Help Support Our Growing Community

DOTAFire is a community that lives to help every Dota 2 player take their game to the next level by having open access to all our tools and resources. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting us in your ad blocker!

Want to support DOTAFire with an ad-free experience? You can support us ad-free for less than $1 a month!

Go Ad-Free
Smitefire logo

Join the leading DOTA 2 community.
Create and share Hero Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


6 Votes

Lich, gonna have your mana! **UPDATED**

July 6, 2013 by hydriss
Comments: 11    |    Views: 59379    |   

Build 1
Build 2
Build 3

Heavy Harass Support

DotA2 Hero: Lich

Hero Skills

Frost Blast

2 4 7 8

Frost Shield

9 12 13 14

Sinister Gaze

1 3 5 10

Chain Frost

6 11 16


15 17 18

Feel Death's Cold Embrace - Lore

In life, the frost-mage Ethreain (not yet a Lich) had used the threat of destructive ice to enslave entire kingdoms. His subjects, aided by a few desperate magicians, eventually grew bold enough to ambush him. Armed with enough charmed rope to bind him forever, they tied the frost mage to adamant weights and dropped him in a pool known chiefly for being bottomless. It wasn't. He only fell for a year or so before an outcrop snagged him. There he rested, dead but undecaying, until the geomancer Anhil thought to verify the legend of the supposedly bottomless Black Pool. Anhil's plumbline snarled with the ropes that bound the drowned magician, and up he hauled an unexpected prize. Thinking that by rendering the dead undead, he could question the Lich about the properties of the pool, he removed the bindings and commenced a simple rite of resurrection. Even the descendants of Ethreain's enemies were long forgotten by time, so there were none to warn Anhil against imprudence. But he learned the error of his judgment almost immediately, as Lich threw off the shackles and consumed him.


FREEZE! Or the Ancient Gets it! - Introduction

Ethreain the Lich is a hero that might be considered as "noob-friendly" due to him having fairly simple skills and mechanics as well as a good starting move speed and of course the fact that he is a ranged hero. Intelligence is Lich's main stat which probably isn't much of a surprise considering his name and ability's.

Lich is considered a Support, Lane Support and Nuker which means that you'll probably end up buying team based items instead of focusing on yourself.

If you're looking for a character to solo an entire team Lich IS NOT the hero for you but if you're looking for a fun Support/Nuker with an amazing ultimate then look no further.

Does It Tingle? - Pros/Cons


Great Support/Nuker.
Great starting move speed.
Overpowered Ulti.
Very good early/mid game.
Easy deny's.
Easy to Play.
Fun to Play.
Says some pretty funny stuff.


Low starting HP.
Can be squishy.
Has no direct heal unlike Dazzle/ Omniknight etc..
Low starting armor.
Linken's Sphere & Black King Bar blocks his 2 damage dealing spells.

Beneath my warm exterior…permafrost! - When not/to pick Lich.


Your team needs a support.
Your team needs additional AOE nukes (your team includes Tidehunter, Magnus, Enigma etc..).
You want to heavily harass early game.
You want to play a character with no mana issues.


Your team already has supports ( Omniknight, Dazzle etc.).
Your team consists of several low hp hero's (No tank).
The opposing team has too much silence.

If you can think of more reasons to or not to play Lich let me know :)

This Ice Aint Nice - Skills

Lich has a great array of Skills available for all stages of the game and is an awesome team-fighter. His skills are as follows:

Frost Blast

Blasts the target enemy unit with damaging frost, dealing area damage and slowing movement and attack rates for 4 seconds. The primary target takes the most damage.
Range: 600
Radius: 200
Slow Duration: 4
Initial Target Damage: 50/100/150/200
Area Damage: 75/100/125/150
Movement Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20%

Cooldown: 8 | 125/150/170/190
Linken's Sphere blocks on only the main target.
Blocked by Black King Bar.

Usage: This is your Nuke spam, it has a very short cooldown and a nice AOE slow for both attack and movement speed. The only downside is that it is expensive early on but this will not be an issue due to your Sacrifice. Once you have Sacrifice up you should be spamming this on your opposing laners targeting "squishies" first.

Ice Armor

Ice Armor

Creates a shield around the target friendly unit, which adds armor and slows attacking melee units. Lasts 40 seconds.
Range: 800
Duration: 40
Armor Bonus: 3/5/7/9
Movement Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20%

Cooldown: 5 | 50
Diffusal Blade purges the shield.

Usage: A true support spell, grants a 40 second sheild on a targeted friendly unit that adds armor as well as slowing any melee attackers. In-game you should right-click on the skill icon which should create a fire ring around the icon, this now means that it will be auto-cast when any nearby hero is attacked, allowing you to concentrate on other things.


Sacrifices a friendly creep and converts its current HP into mana for Lich.
Range: 400
Current Health Converted: 15%/30%/45%/60%

Cooldown: 35/30/25/20 | 25

Usage: Provides you with a massive Mana boost by sacrificing your own creep. This skill is what allows you to spam your skills, use it as much as possible to retain high mana levels and also deny the enemy gold/xp. NOTE: This can be used on ANY allied creep bar the catapult, unlike Lion's Mana Drain this skill can be used successfully on melee creeps and it will actually gain you more mana due to their higher HP.
Note: This is always skilled first as you should deny a creep at 0:00 to push the opponents lane closer to your tower.

