Dota Best Guides


Azwraith, The Phantom Lancer Guide by ~HoneY~

Written by admin on May 29th, 2008

This guide was created by ~HoneY~

Dota Allstars Azwraith the Phantom Lancer

1. Introduction.
2. Stats.
3. Skills.
Manta Build-
4. Skill Build.
5. Core Item Build.
6. Justification of Item Build.
Skadi Build-
7. Skill Build.
8. Core Item Build.
9. Justification of Item Build.
10. Luxury Items.
11. Other Items.
12. General Strategy.
13. Best Enemies.
14. Worst Enemies.
15. Good Allies.
16. Screenshots.
17. Extra.
18. Replays.


Phantom Lancer Stats Dota Azwraith Phantom Lancer

Azwraith the Phantom Lancer is one of the best lategame heroes in Dota Allstars if played properly and an excellent pusher. Fragile and weak early game but capable of producing an army lategame. He is not the best hero-killer, however you can still get some kills.


Range: 100 | | Move Speed: 290 | Primary: AGI
Str: 18 + 1.5 | Agi: 23 + 2.8 | Int: 16 + 1.7
Damage: 45 – 67 | HP: 492 | Mana: 208
HP Regen: 0.79 | Mana Regen: 0.65
Attack Speed: 1.31 (+ 23% IAS) | Armor: 2.2

To check out Complete Stats click here.

-Cool model and icon based on Kimahri from FFX.
-Good survivablity thanks to Dopplewalk.
-Fun to confuse your enemies and make them waste their skills on illusions.
-Good base damage and agility growth.

-Low base movement speed.
-Weak early game.
-Low HP.

From this we learn that Phantom Lancer has a very good agility stat growth and consequently he has good armour and attackspeed. He also has an alright intel growth and his mana pool is sufficient for his two active abilities. On the negative side, his str growth is very low (one of the lowest in DotA Allstars) and so he also has very low HP.

Spirit Lance (T)Dota Allstars Phantom Lance

Throws a magical lance at a target, slicing it and slowing it down for 3 seconds.
Level 1 – Deals 110(82.5) damage and Cripples for 10%.
Level 2 – Deals 150(112.5) damage and Cripples for 20%.
Level 3 – Deals 215(161.25) damage and Cripples for 30%.
Level 4 – Deals 310(232.5) damage and Cripples for 40%.
Mana Cost: 140
Cooldown: 9

A good nuke and slow spell that deals decent damage. Helpful through out the game as the damage is still not too bad lategame and the slow is very helpful in both chasing heroes and preventing heroes from chasing you and your allies. Numbers in brackets refers to damage done after magic resistance.

Dopplewalk (W)

Azwraith Dopplewalk

Allows the Phantom Lancer to become invisible for a period of time, leaving behind a duplicate of himself to confuse enemies. 10% movement bonus at all levels.
The Dopplewalk image lasts 20 seconds, and invisiblity and movement bonus on Lancer lasts 12 seconds.
Dopplewalk image deals 25% damage and takes 300% damage.
Level 1 – 150 mana.
Level 2 – 120 mana.
Level 3 – 90 mana.
Level 4 – 60 mana.
Mana Cost: 150/ 120/ 90/ 60
Cooldown: 30/25/30/15

A very helpful surviving/chasing/ambushing skill with a low mana cost at level 4. The image created helps in making a large image army lategame. Care should be taken when using this skill as the duration of invisibilty is not as much as Windwalk and Vendetta, it is only 12 seconds. The cooldown is pretty long at early levels so take care not to use it much incase you need to suddenly escape, eg. you get ganked. This move should not be used as a harrassing skill early game except when you feel relatively safe and have a ally around, or the enemy hero has no stun skill. The speed boost is also helpful when chasing heroes.

Juxtapose (X)

Dota Juxtapose

Whenever the Phantom Lancer attacks he will randomly create a duplicate of himself. Limit of 8 images.
Duplicates last 15 seconds, deals 25% damage and takes 300% damage.
Level 1 – 3% chance.
Level 2 – 6% chance.
Level 3 – 9% chance.
Level 4 – 12% chance.
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A

A unique passive skill that causes confusion and chaos at lategame. Azwraith is usually able to create a large army of images very quickly thanks to this skill. It is very rare to see a good Phantom Lancer lategame without any images around him.

Phantom Edge (D)

Gives the Phantom Lancer an edge in combat by allowing him to evade attacks and increasing Juxtapose’s image generation. Additionally, it enables his images (including Juxtapose image, Dopplewalk image, and Manta Style image) to generate their own images.
Level 1 – 5% evade, 3% chance illusions will duplicate, 2% increase in Juxtapose.
Level 2 – 10% evade, 5% chance illusions will duplicate, 4% increase in Juxtapose.
Level 3 – 15% evade, 7% chance illusions will duplicate, 6% increase in Juxtapose.
Mana Cost: N/A
Cooldown: N/A

A nice passive ultimate that aids in your production of images greatly. Also gives decent evasion to both you and your images.

