Kiến Thức Chung

Templar Assassin Build Guide DOTA 2: Templar Assassin



Update: Hey just updated this guide for 7.00. See the section “What is new in 7.00.”

Hey guys Eango here and this is a guide to my favorite dota 2 hero, Lanaya the Templar Assassin. This is my second guide (check out my Spectre guide) on this site and thought I would publish it before I’m too busy during my next semester of college.

Lanaya is not only my favorite dota 2 hero, but also my most played and my best hero.

I think Templar Assassin is a must learn hero for anyone aspiring to be a better mid player. Like Tinker, Shadow Fiend, and Invoker TA will always be a strong mid laner in the right hands no matter the “meta.” Furthermore, TA is one of the funnest and most interesting dota 2 heroes in my opinion.

With all this said it may confuse you why Templar Assassin is criminally underplayed and has an abysmal winrate…
The reason is, TA is a much harder hero than she intiially appears. When playing Templar Assassin, you must have good map awareness, great laning mechanics, decent farming, passable micro (to activate traps), very solid mechanics, and understanding TA’s limits. Overall, TA has a pretty simple skillset that can be difficult to execute correctly. This guide will teach you how to TA: from mid matchups, farming patterns, fight execution, and item builds.

Templar Assassin is a hero that can SOLO CARRY HER TEAM. Okay, I know dota is a team game and playing effectively AS A TEAM will get you the most out of TA. However, some games your team needs to rely on THAT 1 HERO to win the game. Anti-Mage, Spectre, and Invoker are other heroes I deem that can take control of a game that should have been lost. But none of them, in my opinion, can compare to Templar Assassin. Templar Assassin doesn’t only take control of a game, she makes the game go TOTALLY OUT OF HAND VERY QUICKLY.

Keep up in net worth, get a few kills, now you got an aegis. Oh **** now your taking towers by yourself AND your traps control the enemy jungle aaaaaaannnnd the game is over. Probably the main reason I’m addicted to playing Templar Assassin is because of the control she offers at ALL STAGES OF THE GAME.

I play a lot of Templar Assassin
To be honest, TA took me a while to start winning more than losing with. She does take a lot of practice like Invoker and Tinker.

Okay so the first 2 builds are more “serious” builds. The assassination build is usually your best bet but building a more stat oriented TA in the form of the “race car” build is sometimes better. The last build is more for fun so I won’t discuss it but it is an effective build nonetheless if you want to do something unorthodox.


What is new in 7.00

TA is basically the same she just has one change:
-Psi Blades now work when illusions of Templar Assassin attack

This is a pretty nice change as you would sometimes buy Manta Style. Before I said how I wasn’t a huge big fan of Manta Style but It’s slightly better now for split pushing. Oh, and Diffusal Blade can NO LONGER SELF PURGE which is a pretty significant nerf. So if you need a dispel as TA your forced into Manta Style now.

Lanaya got a pretty good talent tree in my opinion. Basically all the options are good and what I provided is by no means the “default.” Also keep in mind that you may want to skill an ability over a talent sometimes. But on TA, I think her talents are good enough that you would rather skill them. Let’s go through the choices one by one.

Level 10: +25 Attack Speed OR +15 Movement Speed
Both of these are pretty awesome! In the 10ish games I played I tend to prefer the attack speed for the Blink Dagger build. The movement speed talent is very good with the Shadow Blade build though!

However, though both these are good talents this is probably the one to “hold off” on leveling maybe until like 14ish. That is because as TA you get a lot of value from your other skills being maxed ASAP so holding off on the first talent tree may be a decent idea.

Level 15: +6 All Stats OR 12% Evasion
Again both these are super good at level 15 and definitely worth skilling when have the chance. I think the +6 stats is the more safer option that will be a solid pick up every game. But get the evasion if your against a lot of right click. 12% evasion is really “trolly” as its not enough evasion for the enemy to really warrant buying a Monkey King Bar but its enough to help you preserve Refreaction.

Level 20: +250 Health OR +40 Damage
This one I would get the damage basically every time tbh. The last talent gives you a chance to level stats already, and +40 damage is just more value as a TA player imo.

