Spectre has essentially topped the win rate charts for weeks and weeks now, and for good reason. Her supreme power as a carry, matched with her consistency, flexibility, and tankiness in most stages of the game, is what made her a fan favorite in pub games.
That being said, she has been dominant for quite some time. Since she’s likely not going to stop anytime soon, it’s a great time to assess her current strengths and weaknesses. Is Spectre too dominant in today’s meta, or are there ways to actually counter her effectively?
Dispersion and Haunt
If there’s one skill that makes Spectre become the symbol of hard carry, it’s her Dispersion skill. A potential 22% damage reduction from all sources and reflect in towards every enemy in her range (excluding the Level 25 Talent of +5%) is a huge package for someone who is supposed to be a carry. Her tankiness comes from this single skill, allowing her to build full-on carry items while being a menace for teams to deal with.
The next culprit in Spectre’s success is her Haunt ultimate. By having the ability to instantly blink from across the map towards the fray, Spectre can splitpush and farm a sidelane, and cast her ultimate to join the teamfights once most skills have been thrown. This also allows for her to pick off individual players with her Desolate passive, which is a very likely scenario from the early to the mid game.
Stat Synergy with Illusions
As with most carries, Spectre is an Agility-based carry. Her passive abilities synergize well by building carry items, and when topped off by a Manta or any source of Illusion, Spectre becomes a triple threat to anyone she meets when she has her illusions.
Her illusions carry the Desolate passive, and when combined with a good Haunt, even a Spectre illusion can deal as much damage as the real Spectre would. If players still ran the Radiance build, the effect also carries on to the illusions as well. Her synergy with illusions as an Agility carry is one of if not the best in the game. Oftentimes, the period for when she starts picking off enemies with Haunt and illusions would be the midgame.
While Spectre hosts a 54% winrate, there are some easy-to-use heroes that can effectively counter her. Most carries that can opt into a Silver Edge will do wonders against Spectre, due to its Shadow Walk active and Echo Strike passive. The active item disables passive skills for 4 seconds, and paired with a passive that doubles your attack, it should be enough for heroes like Nyx Assassin to burst her down.
Doom comes into play as an effective offlane counter to Spectre as well. With Aghanim’s Scepter, his Infernal Blade gains the ability to Break its targets, disabling her passive. Unlike Nyx, Doom doesn’t need to have a team composition revolving around him. As long as the Doom player knows the perfect timing for the Infernal Blade, teams can beat Spectre in the later stages with good success.
Enemy has Strength in Numbers
Spectre picks off individual players relatively easy, but she starts getting trouble once the late game starts and teams are moving in squads. If there’s one surefire way to create a winning play against Spectre, the best time for that is in the late game. Nowadays, her late game isn’t as oppressive as before, allowing for teams to draft a plan to take the victory even after 40 minutes.
Because her Haunt specializes in hunting down separated players, the easy solution is to team up. In the midgame, it’s a terrible strategy if the enemy team is leading in gold and resources. But in the late game, if your team has the lead, Spectre has to settle for suboptimal setups in teamfights. It’s likely at that point in time that someone in your team has built a countermeasure like Silver Edge against her, and it should be easier to wipe the enemy team in a 5v4 scenario.
This is the reason why Spectre thrives not in competitive play but in the pub scene—she wins against uncoordinated teams that always scatter themselves even in the late game. As a classic Agility carry, a good shutdown on her will set her back to a point where her death meant a huge gold dump on the enemy team.
What are your thoughts on Spectre’s current place in the meta? Is she too strong or is she susceptible to good counter and team play?