Manta Build.This build is more for pub games, where you can get some early-mid game kills by ambushing heroes that are farming alone. This build allows you to get some kills, but you must also farm to became the effective late game hero PL is. Neglecting farming and only going around trying to get kills is not recommended.

4.Skill Build.

Level 1:


Level 2:

Spirit Lance.

Level 3:

Spirit Lance.

Level 4:


Level 5:

Spirit Lance.

Level 6:


Level 7:

Spirit Lance.

Level 8:


Level 9:


Level 10:


Level 11:


Level 12:

Phantom Edge.

Level 13:

Phantom Edge.

Level 14:


Level 15:


Level 16:

Phantom Edge.

Level 17:


Levels 18-25:


Why did you get Spirit Lance and DoppleWalk early game ?Spirit Lance is learnt at early game as it does good damage and it is useful for harrassing and may also get you some kills if you have a lanebuddy. DoppleWalk is very good for escaping and ambushing and can be used for harrassing if you are near your own tower. Dopplewalk is learnt at level 1 for emergency use.

Why not just 1 level of Dopplewalk for escaping ?

The manacost of level 1 DoppleWalk is 150 and you may not have enough mana to use it in emergencies whereas level 4 DoppleWalk has a manacost of only 60. It also lowers the cooldown. Since this build focuses on getting some early kills, Dopplewalk needs to be maxed early on.

No Juxtapose early game ? ZOMG!!!11!!! you’re a n00b !!!

Why would you level up Juxtapose early game ? You’re barely attacking and so won’t produce any images. The images that you do produce will deal like 15 damage, which is worse than creeps.. dry.gif and they will die in two or three hits.

Why did you get only 2 levels of stats at levels 9 and 10 ? Leveling up more stats is much better than Juxtapose because your images are still too weak !!!

Although that may be true, images are very helpful in farming. When you have 3 or 4 units attacking a single creep it is almost guaranteed that you will get the last hit. They also greatly help in pushing and help you to take out towers and thus earn a large chunk of gold. They also help in neutral creeping, which is a necessary task for Azwraith.

Why did you get 2 levels of stats ? Juxtapose is much better !!!

It adds a nice boost to all attributes and helps increase your HP, damage attackspeed so that when you do get Juxtapose you create images much faster and they are stronger and more helpful.

Why did you learn only 1 level of Juxtapose and then Phantom Edge ?

Phantom Edge does not grant the real PL a chance to make illusions unless you already have atleast 1 level of Juxtapose. So learning 1 level of Juxtapose is worthwhile so that when you do learn Phantom Edge you get all the benefits possible from it.

5.Core Item Build.

Total Cost = 16 770 gold.

The basic order should be 2 Bracers, Boots of Speed, Diffusal Blade, Yasha, Reaver, finish Manta, Boots of Travel, finish heart. That is the usual order for when I play but It may differ slightely in each game depending on how well you are farming or how many Purge charges you have left.

*Note: Upgrade Diffusal Blade to Manta only after you have used up all the charges, or you feel that Purge is no longer helpful to your team and that you need the pushing power Manta gives you. Sometimes getting Heart before Manta is better.

6.Justification of Item Build.

Boots of Travel is good for PL. A great boost to your low movespeed, and the Teleport ability is very helpful for pushing and defending lategame. Much better than Treads.

Bracers for the extra HP and stats early game.

Yasha is the best way to increase the damage and attack speed of both you and your illusions. It also gives 2.3 armour and 5% movespeed to both you and your illusions. Very good item and very effective for its cost.

Diffusal Blade/Manta Style is the number one orb effect for PL and it is a must have. Your images burn mana. At lategame with 5 illusions and yourself attacking a target you will burn 6 x 36 = 216 mana for each attack. Purge from Diffusal Blade is also very helpful. The stats and HP from Manta also benefits illusions.

Heart is an excellent item, giving both you and your illusions what you desperately need, HP. Gives 965 hp and excellent regen. Makes your illusions stronger and able to tank towers/heroes/creeps for much longer.

Why not get Yasha first? Why get Diffusal Blade first?

Purge will be more helpful for both you and your allies than Yasha slight damage and MS boost.Upgrade to Manta Style only after you have used up all your purge charges or you feel that you no longer need purge and need extra images to start pushing better.

Why not get mass Yashas instead of a Butterfly ?

Yes, I know two Yashas are much better and cost effective than a Butterfly, however they take up 2 item slots and you need other items aswell by lategame. Why buy an extra one or two Yashas if they are going to be sold as soon as you can afford an Eaglehorn. People will also argue that you do not need the evasion from Butterfly as you already have 15% evasion from Phantom Edge, but why wouldn’t you want an extra 15% evasion for both you and your illusions?

