Phantom Lancer/Counters

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Bad against...[edit]

Axe icon.png
  • Berserker's Call helps locks down Phantom Lancer in a group of illusions.
  • Counter Helix clears Phantom Lancer's illusions quickly.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail Phantom Lancer's high damage is bad against Blade Mail, an item Axe almost always gets.
Bristleback icon.png
  • Bristleback's tankiness and damage reduction from the rear makes him very hard for Phantom Lancer to chase and finish off, due to his lack of burst damage.
  • Quill Spray destroys Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Bristleback's passive costs no mana, meaning that it will continue to trigger even if Phantom Lancer drains Bristleback's mana with Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade.
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
Dragon Knight icon.png
  • Breathe Fire and Elder Dragon Form's splash damage takes out Phantom Lancer's illusions quickly.
  • If Dragon Knight can Dragon Tail the real Phantom Lancer, he and his team can quickly kill him before he has a chance to escape.
Earthshaker icon.png
  • Echo Slam deals tremendous damage when multiplied by Phantom Lancer's illusions.
Ember Spirit icon.png
  • Sleight of Fist, allows Ember Spirit to destroy all of Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Flame Guard also deals significant damage to illusions, and protects against Spirit Lance.
  • Phantom Rush is unable to catch Ember Spirit when he teleports to his Fire Remnants.
Grimstroke icon.png
  • Stroke of Fate clears Phantom Lancer's illusion easily as it deals bonus damage to more targets.
  • Ink Swell can be used on an allied hero or Grimstoke himself to stun Phantom Lancer and his illusions.
  • Phantom's Embrace and Soulbind have an undispellable debuff that can be used to mark the real Phantom Lancer.
Gyrocopter icon.png
Jakiro icon.png
  • Dual Breath slows down Phantom Lancer and his illusions.
  • Liquid Fire will not only deal AoE damage but also lowers Phantom Lancer's attack speed.
  • An Ice Path and Macropyre combo can easily clear all of Phantom Lancer's illusions.
Kunkka icon.png
  • Tidebringer and Kunkka's AoE abilities in general are effective in clearing Phantom Lancer's illusions.
Legion Commander icon.png
  • Overwhelming Odds deals high damage to Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Duel's long duration prevents Phantom Lancer from using Doppelganger.
Leshrac icon.png
  • Leshrac's AoE abilities destroy Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Diabolic Edict and Pulse Nova require no targeting, thus hitting Phantom Lancer whenever he's nearby.
Meepo icon.png
  • Poof from multiple Meepos will destroy illusions quickly.
  • Earthbind's area root can catch Phantom Lancer in a group of illusions and prevent him from using Doppelganger for a long time.
Magnus icon.png
  • Empower helps Magnus' allies clear out illusions.
  • Reverse Polarity and Skewer will pull Phantom Lancer along with his illusions, and reposition them together for easy nuking.
Pangolier icon.png
  • Pangolier's AoE abilities especially Shield Crash, is very effective against Phantom Lancer's illusions.
Phoenix icon.png
  • Phoenix's AoE abilities can prove troublesome for Phantom Lancer.
  • Fire Spirits dramatically reduces Phantom Lancer and his illusions' attack speed.
  • Icarus Dive's movement speed reduction makes retreating difficult.
  • Supernova burns away illusions, and is invulnerable to attacks from illusions.
Puck icon.png
  • Illusory Orb and Waning Rift are effective nukes against Phantom Lancer's illusions, especially in the early game.
  • Dream Coil limits Phantom Rush's mobility during teamfights.
Razor icon.png
Sand King icon.png
  • All of Sand King's abilities deal AoE damage.
  • Epicenter will usually eliminate all illusions in one cast. Phantom Lancer lacks any disables to stop the channelling.
Storm Spirit icon.png
  • Ball Lightning destroys illusions, avoids Spirit Lance, and makes Storm Spirit very hard to catch, even with Phantom Rush.
Sven icon.png
Tidehunter icon.png
  • Kraken Shell and Anchor Smash makes it very difficult for Phantom Lancer's illusions to damage to Tidehunter.
  • Ravage will stun the real Phantom Lancer while clearing most of his illusions.
  • Anchor Smash reduces base damage, which is the majority of Phantom Lancer's auto-attack damage.
  • An Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgraded Gush slows down and reduces all of Phantom Lancer's illusions.
Timbersaw icon.png
  • All Timbersaw's abilities are AOE pure damage and can easily deal with Phantom Lancer's illusions
  • Reactive Armor highly negates Phantom Lancer's physical damage, making him having a hard time killing Timbersaw.
Witch Doctor icon.png
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgraded Death Ward kills Phantom Lancer's illusions very quickly.
  • Phantom Lancer's lack of burst damage and disables makes it hard for him to stop Death Ward's channel.
  • Maledict is not dispelled by Manta Style icon.png Manta Style or Doppelganger, and can be used to mark the real  Phantom Lancer.


