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 icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
18 + 2.3
Agility primary attribute symbol.png
19 + 2.2
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
18 + 2.1
Level Base 1 15 25
Health 200 560 1200 1660
H. regen amp 0% 12.86% 35.86% 52.29%
Mana 75 291 639 891
M. regen amp 0% 36% 94.8% 136.8%
Armor 1 4.17 9.3 12.97
Spell dmg 0% 1.29% 3.39% 4.89%
Att/sec 0.59 0.7 0.88 1.01
Damage 27‒31 46‒50 76‒80 98‒102
Move sp amp. 0% 1.14% 2.99% 4.31%
Base health regen 4.75
Base mana regen 0.9
Movement speed 295
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.


Nyx Assassin Nyx Assassin
Play "The blessing of Nyx gives me all the purpose I require."
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)


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 255/315/375/435)
Stun Duration: 1.6/2/2.4/2.8
Cooldown symbol.png 14
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.
  • While Burrow icon.png Burrowed, the cast range and travel distance increase to 1225, and the cooldown decreases to 7 seconds.
  • Impale can hit units up to 825 (Burrow 1350) range away (travel distance + radius).
  • 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 30%/30%/40%/40% 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 Burrowed, 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 175%)
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.
  • Reflects incoming damage before all manipulations. However, damage manipulation on the enemy still affects the damage normally.
  • Reflected physical damage is affected by damage block as well.
  • Reflected damage has the no-reflection flag, preventing its damage from interacting with other sources of damage with the same flag.
  • Fully ignores self-inflicted damage, and damage flagged as HP Removal.
  • Applies damage after stun.
  • 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.
  • When cast while Burrow icon.png Burrowed, the spell immediately applies its stun to all enemies within a 300 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.
  • The level 25 talent allows Nyx Assassin to path freely through cliffs and trees, on top of the phased movement.

Does not proc any on-cast effects when cast. 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: 525
Impale Cooldown Reduction: 7
Mana Burn Cast Range Increase: 450
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.


  • 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.
  • Losing Aghanim's Scepter instantly unburrows Nyx.

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.
  • Interrupts Nyx Assassin's channeling spells upon cast.
  • Instantly reverts all bonuses provided by Burrow.
  • Uses a different sound when unburrowing inside the river.


Hero Talents
Vendetta icon.png Vendetta Unobstructed Pathing 25 +100 Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
+175 Impale icon.png Impale Damage 20 +75% Spiked Carapace icon.png Spiked Carapace Damage
+35 Movement Speed 15 +325 Health
+60 Gold/Min 10 +6% Spell Amplification
  • The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.

Recommended items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango gives Nyx Assassin basic health sustain, allowing him to continue laning despite enemy harass.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his mana pool in-lane, 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.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives some attributes that increase health, mana, and damage.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Early-game items:

  • 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 on a gank target.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is important to get early on Nyx Assassin, as he can easily get charges from successful ganks. It provides some cheap stats and armor, as well as mana regen for sustaining his mana pool. The charges can be used to restore any HP lost during a gank, or can be used to add more damage to a future gank to increase the odds of success.
  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick gives burst health and mana, useful for Nyx Assassin to cast spells continually.

Core items:

  • 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.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives more burst health and mana than Magic Stick, as well as some attributes.
  • 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 can be used to prevent enemy initiating nukes from putting it on cooldown.
  • 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 health regeneration 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.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter unlocks Burrow, which can give Nyx Assassin a strong tactical advantage against certain enemies. It also improves his overall attributes, aiding in his survivability and buffing up his mana pool.

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.
  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens will increase Impale and Mana Burn's cast range, which is good to offset their terrible cast animation. It can be built by recycling the Energy Booster icon.png Energy Booster you got from Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots.
  • 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.
  • Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon greatly boosts Nyx Assassin's burst damage, 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 to deal tremendous burst damage to a single target to secure a kill.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse gives Nyx Assassin an instant ranged hard disable, useful in many situations. Also, it gives him stats across the board, particularly improving his intelligence for more mana and providing powerful scaling mana regeneration to allow him to roam independently.
  • 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.
  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance is a useful stat booster that is easy to build. It gives Nyx Assassin all-around attributes, improving his HP, attack damage and mana. The aura can be very useful, as it boosts Nyx Assassin's movement speed, allowing him to chase down enemies more quickly.
  • Ring of Aquila (Active) icon.png Ring of Aquila provides Nyx Assassin with an assortment of attributes, as well as increasing his armor and providing some mana regen. It is a good cheap stat-booster that helps to sustain his mana pool.
  • 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.






  • 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.