Skadi Build.
This build is more for serious games, where you can support your allies with Spirit Lance. With this build you get no/few kills early game and your main goal is to rush your Radiance. After Radiance, money starts coming in real fast and you can build up your Skadi pretty quick. This build makes you an excellent pusher and you become one of your teams most important heroes lategame.
7.Skill Build.

Level 1:


Level 2:

Spirit Lance.

Level 3:

Spirit Lance.

Level 4:


Level 5:

Spirit Lance.

Level 6:


Level 7:

Spirit Lance.

Level 8:


Level 9:

Phantom Edge.

Level 10:


Level 11:

Phantom Edge.

Level 12:


Level 13:


Level 14:


Level 15:


Level 16:

Phantom Edge.

Level 17:


Level 18:


Level 19:


Level 20-25:


Why do you max Spirit Lance early game ?Spirit Lance is learnt at early game as it does good damage and it is useful for harrassing and may also get you some kills if you have a lanebuddy.It is your only nuke and is very effective early game.

Why just 1 level of Dopplewalk for escaping ?

Since this build does not focus on getting early kills/chasing heroes only one level of Dopplewalk is sufficient for escaping emergencies.

Why do you get stats at levels 4 and 6 ? Juxtapose is much better !!!

It adds a nice boost to all attributes and helps increase your HP, damage and attackspeed so that when you do get Juxtapose you create images much faster and they are stronger and more helpful. Survival is the most important part in this stage of the game and the extra HP from stats is needed to increase PL ’s low HP.

Why did you learn only 1 level of Juxtapose and then Phantom Edge ?

Phantom Edge does not grant the real PL a chance to make illusions unless you already have atleast 1 level of Juxtapose. So learning 1 level of Juxtapose is worthwhile so that when you do learn Phantom Edge you get all the benefits possible from it.

Why did you max Dopplewalk at levels 17,18 and 19? Why not leave it till levels 23,24,25 ?

This is the part of the game where you may need to chase fleeing heroes more often, after team battles/encounters. The much faster cooldown will will be necessary as you may find yourself in trouble more often than in earlygame. Also, you can use the Dopplewalk illusion to help you create many illusions much faster. By this stage of the game, you should have your Skadi, so your HP is pretty high hence getting stats is not that crucial.

8.Core Item Build.

Total Cost = 16 095 gold.

The basic order should be 2 Bracers, Boots of Speed, Radiance, Point Booster, Boots of Travel, finish Skadi. This is not a set order and should be modified to suit different conditions for each game.

9.Justification of Item Build.

Boots of Travel is good for PL. A great boost to your low movespeed, and the Teleport ability is very helpful for pushing and defending lategame. Much better than Treads.

Bracers for the extra HP and stats early game.

Radiance is excellent because of the Immolation. Images do not get the +60 damage but they do get the immolation. Excellent when pushing as immolation will cover the whole lane and all the enemies.

Skadi is for all the stats it gives, which makes PL and his illusions very versatile. Illusions do not slow but it is still worthwhile as illusions can hit the enemy while the real PL slows them down.

Starting Items.

For starting items I suggest 2 sets of tangos, 2 clarity potions, a gauntlet and an ironwood branch. Tangoes for hp regen, clarity potions to keep mana up to harrass with Spirit Lance. Gauntlet is better than more branches as it can later be upgrade to a bracer and PL does not really need anything early game besides HP. PL should not be buying chicken, let your teammates do that. PL needs to save as much gold as possible to farm for his late game items so he can own later np.

10.Luxury Items.

Buriza is worthwhile, but only after Heart and Butterfly. Images do critical, althouth the criticals deal much less damage (a % of the real PL’s critical depending on what type of illusion they are) You do not really have to worry about your higher critical damage giving you away because PL usually has so many images and it is very difficult to tell which PL got that certain critical, especially when all the PL’s are moving and other actions are occuring in battles.

Heart is an excellent item, giving both you and your illusions what you desperately need, HP. Gives 965 hp and excellent regen. Makes your illusions stronger and able to tank towers/heroes/creeps for much longer. A second Heart makes your images very tanky and pushing will be a breeze as illusions can tank so much tower/hero/creep attacks. A third Heart however, is not recommened because 3.5k HP is sufficient and other attributes such as Attack speed and Damage are also required to make PL fully effective.

Butterfly is good because it gives a nice 30 agility. The 30 agility results in 4.29 armour, 30 damage and 30% attack speed that both you and your illusions benefit from. Also gives evasion of 30%, higher than your evasion from Phantom Edge. Make sure you get Eaglehorn first, so that images get benefits aswell straight away. The 30 damage and 30 % attackspeed don’t help your illusions, but it still is a great item.

11.Other Items.Power Treads.


Boots of Travel are a necessity on PL. He needs the Teleport ability to defend/push and to increase his and his images pathetic base MS. Power Treads are not a good item for PL. The attack speed does not benefit his illusions, the movespeed is also too little. PL is a pushing hero and he has low base movespeed of 290. BoT are much better than Treads on PL.

