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Phantom Assassin/Counters

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Bad against...[edit]

Axe icon.png
  • Jumping in with Phantom Strike makes Phantom Assassin an exceptionally easy target for Berserker's Call.
    • The bonus attack speed from Phantom Strike also means that Phantom Assassin will proc Counter Helix numerous times.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar is generally useless against Axe's abilities and item build, as Black King Bar doesn't prevent Axe from finishing Phantom Assassin off with Culling Blade. It also doesn't work against Berserker's Call and Counter Helix.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail is an item that Axe purchases every game, and it can be used to turn Phantom Assassin's critical strikes against herself. The situation becomes even worse if she's affected by Berserker's Call, as she has no way to stop attacking.
Bane icon.png
  • Enfeeble lowers Phantom Assassin's attack speed so Coup de Grace does not proc as often, decreasing her damage output. It also makes Phantom Assassin more susceptible to disables, especially if she lacks a Black King Bar.
  • Fiend's Grip can disable Phantom Assassin, even through spell immunity.
Broodmother icon.png
  • Phantom Assassin's single target abilities make her very helpless against swarms of spiderlings.
  • Because Phantom Assassin is always reliant on critical strikes, Broodmother will usually have enough time to use Spin Web to save herself.
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
  • Retaliate turns Phantom Assassin's attacks against herself, as he deals damage with every hit taken, and his big health pool makes sure that a lot of hits will be needed.
  • If Centaur Warrunner gets the jump on Phantom Assassin first, she will be unable to activate Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar and might be burst down with the help of his Double Edge.
  • Stampede can save an ally under attack by Phantom Assassin, offsetting the slow from Stifling Dagger. If he owns an Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, he can prevent a low-health ally from being killed in one crit.
Dragon Knight icon.png
  • High armor thanks to Dragon Blood makes it difficult for Phantom Assassin to burst down Dragon Knight, as she deals 100% physical damage.
  • Dragon Tail stuns Phantom Assassin as soon as she initiates, preventing her from gaining bonus attack speed.
  • Dragon Knight is one of the few heroes who can safely solo lane against Phantom Assassin alongside a support.
Lina icon.png
Lion icon.png
  • Hex and Earth Spike's fast cast animations easily catches Phantom Assassin when she jumps in to attack.
  • Finger of Death often ends Phantom Assassin before she can do anything in the early to mid game.
Morphling icon.png
  • Morphling's high armor serves as a direct counter to Phantom Assassin, causing her attacks to do far less damage. She is also very vulnerable to burst damage, and can be brought down quickly using his Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade and Adaptive Strike combo.
Omniknight icon.png
  • Purification easily catches Phantom Assassin when she jumps in to attack.
  • Guardian Angel renders Phantom Assassin useless, as she depends entirely on physical attacks.
Phoenix icon.png
  • Fire Spirits applies a severe attack speed slow, severely hindering Phantom Assassin's damage output. While Phantom Strike may be able to slightly remedy the problem, Phoenix' magical and pure damage output completely ignore Blur's evasion, resulting in severe damage to her low health pool.
Puck icon.png
  • Puck relies mainly on magical burst damage, which Phantom Assassin is most vulnerable against.
  • Phase Shift and Illusory Orb disjoint Stifling Dagger, also allowing to kite Phantom Assassin.
  • Dream Coil will stun Phantom Assassin if she uses Phantom Strike to blink away.
Razor icon.png
  • Static Link greatly lowers the damage output from Coup de Grace, hindering Phantom Assassin's main source of scaling.
  • Eye of the Storm strikes cannot be evaded by Blur.
Skywrath Mage icon.png
  • Arcane Bolt's long range and low cooldowns allows Skywrath Mage to severely harass Phantom Assassin in lane.
  • Ancient Seal prevents Phantom Assassin from escaping or engaging with Phantom Strike.
  • Mystic Flare's heavy magical damage nukes Phantom Assassin down quickly during the early to mid game.
Spectre icon.png
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar is nearly useless, since all of the Spectre's abilities go through spell immunity,
  • Phantom Assassin's Blur cannot evade Desolate because its damage is a separate damage instance and is applied before the attack hits.
  • Spectre's high durability provided by Dispersion and damage block items makes her one of the hardest carries to take down.
Timbersaw icon.png
  • Reactive Armor helps Timbersaw sustain harassment from Stifling Dagger.
  • Phantom Assassin has a moderate health pool and usually appears in the front line of battle, making her vulnerable to Timbersaw's magic burst.
  • Timbersaw can easily escape from Phantom Assassin thanks to his Timber Chain.
Tinker icon.png
Viper icon.png



  • Nullifier icon.png Nullifier nullifies her items making Phantom Assassin vulnerable without Black King Bar.
  • Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar grants accuracy to counter Blur.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail turns Phantom Assassin's massive burst damage against her, dissuading her from attacking.
  • Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn makes her a more vulnerable target thanks to its accuracy, damage amplification, and critical strikes. In addition, the silence prevents her from initiating effectively, being unable to use her Stifling Dagger and Phantom Strike, making her susceptible to kiting.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse completely removes Phantom Assassin's chances of escape. As Hex also disables item usage, even if she purchases Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar, if the Hex is applied before she can activate it, she may fall down very easily once further disabled and nuked down.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge temporarily disables her evasion and critical strike, as well as applying a damage reduction onto her, making entering teamfights very risky for her.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter prevents Phantom Assassin from attacking, making it good protection item for casters. It can be upgraded to Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade later, which can be used on allies, or to nuke and disarm Phantom Assassin.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape can be used to save targets hit by Phantom Assassin's crits. However, it is not advised if your team already has invisible heroes as enemies will then most likely carry Dust of Appearance icon.png Dust of Appearance all the time.
  • Solar Crest icon.png Solar Crest not only melts Phantom Assassin's armor, it also reduces her attack speed from Phantom Strike.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd disarms Phantom Assassin, preventing her from proccing Coup de Grace. Its evasion also provides reliable protection against her physical attacks.

