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Templar Assassin/Guide

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Gameplay[edit]

Playstyle
Templar Assassin minimap icon.png Templar Assassin is a highly elusive and devastating hero in the right hands. Her Refraction simultaneously protects her from any damage instance, no matter how low or high, and increases her attack damage output for a few attacks. Combined with the armor reduction of Meld, any enemy hero with small health pools should be wary of her, as if they are not vigilant, they will be crippled by her Psionic Traps, letting her catch up, or materialize herself beside them with the help of a Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger, then finish them off in only a few swings of her Psi Blades. With proper timing and the right tools, Templar Assassin can protect herself from powerful nukes, evade the enemy team, and even have the potential to wipe out an entire team with perfect positioning and quick actions.
Pros Cons
  • Capable of shredding armor and dealing massive amounts of physical damage.
  • Can be very elusive.
  • Provides some free vision for team.
  • Can efficiently farm Ancient stacks.
  • Very vulnerable to damage over time abilities.
  • Meld by itself is not a reliable escape mechanism.
  • Rather dependent on good positioning to make most use of Psi Blades' spill AoE.
  • Despite being a ranged hero, she has a lower attack range than a melee hero if Psi Blades is not learned.

Ability Builds[edit]

Generic Templar Assassin
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Refraction icon.pngPsi Blades icon.pngRefraction icon.pngMeld icon.pngRefraction icon.pngPsionic Trap icon.pngRefraction icon.pngPsi Blades icon.pngMeld icon.pngTalent icon.pngMeld icon.pngPsionic Trap icon.pngMeld icon.pngPsi Blades icon.pngTalent icon.pngPsi Blades icon.pngUnknown icon.pngPsionic Trap icon.pngTalent icon.pngTalent icon.png

Talents[edit]

Hero Talents
+4 Refraction Instances251.5s Meld Hit Bash
-4 Meld Armor Reduction20 Meld Dispels
+200 Psionic Trap Damage15+25 Movement Speed
15% Evasion10+25 Attack Speed
Notes:
  • The evasion talent stacks multiplicatively with other sources of evasion.

Tips & Tactics[edit]

General[edit]

  • Templar Assassin is almost always played in the mid lane.
  • While Templar Assassin is a situational pick, when drafted properly she can spiral out of control and enter a state of near invulnerability. This allows an experienced player halt the opposing side at the start of the midgame, preventing the match from ever reaching the late game.
  • Templar Assassin requires an aggressive play style in order to be effective.
  • Templar Assassin reaches her damage peak at around level 11, earlier than most carries, through the use of Refraction and Meld.
  • Due to her early damage peak, snowballing is crucial to Templar Assassin being successful. You'll want to have both your Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger and Desolator icon.png Desolator as early as possible, ideally no later than 20 minutes.
  • Stack and farm ancient camps early on to get core items. Prioritize stacking over lane creeps if the supports are not helping.

Abilities[edit]

Refraction[edit]

  • Refraction places two separate buffs onto Templar Assassin to keep track of the bonus damage and protection portion. Therefore, each buff is tracked independently and depleting one of the buffs does not affect the other.
  • Attacking allied units does not use up a Refraction charge. Use this to preserve your Refraction charges in lane for more damage.
  • Just like Meld, Refraction has an instant cast with no animation nor backswing.
  • Refraction and Meld deal physical damage and are effective against siege creeps and ancient creeps. Refraction's bonus damage also works on towers.
  • Refraction's cooldown is the same as its duration. Try to plan on entering a fight when its duration is almost finished, so you can re-cast Refraction shortly after it expires for two sets of damage block and bonus damage.
  • Refraction has a minimum damage threshold of 5, meaning that damage less than 5 is fully ignored by Refraction and is not absorbed. Because of this, enemies can still disable Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger through Refraction with the help of a damage source that deals very little damage such as Orb of Venom icon.png Orb of Venom.
  • You can bait out powerful abilities (mostly ultimates) by casting Refraction just before the ability is cast. This does require quick reflexes, but if done right, abilities such as Finger of Death or Reaper's Scythe can be wasted and give your team a bit of breathing room.

