Phantom Lancer/Counters

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Bad against...[edit]

Axe icon.png
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
  • 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, combined with the cleave from Battle Fury icon.png Battle Fury, allows Ember Spirit to destroy all of Phantom Lancer's illusions. If there are enough units within the radius, he could potentially kill an entire team with a single use of this ability.
  • 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.
Gyrocopter icon.png
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
Phoenix icon.png
  • Phoenix's AoE abilities can prove troublesome for Phantom Lancer.
  • Fire Spirits dramatically reduce Phantom Lancer and his illusions' attack speed.
  • Icarus Dive's movement speed reduction makes retreating difficult.
  • Sun Ray deals magical damage to all of Phantom Lancer's illusions.
  • 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.
Sand King icon.png
  • All of Sand King's abilities deal AoE damage.
  • Epicenter will usually eliminate all illusions in one cast.
Storm Spirit icon.png
  • Ball Lightning destroys illusions, avoids Spirit Lance, and makes Spirit Storm very hard to catch, even with Phantom Rush.
Sven icon.png
Tidehunter icon.png
  • Kraken Shell and Anchor Smash make 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.
Witch Doctor icon.png
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgraded Death Ward kills Phantom Lancer's illusions 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:
  • Almost any hero with an AoE nuke will be effective against Phantom Lancer in the early game, although not necessarily in the late game: Lina minimap icon.png Lina, Abaddon minimap icon.png Abaddon, Pugna minimap icon.png Pugna
  • 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
  • Heroes with global nukes will hit Phantom Lancer regardless of his illusions: Zeus minimap icon.png Zeus, Nature's Prophet minimap icon.png Nature's Prophet


  • Crimson Guard icon.png Crimson Guard's Guard ability will completely negate the damage of Phantom Lancer's illusions, even when Phantom Lancer has 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 reduces Phantom Lancer's attack speed.
  • Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand helps his victims get off an escape ability.

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 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.
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
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.
Treant Protector icon.png
  • Phantom Lancer's many illusions will easily eat away Living Armor, provided he has sufficient farm.
  • Doppelganger can dispel Leech Seed.
Ursa icon.png
  • Ursa's low mobility allows Phantom Lancer to swarm him with illusions, and drain him of mana.
  • Fury Swipes can be difficult to build up when Ursa is unsure target is the real Phantom Lancer.
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 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 before using Spirit Lance.
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.