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Nyx Assassin
Nyx Assassin icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
17 + 2.5
18 + 2.5
21 + 2.1
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 540 1240 1980 2260
+2 +3.7 +7.2 +10.9 +12.35
Mana 75 327 675 1071 1215
+0 +1.05 +2.52 +4.17 +4.8
Armor 1 4 9.83 16 18.42
Damage Block 16 (50%)
Magic Resistance 25%
Status Resistance 0%
Damage 27‒31 45‒49 80‒84 117‒121 131‒135
Attack Rate 0.59/s 0.69/s 0.9/s 1.12/s 1.2/s
Attack Range Melee 150 (600)
Attack Speed ▶️ 100 (1.7s BAT)
Attack Animation 0.46+0.54
Projectile Speed Instant
Movement Speed ▶️ 310
Turn Rate Takes 0.175s to turn 180°. 0.6
Collision Size 24
Vision Range (G) 1800 • 800
Legs 6
Gib Type Goo
Ability Upgrades
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.

Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
This page is about the hero. For the goddess in Dota 2 lore, see Nyx.
Reflects enemy damage and stuns.
Within the colony of zealot scarabs, the queen goddess Nyx selected a single grub to answer her highest calling. And so, through designed metamorphosis, the Nyx Assassin came into being. The telepathic scarab Devours and Burns his prey's minds, while sending out rows of subterranean spikes to Impale them from below. Armored with a Reflecting Carapace, he stuns attackers and reverses any counterattack. But the goddess' servant is deadliest when unseen. A distracted target has no chance to react as the Nyx Assassin pierces its body with massive mandibles, thereby fulfilling an unspoken Vendetta in the name of his queen.
Mana Burn
Spiked Carapace
Roles: Disabler Disabler Nuker Nuker Initiator Initiator Escape Escape
Complexity: ★★☆


Nyx Assassin minimap icon.pngNyx Assassin
▶️ "The blessing of Nyx gives me all the purpose I require."
Deep in the Archive of Ultimyr, shelved between scholarly treatises on dragon cladistics and books of untranslatable spells, there is an ancient tome of entomological curiosities. Compiled by scholars, the book describes the telepathic talents of the zealot scarab, a strange species of social insect with abilities unique to all the seven planes.

Unlike most grubs of his colony, Nyx Assassin did not arise from metamorphosis with the plodding thoughts and blunted appendages common to the worker caste of his kind. For his was a special transformation, guided by the grace of Nyx. He was the chosen one, selected from the many and anointed with an extract of the queen goddess herself. Not all survive the dark blessing of the queen's chamber, but he emerged with a penetrating mind, and dagger-like claws–his razor sharp mandibles raking the air while his thoughts projected directly into the minds of those around him. Of all zealot scarabs, he alone was selected for the highest calling. After his metamorphosis, he was reborn, by grace of Nyx, with abilities which shaped him for one thing and one thing only: to kill in the name of his goddess.


Impale icon.png
Rock spikes burst from the earth along a straight path. Enemy units are hurled into the air, then are stunned and take damage when they fall.
Cast Animation: 0.3+0
Cast Range: 700 (With Aghanim's Scepter 1225)
Spikes Travel Distance: 700 (With Aghanim's Scepter 1225)
Spikes Radius: 140
Damage: 100/160/220/280 (Talent 230/290/350/410)
Stun Duration: 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 (Talent 1.65/2.05/2.45/2.85)
Cooldown: 17/16/15/14 (With Aghanim's Scepter 10/9/8/7)
Mana: 100/110/120/130
Does not pierce spell immunity.
Attempts to damage if already hit enemies turn spell immune before landing.
Modifiers [?]
All zealot scarabs possess intimate knowledge of underground pathways, using them to their advantage.


  • The spikes travel at a speed of 1600.
  • With the travel distance and radius, Impale can hit units up to 840 range away.
  • Hit units are knocked up 350 range for the initial 0.5 seconds of the stun.
  • While in the air, other units may pass below hit airborne units.
  • When Impale hits invisible units, the visual effects below the hit unit are still visible.
  • The damage is applied upon landing, not upon getting hit.
  • While Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Burrowed, Impale's cast range and the spikes travel distance increase to 1225.
    • Therefore, Impale now can hit units up to 1365 range away.
    • The cooldown is also reduced to 10/9/8/7 seconds.

Mana Burn
Mana Burn icon.png
Destroys the target hero's mana equal to a multiplier of its Intelligence, and deals damage equal to the mana burned.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0
Cast Range: 600 (With Aghanim's Scepter 1050)
Intelligence as Mana Burned: 230%/320%/410%/500% (Talent 280%/370%/460%/550%)
Mana Burned as Damage: 100%
Talent Radius: 300
Cooldown: 20/15/10/5
Mana: 70/80/90/100
Blocked by Linken's Sphere.
Blocked upon cast.
Not blocked when turned into an area-targeted ability.
The tome in Ultimyr describes one scarab with the ability to eat away at the minds of lesser beings.


