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Dota 2: Templar Assassin Guide

In Dota 2, Lanaya, the Templar Assassin is a spy, a bounty hunter and a cunning assassin all at the same time. Let the tanks be tanks and focus on doing your job for clean and fast game. With this Dota 2 guide you will become a master Templar Assassin and use Lanaya to her full potential.

Dota 2: Templar Assassin GuideLanaya the Templar Assassin, felt a bit more mysterious back in Dota 1. Enshrouded in a dark cloak and being silent all the time, I always liked to use this spy-assassin type character. In Dota 2 it looks a bit too much like a mall ninja girl in a cosplay with a goofy walk animation. Nevertheless gameplay remains just as fun and interesting, if not more. Lanaya, the Templar Assassin, is a character than can indeed assassinate unaware players and can grow to be very overpowered in very little time. If you want to learn how to master the shadows and become a carry templar assassin, read this guide.

Templar Assassin’s Disadvantages

AoE: You’re not particularly vulnerable to anything as long as you use your Refraction skill properly. But things that do damage over time like Huskar’s burning spears or Sand King’s AoE sand attack will prove to be very bothersome and wear out your defenses fast. When that happens you will be exposed to other attacks. Remember you are not a tank, even if the enemy can’t hurt you for a few strikes. Feel free to stack jungle creeps (safe lane recommended) and then obliterate them with refraction and psionic blade. Also, attacks that deal less than 5 manage can pass through your refraction, damaging you anyway.

Range: You also have a very poor range at first and need to get close and personal before you land a single hit. The more you level up your psi-blade skills the more this will change overtime. If you use that skill wisely you will even outrange sniper, but only on some occasions where you attacks bounce far enough. 

Your psi-blades will give you more and more range later on, but refraction and shadowmeld will give you a lot of damage.

Your psi-blades will give you more and more range later on, but refraction and shadowmeld will give you a lot of damage.

Templar Assassin’s Advantages

Lanaya can farm. If you level psi-blade and refraction you will farm hordes and hordes of creeps with a few strikes, even without many items. You can and MUST both farm jungle creeps and lane creeps. You’ll get more gold, more exp and more power. Early game you should focus on farming a lot, no matter what’s happening on your game. If you don’t do this, you will regret it.

Traps. Your traps are your surveillance cameras around the battle map. You can set a few of them around key places and no enemy will be able to hide from you and your team. After all, you should be the one surprising them.

You're both a spy and an assassin. Infiltrate the enemy lines, collect intel with your traps and go for the kill clean and fast.

You’re both a spy and an assassin. Infiltrate the enemy lines, collect intel with your traps and go for the kill clean and fast.

Carry with a Window 

Lanaya can do a lot of damage really fast. This will get you a lot of kills mid-game if you farmed right, but this huge advantage will decrease late-game, as heroes will get harder to kill. Make sure you use this “window” to the best of your ability and try to finish the game as fast as you can.

It's not easy to know which combination to pick. Always check out the enemy team and adapt accordingly.

It’s not easy to know which combination to pick. Always check out the enemy team and adapt accordingly

Guide for Templar Assassin’s items

Bold items are items you need to obtain. Bold and underlined items are final items.

1- Boots of Speed: This extra running speed will be very valuable early on. You can upgrade it into power threads at any time during the game, even if it’s late game.

2- Mithril Hammerx2: 2 Mithril Hammers this early in-game? YES! Why? Because once you turn them into Stygian Desolator you will be a farming master. 

3- Blight Stone: You may get this even earlier than the mithril hammers. With this you will obliterate the towers and your push will allow you to get a lot of gold very fast.

4- Stygian Desolator: With this you have become deadly. You should be level 6 by now so you can farm people as well as creeps. Still, remember that now you can easily farm any creep.

5- Blink Dagger: The one tool that will remind you that you are an assassin. Blink in and especially out of combat after killing your targets. You can upgrade it later on, but this will be your last item to upgrade.

6- Mage Slayer: Cloak+Oblivion Staff will create this very useful item. It’s great because once you combine it with orchid you will be even stronger. If you feel like you want to spam refraction Early game, which is very useful, you could obtain a Sage’s Mask for that sweet mana regeneration. Personally, I go for Sage’s Mask and then Boots of Speed.

7- Orchid’s Malevolence: It gives you a nice silence skill, but once you get this, you should go for item 8 as fast as possible, as it gives you an amazing bonus.

8- Bloodthorn: The silence that this skill grants comes with a vengeance. Any damage taken by your enemies during that silence will get an extra 30% damage done on them when the silence ends. But that’s not all, with this weapon you also have true strike. It’s THE best weapon to get for Templar Assassin, right up there with desolator.

Got these already? That’s a good sign. Try to win the game right now, because later on the huge advantage that you may have over your enemies will slowly fade. Also, be sure to visit your friend Roshan for an easy-peasy immortality buff.

9-Shadow Blade: It’s good to be able to combine this with shadow meld. Now your invisibility will not leave you stuck on one place. You can upgrade it to silver edge.

10- Silver Edge: Like Shadow Blade, but stronger and better. However, you already have Shadow Blade’s skill, so it’s not that useful. Use your spare gold to get it.

11- Dragon Lance: Your favorite fantasy book collection now grants you 250 range, which, combined with what you already have, puts sniper to shame! 

