Dota 2: Spectre Tips & Tricks for New Players (7.30b)

Spectre Dota 2 Featured

The Carry position in Dota 2 has a lot of contenders to it. However, one of the best, and generally the one that requires a lot of investment, is Mercurial, the Spectre. With Patch 7.30b in the game, it’s time to see what players can do to use this spectral menace. Here’s our Dota 2 – Spectre guide for players who are looking to master this mercurial hero.


Who Is Spectre in Dota 2?

Who is Spectre Dota 2
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Spectre is a higher being that’s drawn to strife and violence in the physical world. She’s dangerous and incredibly brutal, appearing in the middle of combat to rip people to shreds. When she appears physically, she loses herself just a bit, though her purpose is still clear. Every time she fights, she shatters and reconfigures herself, gaining more and more awareness each time. In the process, though, shards of her begin to become more aware of their purpose and join in the fray. Until eventually, her true self reasserts itself and she transcends again to return to her true form.

Spectre is a melee hero with Agility as her main attribute, great for killing lone enemies and picking off stragglers. She’s a Carry hero that focuses on the late-game and one that’s incredibly terrifying to face when fully farmed.

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Also See: Dota 2 – Tiny Guide


What Are the Skills of Spectre in Dota 2?

Spectral Dagger

Spectral Dagger
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Mercurial’s dagger turns the physical plane that it travels through in shadows. In this state, any mortal will cower in fear. Meanwhile, Spectres and other phantoms thrive here.

Mercurial throws a dagger of shadow towards an enemy, passing through others in its path. The thrown dagger creates a Shadow Path that Mercurial can pass through with increased speed. In addition, any enemies that are hit by the dagger also create a Shadow Path for Spectre to go through.


  • Spectre gains unobstructed movement when going through the Shadow Path. This allows her to pass through enemy units and impassable terrain. This buff lasts for 1 second after she leaves the path.
  • The spectral dagger has a move speed of 800 and can target creeps or heroes.
  • Heroes hit by Spectral Dagger are revealed to the whole team. Do note that this only occurs when they’re still creating a Shadow Path.
  • Enemies hit by Spectral Dagger have decreased movement speed while Spectre has increased movement speed. The Move Speed Slow/Bonus is 10%/14%/18%/22% without talents. With talents, it’s 24%/28%/32%/36%.
  • Spectral Dagger can target enemies with Spell Immunity. However, the slow debuff is inactive on Spell Immune targets. They’ll still create a Shadow Path though.
  • Shadow Path gives 200 radius worth of Flying Vision. To clarify, Flying Vision is a type of vision that’s not obstructed by trees or other obstacles.
  • Shadow Path segments last for 12 seconds from the time that they’re made.
  • Illusions also get hit by the Spectral Dagger debuff.



There are times when warriors and other martial individuals find themselves by their lonesome with a vision of Spectre. The question now is if it’s the real one…

When Spectre attacks an enemy with no allied units in a radius around them, they deal bonus damage. Desolate deals an additional 18/32/46/60 damage without Talents. With Talents, it deals 30/44/58/72 damage.


  • Hilariously, Desolate’s effects are applied when an attack is finished. This means it procs even if the attack missed. On a more hilarious note, the effect procs when ranged heroes fire their projectiles, not when they hit the target.
  • Desolate’s damage is counted as Spell Damage. This means that it’s not affected by anything that works with attack damage. However, Spell Damage Amplification works perfectly well with it in addition to spell lifesteal.
  • The ability doesn’t work on Wards and Buildings.
  • Desolate still works even when the enemy has wards, buildings, and invulnerable/hidden units nearby.
  • Desolate works if allied units aren’t nearby. This means heroes will still be damaged by it even when nearby neutral creeps.



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How exactly do you kill something that’s made of Shadow? The answer: with incredible difficulty.

A percentage of the damage done to Mercurial will immediately be reflected towards her enemies. The effect of this ability depends on how far they are to her.