But this item helps in making images faster in ealry game because of the attack speed increase !!!
Yes it does, but remember, we are not trying to make illusions early game and so it is not needed.

Cranium Bashers.

Not a good item on PL. Illusions do not benefit from the extra damage and the tiny extra HP is hardly noticable. Images do not Bash. The blue swirl thing appears, but the enemy is not stunned. For this item to be effective, you require more than one and why would you waste gold and item slots for items that only help in a 1vs1 situation. Do not get this item, you are not Magina nor are you Troll.

Nulls and Wraith Bands.


Bracers are much better than Null Talismans or Wraith Bands for almost every hero, including PL, in almost all situations. You have two active spells and together they use 200 mana, you have sufficient mana to use them without any extra intel items, hence Nulls are unnecessary. Bracers are much better as they give you much better survivability and HP, the thing PL desperately needs more of. However, if you are in a easy lane and do not get harrassed much then Wraith Bands will be a good option instead of Bracers as they provide good damage and are cheaper.


The empty bottle is a very good item that has become vastly popular in recent times. It provides excellent HP and Mana regen aswell as the ability to store ruins. Bottle is a good item for almost any hero and PL is no exception. Since rune whoring is left to the ganker of the team, (eg. Veno or Vengeful or w/e) it is not really a good idea to whore all the ruins with PL, nevertheless a decent regen item.


Vanguard is not really a great item for PL. PL’s main concerns are AoE spells which wipe out all his illusions and Vanguard does nothing to help this except for the increased HP which can be achieved by Bracers for a cheaper price and extra stat boosts aswell. The damage block is rather unneccessary, especially since illusions don’t get it. To sum it up, Vanguard is a early tanking item and PL is a lategame hero, it simply slows down his core items and is not needed.


Images do not benefit from the bonus damage, nor do they cleave. The HP and Mana regen is nice, but it is not wise to spend this much money on an item for such few benefits. Do not get this item.

Monkey King Bar.

Not a good item for PL. Images do not benefit from the 75 bonus damage in DotA Allstars, nor from the 15% attackspeed and they dont ministun and deal the bonus 100 damage. If you want to increase your DPS, get a Buriza. Do not get this item.

Dagger of Escape and Lothars Edge.

You already have Dopplewalk as your escape mechanism, you do not need either of these items.

Orb Effect Items.

Manta Style and Eye of Skadi are the 2 best orb effects on Phantom Lancer, getting any of these would be a sub par build and you wouldn’t be playing Phantom Lancer to his maximum potential.

Multiple Yashas.

Although the movespeed does not stack on neither you nor your illusions, an extra yasha is still alright. Yasha is the cheapest way to increase agility. Two yashas cost 4100 gold and give 32 agility whereas an Eaglehorn costs 3400 and gives 25 agility. Instead of getting a Butterfly, you may want to just get another Yasha, this is only when you think you can end the game quickly. If you think the game is going to last longer, do not waste money on a second yasha and just save up for an eaglehorn as it gives more benefits. Two extra Yashas is not very wise, as having 3 Yashas in your inventory is wasting half your item slots for only a little damage and attackspeed. If the game goes on for a long time, you will have to sell the Yashas to make room for better items, so it is a waste of gold.

Aegis Divine Combo.

Since you have to kill Roshan to get Aegis this combo is no longer viable. PL has great difficulty soloing Roshan because of Roshan’s anti-illusions aura, which owns PL like np.

Hand of Midas.

Images do not benefit from the attackspeed increase. By mid game, with your high base damage, good attack speed and a decent amount of images you will have no trouble farming. Do not get this item.

Vladmirs Offering.

Images do not lifesteal, even though they have the shiny animation on them. They do not benefit from the 5 armour. Asking a melee ally to get this item would be much better, as you need all your item slots to buff your images.

12.General Strategy.

Concerning lanes, PL should go either top or bottom.PL does not need to solo and would do much better with an ally.If you are very good at last hits/denies then you could solo if you want, but it is not really recommened.

Play safe, do not tank creeps and don’t rambo. Try to last hit and deny as with any other hero. Take note that PL’s attack is slightly delayed, meaning the damage he deals occurs slightly after he actually attacks.
Don’t spam spells early, use tangoes and mana potions whenever necessary, however be conservative. If your ally has some stun/slow/nuke, try to net some kills.

Basic Tips

It is possible to dodge targetted spells and any effects they cause with good timing. Spells like Magic Missile and Storm Bolt that have a projectile can be dodged by using Dopplewalk at just the correct time. If timed correctly, neither you nor illusion will be damaged or stunned. This rather difficult to time and you should practise dodging projectiles to become more profficient at it.