12- The Butterfly: Dodging will extend the life of your refraction skills, and the other bonuses it grants you will be overall very useful for you, especially in terms of damage and speed.

13- Black King Bar: I don’t recommend this item and it’s optional in most of my guides. It’s 100% not an option here. Templar Assassin absolutely needs that immunity.

End game gear should be: Power Threads, Stygian desolator, Bloodthorn, The Butterfly, Blink Dagger (upgraded to swift), Silver Edge and Black King Bar. 6 items that will make you OP in a small window of time. After that you’ll still be fairly deadly, but certainly not invincible!

Traps are very useful. Be smart when placing them and no one will eversurprise you.

Traps are very useful. Be smart when placing them and no one will eversurprise you.

Neutral Items Guide

Trusty shovel: Not the best creep item to have and definitely not the worst, but an item you’d definitely want to keep around. Why? Because it’s wonderful: you can use this wonderful little shovel every 45 seconds to dig around and obtain either a free health/mana potion, 50 gold for your team or a creep to give you exp. It does not give you any other benefits, but that’s enough to keep it on your unused items inventory. You can switch this item with your main creep item every 45 seconds for some freebies even late game! Recommended for any hero.

Philosopher’s Stone: While I recommend this item for Templar Assassin, it should be used only while you are dead, and you should try to not die at all.

Arcane ring: Not the best of items, but you can use this again and again to regain just enough mana for one spell early and mid-game. Use that spell wisely. I usually replace this as fast as possible.

Brigand’s Blade: 10-40 enhanced damage early game can be a great advantage. 

Grove Bow: Pretty Straightforward range+damage item.

Trusty Shovel: Probably one of my favorite Dota 2 neutral items. Use it to dig around and then change your items while it’s on cooldown.

Enchanted Quiver: This is one of the best neutral items you can get. It lets you empower an attack by giving you a lot of damage, range and true strike. For Lanaya, this is simply perfect.

Mind Breaker: While not incredibly good, this initial silence may make enemies that would fight you extremely vulnerable to your massive damage, as they’ll be unable to use spells..

Illusionist’s Cape: More cast range for a character with a deadly ult, a disable and a slowdown attack means a lot of situations in which you may end up killing an enemy.

Elven Tunic: Combines very well with your refraction skill and gives you extra speed. 

Trickster’s Cloak: 20% evasion and magic resistance..

Blast Rig: A nasty surprise for those brave heroes who, when surprised by you, turn around to fight back.

Imp Claw: It’s a bit of extra damage with critical strike. No more, no less.

Witless Shako: By the time you get this item, you’ll probably never run out of mana, so why not take the 1200 health it offers? 

Farm, explore the world and obtain and you will obtain a lot of expensive items very quickly.

Farm, explore the world and obtain and you will obtain a lot of expensive items very quickly.

Fighting Guide

Early game you will be able to take down your enemy’s hp fairly fast, but you won’t be able to kill that many people without help, as it will be hard to deliver a final blow. I suggest you farm both lane and jungle creeps with refraction and shadow meld. You will want to have psi-blade at level 1 and upgrade it fully after you hit level 10. 

Despite its ability to deflect hits with refraction and dodge with shadow meld, Lanaya should ideally be an assassin. That is, ambush enemies and walk in and out of battles with a specific target, then make sure you don’t get focused on. You can weaken your enemies with psy-blade and then go in for the kill, but remember that exposing yourself makes you very vulnerable. Don’t let the game drag for a very long time, as the initial advantage that you get from farming quickly vanishes, and you become as killable as the other players pretty fast. Also, avoid being targeted by more than one hero.

I recommend getting Aghanim’s shard if you think your traps silencing enemies are very useful, but I rarely do it.

Fights with you around will be short, but this goes both ways. Make sure you’re not the enemy target and position yourself in a place where you can effectively assassinate your target and damage the enemy team. Do this right and this game is yours!

What to do:

-Farm everything you can early game so that you obtain a good advantage quickly.

-Avoid getting hit. Stay hidden, or teleport in. You’re very powerful, but you’re no tank.

-Trap around key areas so that your team can see your enemies. Rosh is one of these places.

-When your team is preparing a gank, you can trap all over the place and watch over an entire area. This alone can make a difference. 

-If you’re too slow or often distracted, you can share your traps with your allies so that they can trigger them.

-Go for a fast kill and run back to safety. If the fight drags for too long things may get ugly for you.

-Use your shadow meld skill to avoid hits and stuns. It’s hard, but you can do it and it’s very satisfying.

What to watch out for:

-Stuns and multiple damage sources. If many enemies attack you at once your refraction will stop working, and then you will be very squishy.

-Enemy wards to see invisible units. Place traps right in front of you to see if the creeps attack them.

-If the game drags for too long you’ll be in trouble. As an assassin, focus on getting the job done and leaving as quickly as possible. Killing heroes is very important, don’t give them time to recover and remember: the main target of your assassination is the enemy ancient!

As always, remember that the strategies used here adapt to the play style I like the most, but they can be changed to fit a different type of player. Use them as a base and transform them as you will in order to build with them the next supreme guide or Dota 2 character build “trend”!. The best thing a Master Assassin can do is to be able to foresee what comes next and prepare for any situation.

If you think you can improve this guide in any way or form, feel free to leave a comment below! It’s always good to trade strategies and learn new ways to improve.