Level 25: +3 Refraction Instances OR -30s Respawn Time
For this one I would get the +3 Refraction Instances unless you think the game is going late and respawn timer will be a big deal (and your Refraction is burned through fast anyways]]. 3 Additional Refraction Charges is a pretty big deal especially considering your going to hit level 25 first in a lot of games. Since TA tends to want to end the game around mid game, it makes sense to skill a talent that enhances her snowball potential even more.


Pros and Cons


  • Fun to Play
  • Wins many mid matchups
  • Best rune controller in the game
  • Provides team vision with her traps
  • Snowballs very easily
  • Is actually really hard to shut down
  • Takes roshan easily
  • A fantastic pusher and tower destroyer


  • Falls off very late game
  • Countered by relatively cheap items
  • Easy kill if locked down (and can give up a lot of comeback gold!)
  • Basically a melee hero (but gets no advantages of a melee hero from items)

Lanaya is pretty much always a solid pick even if you have to face your “counters.” I will get into dealing with certain heroes a little more later. The only time I would not pick lanaya as you mid is if your team needs more aoe burst or lockdown and not more physical damage. In that case, go with someone like Invoker Queen of Pain

You may look at this list and think “wow Lanaya has like no weaknesses” and your pretty much right. Lanaya is THE BEST SNOWBALLER IN THE GAME AND IS VERY HARD TO SHUTDOWN. What keeps her balanced though is that many heroes can counter her as well as cheap items can counter her. So even though you will most likely get your farm eventually and theoretically have the power to 3 shot heroes, executing fights as Templar Assassin

Oh, also dying once as TA often sucks as your likely feeding the enemy absurd amount of comeback gold (a mechanic that balanced snowballing effectively) since your probably ahead in networth.

Lanaya is pretty much always a solid pick even if you have to face your “counters.” I will get into dealing with certain heroes a little more later. The only time I would not pick lanaya as you mid is if your team needs more aoe burst or lockdown and not more physical damage. In that case, go with someone likeorYou may look at this list and think “wow Lanaya has like no weaknesses” and your pretty much right. Lanaya is THE BEST SNOWBALLER IN THE GAME AND IS VERY HARD TO SHUTDOWN. What keeps her balanced though is that many heroes can counter her as well as cheap items can counter her. So even though you will most likely get your farm eventually and theoretically have the power to 3 shot heroes, executing fights ascan be tricky if you initiate badly.Oh, also dying once as TA often sucks as your likely feeding the enemy absurd amount of comeback gold (a mechanic that balanced snowballing effectively) since your probably ahead in networth.

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TA’s abilities are not rocket science by any means and you probably already have an understanding on how to use them so I will make this chapter mercifully brief.

Duration: 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 attacks or 17 seconds
Bonus Damage: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80
Cooldown: 17
Mana Cost: 100
cast Time: 0s

Refraction is a spell that amplifies TA’s damage as well as block instances of damage. In fact, refraction will block ALL instances of damage. This can allow you to perform some “outplays” such as casting refraction right when a lina ults you for example. In fact, perfoming clutch refractions isn’t too difficult either since it has NO CAST ANIMATION TIME whereas most abilities, like a lina ult, have a cast time.

Besides using refraction for survival, you will also be spamming it while in lane to out last hit and deny your opponent. If TA is able to keep casting her refraction in lane, which is done through having the mana via controlling the runes, the lane will probably be won.

Bonus Damage: 50 / 100 / 150 / 200
Armor Reduction: 2 / 4 / 6 / 8
Armor Reduction Duration: 10
Cooldown: 6
Mana Cost: 50

Meld is a pretty unique ability in dota 2 and a lot of people don’t know how it works. Basically it “first applies Templar Assassin’s actual attack damage, then the armor debuff and then the Meld damage” (quote from dota 2 wiki). The order in which damage is applied is what allows desolator to be so good on TA. However, sadly you cannot get a critical strike on meld.

With the useless information dump out of the way, you should basically be using meld as an AGRESSIVE OFFENSIVE SPELL. Even though it has an instant fade time (fastest in the game I believe), it’s not meant to be used an escape mechanism unless its a last resort scenario.

