Old Dota 2 habits die hard: Phantom Assassin still has a 20%+ pick rate

Dota 2 patch 7.34c was dominated by Phantom Assassin and Sven. But after both of these heroes got nerfed... Radu M. | 24. October 2023

Dota 2 patch 7.34c was dominated by Phantom Assassin and Sven. But after both of these heroes got nerfed in 7.34d, their win rates dropped significantly. As a result, players were expected to stop spamming them in pubs and find more viable options.

However, despite having a win rate of just 46%, Phantom Assassin continues to be picked in more than 20% of all games. This simply proves that in most MMR brackets, players play what they want to play without thinking about the meta.

This attitude will keep some in their bracket for a long time, or even cause them to lose MMR. But for the true specialists, nerfs have never been that big of a problem.

When a Dota 2 hero is nerfed, someone who’s played hundreds of games with it will adapt very quickly and then continue to win most of the time. A win rate of 46% at the community level for that particular hero doesn’t mean anything when your competence with it is high.

It’s enough to have even a 51% win rate with a hero to make progress over time by spamming it. And if the average win rate of PA is 46%, that means some people win less than 46% of their PA games while others win more than 46%.

In reality, a 46% win rate at the community level simply means that a lot of people are getting destroyed in their pubs while others are making good progress.

phantom assassin


Is Phantom Assassin still viable?

Phantom Assassin has a wonderful toolkit that can be quickly upgraded by purchasing the right items. Her Stifling Dagger deals enough damage to secure last hits in the laning phase, and slows targets enough to secure kills later on.

Phantom Strike provides excellent lifesteal and attack speed for 2 seconds, as well as a way of closing the gap without having to buy a Blink Dagger.

Blur makes you really hard to kill with basic attacks thanks to the 50% evasion it provides. This ability also gives you invisibility while moving around the map, which lowers the risk of getting killed while farming.

And finally, we have Coup de Grace, which can help you to deliver the equivalent of 10 attacks in 1 second if you get lucky with your crits.

So despite the recent nerfs, PA is still a decent hero.

Header: Valve