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19 + 2
23 + 1.8
16 + 1.9
Level Base 1 16 25
Health 200 580 1220 1940
H. Regen 0.25 0.82 1.78 2.86
Mana 50 242 602 1022
M. Regen 0.01 0.65 1.87 3.27
Damage 23‒27 46‒50 75‒79 109‒113
Armor 0 3.29 7.43 12.31
Spell Dmg 0% 1% 2.91% 5.1%
Att / Sec 0.58 0.72 0.89 1.09
Movement Speed 290
Turn Rate 0.4
Vision Range 1800/800
Attack Range 150
Projectile Speed Instant
Attack Animation 0.3+0.7
Base Attack Time 1.7
Magic resistance 25%
Collision Size 24
Legs 0

Mercurial the Spectre is a melee Agility hero adept at dealing pure damage to lone targets, and is powerful both offensively and defensively. Spectral Dagger provides a significant amount of mobility, allowing Spectre to go through objects, units and terrain while slowing foes that come in contact with the shadowy path left by her Spectral Dagger. Desolate allows her to inflict high pure damage to enemy heroes when she catches them alone. Dispersion reduces and reflects all damage, whether by attacks or spells, to an area around her. Dispersion gives her great durability, especially when equipped with items that provide health, armor, and damage block. Finally, her Haunt creates a malevolent spectral illusion to all enemy heroes in the map. Haunt lets Spectre wreak havoc in clashes and ganks, while her allies take advantage of the confusion. Spectre can use Reality during the Haunt, instantly teleporting her to her illusion to take its form. This lets her hound her victim anywhere on the map. Mercurial is a dangerous supernatural being, relentless as she can chase and stalk down her victim to a global range, unhindered by boundaries. Her kit allows her to play the role of the team's hard carry by applying an immense amount of pressure in late game team fights. More specifically, the damage reflection from Dispersion makes it disadvantageous for teams to focus her. Her abilities have a complex nature, and newer players should generally not play Spectre as she is extremely farm and level dependent. It is best to face Spectre with allied help and strength, as encountering her alone is not always the best option.

Bio[edit | edit source]

Spectre Mercurial, the Spectre
Play "Among the Transcendencies, you would be thought ignoble."
Role: Carry Carry / Durable Durable / Escape Escape
Lore: Just as higher states of energy seek a lower level, the Spectre known as Mercurial is a being of intense and violent energy who finds herself irresistibly drawn to scenes of strife as they unfold in the physical world. While her normal spectral state transcends sensory limitations, each time she takes on a physical manifestation, she is stricken by a loss of self--though not of purpose. In the clash of combat, her identity shatters and reconfigures, and she begins to regain awareness. She grasps that she is Mercurial the Spectre--and that all of her Haunts are but shadows of the one true Spectre. Focus comes in the struggle for survival; her true mind reasserts itself; until in the final moments of victory or defeat, she transcends matter and is restored once more to her eternal form.
Voice: Gin Hammond (Responses)

Abilities[edit | edit source]

Spectral Dagger
Cannot be used by illusions. Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Partially pierces spell immunity. Play
Spectral Dagger icon.png
Self / Enemies
Spectre flings a dagger to draw a Shadow Path, dealing damage and slowing the movement speed of any enemies along the trail. Units hit by the dagger also trail a Shadow Path. While treading the path, Spectre phases through otherwise impassable terrain.
Cast Animation0.3+0.37
Cast Range: 2000
Effect Radius: 125
Damage: 50/100/150/200
Move Speed Bonus: 8%/12%/16%/20%
Move Speed Slow: 8%/12%/16%/20%
Path Duration: 12
Cooldown 16
Mana 130/140/150/160
Partially pierces spell immunity. Places trail and slow debuff on spell immune enemies. The slow debuff is inactive while spell immune.
Not blocked by Linken's Sphere. Procs only when secondary target while a hero was directly targeted. However, Spectral Dagger instantly reattempts to apply the debuff, thus wasting Linken's cooldown. No interaction with the primary target or when hit while the ground was targeted.
Buff or Debuff Spectral Dagger In Path: Undispellable.
Buff Spectral Dagger Path Phased: Undispellable.
Debuff Spectral Dagger: Undispellable.
Mercurial's dagger eclipses the physical plane in shadow, a state in which mortals cower, but spectres thrive.


