[Top 10] Dota 2 Best Illusion Heroes That Wreck Hard!

Dota 2 Best Illusion Heroes
Phantom Lancer - the best illusion bearing hero in Dota.

Being able to create an illusion of yourself is one of the best sets of skills in the game. It creates a multitude of opportunities that allow your team to dominate the enemy. 

In the current 7.29d patch, there are only a few heroes that have the ability to create copies of themselves. 

In this article, we’ll break down the top 10 Dota 2 heroes with skills that create illusions (including new abilities through Aghanim’s). The order will largely be based on how strong their illusions are and their current win rate.

10) Anti-Mage

Miracle's Anti-Mage insane farming using Battle Fury.

Anti-Mage is one of the most agile position 1 heroes in the game. Famous for his mana-draining hits, AM is a fearsome hard-carry that can easily win you games when you get farmed fast.

In the current 7.29d meta, he has an Aghanim’s Scepter upgrade that gives him his Blink Fragment skill. 

Using Blink Fragment, Anti-Mage sends an illusion at the target enemy or location and attack them for 7 seconds. His Counterspell is replicated on the Blink Fragment illusion.

This is extremely useful as an initiation tool that allows you to force out items and skills. When the enemy has used some of their disable and saving items and skills, your team is now in favor and can initiate to win the fight.

It has a relatively low cooldown at 20 seconds which you can use at about once to twice per teamfight. 

However, the Blink Fragment upgrade is usually a late-game, last pick-up item for Anti-Mage since the hero would need a lot of items first to outpower the enemy. 

What makes Anti-Mage great:

  • Can use Blink Fragment to bait reactions from the enemy team
  • Since the illusion replicates the Counterspell from the main hero, it is not easy to determine if the illusion is real or not

Anti-Mage details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/anti-mage

9) Terrorblade

23Savage of T1 Gaming's crazy Terrorblade gameplay.

Terrorblade is a core position 1 hero that has one of the highest attack damage in the game. He has six abilities in total with the Aghanim’s Scepter and Shard – Reflection, Conjure Image, Metamorphosis, Sunder, Demon Zeal, and Terror Wave.  

With his Conjure Image, he can summon an illusion of himself that deals 60% of his damage and takes 320%. With a 16 second cooldown and a duration of 34, he can summon 2 illusions that fight with him.

When his Metamorphosis is enabled, it’s just almost impossible to manfight versus Terrorblade. He’ll be having 2 illusions, plus most likely an additional two with Manta Style. That’s five Metamorphosis’d Terrorblade hitting you hard like crazy.

Terrorblade is one of the most picked hard carries in professional matches and tournaments where teams are most coordinated. Since his Metamorphosis has a very long cooldown, every action of their team, whether to push, pick off enemies, or engage in a teamfight, is calculated and planned accordingly. 

In public matches, however, Terrorblade’s win rate takes a hard fall. Even in the current Divine and Immortal ranks, Terrorblade’s win rate is at a measly 47.6%. That’s bad considering he is a position 1 core. 

The strength of his illusion comes with the long duration that allows you to farm neutral creeps and cut waves. With two illusions at Terrorblade’s disposal, you can get farmed up extremely fast. 

What makes Terrorblade great:

  • Extremely powerful, game-changing level 25 talents
  • Can farm multiple creep waves and camps at once through his illusion
  • His Illusion gets Metamorphosis bonus

Terrorblade details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/phantomlancer

8) Spectre 

OG.Ana's two-time TA champion on his pro Spectre.

Spectre is a pseudo-tank position 1 core. She has five abilities in total: Spectral Dagger, Desolate, Dispersion, Haunt, and Shadow Step. 

Using her Haunt, Shadow Step, and Dispersion, she can cast illusions of herself.

Haunt is her ultimate which sends out an illusion to each enemy hero alive, anywhere in the map. This gives her a global presence which opens a lot of opportunities to maneuver around the map and join teamfights whenever she has Haunt. 