  • Heroes with undispellable debuffs will help identify the real Phantom Lancer through visual effects or debuff indicators, provided that it was cast on the real Phantom Lancer to begin with:
  • Heroes that require burst damage to kill will be difficult for Phantom Lancer to take down: Timbersaw minimap icon.png Timbersaw, Axe minimap icon.png Axe, Bristleback minimap icon.png Bristleback, Alchemist minimap icon.png Alchemist and Underlord minimap icon.png Underlord
  • Heroes with global nukes will target and hit Phantom Lancer regardless of his illusions: Zeus minimap icon.png Zeus


  • Crimson Guard icon.png Crimson Guard's Guard ability will completely negate the damage of Phantom Lancer's illusions, even when Phantom Lancer has a considerable farm.
  • Battle Fury icon.png Battle Fury's cleave damage helps destroy Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd places an undispellable debuff which helps identify the real Phantom Lancer.
  • Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance's burn aura helps destroy Phantom Lancer's illusions, and its evasion chance provides some protection from Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade's mana burn.
  • Silver Edge icon.png Silver Edge breaks Juxtapose and Phantom Rush and places undispellable debuff which helps identify the real Phantom Lancer.
  • Maelstrom icon.png Maelstrom and Mjollnir icon.png Mjollnir's chain lightning helps clear Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence and Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn indirectly locks down Phantom Lancer by preventing him from using Doppelganger to disjoint or dispel.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard helps clear out Phantom Lancer's illusions. The passive aura and active slow reduce Phantom Lancer's attack speed.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand helps his victims get off an escape ability.
  • Nullifier icon.png Nullifier reveals the real hero as it is not dispellable and negates the safety of his many illusions, so the enemy can focus him down.

Good against...[edit]