  • Dispersion can be improved with Aghanim’s Shard where it fires a Spectral Dagger every 300 damage absorbed. The dagger is fired in the last direction where the damage was reflected. The ability fires a maximum of one dagger every 7 seconds and is only triggered by player-based damage.
  • The ability gives generic damage reduction to Spectre, and any additional sources of this stacks additively. The reduction affects all damage dealt to Spectre except for HP removal.
  • The reflected damage applies to everyone inside Dispersion’s ability radius. The damage type reflected is also similar to the damage type taken. In addition, all enemies are dealt the full reflected damage, and it’s not divided amongst them.
  • The damage that Dispersion deals is flagged as HP Removal. This means that any on-damage effects that enemies have will not trigger.
  • The damage reflected is always a percentage of its full value. This is independent of how much HP Spectre has remaining when she was dealt damage. This means that it’ll still deal the full percentage of overkill damage if Spectre dies to it.
  • Dispersion reflects the damage before Spectre is hurt by it. To clarify, if both Spectre and the enemy die at the same time due to the damage, the enemy always dies first.



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In the deepest mires of combat, Mercurial’s manifestation of physical form splinters. These pieces of her then proceed to terrorize those that cling to their meager lives.

Spectre creates an illusory nemesis to harass each enemy hero. When Haunt is active, Spectre can use Reality to swap places with one of these illusions.


  • The damage that the illusions deal towards enemies is 40%/60%/80%. This is increased to 72%/92%/112% when Talents are taken to consideration. However, Illusions are also more fragile.
  • Haunt lasts for 5/6/7 seconds depending on level, and the cast range is global.
  • All the illusions have unobstructed pathing.
  • The illusions can spawn on invisible and invulnerable units. However, they won’t attack them.
  • The illusions also spawn and attack all of Meepo’s clones. However, they won’t spawn on hero illusions.
  • When their target dies, the illusion attacking them vanishes.
  • The illusions created by Haunt can be selected, but cannot be controlled.
  • The ability is paired with Reality, which allows Spectre to replace one of her illusions.


Shadow Step

Through focus and great will, Spectre can limit how much she can divide herself occasionally.

Spectre can do a single target unit Haunt. In addition, she casts a Spectral Dagger on said Hauntee.


  • Like Haunt, the cast range of the ability is Global.
  • Needs Aghanim’s Scepter to unlock.
  • Shadow Step’s level is always equal to Haunt’s own. In addition, it also uses the current level of Spectral Dagger when it fires it.
  • All of the things that the Haunt illusions do, the Shadow Step illusion also does.
  • Cannot be cast on Creep-Heroes like Brewmaster’s Storm, Earth, Fire, and Void summons.


What Are the Talents of Spectre in Dota 2?

Level 10
  • +5 All Stats (This gives Spectre 100 HP, .5 HP Regen, .83 Armor, 60 Mana, +5 Attack Speed, +5 Damage, and .25 MP Regen.)
  • -5 Seconds Cooldown to Spectral Dagger
Level 15
  • +100 Spectral Dagger Damage
  • +12 Desolate Damage
Level 20
  • +14% Spectral Dagger Slow/Movement Speed Bonus
  • +400 HP
Level 25
  • +5% Dispersion
  • +32% Haunt Illusion Damage


How to Play Spectre in Dota 2? (7.30b)

Spectre Dota 2 How to play
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Spectre still plays as per usual when compared to previous versions of Dota 2. The main goal is to ensure that she’s farmed as much as possible in the early game to dominate the late game. When choosing Spectre, your whole team needs to know that they’re making a risky investment. One team fight that went the wrong way can and will shut down Spectre to the point of losing the game. However, with enough grit and a lot of sacrifices, Spectre will take down five-man teams easily.


General Play Style

Spectre players usually play as cautiously as possible when the game begins. This is because she’s at her most vulnerable in the early game without any items to help her survive. Her only escape ability is Spectral Dagger, and it consumes a hefty chunk of her MP. In addition, she doesn’t have any way to farm effectively until she gets Radiance. Once she does though, she accelerates rapidly, as it combos with her Dispersion skill.

