Although his true name is unknown to his allies, Azwraith’s assigned name tells you enough. Like the Angel of Death, Azrael, he fights to rid the world of those who choose to embrace undeath. He is able to appear and disappear at will like a wraith, often appearing in many places at once. Azwraith is more than capable of dispatching the undead using his lance, each blow sending them closer to the spirit-realm. This lance is the source of his astounding ability to duplicate himself, whenever it draws blood he can use their life to create weaker copies of himself.
Throws a magical lance at a target, slicing it and slowing it down for 3 seconds.
Level 1: 140 mana, 9 sec cooldown.
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.
Level 1: 150 mana, 30 sec cooldown.
Whenever the Phantom Lancer attacks he will randomly create a duplicate of himself. Limit of 8 images.
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 to generate their own images.
Level Skills (DPS Build)
- Spirit Lance [L1]
- Dopplewalk [L1]
- Spirit Lance [L2]
- Dopplewalk [L2]
- Spirit Lance [L3]
- Dopplewalk [L3]
- Spirit Lance [L4]
- Dopplewalk [L4]
- Phantom Edge [L1]
- Juxtapose [L1]
- Phantom Edge [L2]
- Juxtapose [L2]
- Juxtapose [L3]
- Juxtapose [L4]
Juxtapose: Don’t Get It Early-Game
- On the off chance that you even create an image (very, very, VERY hard to create one), it will die in 4-5 hits, as well as disappearing in 15 seconds; Which gives you no time to: Micro/Farm, harass, confuse, or hero kill.
- Images do a whopping 15-21 damage per hit (Azwraith Level 7;Juxtapose level 4)!
- You give up your only Nuke/Slow.
So, by maxing out your only escape mechanism, and only nuke/slow first, you will do the following throughout the game.
- Hero-kill more effectively with Spirit Lance.
- Run away more effectively with Doppelwalk.
- Hero-kill more effectively with Doppelwalk.
- Survive more effectively early-game.
For the better part of your early to middle game, your main job is to spam Spirit Lance.
Why get more than one level of Doppelwalk?
I know that Doppelwalk doesn’t change at all at level 1-4, other than MP cost and a shortened cooldown. But, in order to really use Doppelwalk well, you have to have enough MP to support it. 150 MP is most of your MP pool for early-game. If you only get one level of Doppelwalk, and put the rest in stats (while still maxing Spirit Lance), then you would have stronger images, and slightly more MP, but you lose a lot of early to middle game potential in messing with the enemies’ heads. I prefer the the active play style of using Doppelwalk whenever needed, but taking one level and then stats is definitely a viable alternative.
As of 6.36, level 4 Doppelwalk cuts its cooldown in half, as well as receiving the same MP reducing bonus.
Why do you max out Spirit Lance before Doppelwalk?
First of all, you have to realize that it’s just one level’s difference. Second, as you should have read, Doppelwalk has the same effect at every level, while Spirit Lance gets stronger every level. So, naturally the logical choice would to be to max out Spirit Lance first. If you argue that you need an escape mechanism at level 1, incapacitate yourself.
Why do you get Phantom Edge so early?
I find that images generate much faster with two levels of Phantom Edge and maxed Juxtapose. It can be argued that getting Attribute Bonus instead is more effective with providing extra stats for images. However, even though the small dodge percentage can be neglected, in this period of the game, spells are flying, tempers and hormones raging, and ganks/revenge being plotted. Also, in this period of the game you will have almost obtained Diffusal Blade, giving your images the Feedback orb. This greatly adds to your DPS. And since Phantom Edge significantly helps generate images and acts as a filler until Juxtapose and Diffusal, I prefer taking it earlier. However, Stats in substitution for Phantom Edge is not a bad idea either.
Item Build – DPS
- Ring of Regeneration & Tangos
- Bracer x2
- Robe of Magi + Blade of Alacrity = Diffusal Blade
- Boot of Speed
- Diffusal Blade + Vitality Booster = Manta Style
- Boot of Travel
- Messerschimidt’s Reaver + Vitality Booster = Heart of Tarrasque
- Quaterstaff = The Butterfly
- Requiem of souls + Whacking + Shadowraze
Strategy Discussion (DPS)
During early game, here is what you do. FARM! That’s all there is to say. You have nothing to do early game, other then to farm. Get last hits and deny whenever you can. When an enemy hangs back to accumulate experience, denying is priority over last hitting. When last hitting, the moment you hear the sound of your physical attack, right click back. This is one of the many forms of the oh-so-helpful animation canceling. It saves a little time, rather just standing there stupidly waiting for your lance to swing completely through (reducing the amount of time the enemy has to nuke/attack you). When you have level 3 or 4 Doppelwalk, here’s what you do when an enemy approaches you.