Arc Warden icon.png
  • Flux is paused if even one illusion remains near Phantom Lancer. It can also be dispelled with Doppelganger.
  • Phantom Lancer can also easily dodge an activated Spark Wraith, or use his illusions to trigger it safely.
  • Phantom Rush allows Lancer to quickly get inside of Arc Warden's Magnetic Field.
  • Phantom Lancer and his clones are able to quickly drain Arc Warden of his mana with a Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade. This means Warden's Tempest Double will also be summoned without mana.
Bounty Hunter icon.png
  • Doppelganger dispels Track.
  • Bounty Hunter also has no area of effect abilities to help with the illusions.
Chaos Knight icon.png
  • Chaos Knight's single target abilities are difficult to target against Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • Chaos Knight's lack of mobility makes him an easy target for Phantom Lancer to rush and drain of mana.
Clockwerk icon.png
  • Doppelganger lets Phantom Lancer jump in and out of Power Cogs.
  • Clockwerk's low mobility makes him an easy target for Phantom Lancer to rush on, and overwhelm with clones.
Disruptor icon.png
  • Doppelganger lets Phantom Lancer instantly escape from Kinetic Field.
  • Doppelganger is one of the most reliable ways to dodge Glimpse, other than spell immunity.
  • Doppelganger dispels Thunder Strike.
Lifestealer icon.png
  • Aside from his ultimate, Lifestealer has no AoE abilities to deal with Phantom Lancer's illusions, nor does he have the mobility to escape Phantom Rush.
  • Doppelganger dispels Open Wounds.
Lone Druid icon.png
Shadow Demon icon.png
Slark icon.png
  • Slark has no sustained AoE to fight off Phantom Lancer's illusions as they continually spawn.
  • Spirit Lance can give vision of Slark by spawning an illusion, making it harder for him to juke and gain the passive bonus from Shadow Dance.
  • Phantom Rush helps Phantom Lancer chase down Slark if he tries to escape with Pounce.
Templar Assassin icon.png
  • Phantom Lancer's illusions destroy Refraction charges very quickly.
Undying icon.png
  • Phantom Lancer's many illusions will easily destroy Tombstone, provided he has sufficient farm.
Viper icon.png
  • Although Viper Strike cannot be dispelled by Doppelganger, Viper's lack of mobility and AoE damage makes him an easy target for Phantom Lancer.
  • Viper's various slows do not work against Phantom Rush.
Visage icon.png
  • Phantom Lancer's illusions will quickly destroy multiple layers of Gravekeeper's Cloak.
  • Visage has no mobility mechanisms, making him a prime target for Phantom Rush.
Wraith King icon.png
  • Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade lets Phantom Lancer drain Wraith King's mana, preventing Reincarnation from triggering until he upgrades his talent point at level 20.


Works well with...[edit]

Bane icon.png
  • Bane's long disable with Fiend's Grip gives Phantom Lancer plenty of time to spawn several illusions.
Crystal Maiden icon.png
  • Arcane Aura allows Phantom Lancer to spam Spirit Lance in the early game.
  • Frostbite and Crystal Maiden's slows helps Phantom Lancer chase down enemies.
Dazzle icon.png
  • Phantom Lancer and his many illusions multiply the damage from Shadow Wave, allowing Dazzle to deal up to 980 physical damage to adjacent foes.
  • A timely Shallow Grave can allow Phantom Lancer to get off a Doppelganger, run to safety, then return to the fight after a few heals. Due to his chaotic nature, it can be very hard to finish off Phantom Lancer if the enemy has already used their AoE abilities.
Jakiro icon.png
  • Ice Path lets Phantom Lancer charge enemies without fear, from a great distance.
  • The slow from Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade helps Jakiro aim his abilities.
Keeper of the Light icon.png
  • Chakra Magic allows liberal use of Spirit Lance and Doppelganger in the early game, especially in lane.
    • Timed correctly, the cooldown reduction lets Phantom Lancer use Spirit Lance twice in quick succession. To do so, be sure to have Keeper of the Light cast Chakra Magic after using Spirit Lance.
    • Casting Doppelganger twice also allows Phantom Lancer to create 4 illusions immediately.
Oracle icon.png
  • Fortune's End's long range root and short cooldown time helps Phantom Lancer run down enemies.
  • False Promise gives him the time to build up a large illusion army.
Shadow Shaman icon.png
  • The long disable time from Shackles and Hex allows Phantom Lancer to build up his illusions.
Slardar icon.png
  • Corrosive Haze's armor reduction helps Phantom Lancer and his illusions hit harder, compensating for his lack of burst damage.
Spirit Breaker icon.png
Undying icon.png
  • Decay lowers enemy health, allowing Phantom Lancer to kill them easier without burst damage.
  • Tombstone's slowing zombies create havoc on the battlefield, giving Phantom Lancer the opportunity to beat down an opponent and spawn illusions while they attempt to destroy the Tombstone.
Venomancer icon.png
  • Venomancer's slows help Phantom Lancer stay on top of his target without pausing between attacks to move or Phantom Rush.