Before the last Dota 2 patch, Spectre was a situational pick. He was never really good or outstanding, and the only thing he was capable of was countering a couple of other heroes, like Drow Ranger. Even then he was a bit of a liability pick.
However, in patch7.24 he got an amazing change – he went from 0 to 1.5% base health regeneration – and with this one his items were improved by a ton. Now he’s almost at the level of Huskar. Let’s see how you can use him to your advantage!
Who should play Spectre?
Let’s start with the fact that you need to have a couple hours under your belt in Dota before you can play Spectre. He isn’t too hard to learn – his kit is actually pretty simple – but the kind of mechanics you need to use can get complicated, which is why you need some basic knowledge of the game.
You also need to have crazy good map awareness. You need to know where the enemy is at all times. Without this kind of knowledge, you won’t be able to use your ultimate effectively.
What items does Spectre need?
- Manta Style
- Abyssal Blade
When it comes to boots, you can either go for Power Treads – which will provide you with a lot of attack speed – or Phase Boots, which will give you damage. The latter can scale with other items though, so I highly suggest choosing it. That said, if you need more of a certain attribute, Power Treads is the better option.
For sustain, you need Heart of Tarrasque. Now that Spectre finally has some base health regeneration in Dota sustain isn’t as needed, but it can still come in handy if you feel like you are starting to fall behind.
For heavy damage you can get a plethora of things. Skull Basher, Butterfly, Black King Bar and Monkey King Bar are the best options. They will provide you with some flat damage that will be useful in every single fight. Just make sure that you can actually afford these items and you can use them. Overspending on offensive items you can’t fully take advantage of will only set you back.
- +6% Dispersion
- +500 Health
- -10 seconds Spectral Dagger cooldown
- +5 All Stats
This is how you should build in most cases. The one thing you need to watch out for is the last option. If you find yourself dying a lot or going back to fights without enough health, you need to choose +6 health regeneration. It will help you get out of bad situations much better than a little bonus across all of your stats.
When to switch it up
As usual, you need to watch out for the counters. If you can, watch out everyone mentioned on the list, as they can make the whole match a living hell. Anti-Mage is a well-known counter pick against Spectre in Dota, so don’t be surprised if you see it on the enemy team. You can win against him, you just need to know how to do it.
First of all, you need to start off on the right build. Your first two items need to stay, but ditch Abyssal Blade for Diffusal Blade. You won’t have as much damage this way, however you will be able to slow an enemy down for 4 seconds and escape in the meantime. This is crucial in letting you get past the early game without too much dying.
Your next item needs to be Blade Mail, then Eye of Skadi. These will protect you just enough to keep you alive.
How to play as Spectre
In the laning phase you will be playing the farming and waiting game. Let your own creeps get the enemy ones to low health and last hit with an auto if possible. If the creep is behind the enemy laner or you simply can’t reach it fast enough, you should use your Spectral Dagger. This should be avoided as much as possible though, because it costs way too much mana.
You should also avoid pushing into the enemy. To pull your wave back, you can use Spectral Dagger on a small jungle camp while standing near the next wave, so that you can hold it up. That way you can get a little bit of extra gold as well.
Once the laning phase is over, your goal is to drag the enemy team around the map. There are several reasons to do this, but it will go one out of two ways. If you are behind and are looking to take objectives, you need to bait them and waste their time. Conversely, if you are ahead you can drag them into your own team where you can kill them within a couple of seconds. It really depends on your situation.
Since you now have a good amount of base health regen, you also shouldn’t have a problem with taking a couple of hits from the enemy here and there. That way you can stay on the prowl for much longer, which is especially good if you are behind.