Dota 2 Spectre Guide – Builds, Abilities, Items and Strategy

Mercurial, the Spectre is a hero that can create chaos throughout the battlefield. She is a melee item dependent hero that can  become really hard to kill because of Dispersion that reduces damage taken from enemies and also because of Spectral Dagger, which gives her some great mobility by allowing her to run faster and through trees and cliffs. 

Her ultimate Haunt is also something that the enemies fear, it gives Spectre the ability to create an illusion behind each enemy and teleport to it, granting Spectre a global presence.

For more help on Dota 2, read our Clinkz, Queen of Pain and Lion Builds Guide.

Pros and Cons

  • + Global Presence due to Haunt
  • + Good mobility
  • + Hard to kill once she gets a Heart
  • – Very item dependent
  • – Low damage and farming speed
  • – Melee

Dota 2 – Spectre Abilities

Spectral Dagger
Spectre flings a dagger to draw a Shadow Path, dealing damage and slowing the movement speed of any enemies along the trail. Units hit by the dagger also trail a Shadow Path. While treading the path, Spectre phases through otherwise impassable terrain.

  • Movement Speed Change: 1/2/3/4
  • Damage: 50/100/150/200
  • Manacost: 130/140/150/160
  • Cooldown: 16 seconds

Your main nuke, escape and chasing skill. With it you can escape or chase through paths that other heroes can’t. And it also gives some vision so you can sometimes use it to scout places like the Roshan pit. It has a high manacost so be conservative about using it.

Deals bonus pure damage when Spectre attacks an enemy hero with no nearby allied units.

  • Bonus Damage: 20/30/40/50

This skill gives you and your illusions a nice pure damage boost when the enemy is isolated.

Damage done to Spectre is reflected on her enemies, leaving her unharmed. The effect lessens with distance.

  • Damage Reflected: 10%/14%/18%/22%

This passive ability is what makes Spectre a really hard hero to bring down. The amount of damage reduced will be reflected and damage the enemies according to their distance to Spectre, so the closer the enemies are, the more damage they will take.

Creates a spectral nemesis to attack each enemy hero after a short delay. Haunts are uncontrollable, take extra damage, and deal less damage than Spectre herself. At any moment during the duration, Spectre can use Reality to take the place of a given illusion.

  • Haunt Duration: 5/6/7
  • Cooldown: 120
  • Manacost: 150

Grants Spectre the global mobility, as well as a lot of teamfight presence due to the damage that these illusions can deal. You can’t control the illusions but you can teleport to any of them.

Dota 2 – Spectre Skill Build

  1. Spectral Dagger
  2. Desolate/Dispersion
  3. Spectral Dagger
  4. Dispersion/Desolate
  5. Spectral Dagger
  6. Haunt
  7. Spectral Dagger
  8. Desolate
  9. Desolate
  10. Desolate
  11. Dispersion
  12. Dispersion
  13. Dispersion
  14. Haunt
  15. Stats
  16. Haunt

Spectral Dagger is the first skill to take because with it you can slow a line of enemies that might grant you or your team a first blood. It is also the first skill to max because the scaling is pretty good and you are able to get the maximum chasing power at level 7.

You need to get a point of Desolate and Dispersion at the early levels because even with a single point, these passives are really good.

Generally you will want to go for Desolate first if you are farming without getting harassed and you are being able to get some hits on the enemy hero or you will want to go for Dispersion if you are getting heavily harassed and need an extra survival boost. Are the enemies allowing you to go offensive? get Desolate. Are the enemies pressuring your team too much? Get Dispersion. It depends on the situation really.

Haunt should be taken at level 6 for the immediate ability to move around the map, but extra levels of it aren’t as important because the illusion duration only goes up by one second. And you will only need the full 8 seconds when you get your Radiance up, so get your other skills up before further leveling Haunt.

Spectre Recommended items

Starting: Stout Shield, Branch, Branch,  Tango and Salve
These starting items will give you some survivability to give you an easier laning on your early levels.