  • Mana Burn applies the damage first, then the mana loss.
  • Effectively burns 19%/27%/34%/42% of the target's maximum mana pool if it has no flat mana bonus.
  • Despite dealing the damage first, the damage is based on how much mana the target actually lost from Mana Burn.
    • This means, when cast on an enemy who has 5 mana left, it also deals only 5 damage (before reductions).
  • Can be cast on creep-heroes, but has no effect on them, since they have no Intelligence attribute symbol.png intelligence points, wasting mana and cooldown.
  • The area of effect Talent talent turns Mana Burn into a 300 radius area-targeted ability, so that it cannot directly target units anymore.
    • Mana Burn now hits every enemy units within the radius.
  • While Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Burrowed, Mana Burn's cast range increases to 1050.

Spiked Carapace
Spiked Carapace icon.png
No Target
When activated while above ground, Spiked Carapace reflects and negates damage dealt to Nyx Assassin (max once from each source), as well as stunning the source of the damage. Activating Spiked Carapace will not break Vendetta invisibility.
While Burrowed, Spiked Carapace instantly stuns nearby enemies when cast.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Damage Reflected: 100%
Carapace Duration: 2
Stun Duration: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4 (Talent 1.2/1.8/2.4/3)
With Aghanim's Scepter Stun Radius: 300
Cooldown: 25/20/15/10
Mana: 40
Modifiers [?]
While their carapaces are relatively thin, they're guarded by a retractable field of razor-sharp spikes.


  • Spiked Carapace interrupts Nyx Assassin's channeling abilities upon cast.
  • Can be cast during Vendetta, without breaking the invisibility. Breaks the invisibility of other sources.
  • The buff from multiple casts of Spiked Carapace does not stack but gets refreshed instead.
  • Only reflects player-based damage directly towards the damage dealer. A unit can only be affected once per buff.
    • Reflects incoming damage before all manipulations. However, damage manipulation on the enemy still affects the damage normally.
    • Reflects the same damage type as received.
    • Reflected physical damage is affected by damage block as well.
    • Reflected damage has the no-reflection flag, preventing its damage from interacting with other sources of damage with the same flag.
  • Fully ignores self-inflicted damage, and damage flagged as HP Removal.
  • Spiked Carapace first applies the debuff, then the reflected damage.
  • Has a higher priority than Aphotic Shield, but lower than False Promise. It will still reflect and stun when combined with False Promise.
  • Although the damage dealt to enemies is equal to the amount of damage blocked, the effects work independently from each other.
  • While Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Burrowed, casting Spiked Carapace immediately applies its stun to all enemies within 300 radius.
    • Since Spiked Carapace has no base damage, hit units are not damaged upon cast.
    • Nyx Assassin still receives the cast buff normally, which can still reflect damage and stun enemies.
    • However, the buff does not affect enemy units which have been hit by the stun upon cast. They can normally damage Nyx.

Burrow icon.png
No Target
Nyx Assassin buries himself beneath the battlefield over a short duration. Once burrowed, Spiked Carapace instantly stuns nearby enemies when cast, the range of Mana Burn and Impale is increased, and Impale's cooldown is decreased. While burrowed, Nyx Assassin is stationary, unable to attack, and invisible. Nyx gains damage reduction from all damage sources.
Cast Animation: 1.5+0.1
Fade Time: 0
Max Health/Mana Regen Bonus: 1%
Incoming Damage Reduction: 40%
Impale Cast/Travel Range Increase: 525
Impale Cooldown Reduction: 7
Mana Burn Cast Range Increase: 450
Spiked Carapace Stun Radius: 300
Cooldown: 0
Modifiers [?]
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Requires drafting Vendetta to be unlocked.
Some castes of Zealot scarab are known to create small burrows to lie in wait, ready to ambush their prey.


  • While burrowed, Impale and Mana Burn can be cast without having to face the targeted point or unit.
    • Other targeted abilities and items still require facing.
  • Applies generic incoming damage reduction on Nyx Assassin while burrowed. Stacks additively with other sources of generic incoming damage manipulation.
    • The reduction affects all damage Nyx Assassin takes that is not flagged as HP removal.
  • Can regenerate up to 60% of Nyx Assassin's max health and mana in one minute.
  • Burrow lasts until the Unburrow sub-ability or Vendetta is used, or until death.
  • Nyx Assassin can still be moved by abilities while burrowed, without getting unburrowed.
  • Losing Aghanim's Scepter instantly unburrows Nyx.

Unburrow icon.png
No Target
Emerge from the burrow.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Cooldown: 0
Sub-ability of Burrow.
Some castes of Zealot scarab are known to create small burrows to lie in wait, ready to ambush their prey.