In battles with other heroes try and use Dopplewalk at the right time to make them waste spells on your illusions rather than on you or your allies. Since most players will use their ultimates only when they think they will get a kill, (eg. Finger of Death, Doom, etc) you should use Dopplewalk when you have yellow HP. If you Dopplewalk straight away then they will most likely not waste any spells as a few hits on the illusions and they will realise it is not the real PL. You can also evade spells by using Manta Style’s Mirror Image at the righ time, this requires practice aswell as good instincts.

If you get ganked, don’t Dopplewalk straight away unless you are being ambushed by multiple heroes that have many disables/stuns. Hit the hero a few times and then Dopplewalk as your HP starts to drop a little bit, this way they will use spells as they think it is the real PL and you will have caused them to waste their spells. Use Spirit Lance on them to fight back and if they have low HP you may be able to get a kill, show them that the predator has become the prey.

Spirit Lance has a pretty long animaton time, PL jumps in the air, throws his lance and then lands back down. You can animation cancel Spirit Lance to save time and help when chasing heroes, simply give PL another order as soon as the lance has been thrown and he will move straight away, saving time.

When getting chased after just having killed a hero during late game and you have an army of illusions with you do not send all the illusions back to base. Split your army up, send some illusions in each different direction and hide yourself among on of the groups. This will increase your chance of escaping as the enemies will not know which group to chase.

When pushing the towers/rax, most likely the enemy will be waiting for you and they will be ready to use their AoE spells to destroy your army of illusions. To counter this, send in your illusions in groups or spread them out a bit so that not all can be wiped out with a single AoE spell. Also, don’t forget to send your illusions to keep a look out in the area to prevent your team from being ganked by heroes hiding in the forest or coming from behind, etc.

By late game, PL will usually have atleast 3 or 4 illusions with him most of the time, you can use these illusions for blocking the path of the enemy if they try to chase your allies or to block their path when they try to run away, simply use the illusions to stand infront of their path and block their way the same way that you would creep block. This is rather difficult to do and requires heaps of practice aswell as good micro.

Manta Build.

Early Game. Levels 1-8.

If you are soloing and you are versing a low hp hero it is still possible to get First Blood. When the enemies HP is about 2/3 thanks to harrassing from Spirit Lance, Dopplewalk behind them. Make sure you control your Dopplewalk illusion so that they do not know you are invisible. Just send your Dopplewalk illusion back, but still in exp range, and make it hold position. Move it forward and back slightly to make him think it is the real you, not an illusion. Once the creeps have passed and start attacking each other, break invisibility by hitting him and use Spirit Lance, keep hitting and chase untill you can use Spirit Lance again. Hopefully this will get you First Blood or atleast an empty lane to farm in as they go back to heal.
Do not chase near tower, slow movement speed + low hp = certain death for you.

If you are solo and versing 2 heroes, just play defensivly and don’t go for early kills. Our goal at this point in the game is to stay in lane as long as possible and farm as much money as possible.

Mid Game. Levels 9-16.

By level 11/12 you should have your Boots of Speed, 2 Bracers and parts of/maybe all your Yasha. With average hp, decent movespeed, good attack speed and a nice nuke/slow you can get a few kills.
Using Spirit Lance twice on a hero will do 460 damage, AFTER magic resistance. This is about half of the total HP of most heroes at this time, not to mention it also gives you 6 seconds of slow to keep hitting them.

If you see heroes with low hp and no disable/slow (eg, Sniper, Razor, Zeus,etc.) then you can probably kill them. Dopplewalk when you are near them, but not near enough for them to see your illusion, we dont want them to know we are nearby, invisible or not. Once you are close to them just use Spirit Lance and keep hitting them, chase, use Spirit Lance again and another few hits will get you a kill most of the time.

If they are a low hp hero but have a stun or disable (eg, Vengeful Spirit, Crystal Maiden,etc.) then Dopplewalk and send your illusion to go near them at the same time as you. This will cause them to use their stun/disable on your illusion, after they do, Spirit Lance them and start hitting them. If they don’t use any skills on your illusion, then Spirit Lance and fight anyway, you have a good chance of winning and you can Dopplewalk away if things turn out bad.
Don’t try to ambush heroes with 2 or more disables ( eg, Lion, Rhasta, etc.) If there are no low HP heroes farming by themselves then simply go to a lane and farm. If the level 1 towers are already down, then go farm neutral creeps.
Don’t worry about getting ganked, simply Dopplewalk and run away if you do get ambushed. Try to get enemies to waste their spells on your illusions whenever possible. One way to do this is to use Spirit Lance and then very quickly Dopplewalk, they will think it is the real PL since you just used a spell. If the enemies get wards to counter your Dopplewalk, by yourself a gem and go ward hunting.

