You're going to need tons of Strength early on, because Lion is easy prey for a first blood. If another player already bought the Animal Courier, you should opt for more healing power, or conserve your gold if you find that to be a better idea. This is a solo mid build, so only go for this if your team has no mid players who need the farm, such as harder gankers than Lion (such as Nyx Assassin or Puck) or heavily farm-dependent carries (such as Shadow Fiend or Tinker). Level Earth Spike first, as always, and continue to max it. To help with your early-game mana problems, take a level or two in Mana Drain, but you should take Hex over it for the ganking power.
Obviously, your first item after your starting build should be Boots of Speed, which will eventually turn into Arcane Boots. Turning your Gauntlets into Bracers is a good idea for survivability, but if all you need is some quick healing power a Bottle will do the trick as well. The Soul Ring will be good for keeping your Mana up, and is a time-saving alternative to Mana Drain. If you are laning against a hero who can deplete your mana quickly and damage you heavily at the same time (i.e. Nyx Assassin), leveling Mana Drain could be a better idea than sacrificing your Health with Soul Ring. Arcane Boots are nice, too, but you'll be replacing them later. Only get the Oblivion Staff if you can afford it.
Here's where things get a bit dicey with this build. You'll need a good deal of gold to fulfill your core build, so you're either going to have to fill it out slowly or score some assists alongside your carry. By this point, Lion's power will have typically been overshadowed by almost every other hero in the game, so getting a kill on your own will be incredibly risky and difficult. If the enemy creep waves are getting near your base, use Earth Spike to push them back and, hopefully, gain a bit of gold in the process. You can also tallywhack along the map with a carry or another ganker to gain hero gold. Your main priority will definitely be getting Aghanim's Scepter. Next, you should disassemble your Arcane Boots to build a Bloodstone and some Power Treads. The Orchid Malevolence is really only useful for its damage increase and the bonus Intelligence it supplies, and you can pretty much opt to not buy it at all.
In addition, remember your burst damage is no longer as effective as it was once your carries really take off. Finger of Death is a very questionable skill once you transition from ganker to agressive support, but you can use it to kill fleeing enemies since it has an awe-inspiring range. It can also be used to cripple enemies quickly so your carry can take them down, but if you choose to do this, be aware that some heroes will quickly turn it back on you (i.e. Huskar).
If you are consistently failing to gank, you can build some support items to avoid becoming a complete waste of a Lion, or you can get a Blink Dagger or Force Staff to amplify your ganking power. Refresher Orb is great early on, but once the Finger of Death hits level 3 it should be disregarded. Linken's Sphere is really not an orthodox choice, but if you're being targeted by huge burst damage heroes (e.g. Lina), you can use it to keep from feeding them gold and experience. Dagon will increase your own burst damage, and using it in combination with your Finger of Death will do a maximum of 1825 damage, enough to instantly kill nearly any rival caster. Scythe of Vyse is good for the extra disable. Wards are nice, and so are Couriers.
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