Good against...[edit]

Anti-Mage icon.png
  • Anti-Mage can easily withstand heavy magical burst due to Counterspell, but he is still somewhat vulnerable to physical damage. Phantom Assassin's burst physical damage can destroy Anti-Mage while Blink is on cooldown or while he is stunned or hexed.
  • Blur makes Anti-Mage unable to deal significant damage to her.
  • Phantom Assassin has an abysmal mana pool and intelligence gain, making Mana Break and Mana Void deal minimal damage.
Crystal Maiden icon.png
  • Crystal Maiden's low health pool and slow movement speed make her a tempting and easy target.
  • However, it may be wise to build Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar first before attempting to fight her alone, as she can disable you and retaliate with Freezing Field.
Dazzle icon.png
  • Dazzle's lack of a true disable makes him a relatively vulnerable target for Phantom Assassin.
  • Coup de Grace will often kill Dazzle's teammates before he has a chance to use Shallow Grave.
Nature's Prophet icon.png
  • Nature's Prophet's low mobility and health pool allows Phantom Assassin to destroy him in the early game.
  • Phantom Strike allows Phantom Assassin to jump in and out of Sprout, provided she has vision.
Riki icon.png
  • Blink Strike does not grant Riki a mobility advantage over Phantom Assassin, as her Phantom Strike saves the same purpose, but with a higher range.
  • A Carry Riki usually has a hard time dealing with Blur, as a Monkey King Bar icon.png Monkey King Bar or Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn are unfavourable item picks for him (or, even more unlikely, a Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge).
  • A Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar is a very common pick for Phantom Assassin, fully countering Smoke Screen and Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade while activated.
Sniper icon.png
  • Sniper's lack of mobility and reliance on attack range makes him an easy target for Phantom Assassin to jump on.


  • Fragile support heroes are all ideal targets for the Phantom Assassin. Heroes such as Lina minimap icon.png Lina and Witch Doctor minimap icon.png Witch Doctor are all prime targets that may not be able to react quickly and fight back due to Phantom Assassin's sudden appearance.
  • Heroes who lack escape mechanisms or disables are all easy targets for Phantom Assassin if they are not careful. Look for Luna minimap icon.png Luna, Venomancer minimap icon.png Venomancer and Shadow Fiend minimap icon.png Shadow Fiend and try to catch them off guard.
  • Assuming they have not bought anti-evasion items, attack dependent heroes such as Viper minimap icon.png Viper, Ursa minimap icon.png Ursa or Clinkz minimap icon.png Clinkz can be a minor threat for Phantom Assassin early in the game, and may even be completely dominated by her thanks to her evasion.

Works well with...[edit]

Ancient Apparition icon.png
  • Combining Ancient Apparition and Phantom Assassin's slows to stun an enemy with Cold Feet can easily force an enemy succumb to this pair during the laning phase.
  • Ice Blast makes one-shot crits even more likely for Phantom Assassin.
Beastmaster icon.png
  • Inner Beast gives Phantom Assassin greater attack speed, increasing her chances of landing a Coup de Grace.
  • Primal Roar long stun duration lets Phantom Assassin beat down enemies.
  • Beastmaster's Boar and Hawk helps Phantom Assassin chase down targets, and can be used as targets for her to jump to.
Magnus icon.png
  • Empower greatly enhances Phantom Assassin's crit damage, as well as giving her cleaving attack. It also speeds up Phantom Assassin's ability to farm.
  • Reverse Polarity groups up enemies into one spot, combined with Magnus's Empower and Phantom Assassin's tendency to buy Battle Fury icon.png Battle Fury, Phantom Assassin will shred through multiple heroes in a blink of an eye.
Omniknight icon.png
  • Casting Purification on Phantom Assassin after she uses Phantom Strike will guarantee a huge damage burst, especially during the early game when Purification's damage is significant.
  • Phantom Assassin's Stifling Dagger allows Omniknight to catch up with the target and slows them with Degen Aura.
  • Blur makes Phantom Assassin more resistant to physical attacks and Heavenly Grace makes her much more resistant against disables.
Slardar icon.png
  • Corrosive Haze not only keeps track of a target but also highly reduces their armor, enabling Phantom Assassin to cut them down much quicker. His stun and follow-up slow can also prove useful in a clash, preventing retaliation and/or escape.
Vengeful Spirit icon.png


  • Heroes who amplify physical damage or reduce armor all work well with the Phantom Assassin in teamfights, such as Shadow Fiend minimap icon.png Shadow Fiend or Dazzle minimap icon.png Dazzle.
  • Slows and disables let her catch up to fleeing enemies. Heroes like Lion minimap icon.png Lion, Bane minimap icon.png Bane or Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge are useful to have in a chase in that they might be able to help pin down their target for her.