  • The Spectral Dagger travels at a speed of 800 and cannot be disjointed.
  • Can directly target heroes and creep-heroes. When targeting a hero, the dagger homes on and follows it until it reaches the target.
  • When targeting the ground or creep-heroes, the dagger travels 2000 range in a straight line. It does not home on creep-heroes.
  • Every enemy unit which comes within 125 range of the traveling dagger gets damaged.
  • Hit enemy heroes and illusions also receive the Spectral Dagger debuff, making them trail a shadow path like the dagger itself.
    • This debuff also grants shared vision over the enemy heroes, revealing their silhouette when invisible.
  • Spectre and enemies gain the Spectral Dagger In Path modifier while on the path, increasing her/decreases their movement speed.
    • This modifier lingers for 4 seconds after leaving the path.
  • Spectre also gains the Spectral Dagger Path Phased buff, which grants her unobstructed movement.
    • This buff lingers for 2 seconds after leaving the path.
  • The shadow path's segments last 12 seconds from the moment on they were created, not as the spell was cast.

Not a Unique Attack Modifier. Can be used by illusions. Disabled by Break. Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Desolate icon.png
Deals bonus damage whenever Spectre attacks an enemy who is alone.
Radius: 325
Damage: 20/35/50/65
Often times, warriors find themselves alone with a vision of Mercurial - the fated question is if it is the true Spectre.


  • Desolate damage is a separate damage instance and applied before the actual attack damage hits.
    • This means it damages even when the attack misses.
  • Desolate completely ignores nearby wards, buildings, invulnerable and hidden units.
    • This means that Desolate still deals its damage when the target only has one of the above as an ally nearby.
    • Since it only checks for allies of the target, nearby neutral creeps do not prevent it from dealing damage either.

Cannot be used by illusions. Disabled by Break. Does not pierce spell immunity.
Dispersion icon.png
Self / Enemies
Damage done to Spectre is reflected on her enemies, leaving her unharmed. The effect lessens with distance.
Minimum Radius: 300
Maximum Radius: 1000
Damage Reflected: 10%/14%/18%/22%
A daunting task lies before enemies of Mercurial - killing a shadow with blade and magic.


  • Dispersed damage is returned as the same damage type as it was received.
  • Always reflects a percentage of the full damage value, no matter how much health Spectre had left when she received the damage.
    • This means it reflects overkill damage dealt to Spectre, so if a damage source exceeded Spectre's current health and killed her, the reflected damage is based on the full damage value.
  • Dispersion reflects the damage right before it is actually done to Spectre, so if both Spectre and an enemy would die to the damage simultaneously, the enemy is always killed first.
  • The dispersed damage is not felt by Spectre, effectively reducing every incoming damage by 10%/14%/18%/22%.
  • Increases effective HP by 11%/16%/22%/28%, potentially reflecting that amount as damage to enemies.
  • Reflected damage is not shared between enemies. All of them take the full reflected damage.
  • The damage dealt decreases linearly from a 300 radius to a 1000 radius from Spectre.
  • This is how much damage Dispersion deals to enemies at certain distances:
    • 300 Distance: 10%/14%/18%/22% of dealt damage
    • 475 Distance: 7.5%/10.5%/13.5%/16.5% of dealt damage
    • 650 Distance: 5%/7%/9%/11% of dealt damage
    • 825 Distance: 2.5%/3.5%/4.5%/5.5% of dealt damage

Pierces spell immunity. Play
Haunt icon.png
No Target
Creates a spectral nemesis to attack each enemy hero after a short delay. At any moment during the duration, Spectre can use Reality to exchange places of a given haunt.
Haunt illusions are uncontrollable, take extra damage, and deal less damage than Spectre herself. They move at 400 base movement speed and ignore terrain.
Cast Animation0.3+0.5
Radius: Global
Illusion Damage Dealt: 30%
Illusion Damage Taken: 200%
Haunt Duration: 5/6/7
Cooldown 140/130/120
Mana 150
At the height of combat, Mercurial's physical manifestation shatters, and the shadowy pieces haunt those who still cling to life.


  • Haunt illusions are selectable, but uncontrollable.
  • The illusions start attacking their targets 1 second after being spawned.
  • Haunt illusions do not spawn for enemy illusions, but spawn for every Meepo icon.png Meepo​ clone and Tempest Double icon.png Tempest Double​.

Reality icon.png
Spectre exchanges places with a chosen Haunt.
Cast Animation0+0.7
Cast Range: Global
Cooldown 0
The scattered shadows unite into the one true Spectre.


  • Reality is unlocked upon learning Haunt icon.png Haunt​ and stays always active.
  • The cast of Reality is not registered as a spell cast and thus does not proc any on-cast effects.
  • Does not disjoint projectiles upon cast.
  • Can be cast multiple times until Haunt icon.png Haunt​ ends or all Haunt illusions are dead.
  • After swapping positions, the Haunt illusion still walks towards its target and attacks it.