If you want to become a good TA player, you need to master the blink + meld strike combo perfectly. I don’t care how you do it: quick cast, attack move (i don’t recommend this way since you may be by creeps), or just having quick fingers (like me). Just practice blink + meld in a private lobby and it shouldn’t take long to master. I will discuss other meld combos in later chapters.

Psi Blades
Bonus Attack Range: 60 / 120 / 180 / 240
Spill Width: 75
Spill Range: 590 / 630 / 670 / 710

Also psi blades spill does PURE DAMAGE which can inflict MASSIVE PAIN.

Psi Blades is a pretty sick passive. It’s basically a free battlefury if you learn how to farm with it correctly. I will go into more on how to use psi blades properly, whether for farming or dominating the enemy mid or performing those sick pure damage meld combos.

Psionic Trap
Cast Range: 2000
Maximum Traps: 5 / 8 / 11
Fade Time: 2
Trap Duration: Permanent
Cooldown: 11 / 8 / 5
Mana Cost: 15

TA’s ult is super good as it synergies very well with her skills and playstyle. You will want to trap the rune spots and roshan pretty much throughout the game. Other good spots include: ancients, secret shops, and enemy jungle camps.

Besides just using the traps as ****ty wards, you will also be using them to murder people. Trap usage is probably the best way i can tell a bad TA from a good one.

A bad TA tends to place the trap right on the enemy and then proceed to spam “d” on their keyboard. It looks something like this:

This is AWFUL because your not getting full value out of the slow. That’s because “Traps charge up to slow an additional 5% every second, up to 50%.” (it starts at 30% slow). I feel like a lot of people don’t know this information.

So what does a good TA do when chasing? You probably guessed it, they place the trap in front of the target, leading them into it. Furthermore, they probably manually detonate the trap (this used to be a must since pressing “d” had a cast time but i believe they removed that). I would also like to point out that TA’s trap radius is MUCH LARGER than the trap itself. So you can really wait until the enemy passes the edge of your trap.
Here is how a good TA trap chase looks like:

Note On Skill Build

Templar Assassin has no set in stone build. What I provided is probably just most standard. I usually get 2 points into Psi Blades to be honest but it really depends. I even sometimes put more points into Meld than Refraction earlier depending on my mid matchup which I will talk about next. Overall, TA is pretty flexible in how you level her which is pretty cool :3


Know Thou Enemy (important mid matchups)

Okay so you pick TA and your most likely going mid (I would hope so). Depending on what hero your facing, we are going to change your starting items and strategy. These matchups are the most common ones I see when I play as TA.

Also while your in the mid, some general advice is to try and push the lane before the rune spawns. Furthermore, you should be stacking the ancient creeps whenever you have the opportunity.

I like to personally push the wave constantly at odd minutes (3:00, 5:00, 7:00 so on). Make my way towards the ancients at odd minutes (3:53, 5:53, 7:53), stack them, then get the rune spawning at the even minute. Depending on the rune, maybe even get a kill. If it’s a haste rune, check the other lanes quickly, TA haste early game can be nasty and unexpected!

Otherwise, just rinse and repeat and hope some kill opportunities come now and again. If they don’t, whatever, we will start ACTIVELY LOOKING TO KILL once we farm our first mobility item.

Oh and one more thing! In 6.88 (or was it 6.87?) the XP from a range creep is ABOUT HALF OF THE WAVE. So prioritize DENYING THE RANGE CREEP MID. This change has really changed the mid lane a lot since the range creep is very easy to deny often times. So you can really dominate your opponent in xp if you deny the range creep every wave!

Queen of Pain
Starting Items

This matchup is honestly pretty even, just slightly favored for qop. However, it’s actually a pretty winnable win for Templar Assassin. Here’s what I do.

First check qop’s inventory, see if she has a sentry ward and see how much regen she brought to lane. If qop doesn’t have a sentry, then you should be able to stay in the lane and be fine. That’s because what your going to do is skill meld (either at level 2 or 3) and dodge every single poison dagger she throws at you. It’s honestly piss easy to dodge. And if qop can never poison dagger you, she is honestly not a good mid at all.

