Filamentous eukaryotic pathogens including fungi and oomycetes are major threats of plant health. During the co-evolutionary arms race with the hosts, these pathogens have evolved a large repertoire of secreted virulence proteins, called effectors, to facilitate colonization and infection. Many effectors are believed to directly manipulate targeted processes inside the host cells; and a fundamental function of the effectors is to dampen immunity. Recent evidence suggests that the destructive oomycete pathogens in the genus Phytophthora encode RNA silencing suppressors. These effectors play an important virulence role during infection, likely through their inhibitory effect on host small RNA-mediated defense.