  • Replaces Burrow until the sub-ability is used, Vendetta is used or Nyx's death.
  • Interrupts Nyx Assassin's channeling abilities upon cast.
  • Instantly reverts all bonuses provided by Burrow.
  • Uses a different sound when unburrowing inside the river.

Vendetta icon.png
No Target
Self / Enemies
Allows Nyx Assassin to become invisible and gain a speed bonus. If Nyx Assassin attacks to break the invisibility, massive bonus damage is dealt with the attack.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Fade Time: 0
Damage: 300/450/600
Self Move Speed Bonus: 16%/18%/20% (With Aghanim's Shard 41%/43%/45%)
Self Attack Animation Speed Bonus: 50%
Vendetta Duration: 40/50/60
With Aghanim's Shard Enemy Incoming Spell Damage Amplification: 17%
With Aghanim's Shard Debuff Duration: 4
Cooldown: 90/75/60
Mana: 180/240/300
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Aghanim's Scepter Upgrade:
Grants the Burrow ability.
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Aghanim's Shard Upgrade:
Causes Nyx's Vendetta attack attack to amplify spell damage received by 17% for 4 seconds. Also increases Vendetta movement speed by 25%.
Modifiers [?]
The scarab kills for the glory of his queen.


  • Vendetta does not interrupt Nyx Assassin's channeling abilities upon cast.
  • The attack out of Vendetta cannot miss.
  • The attack first applies the the debuff, the attack damage, then the Vendetta damage.
  • The debuff and the damage are not applied when attacking wards or buildings.
  • The invisibility is broken upon reaching the cast point of abilities or items, or upon landing an attack.
    • Nyx can pick up, drop or attack items and runes without breaking the invisibility.
    • Nyx can use Spiked Carapace without breaking the invisibility.
  • Vendetta allows Nyx to phase through other units, including wards, but not through buildings.
  • The unobstructed pathing Talent talent does not upgrade the current instance of Vendetta.


Hero Talents
Vendetta Unobstructed Pathing25+300 AoE Mana Burn
+130 Impale Damage20+0.6s Spiked Carapace Stun Duration
+50% Mana Burn Intelligence Multiplier15+250 Health
+0.25s Impale Stun Duration10+8% Spell Amplification
  • The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.

Recent Changes[]

  • Impale
    • Increased spike radius from 125 to 140.
    • Reduced mana cost from 105/120/135/150 to 100/110/120/130.
  • Increased Impale cooldown from 14 on each level to 17/16/15/14.
  • Mana Burn
    • Rescaled cooldown from 28/20/12/4 to 20/15/10/5.
    • Reduced mana cost from 100 on each level to 70/80/90/100.
    • Reduced mana burned from 350%/400%/450%/500% to 230%/320%/410%/500% of the target's intelligence.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter upgrade:
    • [U] Reduced Burrow incoming damage reduction from 50% to 40%.
  • Aghanim's Shard icon.png Aghanim's Shard upgrade:
  • Talent Talents:
Level 15 left talent changed: +20 movement speed ➜ +0.5x Mana Burn intelligence as damage multiplier.
Level 25 right talent changed: +80 Agility attribute symbol.png agility ➜ 300 AoE Mana Burn.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango gives Nyx Assassin basic health sustain, allowing him to continue laning despite enemy harass.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his mana pool in-lane, crucial since most of his spells will consume almost half his base mana pool with a single cast. Having the mana to continue casting gives Nyx Assassin more chances to use his disables to score kills.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch gives some attributes that increase health, mana, and damage.
  • Enchanted Mango icon.png Enchanted Mango is a strong laning item, as it provides a small boost to HP regeneration, augmenting his innate base HP regen to greatly increase his survivability in the off-lane. It can also be consumed for instant mana replenishment to be able to cast one more disable or nuke to secure a kill.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward can be useful to purchase on Nyx Assassin, as he is a very heavy roamer who can place wards before or after ganks to spot out enemy movement to strike again.

Early game:

  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed allows Nyx Assassin to chase or flee enemies more easily, and is important for getting within range to cast Impale on a gank target.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is important to get early on Nyx Assassin, as he can easily get charges from successful ganks. It provides some cheap stats and armor, as well as mana regen for sustaining his mana pool. The charges can be used to restore any HP lost during a gank, or can be used to add more damage to a future gank to increase the odds of success.
  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick and Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand gives burst health and mana, useful for Nyx Assassin to cast spells continually.