Early Game:  Ring of Health(into Vanguard)/Tranquil Boots, Quelling Blade, Orb of Venom, (Poor Man Shield)

You will need a source of regeneration while you are laning so get either RoH or TB. Ring of Health is only when you plan on making a Vanguard, which gives you a lot of survivability on the early game, but delays your Core for a while.

Tranquil is a lot cheaper, gives more regeneration and allows you to come into the game faster. If you are allowed to, skip Vanguard and go straight for the next items. 

Quelling for the extra damage to last hit and deny, it will also speed your farming by a lot when you go kill jungle creeps. Orb of Venom is a really cheap and cost effective item, that has a slow that stacks your your Spectral Dagger, all of your Haunt illusions will also slow the enemy which makes it a great item for Spectre. Poor Man Shield will give you a further survivability boost against right clicks, and will make your laning a lot easier if you don’t go for Vanguard.

Core: Radiance, Magic Wand, TP Scroll

Radiance is THE MAIN item that Spectre should get. Seriously, the game doesn’t start until you get it. Your teamfight presence will skyrocket as well as your farming speed. The earlier you get it, the bigger are your chances of winning.

This item is just so important that statistics show that 3 out of 4 times that Spectre gets this item, he wins the game. Some people advocate getting a Diffusal blade instead, it just pales in comparison to what Radiance offers.

Magic Wand will give some hp and mana and you should always carry a TP Scroll to farm creeps closing to your towers, you have Haunt to jump into fights.

Follow up Items:  Heart of Terrasque, Manta Style

Here you get a choice like the one with Dispersion and Desolate. Heart is the defensive item that will further boost your survivability while Manta will boost your offensive power. 

Both of these items synergize pretty well with your skills (more hp to disperse damage and more illusions to get the Desolate extra damage). You can even get just a Vitality Booster, Manta, and then upgrade the booster to Heart. Regardless of which order, you should get both of them because they are that good on Spectre.

Luxuries: Daedalus, Abyssal Blade, Butterfly, Satanic

Late game you should get these items to make you hit like a big truck. Daedalus’s critical damage also applies to your illusions so whenever you Haunt with this item and Radiance, your illusions will be able to almost kill those squishy supports.

Abyssal gives you a disable that goes through magic immunity and the Bash is pretty good for a melee hero. It also gives Spectre some extra hp which she really likes.

Butterfly gives you and your illusions extra damage and evasion, which together with Heart and Dispersion makes you one of the hardest targets to bring down in the game.

Satanic gives you a big hp boost and it’s active is almost like a free Aegis, use it when you are almost dying, crit once and become full hp again. Remember you can’t use it with your Orb of Venom, so be sure to sell it to get lifesteal effects from this item.

Spectre Strategy Tips

You are the main carry so your goal is to just farm and farm and farm. But as usual, if you can get an easy kill like an opponent diving one of your allies, go for it and get free extra gold. Spectre specially has the ability to farm all the time and jump to fights using Haunt, allowing your team to get an edge on early teamfights.

As far as laning choices go, you should always go for the safe lane (Dire top/Radiant Bottom). Spectre’s laning is really bad so you should be safely farming whenever possible, and when the creeps go too far from your tower you can get them back through pulling the jungle camps.

Whenever you have an incoming gank, don’t just use Dagger on a straight path, use it to pass through cliffs or trees to make sure that your enemies can’t follow you. A really good thing you can do when there are no impassable paths, you can just throw your Dagger to the trees on the corner of the map, walk the same path and then TP out.

Know when to Haunt, earlier on you can use it to get some kills but don’t use it to killsteal someone on a side of the map and then having to waste a lot of time to get back to a farmable creep lane.

Other times, when you get ganked by 3 or 4 enemies, and have no chance to escape with Dagger, you can quickly Haunt and get yourself to safety where the laste enemy hero is. Later on, save it for the teamfights because Haunt can be used to prevent those big teamfight heroes from blinking, heroes like Sand King and Enigma. A few exceptions for this include situations where you can Haunt to kill a key enemy hero.

When you use Reality into a Haunt illusion, all the other Haunt illusions disappear so optimally you will want to use it to the full duration but still be in the fight. With your Orb of Venom, all your enemies will also be slowed so don’t forget to spend a measly 350g on this item!