You can ambush/Gank but don’t make it your priority, keep in mind that you have to also farm so that you can be a monster when lategame comes. Of course this does not mean just farm farm farm, if your teamates ask for you to come help push or if the enemies are attacking your base towers then ofcourse go and help. Help your teammates in ganking heroes, you have 2 slows, use them. Don’t always use Spirit Lance to last hit, use it for the slow so your allies can whack the hero too, not just so you can last hit. Help your allies if they are being chased, slow the enemy with either Purge or, preferably, Spirit Lance as it is not limited to 10 charges.

Late Game. Levels 17-25.

After your 10 charges of Purge have been used up, or when you think its about time to get Manta, upgrade Diffusal to Manta. With Manta and Phantom Edge PL will be an insance pusher. With Boots of Travel and your illusions it is your job to teleport all over the map and push down towers and cause confusion in team battles, aswell as dealing damage.

Skadi Build.

Early Game. Levels 1-8.

Early game don’t try and get kills if you are soloing unless the enemy in your lane is not so good. If you are soloing against 2 heroes then definetly don’t try, PL is much to fragile early game. If you are with an ally you can get a few kills by using your skills together, communication is the key. Basically just try to farm as much as possible, the success of this build relies on how fast you can finish Radiance.

Mid Game. Levels 9-16.

By mid game, you should have saved up 2.8k or so gold, continue to farm untill you have your relic and eventually Radiance. Don’t go hunting heroes unless your allies come to your lane to gank, simply keep farming. If farming in your lane is not an option simply go to another lane or go neutrals. Use your Dopplewalk Illusion to tank the neutrals for you. If the enemy team are doing a 5man push, going to defend is not always the best option. PL early game is rather useless with no AoE and such low hp. Only go to defend if they are attacking the base tower and there is a chance they might take out your rax. If they are only pushing the first or second towers then continue to farm. The faster you finish Radiance, the better, you will become helpful after you have Radiance. After you have Radiance, you can contribute to your team’s pushes and you will be able to farm much quicker. In team battles, make sure either you or your illusions are directly in the mid of the battle so that all the enemy heroes will be hit by Radiance’s Immolation.

Late Game. Levels 17-25.

Skadi shouldn’t take too long to farm and once you have it you will be very strong. Buffed stats, frost attack, many illusions and Immolation will mean you will be a great pusher. Teleport around the map and push lanes, you illusions can survive after you TP away, just control them and make sure they are attacking the creeps and they should spawn more illusions, in this way you will be able to push 2 lanes at once. Basically here, just push, own take out rax, gg.

When you are killing a hero keep the real PL attacking him to slow him down and control half your illusions to also attack him. The other illusions should be sent infront of the hero to try and box him in, this is will allow you to have way more hits on the enemy and with Spirit Lance’s slow and Frost attack the enemy should rarely get away.

13.Best Enemies.

What makes him a threat is his range, when you Dopplewalk and go near him, he becomes very easy to kill. Low hp, no disable/stun and slow movespeed make him an easy target.


Low HP, slow ms, no stun/disable make him an easy target. Tricking him into wasting his spells on illusions by sending them in first is also a good idea.


Low HP, slow ms, no stun/disable make him an easy target. Lategame he can be a real threat though, especially with the Chain Lightning from Mjollnir, which is a popular item on him.


Low HP and damage means he is only strong when he is lifestealing. Attacking Illusions does not let you lifesteal so basically, as long as he is attacking an illusion, he should go down fast.


Low HP, slow MS and after you have burnt his mana away, useless. Send illusions to wherever you think there may be mines to trigger and waste them.

14.Worst Enemies.PL, like most illusion heroes fears AoE nukers the most and so they are his worst enemies. These are your specific problems though. Heroes with Cleaving/Splash damage are also a threat, as they can clear your images very quickly.

Although only seen once in every 90874908120938 games, this hero is a real problem for Azwraith. Shockwave is a spammable, AoE nuke with a low mana cost. Empower + Cleaving = Bye Bye images. Reverse Polarity also rapes all your images and stuns you for a long time for enemies to focus fire on you. At lategame, even if you burn all his Mana he will still be able to take you down because of cleaving and his high HP. Don’t try to take on Magnus by yourself.


His spells destroy all your illusions and deal considerable damage to you aswell.Without Mana hes pretty useless. Lategame, with Manta and Heart, your images should be strong enough to survive his combos and burn his mana rendering him relatively useless.

Tormented Soul.

With three AoE spells and another spell that hits multiple targets, hes a real threat to PL. Lategame he won’t be that much of a threat if your tank enough to survive his AoE spells for a bit because he doesn’t have that much HP nor armour and can be taken down pretty fast.


Early-Mid game his 2 AoE nukes will hurt you a lot and at lategame his craggy exterior will stun you and your images a lot due to your fast attack speed. By lategame he will have a base damage of +200 and armed with a Hyperstone or 2 he will plough through your images easily and can take you down even if you burn his mana. His high HP is also annoying. Don’t try and fight him alone.