Once Radiance is gained, Spectre can snowball out of control if not dealt with. When she does snowball, it’s almost impossible to kill her.


Suggested Skill Progression

When you start, it’s usually a good idea to get Spectral Dagger to harass enemies or to escape. Do note that it’s usually a good idea to use Spectral Dagger to escape ganks in the early game as Spectre has a low MP pool. This means that if she doesn’t have MP to use Spectral Dagger and she’s ganked, she’s pretty much screwed.

After getting Spectral Dagger, getting Dispersion is a good idea as it gives decent damage mitigation in the early to mid-game. Once she hits level 6, it’s time to get Haunt to help in the early team fights and to use it as an escape ability. Do note that she also has to take into account her low MP as well.

Desolate is something that Spectre gets only after Spectral Dagger is maxed out and Haunt is taken. Once that happens, get it immediately as it gives a good amount of damage against heroes at their lonesome. And if you use Haunt to strike at alone heroes, that tends to be the case.


Suggested Talent Build

Talents-wise, Spectre should get the -5 Spectral Dagger cooldown to do Spectral Daggers as much as possible. Usually, the Level 15 threshold tends to be the one of most contention. After all, both talents are great for Spectre in general. All in all, though, it depends on the situation and the current state of the game. If you’re dominating hard, get +12 Desolate damage as it gives additional damage to Spectre’s attacks.

The next 2 Talent tiers also depend on what Spectre needs at the point that they’re achieved. If you want survivability, it’s a good idea to take the additional HP. If you’re dominating hard, getting the additional move speed/slow for Spectral Dagger helps in chasing down fleeing enemies. Lastly, getting additional damage from your Haunt illusions can be an absolute banger of a Talent to get when it gets to the late game. This allows Spectre to decimate entire teams if she has the right item build.


Suggested Items

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There’s a pretty linear path to getting Spectre’s items. However, it takes a lot of skill to survive to get said items, which speaks well of Spectre’s skill ceiling. Let’s talk about what items players should get when using Spectre.



In the early game, your main focus is killing as many creeps as possible for farm and survival. Thus, it’s best to have as many healing items as possible to always be farming. That is if you’re not laning with a hero that has a healing ability and even then it’s still a good idea.


Quelling Blade

Quelling Blade has a good passive where any attack to a creep will deal more damage. This allows Spectre to kill enemy creeps quickly in the early game with Radiance’s absence.


Boots of Speed

Boots of Speed give Spectre a good speed boost in the early game, perfect for escapes or chasing down fleeing heroes.


Healing Salve/Tango
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These are the healing items that are good for Spectre as it gives a good amount of HP back per use. At least for Healing Salve, Tango combats this by having quantity over quality.


Enchanted Mango

Enchanted Mango is an item that gives passive HP regen for the hero that has it. In addition, it can be consumed to gain some MP, perfect for a hero that wants to focus on early game survival.



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Radiance is Spectre’s enabler and her main farming tool alongside Dispersion. This allows her to have a field that burns anyone close to her and for the enemies to miss when they attack her. In addition to this, all of Haunt’s illusions also have the Radiance active when they’re spawned, making them incredibly dangerous. A clumped-up team with all six Spectres with Radiance active? Yeah, say goodbye.


Power Treads/Phase Boots

Depending on the situation, either Power Treads or Phase Boots would be good for Spectre. If you’re looking for pure survivability, Power Treads is great. But if you’re going aggressive, Phase Boots is a good alternative with the attack buff and movement speed increase as its ability.


Manta Style

Manta Style is yet another enabler to Spectre due to its ability to create clones on demand. Said clones also have the Radiance burn damage radius which means she can use them to farm or split push.


Hand of Midas (If You Win the Lane)

Last but not least is a bit of a situational enabler, the Hand of Midas. This is an all-in item, where you have to be sure that you’ll curb stomp your enemies to the ground. When done correctly, you can do what Ana did to poor Royal, Never Give Up during TI9. When done incorrectly, you’re screwed.