Meld[edit]

  • Meld applies invisibility instantly with no fade time and can be used to disjoint projectiles.
  • An early point in meld can help significantly reduce harassment from other mid heroes, such as Queen of Pain and her Shadow Strike or Tinker and his Rockets, or to disjoint the attacks from a tower that may follow you after a gank.
  • Enemies cannot remove Meld without altering Templar Assassin's position in some way.
    • However, Meld is not removed by abilities that forces movement in a vertical manner, such as Impale, Burrowstrike, Torrent, Earth Spike, Ravage and from Cyclone-based abilities such as Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity and Tornado.
    • Additionally, despite X Marks the Spot shifting Layana's location, Meld is not removed by that ability.
    • Telekinesis will only remove Meld if the sub-ability is used. It will not remove Meld by itself.
    • Toss will only remove Meld if Layana is tossed towards another unit. If Layana is both the Toss object and the Toss target, it will not remove Meld since she is only being moved vertically.
  • It can be difficult to hit an enemy from within Meld without a high level in Psi Blades. Use Psionic Trap, Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger, or disables from teammates to get close to enemies.
  • Meld is very useful for evading enemies when you can use it just out of sight. For example, say you are being chased towards some stairs while you are on the lower ground. Using Meld once you reach the high ground will often leave assailants confused and can sometimes lead to them continuing on in the direction you were originally headed if they assume you just blinked in that direction.
  • Maxing meld is incredibly powerful against a team with two or more heroes that can tear down refraction very fast. However, such heroes, like Pudge and Venomancer, have low armor and will be quickly taken care of.

Psi Blades[edit]

  • Against an enemy lineup that consists of entirely ranged heroes, you may need to max Psi Blades early in order to have any chance of last hitting and harassing efficiently while laning.
  • Psi Blades deal pure damage, not physical, meaning whatever is behind her initial target will take the same damage as the primary target. As such, try to position yourself so that you either deny and last hit at the same time or harass your foe out of the lane.
  • If you are having trouble with attacking with Meld, putting more points on Psi Blades instead of Meld early game may be a better choice. At most, a level 2 Psi Blades gives Templar Assassin decent enough range for her early-mid game, spending the rest of her ability points on Refraction and Meld for higher damage output.
  • The spill area of Psi Blades is positioned based on where you are when the projectile lands, not the direction the projectile came from. So, mind your position and the enemies' after attacking. Combining this mechanic with positioning abilities and items like Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger to land Psi Blades spills.
  • To land Psi Blades with ease in the laning stage, look for predictable patterns from the enemies, e.g. when they are standing still for a moment to play attack animation to get last hits.

Psionic Trap[edit]

  • Use Psionic Trap for vision. Place traps in narrow walkways to monitor enemy movement, rune locations, Roshan's pit, etc.
    • Other useful places for Psionic Trap include the top of stairs, secret shops, and other common chokepoints.
  • Psionic Trap gains more slow over time after placement. Try to place traps far ahead of enemies to let them build charge.
  • Buy mobility items like Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger and Phase Boots icon.png Phase Boots to chase enemies caught in Psionic Trap.
  • Apply Psionic Trap to kite large neutral stacks, keeping them line up for Psi Blades.
  • Charge Psionic Trap to full to enjoy maximum slow and bonus damage.
  • Place Psionic Traps along the lanes to nuke creep waves, increasing farm speed while hindering enemy pushes.
  • With highest level and talent, Templar Assassin can clear a creep wave with one trap.
  • Psionic Trap glows white in parts when it is fully charged.

Items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango give Templar Assassin health regeneration allowing her to stay in the lane for longer.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve, used at the last moment, can save Templar Assassin from death.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity help her sustain the mana cost of her Refraction, which is an essential ability for Templar Assassin in her laning phase.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branches give an overall cheap damage, health and mana boost and can be built into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand later on.