Okay let’s say qop does have a sentry because she’s a smart player. Well that’s cool, we just won’t be skilling meld that early anymore since there is no point. Instead, just get some refraction and psi blades. I like putting 2 points into psi blades against qop, since she stands far back.

Lastly, if qop doesn’t have much regen (I’m talking like only 2 shared tangos), then be aggressive as **** early on. Qop players often get overconfident when facing a mid matchup they believe their heavily favored in and you can use this to your advantage as TA can easily burst her.

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Starting Items

Invoker versus TA is also pretty even. The main thing you have to watch out for is ganks, since invoker can kill you pretty easily if he has help from someone like a Bounty Hunter or Crystal Maiden. As long as you avoid ganks and not die, you both will probably get good farm. Unfortunately you can’t really dominate an equally skilled invoker due to his OP quas orb regen and multiple defensive spells. I would reccomend to mainly just focus on out last hitting invoker early on as you have a damage advantage with refraction. Later in the game, once you have your core items, you can start killing the cocky ****er a lot.

Starting Items

I like to get boots of speed first against razor. Another option is rushing them before your bottle, but I prefer to just start with them.

With boots of speed, razor cannot reliably static link you until he gets boot of his own. So what we are going to do is play super aggressively early on! I literally stand between the creep wave and ask him to fight me by the time I’m level 3. Honestly, razor’s damage is just not that good if he cannot static link you so you can literally make sure he gets little farm for the first couple waves.

On a sidenote, many bad razor players who picked razor to “counter” you think that their level 1 static link is “instant.” If they walk up to you and just start static linking, KICK HIS *** DON’T RUN. In fact, if I see the razor keeps making this dumb mistake, I will get more points into meld strike to just KICK HIS *** if he keeps walking in my face. Overall, when his Static Link is like level 3, Razor can start dominating the lane but you may be able to get enough of an early advantage. And if his Static Link does start to zone you out of lane, you will have ancient stacks around that time. Ultimately, I don’t find Razor to be that threatening of a matchup (Though he is a decent counter for TA).

Shadow Fiend and Storm Spirit
Starting Items

I put these two together as they are both similar. Similar as in a very easy lane for you. With Storm Spirit I will sometimes get more points into meld strike if they are confidently walking up and static remnant farming so then i can KILL HIM. However, storm spirits usually play very scared of you so you can just push the lane, stack ancients, get rune, beat storm spirit up if he dares shows himself, rinse and repeat.

Shadow Fiend fairs decently against TA early on, but once you get level 3, (2 points in refraction one point in psi) just constantly push the lane out and try to land them psi blades. SF can’t reliably burn you refraction charges. Also he’s really easy to kill if a support ganks mid for you or you hit level 6 OR your just a better player than the Shadow Fiend.

Starting Items

Viper is the one hero that can absolutely stomp a TA in lane. However, Viper kind of stomps any hero in lane because if he doesn’t, then he’s pretty screwed. When playing against viper, the first couple waves matter the most. Just try to secure your bottle and some levels. Also, getting a good creep block helps.

I’m going to go with the assumption that the viper player is decent and is able to outfarm you mid. Honestly, this isn’t always the case as many people pick viper to “counter” you and end up kind of sucking ?

So if you “lose” mid, you can easily still stack ancients and even just abandon your lane for some large jungle camps once you get some levels. If viper tries to take your mid tower while your jungling or stacking, which he should, you can call for a gank.

Even though viper counters TA in laning, it’s not really the scariest hero for TA as you can still fall back on ancient stacks, jungle, and comeback gold from when your team kills viper and due to how fast TA farms ancients, you will pass him in networth in no time.

Ember Spirit
Starting Items

This is the last matchup I will talk about. Though it’s not common, it’s one of my favorite matchups in the game since both Ember Spirit and Templar Assassin can easily kill each other!

Overall, your favored in this matchup as Ember Spirit is a melee hero and thus must walk up to the creep wave to last hit. That said, Ember Spirit can easily kill you if you are not careful! When he hits level 6, and has reasonable hp and enough mana to triple remmant, you probably ****ed up since a good ember will just kill you. MAKE SURE HE NEVER HAS ENOUGH HP to comfortably go for a kill. If he walks up in your face, MELD STRIKE him and kick his butt. Otherwise, just keep landing psi blades on him and watch his hp drop rapidly.

