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DOTA Hero Tips: Phantom Lancer

Updated on August 13, 2012


Phantom Lancer is an agility hero who excels in confusing enemies. He can act well as a team carry due to his high base damage and attack speed. A DOTA game’s result can be completely changed by a well-farmed Phantom Lancer. This hero plays well during the early and mid part of the game as well which is why he is a common pick on pub games. Probably the only problem of this hero is his very low hit points and high reliance to mana. It’s true that he has a skill which renders him invisible if casted. However, it requires a considerable amount of mana particularly if you decide to upgrade it only once. Being an agility type hero, it’s not surprising that Phantom Lancer has a very low mana points and regeneration rate. Despite these odds, no one can deny the potentials of this hero. If used properly and given with suitable items, even the mightiest enemy hero will bow down and fear the power of Azwraith the Phantom Lancer.

Spirit Lance

Phantom Lancer can easily bully enemy heroes on his lane with this skill. It boasts not only high damage but a very low cooldown time. All you need to worry about is having enough mana pool so you can farm Phantom Lancer’s first skill. I’ve seen many pub games where Phantom Lancer occupies the mid lane and it’s definitely not a bad idea. He can gain more experience and more gold making him much effective during the late game. With this skill, it won’t be hard for him to fight against strong mid game heroes such as Lord of Olympia and Shadow Fiend. A Bottle and Crow combination or a Perseverance is enough to cast this spell multiple time on a target and lead him straight to his doom with else.


A lot of DOTA players only upgrade this skill once. I’m not saying that such kind of strategy is wrong. Remember that this skill won’t do him any good other than granting invisibility in a short duration. The skill also uses up a lot of Phantom Lancer’s mana. Nonetheless, there are some cases where upgrading this skill until it reaches the highest level is a must during the early game. You need a reliable escape mechanism especially if enemy heroes on your lane are excellent spammers or if they can greatly bully you. Heroes like Sacred Warrior and Stone Giant belongs to the mentioned group. These heroes can kill Phantom Lancer with ease during the early and mid game if you won’t upgrade this skill.


This is the bread and butter skill of Phantom Lancer. It passively creates weaker copies of him. Items which grant passive effects such as bash and critical are inherited by his copies which is why many experienced DOTA players purchase Crystalis and Cramium Basher for Phantom Lancer. Nevertheless, everything highly depends on your luck. With some luck, you can easily swarm a single target with at most 8 images making it close to impossible for him to fight back. Phantom Lancer is unstoppable during the late game because of this skill as he gains more attack speed and damage as the game progresses.

Phantom Edge

Phantom Lancer’s ultimate skill works in conjunction with his third skill. It also grants added magic resistance. Make sure to upgrade this skill if available. Having a passive ultimate skill is not as bad as most DOTA players think since you don’t need to worry about depleting all your mana pool just to cast your most powerful spell. With this skill upgraded, you’ll gain a better chance to multiply thus giving Phantom Lancer a better opportunity to grab the upper hand during a battle and claiming victory against the mightiest enemy heroes.

Early Game:

If you know what you are doing, Phantom Lancer can be very effective during this part of the game. You need to greatly utilize his first skill for it to happen. Be sure to purchase mana potions before leaving your base for the first time. A Ring of Bacilus early on is a good idea to support Phantom Lancer’s mana needs. It also grants bonus armor that can help you survive enemy bullies. If your team assigns you on the mid lane, rush a Bottle and Crow item combination or Perseverance so you won’t find be lacking mana points to cast your first skill in succession. Upgrading your second skill at least once is a must especially if you observe that majority of enemy heroes excel during the early and mid game. Watch out of Bounty Hunter as he can kill Phantom Lancer with ease since his ultimate skill will render your second skill useless. You need to go away as well from enemy heroes who have Dust of Appearance and Gem of True sight on their inventory. It’s imperative that you focus on farming so you’ll be an efficient carry during the later part of the game.

Mid Game:

Ganking with Phantom Lancer is a case to case basis. You can join your allies to hunt enemy heroes as your first skill can cripple a target making it almost impossible for him to flee from the ambush. As a carry, your teammates will let you grab most of the kills so you’ll gain more experience and gold. Nevertheless, a Phantom Lancer should only roam the map if there is another hero in the team who can play as a great carry. If there’s none, you don’t have any other choice but to embrace the role of a carry and farm. Stay on your lane and be ready to cast your second skill or teleport to the nearest safe place if you notice a few enemy heroes missing on the minimap. You must capitalize every moment where no enemy heroes are in front of you. As much as possible, you should stay away from lanes guarded by heroes with great bullying abilities like Sacred Warrior and Viper.

Late Game:

If you managed to farm during the early and mid game, there’s nothing to worry about this part of the game. Phantom lancer, with his army of clones, can easily eliminate even DOTA’s greatest tankers. The only situation where you should worry if when the enemy team has a member how can eliminate all your images with ease through cleaving attacks or a spell that can greatly damage a wide area in a single cast. Otherwise, you can rally your team towards victory with your vicious physical damage and high attack speed. If you can’t decide what orb item to purchase for Phantom Lancer, consider a Diffusal Blade. This item will grant Phantom Lancer including his clones to break a small amount of mana points from a target for every hit. Intelligence type heroes will have second thoughts about having a battle with you with this item at hand as Phantom Lancer can easily deplete their mana with the help of your clones. As we all know, most intelligence type heroes, if not all, are useless with no mana.


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