Shadow Step is an Aghanim’s Scepter ability for Spectre. Using Shadow Step, she can cast a single Haunt illusion to an enemy hero visible on the map. This allows her to pick-off isolated heroes on the map or still join teamfights as she farms away from harm’s way.

You can upgrade Spectre’s Dispersion to an active ability by buying an Aghanim’s Shard. As an active ability, you can cast Dispersion to a hero who damaged you in the last 8 seconds, sending an Illusion where you can transfer your original hero to. This is an excellent item versus ranged heroes who like to kite versus Spectre, such as Tinker, Drow Ranger, Medusa, or Sniper. 

However, in the current meta, Spectre is still losing most of her games with a low win rate of 45.6%. There are simply just a lot of position 1 cores who out-scale her late in games right now.

What makes Spectre great:

  • Can farm safely away from enemy team and still join teamfights
  • Can massively disrupt enemy lines through her Haunt illusions

Spectre details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/spectre

7) Grimstroke

TIMSTROKE - Tims on his pro position 4 Grimstroke.

Grimstroke is an intelligence support hero that has a great set of skills to set up teamfights for his team. He has five abilities in total: Stroke of Fate, Phantom’s Embrace, Ink Swell, Soulbind, and his illusion skill, Dark Portrait. 

Dark Portrait is an Aghanim’s Scepter new skill that gives Grimstroke the ability to create an ink illusion of a target enemy hero. Illusion is spell-immune and has bonus movement speed and attack damage.

When used with Soulbind, you can effectively use Dark Portrait on two enemy heroes (preferably at least one is a hard-hitting core). Since the illusion outgoing damage has a bonus of 150% and a move speed bonus of 30%, your illusions can easily take down enemy heroes. If that’s not enough, the illusion hero is spell immune, so it essentially has a BKB on its own.

As a support hero, you can be able to contribute a lot and be extremely strong in late-game scenarios. However, I wouldn’t recommend you buying Aghanim’s Scepter as your first item as a support. Of course, you would want to have other support-type items first such as Glimmer’s Cape, Force Staff, or Eul’s.

His win rate is low at 47.7% in public matches since Grimstroke requires a good synergy of skills with teammates. 

What makes Grimstroke great:

  • He potentially could have the strongest illusion amongst all illusion-based abilities as he can use his enemies’ strength against their own
  • Dark Portrait has a relatively low cooldown

Grimstroke details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/grimstroke

6) Shadow Demon

Shadow Demon is one of the best illusion support heroes that can both initiate and save.

Shadow Demon is a ranged intelligence support hero that has four skills: Soul Catcher, Shadow Poison, Demonic Purge, and his illusion-making skill, Disruption. 

Disruption banishes the targeted unit from the battlefield for a short duration.  Upon returning, two illusions of the banished unit are created under Shadow Demon's control.

The two illusions have an outgoing damage of 75% and last for 14 seconds. You can cast Disruption on yourself, your allies, or your enemies. At level 25, he can get the additional charge of Disruption talent.

Shadow Demon’s win rate is at an average 50.1%.

What makes Shadow Demon great:

  • You can use it to save your teammates from being burst down. Disruption is a good counter against Reaper’s Scythe, Winter’s Curse, Chronosphere, among other spells that would’ve probably killed your teammate. 
  • You can bait out an initiation or reaction from enemies by sending out an illusion near them. 
  • You can use your strong illusions to farm. 
  • During teamfights and pushing towers, you can use this on your core allies who have strong attack damage (i.e., Luna, Terrorblade, Anti-Mage, etc.).

Shadow Demon details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/shadowdemon

5) Vengeful Spirit

TOPSON the GODSON on his annoying Vengeful Spirit Mid gameplay.

Vengeful Spirit is a ranged agility hero that can be played both as a core or as a support. She has four skills: Magic Missile, Wave of Terror, Nether Swap, and Vengeance Aura. She gets her illusion skill through the Vengeance Aura upgrade with Aghanim’s Scepter.