General Mid Advice = Land as Many Psi Blades as you can
Lots of players seriously struggle to lane against Templar Assassin since they are not use to playing against her. If you learn to land psi blades consistently you will see the enemy becomes increasingly more scared to walk up and farm. Furthermore, don’t be afraid to put more points in Meld than normal against heroes like Pudge, Ember Spirit, Storm Spirit, and more if they keep walking up in your face. They will immediately regret their decision since early game meld strike hurts a lot.

Overall, looking for ganks is a waste of time unless you get a really good rune or the enemy is seriously low hp out of position.

And if you do not lane so hot, just be sure to get the ancients to triple stack or quad stack to help you catch up in net worth.

Lastly, if you do EVERYTHING CORRECTLY. Do decent in lane and stack ancients consistently and have rune control…. You should be getting 60 last hits by 10 minutes! This is quite a bit for a midlaner and don’t forget that the ancients also give a lot of XP. You will be in great shape if you do your laning correctly and will get your core items before 20 minutes.


Playstyle (Sorted by Build)

Assassin Build
This is the most standard way to itemize Templar Assassin for the mid game. That is, get a Blink Dagger and a Desolator. Now there is some controversy on the order to get these items in. I personally farm my Blink Dagger first but I’ve seen some people get Desolator first. Getting Blink Dagger first says you want to look for fights a little bit whereas getting Desolator first is probably a little more “greedy” (but with it you can farm up a Blink Dagger quickly).

Either way, your goal is to get Blink Dagger and Desolator in you inventory BEFORE 20 MINUTES. This isn’t too hard to do with no kills. If you do get some kills or maybe an early roshan, you could be looking at a 15 minute core which would basically spell out “gg.”

But often times games don’t go super smoothly and that’s okay. I don’t want to be to strict on the item timing, but I would say that your probably doing something wrong if your getting these items after 25 minutes.

The trick to playing this style of TA is to “assassinate” the easy to kill targets, and apply heavy pressure in the enemy jungle. Before a fight even breaks out, you should blink and 2 shot that pesky Crystal Maiden or Lich and make the fight an instant 4v5. By applying pressure in the enemy jungle, I mean placing traps in it and actively farming it and getting easy kills. Not to mention that camping the enemy jungle guarentees that the enemy has no idea where you are and they will get increasingly frustrated as they can never safely enter their own jungle.

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With your core up, you should also look into taking objectives quickly. Take out all the tier 1 towers than ask you support to set up wards so you can solo rosh (or preferrably get help from your safelane carry to rosh).

If TA has her core by 20 minutes, has taken tier 1 towers, and has an aegis, and has a few kills under her name, the game becomes out of hand. From here, your probably rich enough for a Daedalus or Black King Bar. If I’m way ahead, I tend to get Black King Bar actually because it means I’m not lacking in damage. Bkb allows TA to play very recklessly which leads to more kills. If you feel you need some damage, get Daedalus. Hell, you can even get a casual crystalis into a bkb. I see a lot of TA players never get Black King Bar in any game. This will only work against bad players in the first place but even if you are playing versus bad players, Black King Bar will just net you more kills in the mid game.

Now for the sake of arguement, let’s say the enemy is able to kill you a couple times and your slightly behind on your core items (like 22 minutes) and the game is relatively even. Your goal is still to sneak a roshan in and force fights as often as possible. Even though the game is even in terms of farm, TA comes online very early so you should still not hesitate to fight even if your “behind.”

Race Car Build
The most popular way to build TA used to be Drum of Endruance, Yasha, and Desolator (no Blink Dagger) since drums was a better item back then and the refraction/blink dagger change didn’t exist yet. However, that build has fallen out of favor for the more snowbally assassinate build since the blink dagger change.

