Hi there people, I just wanna say BEFORE you start calling me noob, etc... that this guide is NOT really intended for competetive, as I have no competetive experience. This guide aims to present a carry/ganker hero who, unlike most of his agility comrades, can require some tactic but therefore offers the possibility of taking on and beating several enemies at the time. Anyway, this is of course not the only way to play him and I'm open to criticism and will edit my guide quite often to correct mistakes, add/delete strategies. I'll be adding soon some screenshots to illustrate the sad walls of text and eventually a replay to defend my strategy. I hope some players, especially from the competetive scene, can help me polish up this guide to adapt it to the competetive scene or give more advice as battle tactics, how to initiate smarter etc... . Thank you in advance for your reviews/criticism.
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.
Your Role in a team:
You are a semi-carry/ganker, which means you don't spend your time farming in the woods or on your lane but you are ASSISTING(not always killing) with your slow or if you're with a good disabler, such as rhasta, taking advantage of disable/stun and killing. So it means you are a hero who gets kills/assists early game, basically at level 7-8 you start aiming for kills on your lane with ganks and at level 11-12 you start ganking like a madman with your teammates. Phantom Lancer CAN be played although as a carry because of his high damage potential(5 clones with each 25% damage of the original + manta style) and can easily pubstomp. This guide is trying to propose both varieties for a flexible gameplay, depending on the enemy teamup and whether they lane a lot or rather tend to gank all over the map.
As you see, Azwraith has solid beginning stats and the very high stat growth (6.8/level) although his starting strenght is low. Anyway, this is good for us since illusions benefit of stats only, which means items like Monkey King Bar and Vanguard are not an option, because they don't beef up your illusions at all, they keep your illusions squishy and weak.
DO NOT PICK AZWRAITH IF THE ENEMY HAS MORE THAN 2 OF THE FOLLOWING HEROES, A.K.A. the worst enemies you could encounter:
Why? Most of them got nasty AOE spells and your clones will just get ripped apart by those spells leaving you alone. On the other hand, Slardar and Bloodseeker are nasty counters too because they got high damage (Slithereen Crush is AOE and Bloodrage gives epic damage) and can figure out the real one and target you, making your escape even harder or impossible.
No need for a lot of explanation, you just love disablers.
Your food consists of paper Agility or paper Intellect heroes, heroes who heavily rely on mana(Leoric for his Ressurection) and most of all, ALL 1v1 heroes such as Huskar & Lanaya and the not-AoE casters(Lion, Atropos).
This nuke is your bread-and-butter skill, it has everything you need: high spammability due to its low cooldown(7 secs only), a big slow(40% on level 4) and it generates an illusion on impact with the target. Also, enemies see ALL of your illusions shoot spirit lance even and this skill CANNOT BE EVADED. Anyway, there is a downside to the skill, it costs a lot of mana and on early levels, you don't want to have mana issues, but more on that later.
This is your own "personal" windwalk ability: it gives you 10% movement speed and generates an illusion as you activate it. This is your escape mechanism BUT ALSO your initiation skill. It lasts only 8 secs, i think it got nerfed recently from 12 to 8 seconds.
Juxtapose allows you to generate illusions as you attack normally with up to 18% percent with your ultimate level 3. Your illusions deal 25% damage and take 400% damage and the cap is 5 illusions, but they last each only 15 seconds each.
This ulti is not really useful before level 13 since it doesn't help you early-game as you have no/low attack speed although the magic resistance early game can be helpful, even if it's 10%. It gives rather small buffs but combined with a high attack speed, you'll generate 5 clones in short time. Phantom Edge allows your clones actually to juxtapose themselves, making you a bigger threat to towers/buildings.
As I said, this is intended for pubs and on pubs, you can afford to get "funny" (rather unusual) starting items such as
but any combination of tangoes/clarities/nobility circlet should be fine.
Not much to say about it: power treads grant you mobility, IAS and some hp(str treads) and diffusal grants good agi, feedback and purge, your favorite item skill. All your clones benefit for feedback, agility, strenght but not of the IAS(I think).
(Diffusal Blade level 2)
As I already said many(too many?) times, ILLUSIONS BENEFIT ONLY FROM STATS and raw hp, not from raw damage. Yasha, upgrade later to new Manta Style, makes you even more wicked, with the +26 agi and the other mirror images the active grants you. Heart Of Tarrasque is only there to beef up your clones, because it's hard to take down clones with approx. 750 hp(which means the original has 3000 hp) as they hit you with 60-70 damage. Manta Style got nerfed recently: you get only 2 clones now and clones deal 33% and take 350% damage, a bit stronger than your own illusions, but don't forget the active costs mana (160 i think) and it has a medium cooldown(50 secs). Critical might be a way to deal with those high damage carries, such as PA.
Items that can be accepted:
The butterfly is the core item of many agility heroes, but on phantom lancer its not that good, but can be bought to make the original much stronger and make the clones a bit stronger too (+30 agi) although Manta Style is better and cheaper than Butterfly on Azwraith.
The list is too long, i won't post any pictures, but the general rule is NO ORBS, NO AURAS( AC, Vlad's), NO RAW DAMAGE (MKB, Buriza Do Kyanon,..), NO CASTER STUFF. Especially not Vlad's because it doesn't suit PL's playstyle. You're not a hard agi carry, you're more a semi-carry&ganker, you don't need lifesteal because your HP is pretty good due to high str gain for an agi hero and the other auras don't suit your playstyle and look better on support hero, for example Magnus. If you got 2k gold to waste, buy yasha or ultimate orb for manta style, but never EVER even think of making vlad's, or even rushing it.
Dual Lane Spammer Build OR Single Lane vs. melee hero like Slardar
Level 1 Stats
Level 2 Spirit Lance
Level 3 Spirit Lance
Level 4 Stats
Level 5 Spirit Lance
Level 6 Doppelwalk
Level 7 Spirit Lance
Level 8 Doppelwalk
Level 9 Doppelwalk
Level 10 Doppelwalk
Level 11 Juxtapose
Level 12 Juxtapose
Level 13 Juxtapose
Level 14 Juxtapose
Level 15 Phantom Edge
Level 16 Phantom Edge
Level 17 Phantom Edge
From Level 18 on Stats
Try to not spam your spells in early game, you might die from using your spells too much and leaving no mana for doppelwalk.
How to initiate:
Make sure you are on doppelwalk and you got a clone with you. Then when you see enemy hero, appear behind him and throw lance to confuse him. When slow wears off, use purge and then slow again when it's off cooldown and keep on hitting and.
"Mindgame" number 1: use doppelwalk in fight BECAUSE IT HELPS, since the enemy hero doesn't know you used doppelwalk and he keeps hitting the illusion and it grants 10% ms to help you chase down those fleeing heroes.
"Mindgame" number 2:
Let's say your clones got nuked to oblivion by some nasty AOE caster, like Tormented Soul or Crixalis and you're in a clinch. Use Manta Style and there you have 2 clones to help you finish him off or fight him while you make a run.
Your Role in the actual game, aside from killing:
Never forget that PL is an amazing pusher, you can clear creep waves fast with your illusions, and take towers/building in enemy base down very fast but FOCUS creeps if they spawn to recreate illusions because they last only 15 seconds.