Recommended items[edit | edit source]

Starting Items:

  • Stout Shield icon.png Stout Shield is a good pick up to reduce the harassment you'll take, and it later builds into either Poor Man's Shield icon.png Poor Man's Shield or Vanguard icon.png Vanguard.
  • Tango icon.png Tango is are good for keeping you in lane as long as possible.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve can save Spectre at the last moment.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango gives you a little bit of HP regen and can be consumed to be able to use Spectral Dagger again while in lane.

Early Game:

  • Quelling Blade icon.png Quelling Blade is a great pickup early on to help you last hit, and can later be built into Iron Talon icon.png Iron Talon to help in farming the jungle before Radiance.
  • Poor Man's Shield icon.png Poor Man's Shield reduces the amount of harassment you take and gives you some agility to increase your base damage.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed help her escape attackers and chase down weakened enemies.
  • Ring of Regen icon.png Ring of Regen is sometimes picked up against a hard lane.
  • Ring of Aquila (Active) icon.png Ring of Aquila provides agility and bonus damage, and mana regen aura.

Core Items:

  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance is necessary on Spectre to not only farm fast, but also to take advantage of your AoE damage and tankiness from Dispersion.
  • Phase Boots icon.png Phase Boots are the best boots on Spectre this early, as she needs the movement speed and damage. You should usually grab this before Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance.
  • Manta Style icon.png Manta Style let's you farm extremely fast by sending your illusions either into lane or into other jungle camps that, with Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance, lets them take out the camps.

Situational Items:

  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is a great early game item to take advantage of Haunt to get a lot of charges and to buff Spectre's meager strength.
  • Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade increases the damage your illusions deal, gives you some much needed mana and agility, and has a slow to keep up with enemies.
  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance is a good item to get if you desperately need the stats. It combos well with Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows.
  • Vanguard icon.png Vanguard gives a large amount of damage block, which is calculated after all reductions, including Dispersion. It also gives raw HP, again giving more value from Dispersion, and HP regeneration, which most farming heroes need to farm without breaks.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail works well with Spectre's constant AOE damage and punishes enemies who try to focus you down.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque is the best tank item you can get on Spectre. It lets you basically have infinite health against towers and creeps, and the HP it gives works well with Spectre's damage reduction, making her extremely hard to kill.
  • Sange and Yasha icon.png Sange and Yasha is a more midgame snowballing item. The stats transfer well to illusions and the extra movement speed will help Spectre stick to her target.
  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi is a good luxury item on Spectre. The stats are much appreciated and the slow means enemies won't be able to escape you. Considering Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade is no longer an UAM, this makes Skadi even better on her.
  • Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass adds extra durability and makes Haunt a global -5 armor for the duration while giving any teammates in range extra armor and attack speed. The attack speed has good synergy with Desolate, but does not transfer to illusions.
  • Skull Basher icon.png Skull Basher adds some damage and HP along with BKB-penetrating anticarry and chase potential that again forces attention onto her.
  • Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir adds significant farming and push potential, while filling the AoE damage role of Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance while also scaling better and having an easier buildup. However, illusions get no benefits from it.
  • Manta Style icon.png Manta Style creates more illusions, dealing even more instances of Desolate damage. The movement speed is also highly desirable as melee heroes like Spectre can often be kited.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque's extra health will help Spectre take advantage of Dispersion and make her illusions difficult to remove.
  • Butterfly icon.png Butterfly is an all around good item on Agility carries. Spectre benefits a lot from it however considering her low 1.8 agility gain per level.
  • Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass makes you even tankier and by giving you more armor, and increases your physical damage thanks to the aura lowering armor on enemies and towers.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Audio[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

Equipment[edit | edit source]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The name Mercurial most likely comes from the DeviantART account of Kenneth Tan, the person who made the 6.28-6.32 loadscreen.[1][2] 6.28 is also the version in which Spectre got released in DotA.
  • "Mercurial" means "swift, shrewd, and deceitful", which is attributed to the Roman god of thieves, Mercury, as Spectre is an agile and quick Hero. It can also refer to the planet Mercury, since Spectre is an otherworldly entity. Mercurial can also hint towards the element Mercury, often called "quicksilver," which is another reference to Spectre's speed and mobility.
  • Spectre's alternate/fun name "Qwerty-" was given to her for remembering a legendary Dota player Zaven "Qwerty" Terminasov, who died on December 5, 2010.
  • Spectre's voice responses are overlayed with the same track playing backwards, bearing a huge similarity to the Spirit of Vengeance's voice in Warcraft III: Frozen Throne, which is also the voice of Spectre in DotA.
  • Spectre has fewer model animations than any other hero in the game.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Playdota thread about hero name origins
  2. The loading screen from the artist Mercurial got her name from