Berserkers Call and Counter Helix together will absolutely rape you. The more images you have attacking him, the more times Counter Helix will trigger. Don’t try to fight him unless you have decent HP (+2500). His Culling Blade will also kill you instantly before you can Dopplewalk away.


All his skills deal damage to an area. His Burrowstrike + Epicenter combo will tear you and your images apart. Whenever you see him about to use Epicenter, quickly use Spirit Lance on him as it has a mini-stun which will cancel Epicenter. Lategame, when you have enough HP and good manaburn, you can fight him and force him to return to heal or use his Sandstorm.


God’s Strength and his cleaving attack is horrible for PL. Don’t forget to Purge him when he activates God’s Strength to negate his huge damage increase. His High HP and good armour make him hard to take down.


Every heroes worst nightmare. He will Bloodrage himself and tear your images apart, and for every illusion he kills he heals his HP thanks to Bloodbath. Rupture cannot be cancelled by neither Purge nor using Manta Style. Don’t try to fight him by yourself.

Nerubian Assassin.
His combo is painful and his manaburn prevents you from Dopplewalking away. Not only that, his Spiked Carapace results in you and your illusions taking lots of damage every time you hit him.

Dragon Knight.
He has a decent AoE spell and when he is in his Elder Dragon Form he has splash damage. (Red Dragon deals 100% splash damage and Blue Dragon deals 50% splash damage.)

Blademails and Battlefury(on melee heroes of course) are good counters for PL aswell. If the enemy heroes get a Blademail, be careful when attacking them as you will take considerable damage aswell.

15.Good Allies.Since PL has no disable/stun skill and has slow movespeed, heroes that can provide him with a disable are very good allies as it gives him time to burn the mana of the enemy and surround them with images. Here are some of his best allies.

Naga Siren.

Together you can form a large army and since she usually gets Manta Style aswell, you will have about 10-12 illusions that all burn mana. Her 5 second ensnare will provide you with enough time to attack and produce many images to surround the enemy hero. With all their mana gone and because they are surrounded by illusions, its a sure death.

Treant Protector.

Overgrowth is the best disable skill in the game. It provides you and your images 5 seconds to attack and keep attacking all heroes that were trapped, burning their mana and surrounding them with illusions.


Excellent pushing together with treants and illusions. Sprout an enemy hero with PL and watch chaos unfold as the enemy hero gets raped by numerous illusions.


In this pic, I just used Spirit Lance on the Enemy Lion and I begin my chase.

I continue to chase, even past the tower as I know I can use Spirit Lance again soon.

I Dopplewalk to chase slightly faster. He is about to enter his base when I throw the second Spirit Lance.

The lance leaves him with a tiny bit of HP and my Illusion gets the final hit and I level up.

I ambush a Veno and throw a Spirit Lance.

I chase and use Purge on him.

The cooldown of my Spirit Lance is finished and I use it again.

The result ? A dead Veno and 100 gold for me.


Here I will mention some extra tips to remember while using the Phantom Lancer.

-Don’t forget to use your illusions to keep an eye out for Runes in the river, if you are nearby.

-When you are playing a team with a Techies and your team is afraid of taking that DD rune in the river because it might be mined, simply send an illusion to run past and trigger any land mines or stun mines. Use your illusions to trigger any land/stun mines that may be on hills/cliffs and at your secret shop aswell.

-Purge is not only for slowing down an escaping enemy, it can be used to remove many positive buffs from enemies and many negative buffs from your allies. Some of these include God’s Strength on Sven, Amplify Damage from Slarder and Guardian Angel from Omniknight.

-Using Manta Style’s Mirror Image will also remove many negative buffs from yourself. It can remove Slarder’s Amplify Damage and you can free yourself from Naga’s Ensnare with it. It does not remove Rupture, you will still be ruptured after using Mirror Image, but your images won’t be ruptured. Does not remove Doom, you cannot even use item effects while doomed.

-Voodoo from Rhasta, Lion and Guinsoo’s will instantly kill an illusion.

-Roshan has an aura that kills all illusions and when you attack Roshan you will not create any illusions.

-Not all your illusions deal the same damage. Dopplewalk images deal 25% damage and last for 20 seconds, Juxtapose images deal 25% damage and last for 15 seconds and Manta Style images deal 40% damage and last for 20 seconds. All these images take 300% damage.

-Images don’t heal at the fountain nor do they get healed by Mekansm, however they still get the armour increase.

18.Replays.Here are some replays of me playing PL. Keep in mind that these are just pub games and I’m no chu or coL.fear so don’t expect super high level play. That been said, they are still alright and they show most of the skills required to play PL effectively. The PL.IH is of higher quality then the others and shows players with better skills.
Note that I have 3 accounts and I play the PL in each game, except the last one. The last game features Yoshi[P] from team Pandemic playing PL, it also features other famous players such as inDe_eD and MYM|Maelk. He goes a slightly different build of Radiance + Manta and note that this is a replay for version 6.41.