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed is a vital item for every hero in the game in order to escape and chase when necessary.
  • Bottle (Full) icon.png Bottle is important for saving runes and sustaining her health and mana while she roams the map to find kills.
  • Blight Stone icon.png Blight Stone is very cost-effective early game item and will be upgraded later to Desolator icon.png Desolator.
  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick can help Templar Assassin out a lot when facing heroes which spam their abilities. The instant health and mana restore can turn around the outcome of a fight when used properly.

Mid game:

  • Power Treads icon.png Power Treads provides appropriate attributes, increasing her health or mana at will, as well as raising attack speed.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand makes use of the branches and the Magic Stick from earlier and has a stronger potential heal burst.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger is essential to reach Templar Assassin's maximum potential. Although she is technically a ranged hero, her base attack range is similar to that of a melee hero. A Blink Dagger allows her to get in range to attack enemies and land her Meld attack, or to catch up to enemies slowed by her Psionic Trap. In teamfights, it helps her to position herself to use the full potential of Psi Blades. On the other side, it is also a great escaping tool when combined with her spells. Refraction prevents the dagger from getting disabled, but if it does get disabled, Meld can help her hide for a moment and then blink out if the enemy has no True Sight or area spells.
  • Desolator icon.png Desolator increases Templar Assassin's damage output immensely, since Templar Assassin only deals physical damage by default (besides Psi Blades). The armor reduction of Desolator fully stacks with that of Meld, allowing her to reduce up to 14 armor on a target. This results in a highly increased damage output, which then translates into higher damage with Psi Blades, since their damage is based on what the initial attack target received. On top of this, Desolator also grants a decent raw attack damage bonus.

Late game:

  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar may be required to deal with disables. Although Refraction helps her from taking any kind of damage, it does not stop disables. If avoiding their disables with blink or Meld is not possible, a Black King Bar should be bought.The item also grants some raw damage and a bit of health, increasing her damage output and survivability further.

Situational items:

  • Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass, similar to Desolator icon.png Desolator, synergizes well with Templar Assassin as it reduces enemy armor and increases her attack speed, upping her damage output by a massive amount. Besides that, the additional armor compensates for her squishiness. The armor bonuses and reductions of it are also auras, making it a valuable contribution to any teamfight.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque allows Templar Assassin to fight for much longer, as it gives an enormous health boost. However, it should only be bought after having built up some damage first, because being tanky does not help her much when she deals little damage.
  • Butterfly icon.png Butterfly is always a great item for every agility hero, as it increases attack damage and speed by a lot and also provides evasion, helping against enemy attacks. The evasion also synergizes very well with Refraction, as Refraction does not lose any of its damage block charges when Templar Assassin evades attacks.
  • Manta Style icon.png Manta Style can be considered on Templar Assassin if some extra push power is required. If one has quick reflexes, its active can also be used to disjoint enemy attacks and spells. It also provides decent stats and grants some mobility. Keep in mind though that, despite her melee-like attack range, Templar Assassin is still a ranged hero, so the ranged illusion values and cooldown are used.
  • Daedalus icon.png Daedalus is a great item on Templar Assassin, since a critical strike is spread to all enemies with Psi Blades. It also works extremely well together with her high amount of armor reduction from her ability and typical item choices. However, since it is a chance-based effect and is based on her attack damage, other damage increasing items are required first to unlock its high potential.
  • Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi grants attributes for tankiness and damage, the slow also keeps enemies in attack range.
  • Dragon Lance icon.png Dragon Lance gives Templar Assassin higher range and a good amount of stats that she needs early-mid game: Strength for health and Agility for armor and damage. The increased attack range also allows Templar Assassin to perhaps skip a few points on Psi Blades and focus on maxing out Meld after Refraction instead. Afterward, it may be disassembled to be turned into a Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar, or kept and upgraded into Hurricane Pike icon.png Hurricane Pike, giving Templar Assassin a second mobility item with Blink Dagger, and its active gives Templar Assassin four possibly unavoidable attacks from any range.