When an intelligence hero approaches you, you Doppelwalk IMMEDIATELY, and get the hell out of the way (step away from the area of your fake). Most intelligence heroes feel they have the responsibility to harass you. Whether it’s an Impale, or Light Strike Array, it is important to avoid all damage possible. And finally, once they have used up their arsenal of stuns, and nukes, use Spirit Lance. Now those pesky harassers have become the harassed. You can follow up with a few hits until the slow wears off (at your own risk). How can you tell if an enemy is trying to target you with a nuke? The enemy will most likely run up or past the line of creeps fighting. This is how to dodge AoE spells.
To dodge targeted skills (Storm Bolt, Chain Frost, Chain Lightning), you have to have good timing, and a wide knowledge of the movements and animations of each character. Therefore, this strategy was made for pros. However, there’s no harm in trying, as if you do get hit with the nuke, you will most likely want to Doppelwalk and run anyways. When you see the spell flying towards you, press “W” to activate Doppelwalk before it hits you. This will make it so you and your image don’t get damaged (or stunned). Practice this whenever possible, don’t get discouraged if you fail or mistime it.
Moving on, you should have gone to about #3 in the item build by the end of early game. If not, you’re behind, and you’re going to spend a lot of the game trying to catch up. This is the time to consider changing your build to accommodate your situation (read the alternative items). Try not to fall behind.
So you’re doing well; lane control, hero killing, and farming like a pro. Now is the time to watch out for ganks. The worst thing that can happen to you early game is die, denying of valuable experience and gold. So, that being said, don’t die. So, that being fresh in our minds, remember to call missing heroes in your lane. That usually keeps everyone happy, and allows you to yell at your team if you almost die from a gank, without sounding like a hypocrite.
At around level 6, people start using their ultimates, which of you are stripped away from. Remember, how you dodge nukes? Well, this is the same concept. There are two scenarios. One is that you are in a battle, and they are about to use their ultimate. Another is that you want to make them waste their ultimate, so you are safe for a period of time.
In a battle, to avoid massive damage from ultimates such as, Finger of Death or Laguana Blade, you must have knowledge of all enemies and their skills (which isn’t hard if you’ve played with or against all the characters). Usually, these ultimates make their appearances as a last hit; 2/10 players use this ultimate right away. So, using this to your advantage, when you and the enemy commence in a fight, both of you should have around the same HP. When you are in the low yellow HP, Doppelwalk. They will probably use their ultimate on you, emptying their arsenal. If it is an AoE ultimate, then get out of the way. Otherwise, proceed to Spirit Lance, and attack. He are probably dead. If not, chase them until Spirit Lance is out of cooldown. You have to be smart about the chase though, always think twice about diving past a tower. This strategy works all through the game.
Heros such as Goblin Techies and Bane Elemental depend on their skills, and ultimates. PL is the bane (bad pun) of their skills. This is because most Techies waste their time planting Remote Mines, hoping to get a kill, or two. Or they plant Land Mines, hoping for some unlucky wanderer to hit them. All you have to do is create an illusion (using Doppelwalk, or send a Juxtapose image), and move it towards the mine patch. And there you have it, Techies just wasted a lot of time. Proceed to laugh in all chat. Bane’s ultimate can be devastating for you. Lucky for you, you have Doppelwalk. When you see Bane trying to kill you, Doppelwalk RIGHT AWAY. He will probably use Fiend’s Grip, and good thing for you, he only has one disable without his ultimate. PL > Ultimate dependant heros.
Here’s a scenario with Luna (whose hero revolves around her ultimate and single target nuke) and I walking by each other.
- I spot Luna, Luna spots me.
- I quickly Doppelwalk.
- Luna uses her Ultimate
- I taunt her at a safe distance.
You might say: But she’ll just wait for her cooldown to do this again. It doesn’t help anyone but you.
- Drow and Luna duke it out, but Luna’s normal Nukes reign supreme on the low HP Drow. Luckily she just wasted her Ultimate on me. Drow runs towards her teammate and creep wave, baiting Luna with her.
- All is at a happy ending, and Drow gets the kill.
PL is NOT an early game character. Most likely, not even a mid-game character. Most people know that he doesn’t start dominating until late game. So, remembering this, do not Rambo 2 enemies at the same time. If you see a hero in red, don’t chase pass the tower. You CAN get a lucky kill, but it WILL be based entirely on luck; at least early game. You really have no place in your team except for your slow. Farming is key in early game, same goes for any late game hero.
You can get hero kills early game though.
- Omniknight was running in to help Slardar. I Spirit Lance him.
- I kill Omniknight before he can heal himself, and move to help Tidehunter.
- With me, a few creeps, Tidehunter, and the tower attacking Slardar, Tidehunter manages to get the kill.
By now you should have Diffusal Blade. If not, you didn’t request a lane change early enough and should consider the alternative items listed before. Now, you should have enough HP to maintain a lane, and you can go hero killing agility and intelligence based heroes. Farming is still important, but not as huge as in early game. Now is your chance to earn a little extra gold and experience by, Hero Killing!