With an Aghanim’s Scepter, upon death, she creates a strong illusion that deals and takes 100% damage and can cast all of her spells. Illusion has 25% movement speed bonus. If the illusion is alive when Vengeful Spirit respawn, she will take its place. XP earned by her illusion is given to her. 

She has a good win rate of 52.4%. However, I’ve personally seen a lot of Vengeful Spirit players play badly with her and use her powerful illusion improperly. People often rush a 4,200 item so they could get that illusion upon death, and then they just run in at enemy lines and die. 

Remember that when you die, you lose some of your gold and the enemy gains gold and experience.

Her illusion, however, is very strong in late-game situations where taking you down would need the use of a lot of your enemies’ skills and items. During teamfights, you can rally with your team with your illusion. As the enemy tries to bring your illusion down, you can buyback before it dies, bringing you back to take the illusion’s place at full health. 

What makes Vengeful Spirit great:

  • Your illusion can cast all her spells, which is rare for illusion-based heroes
  • You can use the illusion to farm
  • Your illusion still carries the vengeance aura which increases the damage of your allies by 32%. 

Vengeful Spirit details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/vengefulspirit

We’d now go down to our top 4 illusion-based heroes. These four are extremely strong heroes with game-breaking illusion skills. I honestly had a hard time ranking these four as they could all take the number one spot if played correctly. 

4) Chaos Knight

Why Pros fear Sumail's Chaos Knight.

Chaos Knight is a strength melee hero that is played as either a position 1 or 3 core. He has four skills: Chaos Bolt, Reality Rift, Chaos Strike, and his signature illusion skill, Phantasm. 

Phantasm summons several phantasmal copies of the Chaos Knight from alternate dimensions. The phantasms are strong illusions that deal 100% damage but take 325% damage. It also applies a basic dispel. Three illusions are summoned at max level which lasts 30 seconds.

Dealing 100% damage of Chaos Knight, these illusions are extremely strong. In addition to that, they also get the critical bonus from Chaos Strike.

Chaos Knight is able to bring down an enemy in just a few seconds with his Chaos Bolt-Reality Rift combo. He’s essentially a Meepo during that span of time while his Phantasm is active.

With a relatively low cooldown of 75 seconds, you can spam out Phantasm to farm huge stacks of Ancient neutral camps or take down towers with ease.

Unsurprisingly, he has a high win rate of 53.5% in Divine and Immortal ranks.

What makes Chaos Knight great:

  • He has the most powerful burst potential as an illusion-based hero
  • His Phantasm heroes deal 100% of his damage that hits critical with his Chaos Strike
  • His illusions copy the animation for Chaos Bolt and Reality Rift, masking his identity as the true hero

Chaos Knight details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/chaosknight

3) Naga Siren

Naga Siren is one of the best illusion-based heroes in the game.

Naga Siren is a melee agility hero that is often played as a position 1 but can also be played as a 4 or 5 support. She has four skills: Ensnare, Rip Tide, Song of the Siren, and her illusion skill, Mirror Image. 

Mirror Image creates multiple illusions of Naga Siren under her control. At max level, 3 illusions are spawned that deal 40% damage her damage. At level 20, he can get the additional illusion talent. 

The strength of her illusion comes with her Rip Tide skill, a proc-based damaging wave that deals 60 damage and reduces the enemy armor by 8 at a chance of 17% (Note: desolator reduces armor only by 6). All her Mirror Image illusions are affected by Rip Tide.

Naga Siren is extremely effective when the enemy heroes do not have anything to deal with her illusions. Upon getting Manta Style, Diffusal Blade, and a Heart of Tarrasque, her illusions are almost free-hitting the enemies with ease as it is extremely hard to take down her tanky illusions. 

What makes Naga Siren great:

  • Mirror Image illusion allows you to cut waves and control the tempo of the game.
  • Naga Siren essentially can farm the whole map with 3 illusions at her disposal.
  • Mirror Image applies a basic dispel

Naga Siren details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/nagasiren

2) Dark Seer

SCCC plays insanely with his game-changing Dark Seer Combos.

