Nyx Assassin

nyx assassin dota 2

This page is about the hero. For the goddess in Dota 2 lore, see Nyx.

Nyx Assassin, is a melee agility hero who is feared as one of the most effective gankers and solo-killers in the game. With his powerful burst damage nukes, Nyx Assassin specializes in disabling and killing lone and fragile enemies with little to no warning. He possesses an area nuke and stun ability in Impale, allowing him to disable enemies in a straight line in front of him while dealing damage. His Mana Burn ability can destroy a significant fraction of a target hero’s mana pool while dealing the same amount as damage, making him the bane of weak intelligence heroes with lots of mana but very little health. Should the enemy attempt to attack him, Nyx Assassin can dissuade them with Spiked Carapace, stunning any heroes that attack him while reflecting their damage back at them. His ultimate, Vendetta, turns Nyx invisible, allowing him to deal tremendous pure damage to the next target that he strikes out of invisibility. Stalking from the shadows, Nyx Assassin can strike without warning and lay low his foes before they realize that their death is upon them.



Nyx 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.


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 ( 1225)

Spikes Travel Distance: 700 ( 1225)

Spikes Radius: 125

Damage: 100/160/220/280 ( 230/290/350/410)

Stun Duration: 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 ( 1.65/2.05/2.45/2.85)

14 7)


Attempts to damage if already hit enemies turn spell immune before landing.


modifier_nyx_assassin_impale: Dispellable with strong dispels.

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 825 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.

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 ( 1050)

Intelligence as Mana Burned: 350%/400%/450%/500%

Mana Burned as Damage: 100%

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The tome in Ultimyr describes one scarab with the ability to eat away at the minds of lesser beings.


  • Applies the damage first, and then the mana loss.
  • Effectively burns 29%/33%/38%/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 points, wasting mana and cooldown.

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 ( 1.2/1.8/2.4/3)

 Stun Radius: 300




modifier_item_blade_mail: Undispellable. Persists death.

modifier_nyx_assassin_spiked_carapace: Dispellable with death only.

modifier_stunned: Dispellable with strong dispels.

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.
  • Reflected damage cannot be amplified with outgoing spell damage amplification and cannot spell lifesteal.
    • Can be amplified by incoming spell damage amplification.
  • Spiked Carapace has a global range and affects units through the Fog of War or invisibility.
  • Spiked Carapace first applies the debuff, then the reflected damage.
  • Spiked Carapace fully negates and reflects after all reductions, causing several on-damage effects to not trigger.
  • Although the damage dealt to enemies is equal to the amount of damage blocked, the effects work independently from each other.
    • This means Spiked Carapace always blocks one damage instance, even when the source is spell immune or invulnerable.
  • Does not work against wards, buildings and allied units.

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: 50%

Impale Cast/Travel Range Increase: 525

Impale Cooldown Reduction: 7

Mana Burn Cast Range Increase: 450

Spiked Carapace Stun Radius: 300



modifier_nyx_assassin_burrow: Dispellable with death only.

Ability Draft Notes:

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.


  • Requires Aghanim’s Scepter to be unlocked.
  • While burrowed, Nyx Assassin is invisible, disarmed, and rooted, so that he cannot attack, move, or use blink-based abilities.
  • 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.
  • Nyx Assassin can still be moved by abilities while burrowed, without getting unburrowed.
  • Losing Aghanim’s Scepter instantly unburrows Nyx.

Cast Animation: 0+0


Some castes of Zealot scarab are known to create small burrows to lie in wait, ready to ambush their prey.


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  • Interrupts Nyx Assassin’s channeling abilities upon cast.
  • Instantly reverts all bonuses provided by Burrow.
  • Uses a different sound when unburrowing inside the river.

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% ( 41%/43%/45%)

Self Attack Animation Speed Bonus: 50%

Vendetta Duration: 40/50/60

 Enemy Magic Resistance Reduction: 20%

 Magic Resistance Reduction Duration: 4



Grants a new ability: Burrow.

Causes Nyx’s Vendetta attack to reduce enemy magic resistance by 20% for 4 seconds. Also increases Vendetta movement speed by 25%.


modifier_nyx_assassin_vendetta: Dispellable with death only.

modifier_nyx_assassin_vendetta_armor_reduction: Dispellable with any dispel.

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 Vendetta damage, then the debuff, then the attack damage.
  • The bonus damage is dealt in a separate damage instance, and counts as spell damage.
    • This means it is not affected or considered by anything that works with attack damage.
    • This also means that it fully works with spell damage amplification and spell lifesteal.
  • The damage and the debuff 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.
  • Vendetta allows Nyx to phase through other units, including wards, but not through buildings.
  • The Unobstructed Pathing talent does not upgrade the current instance of Vendetta.
    • Fully grants unobstructed movement for its duration, allowing to path through cliffs and trees.
  • With Aghanim’s Shard, the debuff reduces most heroes’ total magic resistance to 10%.


Recent Changes[]

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

Early game:

Mid game:

  • 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 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 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 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 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 you got from Arcane Boots.
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.


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