Mid game:

  • Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots are crucial to obtain in order to allow Nyx Assassin to roam for ganks. It increases the size of Nyx Assassin's mana pool, allowing him to more easily cast his full combo of spells, and boosts his movement speed slightly to provide extra mobility. Most importantly, the active allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his own mana pool in order to ensure that he is able to continue roaming without needing to return to base as often.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter is a useful item should Nyx be focused by auto attacks, being usable in tandem with Spiked Carapace for additional survivability, as well as building into Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade.
  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger greatly increases Nyx Assassin's mobility, allowing him to jump on top of enemies and initiate without relying on Vendetta. In particular, being able to quickly re-position to cast Impale can allow Nyx Assassin to stun multiple enemy heroes at the start of a fight, and in a pinch Spiked Carapace can be used to prevent enemy initiating nukes from putting it on cooldown.
  • Meteor Hammer icon.png Meteor Hammer is useful on Nyx for two reasons: to speed up farming for other items, and to pair with Impale for extended stun duration and massive bonus damage dealt to your target of choice. The extra building damage also helps whenever your team needs to push.

Late game:

  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter unlocks Burrow, which can give Nyx Assassin a strong tactical advantage against certain enemies. It also improves his overall attributes, aiding in his survivability and buffing up his mana pool.

Situational items:

  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a strong casting item that boosts Nyx Assassin's ability to roam and gank. The increased intelligence and mana regen help to sustain his spell casting, ensuring that he doesn't have to return to base to replenish mana, and the increased movement speed gives him more mobility for hunting down enemies. The cyclone can be used to dispel debuffs from Nyx Assassin while providing temporary invulnerability, or can be cast on an enemy as a further disable.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is a handy utility item that grants Nyx Assassin many strong bonuses. It provides more intelligence for increasing the size of his mana pool, as well as health regeneration for sustaining his health pool. The active greatly improves Nyx Assassin's mobility, allowing him to re-position for casting his spells, or chasing and escaping more easily. In a pinch, it can also be used as a cheap way to break an enemy Linken's Sphere prior to landing other disables and nukes, and can even be used to re-position Nyx Assassin during Burrow.
  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens will increase Impale and Mana Burn's cast range, which is good to offset their terrible cast animation. It can be built by recycling the Energy Booster icon.png Energy Booster you got from Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots.
  • Dagon 1 icon.png Dagon greatly boosts Nyx Assassin's burst damage, giving him much more kill potential. The item boosts his intelligence, allowing him to more easily cast his spells, while the active can be added on top of Impale and Mana Burn to deal tremendous burst damage to a single target to secure a kill.
  • Ethereal Blade icon.png Ethereal Blade is a strong nuke booster that improves Nyx Assassin's ability to burst down enemies. As his primary attribute is agility, the bonus agility will increase the damage that Ether Blast deals, which will also greatly slow its target's movement speed while weakening their magic resistance, leaving them wide open for Impale, Mana Burn and Dagon.
  • Bottle (Full) icon.png Bottle is a very strong self-sustain item that allows Nyx Assassin to replenish his HP and mana, increasing his autonomy. As he constantly roams, Nyx is able to easily pick up runes to refill his Bottle, and utilize the runes during ganks as needed.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse gives Nyx Assassin an instant ranged hard disable, useful in many situations. Also, it gives him stats across the board, particularly improving his intelligence for more mana and providing powerful scaling mana regeneration to allow him to roam independently.
  • Lotus Orb icon.png Lotus Orb allows Nyx Assassin to further use the enemy's spells against them on top of Spiked Carapace. Echo Shell gives Nyx Assassin a tool to reflect enemy spells, and even though it doesn't block the damage done by these spells it can reflect debuffs and stuns rather than just the damage. It also provides armor, increasing Nyx Assassin's survivability, and HP and mana regen for self-sustain.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence provides Nyx Assassin with a soft disable that can greatly improve his ability to gank and kill enemies. By silencing an enemy during a gank, Nyx Assassin can prevent them from casting retaliatory disables to get away; as well, his high burst damage can take advantage of the burn damage at the end of the silence to increase the odds of getting a kill during a gank. The item also provides increased intelligence and mana regen, further improving Nyx Assassin's ability to roam independently.
  • Drum of Endurance icon.png Drum of Endurance is a useful stat booster that is easy to build. It gives Nyx Assassin all-around attributes, improving his HP, attack damage and mana. The active can be very useful, as it boosts Nyx Assassin's movement speed, allowing him to chase down enemies quickly.
  • Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere greatly improves Nyx Assassin's survivability, and allows him to engage and gank enemies through single-target disables. The Spellblock allows Nyx Assassin to ignore any targeted disables that enemies may try to hit him with, allowing him to continue pursuit and kill the enemy.






  • Nyx Assassin's original name was Anub'arak, and he was titled "Nerubian Assassin". Both were changed in the transition to Dota 2 due to copyright reasons.
    • Anub'arak is a character of Blizzard's franchise "Warcraft", who first appeared in the campaign of Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. He was the king of the Nerubians, a race of malevolent arachnids who were slain and raised as undead.
  • Nyx Assassin's fun name in DotA was Anoob'arak.