may be purchased if you need your illusions to deal extra damage, as they receive the critical strike.
- Radiance 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 Witch Doctor's Paralyzing Cask, which will stun Phantom Lancer's illusions by 5 seconds. Even with this fact, Hero-only spells like Nyx Assassin's Mana Burn can be cast on illusions.
- Creating confusion for your enemies is what the Phantom Lancer is known for along with outnumbering the enemy. Use illusions to cause unnecessary chases, wasted skillshots, pointless ultimates, and frustration for your enemy. But be sure to pay attention to the real Phantom Lancer while your illusions run around, however.
- Illusions can have Shallow Grave cast on them if a Dazzle is on your team; you can further fool your 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 Eye of Skadi 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 Diffusal Blade 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 Manta Style 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 abitilities, especially in the early and mid game as his illusions are very easily disposed of without strong items (Examples of such heroes include Sand King and Puck). As a hard carry, you 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). Some examples of heroes that can counter Phantom Lancer strongly at any stage of the game are:
- Ember Spirit 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, with no exceptions, all slashes work exactly like Ember's regular right-click attacks (Though with a bonus or minus damage depending on the unit attacked), and Ember is invulnerable until all enemies have been either attacked, killed or made invulnerable (0.2 seconds of invulnerability per unit) - With a Battle Fury and any other strong right-click item like a Daedalus, Ember Spirit can easily annihilate all of your illusions and even yourself with a single Sleight of Fist. In fact, if there enough units within the radius, he could potentially kill your entire team with a single use of his ability. In addition to just that, however, 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.
- Sven is very close to being impossible to manfight as he has a built-in 66% cleave with Great Cleave (He can turn it into 101% cleave with a Battle Fury), 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, making his burst ability against not just one target, but multiple ones, incredibly difficult to survive, especially if he builds a Daedalus. 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 Battle Fury, 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 your nearby illusions.
- While Earthshaker may not propose a big threat whenever his ultimate Echo Slam is on cooldown, it is a strong enough ability to destroy both you and your illusions (And your team) whenever it is off cooldown as it has no upper damage cap and with an Aghanim's Scepter, all of your illusions will count as heroes meaning they will echo damage twice, resulting in catastrophic amounts of damage if there are enough targets near him.
- Razor is capable of showing the real Phantom Lancer if Static Link if the real Phantom Lancer is targeted by the spell. At the same time, Razor becomes a powerful threat to Phantom Lancer due to the damage drain. Manta Style cannot remove Static Link nor can any other strong dispel such as Aphotic Shield. The only way to counter Static Link is through Linken's Sphere.
- 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.
March 28, 2013 Patch
- Fixed being able to have 1 juxtapose illusion too many.
February 28, 2013 Patch
- Fixed an issue where illusions made by a player on the other team would create uncontrollable Juxtapose illusions.
November 08, 2012 Patch
- Fixed not reproducing his abilities (including stat bonuses) correctly on his Doppelwalk illusion.
- Fixed Doppelwalk illusions never Juxtaposing.
October 25, 2012 Patch
- Updated vision values on these abilities: Unstable Concoction, Phantasm, Waveform, Storm Hammer, Mirror Image, Spirit Lance, Requiem of Souls, Spectral Dagger, [ Venomous Gale, Earthbind, Dream Coil, Shackleshot, Wall of Replica, Flamebreak, Deafening Blast, Ghostship.
July 26, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Doppelwalk illusions not correctly replicating their inventory item slots.
May 10, 2012 Patch
- Enabled Phantom Lancer in Captain's Mode.
May 04, 2012 Patch
- Fixed bug where Doppelwalk illusions were not getting stats from their attribute bonus.
- Fixed bug where a red ring was visible to the opposing team under an invisible PL after his Doppelwalk illusion died.
- Fixed bug when Doppelwalking where there would sometimes be a visible jump in PL’s health bar to the enemy team.
- Fixed some values in damage output/input from Juxtapose illusions.
May 03, 2012 Patch
- Added Phantom Lancer!
January 12, 2012 Patch
- Target an area. Phantom Lancer and all nearby illusions will disappear for 1 second, then have their positions shuffled into the target area. This also creates two illusions of opposite types.
- Cast range: 600
- Target area radius: 325
- Illusion gather radius: 900
- Reappear delay: 1
- Illusion 1: Deals 0% damage and takes 100% damage.
- Illusion 2: Deals 20% damage and takes 600% damage.
- Illusion duration: 8
- Manacost: 50
- Cooldown: 25/20/15/10
- Notes: Has an instant cast time. disjoints projectiles upon cast. Allies an distinguish the 2 different illusions. Phantom Lancer and all gathered illusions are hidden and invulnerable for the second.
- Phantom Rush:
- Passive with cooldown. Triggers when issuing an attack order on an enemy unit outside of attack range. Grants bonus movement speed and Phase until Phantom Lancer strikes his target.
- Minimum rush distance: 300
- Maximum rush distance: 600/700/800/900
- Rush speed: 800
- Cooldown: 16/12/8/4
- Notes: Illusions also have this passive. If the attack order on the original target is canceled, the speed bonus is lost.
- Old Juxtapose:
- Phantom Lancer's attacks have a chance to create illusions to confuse enemies.
- Proc chance: 12%
- Max illusions: 2/4/6/8
- Illusion stats: 20% damage dealt, 450% damage taken
- Illusion duration: 20
- Notes: Juxtapose illusions attack the target that the passive triggered on.
- New Juxtapose:
- Grants Phantom Lancer, and his illusions, a chance to create an illusion when attacking.
- Hero proc chance: 40%/45%/50%
- Illusion proc chance: 8%
- Max illusions: 6/8/10
- Illusion stats: 16% damage dealt, 500% damage taken
- Hero illusion duration: 8
- Illusion illusion duration: 4
- Notes: Juxtapose illusions attack the target that the passive triggered on.
- Reduced collision size from 24 to 8.
- Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c
- Increased base health regeneration from 0.25 to 0.75.
- Increased proc chance from 3%/6%/9%/12% to 12% on each level.
- Reduced max illusions cap from 5 on each level to 2/3/4/5.
- Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.
- Increased attack range from 100 to 128.
- Spirit Lance
- No longer mini-stuns the target upon projectile impact.
- The slow is now applied upon projectile impact, instead of launch.
- Now creates an illusion of Phantom Lancer upon projectile impact. The illusion deals 20% damage, takes 400% damage and lasts 2/4/6/8 seconds.
- All of Phantom Lancer's illusions within 675 radius around him now cast a fake Spirit Lance whenever Phantom Lancer casts it.
- Can no longer be disjointed.
- Reduced damage from 100/150/215/310 to 100/150/200/250.
- Reduced manacost from 140 on each level to 125/130/135/140.
- Reduced cooldown from 9 to 7.
- Reduced max illusions cap from 6 to 5.
- Increased illusions damage taken from 300% to 400%.
- Doppelwalk illusions will now automatically walk forwards for a short distance upon spawning, to make it less obvious to the enemies that the spell was cast.
- Increased strength gain from 1.5 to 2.0.
- Increased base and gain from 16 + 1.7 to 21 + 2.0.
- Reduced Doppelwalk cooldown from 30 on each level to 30/25/20/15.
- Increased base armor from -1 to 0 (total armor is now 3.22).
- Reduced base strength and gain from 19 + 2.0 to 18 + 1.5.
- Increased agility gain from 2.7 to 2.8.
- Increased Spirit Lance damage from 80/135/200/295 to 100/150/215/310.
- 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 Phantom Rush in the 6.82 gameplay patch.
- Illusions created by Juxtapose will attack the target that the ability was triggered upon.