Dark Seer is a melee intelligence hero that is often played at position 3.

At a glance, his skills could look rather mediocre and lackluster. But, when played correctly, he is one of the best teamfight initiators in the game. 

Dark Seer currently has one of the highest win rates in the game at a ridiculous 57.3%.

Dark Seer has five abilities in total: Vacuum, Ion Shell, Surge, and his two illusion skills, Normal Punch and Wall of Replica.

Normal Punch is a passive ability that grants Dark Seer’s next attack on a hero to knock an illusion out of the victim and stun them for up to 2.25 seconds, 350 distance, and 250 damage based on how far Dark Seer has moved in the past 3 seconds. Max power is reached after 900 distance moved. Illusions last for 5 seconds. It has a cooldown of 14 seconds.

His signature ability is his Wall of Replica. Upon cast, he raises a wall of warping light that slows and creates replicas of any enemy hero who crosses it. Enemy replicas serve at the Dark Seer's will. Replicas last until they are destroyed, or until the wall's duration ends.

Upon making contact with the wall, heroes are slowed for 70% of their movespeed that lasts for 1 second. All illusions get 100% of their damage. This also pierces spell immunity.

This is arguably one of the strongest illusion-making skills in the game. Using Vacuum, Dark Seer can easily turn the tides of the battle against the enemies. 

If played correctly, you can essentially make a 10v5 battle with the enemy. 

What makes Dark Seer great:

  • Illusions deal 100% of the damage of the original hero.
  • Wall of Replica pierces spell immunity.
  • The slow allows the illusions to get a few hits first before the enemies scramble away to safety.
  • You can control the illusions to hit a single target.

Dark Seer details: https://www.dota2.com/hero/darkseer

1) Phantom Lancer

OG.Ana, once again, this time with his insanely strong Phantom Lancer.

The king of deception. The illusion-savant king.

Phantom Lancer is a position 1 core that relies heavily on his illusions. If there’s one hero that’s the definition of an “illusion hero”, it’s gotta be Phantom Lancer. 

Phantom Lancer has four skills: Spirit Lance, Doppelganger, Phantom Rush, and Juxtapose. Three of his skills summon an illusion of his.

Spirit Lance sends a magical spirit lance to a target enemy unit that damages and slows while summoning an illusory phantom to attack the unit. With an Aghanim’s shard, the lance bounces to another enemy within 750 radius, summoning another illusion to the second target.

When Doppelganger is cast, Phantom Lancer briefly vanishes from the battlefield. After one second, Phantom Lancer and any of his nearby illusions reappear at a random position within the targeted location, along with two additional doppelgangers. Extends the duration of all illusions. The two added doppelgangers have different properties: one takes normal damage and deals none, while the other takes 500% bonus damage and deals -80% less damage.

Phantom Rush is a passive ability that can be toggled. When targetting an enemy for an attack, Phantom Lancer quickly charges into range, gaining a temporary agility boost. Phantom Lancer's illusions also have this ability.

When Phantom Lancer reaches level six, he gets his first level of Juxtapose. Now, Phantom Lancer has a chance to fracture his presence, creating an illusion of himself. Illusions also have a chance to fracture further. Illusions created from Phantom Lancer last for 8 seconds, while illusions created from other illusions last 4 seconds.

Phantom Lancer has a high win rate of 52.9%. When enemy heroes have no answer to deal with his illusions, it’s almost a guarantee that he can carry his team to victory. 

Phantom Lancer can send his illusions to camps and waves to farm, as the illusions themselves has the chance to spawn another illusion.

With his Doppelganger ability, he can summon two illusions. One of those illusions is a tanky illusion that takes normal damage, which is a great bait tool when trying to run away. 

What makes Phantom Lancer great:

  • Can make the highest number of illusions in Dota 2
  • His Doppelganger ability makes him almost uncatchable
  • His illusions can make illusions themselves
  • Great stat gains per level

Phantom Lancer details:  https://www.dota2.com/hero/phantomlancer


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