Heart of Tarrasque

Heart of Tarrasque can be considered a luxury item since if Spectre has this she’s immortal. It gives her monstrous HP regen, and incredible staying power. It does deactivate when she’s damaged, but when she escapes, she can easily regenerate and go back to the fight. This is also a good combo with her Haunt ability, as she can easily flit between fights to take advantage of the Heart’s HP regen.



Butterfly gives Spectre great agility stats while also increasing her damage and evasion. This ensures she can survive longer on the battlefield. Combined with Radiance, Spectre is almost impossible to hit without True Strike.


Situational Items

Urn of Shadows

Urn of Shadows helps in both survivability and ganking as it stores charges every time Spectre assists in killing heroes. With enough charges, she can stay in a fight indefinitely, but it’s not a recommended item for when Spectre is going for a Carry build.


Diffusal Blade

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Diffusal Blade adds another damage modifier to Spectre while also whittling away the MP of enemy heroes. This prevents them from casting abilities to kill her.


Blade Mail

The only thing that players should remember is Blade Mail + Dispersion = constant AOE damage.


Assault Cuirass

Assault Cuirass gives Spectre extra attack speed, armor, and also reduces the armor of enemies by -5.



Mjollnir gives Spectre extra damage, attack speed, and Chain Lightning. However, the illusions that Haunt and Manta Style create don’t get Chain Lightning for their attacks. They’ll still have the stats though.


Abyssal Blade

Abyssal Blade is a way for Spectre to get additional damage, HP, and a stun every time she hits stuff. In addition, its active ability allows her to immediately stun even spell immune units.


Aghanim’s Scepter/Shard/Blessing

The Aghanim’s Items are mostly there if you want Spectre to have additional utility and added stats to some of her skills. They’re not necessary, but they’re good additions.


When Do You Pick Spectre in Dota 2?

Spectral Dagger
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As stated, it’s usually a good idea to pick Spectre if you’re looking for a late-game “I’m gonna wreck these guys’ asses” hero. Do note that it’s a hero that requires a lot of investment between you and your team. Thus, it’s usually a good idea to build a team that’s built to protect her.


Heroes Countered by Spectre in Dota 2


Sniper is straight-up gold and EXP fodder to Spectre as she can reach him easily with Haunt or Spectral Dagger. In addition to this, her Desolate and Dispersion passives can easily rip Sniper to shreds when she gets close.



Rubick is out of luck when he steals Spectre’s spells due to none of them being of use to him.


Drow Ranger

Drow Ranger’s Marksmanship ability depends on how far she is from enemies. Spectre has two abilities to close the gap between her and Drow, making this ability useless. In addition, Spectre is also not that affected by Drow’s Gust ability. This is because her movement speed is still pretty high and she doesn’t have other skills to use other than Haunt and Spectral Dagger.


Counters vs Spectre in Dota 2


Undying has abilities that can cut Spectre’s HP in twain, making her more vulnerable in the early game. In addition to this, Soul Rip can increase in potency when in the middle of Spectre’s Haunt.



Necrophos’ Death Pulse can heal his allies continuously. In addition, it’s a great way to find Spectre throughout all her Haunt illusions.



Omniknight’s Guardian Angel can help when Spectre uses her Haunt, making allies immune to her physical damage. It does need Aghanim’s Scepter to do so, but most Omniknights build Aghanim’s Scepter anyway. In addition, his Purification ability is a great burst damager while still healing allies. Lastly, Degen Aura also slows Spectre down when she’s near Omniknight, which limits her mobility.



Viper’s Nethertoxin ability completely nullifies Spectre’s Dispersion and Desolate passives, making her more vulnerable. Corrosive Skin also slows her down immensely due to Haunt and the fact she builds Radiance near constantly. Lastly, Viper’s other abilities slow down Spectre’s mobility, making her vulnerable to a kill.

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