Attached File pl_shortgame.w3g ( 370.39K )
Attached File pl_long_game_.w3g ( 756.7K )

Attached File PL_average_game.w3g ( 516.57K )

Attached File pl_skadi_build_.w3g ( 414.33K )

Attached File PL.IH.w3g ( 714.5K )

Attached File Yoshi_P__PL.w3g ( 1.95MB )

Well thats my guide, I hope It was at least a tiny bit useful. Please post comments and replies, I’m open to suggestions and other opinions.

Everyone that will read or post in this guide.
MB for everything.
RuptureMan for helping me to test things and proof reading.
DotaPortal, for hosting this guide and being an awesome website.
Myself, I rock.

20 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct

    Ghee Very nice guide ^^, Enemies are very confuse of me hahahaha

  2. Nov

    I loved it, and it worked perfect

  3. Jan

    Hi dude, a wonderfull guide,i really like it.i wanted to ask, what you could do when been out leveled in mid game(through axe e.g.)?
    Its then really hard to stand am chance(exspecially because of loosing money all the time against others

  4. May

    but doom can beat him with his ulti! im beat eartshaker with ulti! at that time, the eartshaker cant do anything except run away from me!

  5. Jun

    Hey Thx to ur guide i now noe how to use this hero it’s my favourt hero now do you have any other hero guide?

  6. Aug

    just a comment on this though..
    i usually do to azwraith’s skill are..
    lance then you my focus on killing the enemy hero..having the Dwalk, will do, but if u had sufficient mana and quick thinking/calculation..maxing out Dwalk in early game would be a waste but still, you need at least lvl 1 of it..
    juxtapose and phantom edge are done in the mid game, after the lance is max, probably by that time or earlier before this part of the game(mid game), PL shud hav thread, with bracer/null/band(which ever u use), and diffusal(i go on manta build instead cuz it wud help making the illusions in the end, and STR enemies aren’t not a problem for)…anyways, thanks for the guide and tips..XD goodluck

  7. Aug

    hey im just wondering did u forget that lance creates an image? yeh cus u didnt say it up there that it makes an image.

    but im just thinking whats wrong with vlads, images do get lifesteal since vlads gives an aura, not an orb effect. ive tested it myself and saw my images regen each time it hits my opponent.

    also wouldnt it be better to create lots of images early game? sure it doesnt give you the other skills like higher stats but i use image blocking quite well. i attack when the hero is trying to take me on at an early game. due to getting a treads first i have higher aspd than him and results in more images. though i enter a combat dopple walking. when my image hits i hit second, and more images pop out. he runs and i lance, gathering all my other images infront of him so he cant run away, literally being surrounded. so he dies and the next hero on the other team died too at my hands since i already have so many images. note no manta yet.

    anyway i rekon getting early aspd is better. comments?

  8. Sep

    HOney rly imba~~

  9. Sep

    yeah,, i have a comment. I use battle fury on him in the version 6.61c where battle fury is verry usefull!! and also vladmirs,, in the new version the illusions also has life steal,, so better upgrade the build becuase there are lots of new maps where new items and modifications are being done,, i just want to say that my build which is, Manta style, Battle fury, Power treads, butterfly, vladmirs and Desolator or Eye of Skadi,, thats my build, check it for your selves,, its a great build, it even made me Beyond Godlike!! 15 kills, 0 deaths!! test hte build for your selves..

  10. Oct

    hey whats wrong with vladimirs ang bfurry?they are good items to Pl?but your other items are good it helps me alot! good guide.

  11. Oct

    my build for him is:

    1.manta style
    2.heart of tarrasque
    3.power treads
    5.2X butterfly


  12. Oct

    wow a really good guide!!!
    thanks for writing!!

  13. Nov

    wow good guide….
    phantom lancer is my fvorite heroes but my skill build is
    lvl 1:
    Spirit Lance
    lvl 2:
    lvl 3:
    Spirit Lance
    lvl 4;
    lvl 5;
    Spirit Lance
    lvl 6;
    Phantom Edge
    until the spirit lnce and juxtapose is lvl4
    and my build is:
    cuirass,desolator,manta and butterfly and i was beyond godlike it was nice build for me..

    what whould u think???? its nice build?

  14. Nov

    my build for phantom lancer is
    butterfly x2

  15. Jan

    atsaka blood seeker.pls

  16. Jan
    Fredie Macasaet

    Very usefull guide I start using this heroe more often after I read this guide 2 thumbs up ^_^

  17. Mar

    Me i dont have to use manta because he already has justapose….

    My item build:
    -heart of T

  18. Mar

    finnaly dat was de best guide iever saw
    thanx maan
    thank u very much

  19. Apr

    nc guide thnx i learn a lot.. ^_^

  20. Jun

    Thanks for this! I’ve just started playing DotA(guided), and currently obsessing on PL. Really nicely done.

    Linked this blog to my page, ty :D

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