That said, this “race car” build is a modified version of the older build but using Shadow Blade instead of drums. Before explaining how to play this version of TA you may be curious when to go this route of assassinate. In my opinion, this build is better when your team lacks frontliners, you have a carry that makes you 4v5 a lot, your line up has little carry potential and your pretty much position 1, your team has no invisible heroes (so you waste enemy resources on dust and sentries), it’s a really good silver edge game ( Phantom Assassin, Phantom Lancer, Slark, Silver Edge is seriously underrated), or you feel like you need to tank up.

Though this build is a different playstyle, you will still be looking to take towers and roshan once you have Desolator as well as control the enemy side of the map with your traps. This build also tends to delay your Desolator timing a little bit BUT you farm way faster overall so you should get 6 slotted pretty easily.

So basically the idea behind the race car TA is the same as always. An early Yasha and Shadow Blade makes you very fast, meaning you chase well as well as farm a little quicker than the assassinate build. With this build, I tend to shadow blade into the enemy jungle and just get a lot of kills whilst also farming it like mad. It’s kind of like playing Slark.

Here’s the combo: Shadow Blade, hit target to get shadow blade damage, immediately Meld Strike AND IF DONE RIGHT you get the shadow blade damage, they are probably about dead.

The trick is to do this combo very quickly. You need to meld strike immediately after the first attack to get the shadow blade bonus damage. Here is a video of the combo:

You can even manually detonate traps and remain invisible in your Shadow Blade!

So if the game is going well you should be able to take roshan and afford another item. I actually really like getting Sange and Yasha lately. It’s been buffed a lot recently with its maim chance increased which helps your chasing. It also gives you hp which is very helpful. With this build, Daedalus is less needed since your more so relying on attack speed and tankiness to win fights. But it’s still a solid pick up in most games.

Well that’s about it in terms of playstyle. Let’s talk items on TA.


Fight Execution (WIP)

Execution is probably the most important thing for Lanaya. Honestly, execution in teamfights is probably the most important thing in dota. If you don’t play fights correctly with your hero your putting your team at a disadvantage.

With both builds, TA WANTS TO INITIATE ON THE BACKLINES. Killing the squishy backline supports first is just a pretty good general rule to stick by. However, the assassination build does accomplish that goal a lot easier (that’s why it’s usually the “best” build).

The strength of TA in a 5v5 engagement is making the fight an instant 3v5. However, dota is complex and there are some cases in which you may want to go on a frontline carry. For example, your ally Lion may of got a good initiation on the enemy Anti-Mage. Since dota teamfights are chaotic, we can’t really generalize how to execute fights as TA without giving some examples.

So let’s look TA teamfights.

Okay so these first 2 fights came from a game I played yesterday. I played pretty poorly overall but executed fights decently enough ?

EX 1: Trap Use
TA Fight EX 1

Nothing to special here :3 My disruptor player got a great static storm on their Storm Spirit so we obviously want to focus him down first! Pretty much always pop Black King Bar when you want to go in.

One thing you should notice from this fight is how I am able to slow both Wraith King and Vengeful Spirit with my trap. I place it THEN I WAIT FOR A LITTLE TO GET MAX SLOW.

EX 2: Psi Blades!

TA Fight EX 2

This fight I played pretty well! Our disruptor player was again on point and caught out the Vengeful Spirit so the fight is an instant 4v5. That means it’s time to go in! Then Timbersaw gets caught out (again thanks to disruptor!).

So what I do is instantly BLINK TO HIGHGROUND since I want their team to focus me. THEN POP BKB. Notice I don’t even bother going on Storm Spirit unless he’s locked down.

Lastly, notice how when Treant Protector gets a nice ult off I SIDESTEP TO THE LEFT TO POSITION FOR PSI BLADES. This is obviously not a “pro” play BUT the fact that I actively keep psi blades in mind allows an easy kill of Nyx Assassin AND Wraith King. Overall, in fights TRY TO KEEP PSI BLADES IN MIND.

Really try to use them if a hero like Treant or Enigma sets it up for you!



Well that’s about it. Got any questions, just leave a comment.

Oh and if you want to watch other TA players here is a list of good TA players
1. Wagamama
2. Arteezy
3. Dragonfist
4. Ferrari_430
5. Mushi

Hopefully this guide gave you some good knowledge on TA and you can start dominating your games with Lanaya.

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