How? First you find a low HP character that is alone(usually agility or intelligence). Use the backstabbing areas (the areas in the forest, where they can’t see you). Run behind the enemy; Do NOT run into the enemy, run towards the path in which he will run back to (he will probably run towards his tower/fountain). Spirit Lance, and proceed to DOPPELWALK. He will probably use his disable/stun; Move out of the way if it’s an AoE. Attack him a few times and emerge from invisibility, and Purge. Keep attacking, and Spirit Lance, yet again. This should finish him off. Feel free to use your purges if you feel it is necessary.
Why do this in that order? Backstabbing is important in herokilling. They are MUCH more likely to die if they don’t see you coming, then if you charge them. Spirit Lance is for the slow. Doppelwalk is for avoiding the stun for damage and falling behind. Doppelwalk also makes the opponent stay a little longer, because once they hit the illusion, they will think they can win. Purging is for an extra slow, to attack and wait for the Spirit Lance cooldown. Do not forget to attack normally though. If you’re lucky you may get a few illusions triggered as well as burning MP.
Don’t forget to use your strongest weapon. Deception.
- I see Ursa with his buffs running towards me to backstab.
- I Doppelwalk, Ursa doesn’t notice.
- Ursa uses half his buffs on one creep, then uses the rest on the image.
- When I see the image at low yellow HP, I use Spirit Lance (not shown in image). Now I have my creeps, myself, and 1 illusion attacking him.
- My illusion got the last hit, and I collected my well-deserved bounty.
Again, this is a scenario of deception.
- I lure Pudge into using his Hook. He then uses his Dismember to “finish me off” (not shown on images).
- Six seconds later, I’m on his tail. He knows which PL is the real one, since I Spirit Lanced him to catch up. Unfortunately, he used Hook and Dismember to kill my illusion.
- I Purge him for further pounding.
- Pudge realizes he’s screwed, and begins to suicide with Rot. By now, he has no MP to do anything else.
- I finish him off with Spirit Lance before he can suicide.
Use ALL of your Purge charges. 10 charges should be about 6-7 kills. Use them wisely
So after you finally used up all the Purge charges, and farmed Manta Style at around level 15-17, you have a whole new set of strategies.
From here on, you will start to own. Since the nerf to the length of the images’ survival time, the images disappear right before you engage the next creep wave. So, when you are pushing a lane, you should be triggering at least 5-6 images very quickly. If not, curse your luck. Also, you should be getting most, if not all gold from every creep in your lane. You don’t even have to micro your last hits. Just auto-attacking works fine (although selecting all your images and focus firing one creep at a time usually works better). When you are near the tower, your images will probably disappear right when you reach it, or get 1 or 2 hits. First, you create 2 images with Manta. Then, you attack the tower. When the enemy creep wave reaches you, attack it. This should create plenty of images for you to destroy the tower. Be aware of heroes coming for you, though.
Hero killing goes down a step, but that’s only because not many heroes like to solo 8 Azwraiths. For the most part, you will be left alone. Be sure to help your team. Mid game is also when every player has an ally with them. If you do come in a hero killing situation, then…
Spirit Lance, and hope your ally has a stun. While in that period, Manta. Proceed to beating the computer animated body fluids out of the enemy. Spirit Lance whenever your cooldown is ready, as that is your only slow. If the situation is 1v1, they will probably get away in red HP with a warning of “don’t try that again.” If it’s 2v1, then either your ally or you will get the kill. If it’s 2v2, you may get 1 kill, or 2. Just remember to attack the same enemy as your ally. Make sure you kill the hero that can put out the most damage first (intelligence, agility, then strength). Tell your team the priority of heroes to focus fire on.
When you’re not hero-killing, you should be concentrating on casual pushing. This is second major source of gold, and it is good for the team. And Juxtapose sure makes you good at it. By casual pushing I don’t mean pushing to the second tower. Only push further than 3/5 of the lane if you think you can get a tower. Otherwise, you are just feeding the enemy creeps to kill, and providing them gold.
Eaglehorn should be bought. More damage and attack speed for pushing. People will rightfully be afraid of you. They will avoid the lane you are in, without bringing an two allies, or one AoE stunner. Still, late game your objective is to push when you are able to, and when in team battles, you send in your images to focus fire the most dangerous enemy and create chaos. Not only does pushing win the game, but it brings in quite the gold accumulation. You should have HoT in no time.
For the most part, you can’t do anything, but push. Hero kills will usually come to you. When the other team pushes, you should participate in helping your team defend. You can’t Roshan, because Juxtapose doesn’t work with him. So you will be about useless. So, when your team decides to Roshan, then you push, while they Rosh, to not arouse any suspicions. This also keeps the enemies distracted and busy.
Every strategy in middle game should still be used late game. Pushing, creeping, and hero killing should be easier. As long as you have Butterfly by level 20-22, then you have a very high percentage of winning; unless your enemies are fed.
When your team decides to push, tell them that you’re going to push another lane. This makes it extremely hard to defend, and the whole enemy team will most likely go to the lane that your team is pushing in, leaving you wide open to wreak havoc on their towers/barracks.
Heart of Tarrasque will make you an unbelievably awesome tank. You won’t believe how well this works until you try it.