Chain Frost

Releases an orb of frost that bounces up to 7 times, slowing and damaging enemy units. The first target is mini-stunned.
Range: 750 (850*)
Bounce Distance: 575
Damage: 280/370/460 (370/460/550*)
Movement Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 20%
Slow Duration: 4

Cooldown: 145/115/60 | 200/325/500
Black King Bar prevents damage BUT will still mini-stun and bounce.
Linken's Sphere Only blocks if holder is primary target. Will still bounce regardless.

* Aghanim's Scepter increases damage and casting range.

Usage: This is where it gets very interesting for Lich, your Ultimate ability has the potential to completely rip a team apart and sway team-fights in your favour with great ease. Note that this Ulitmate works the same way as Witch Doctor's Paralyzing Cask so make sure that this will be cast with AT LEAST 2 opposing players reasonably close to each other. Never use this on 1 player unless it's a 1v1 and it prevents your death.

Cold Hard Coin - Items

As mentioned in the Introduction Lich is a Support/Nuker meaning that you'll be highly focusing on items that the team needs and less on what you need. This item section should give you an idea on what to buy and why.

Special Mention - Wards

As a dedicated support YOU MUST keep these up at all times. If you're playing with other supports then you could also ask for their help in buying wards.
NOTE: If you're on the losing end of things then wards are still very much vital and could potentially swing the game, to prevent getting ganked whilst warding ask your Bounty Hunter/ Riki/ Clinkz or anyone else with invisibility to place them should you have an invisible hero on your team.

Starting Items

+ + + + +

This is a good standard start for Lich as it provides your team with an Animal Courier and Observer Wards at the start of the game which is pretty essential. Tango's are self explanatory and the Iron Branch's will be built later into your Mekansm.

+ + + +

This order should be taken if the Animal Courier has already been purchased, the Ring of Protection will be built into your Tranquil Boots later.

Mid Game Core

+ + +

Your priority here should be the Tranquil Boots and if you went with the 'No Courier' item start you won't need to leave the lane to pick them up as the Boots of Speed and Ring of Regen can be purchased from the side shop. The reasoning for Tranquil Boots is that you already have a great source of mana through sacrifice meaning that you'll be able to stay in the lane longer and nuke people more often.

Start turning those Iron Branch's into Buckler and Headdress and of course save up 900G for the Mekansm recipe.

Alternately you can pickup a fast Magic Wand here if laning against spam-happy heroes like Batrider, Bristleback or Shadow Demon. NOTE: If this is the case then you should try to buy a Magic Stick from the side shop for the meanwhile.

Be sure to upgrade to the Flying Courieras early as you can as it's much more convenient as well as keeping up a constant supply of Observer Wards.

Aghanim's Scepter is an excellent late-game core item for you because it upgrades your ultimate as well as offering a great stats boost, however it is a pricey item and should also be classed as Late game and situational - don't rush this if your team needs Observer Ward/ Sentry Wards and Crowd Control ( Eul's Scepter of Divinity, Gem of True Sight etc.) more.

Veil of Discord is a great item for Lich especially if the team has other heavy magic nukers ( Queen of Pain, Jakiro, Lina etc.).

A great item for Lich, some people choose to build an early Bracer to get more HP and then build it into drums, it's a great support item and should be considered in every game.

Orchid Malevolence is a very situational item for Lich purely because other hero's like Bounty Hunter or Clinkz get it instead due to it giving a great amount of attack speed and it's built-in silence. However if your team badly needs to silence an annoying hero then you might want to consider this.

This along with Urn of Shadows are great support items but should be picked up only if you're team needs it, usually hero's like Night Stalker will take the Urn of Shadows and picking up a Pipe of Insight vs a team with little magic damage is not of much use. Prioritise Mekansm over this. NOTE: If you have a Pudge, Centaur Warrunner amongst others in your team they will most likely pick up Hood of Defiance and later build it into the Pipe, check with them before your team ends up with 2.

Getting Silenced/Sliced Up?

Does what it says on the tin - Magic immunity, if you're being silenced/stunned before getting your ulti off then consider this. ADDED NOTE: Lich is actually a very good holder of the BKB, if you're playing vs an organised team you're most likely going to be silenced or focused early to prevent your Chain Frost from ripping them apart - if you find this is the case you might need to stop building any other items and focus on this.

Similar to BKB, probably the best item choice if facing doom bringer but is expensive and you might not be the main target of stuns etc. - Situational.

Playing versus Riki? Phantom Assassin? Troll Warlord? - GET THIS.

Same as above really, prevents physical damage for a short period.

Late Game/Final Items

Better version of Eul's Scepter of Divinity, get this if you've got the cash to burn or if you need that disable.

Great escape/chase tool, also provides INT+HP!

HUGE AoE nuke/slow synergizes well with your skills but is expensive and should be avoided if you need to focus on supporting.

Double ulti = double pain. If you've decided to play the Nuker build then this will be your main Late Game.

You should replace your Tranquil Boots with these after all of your items are complete or if you want to do more pushing due to their teleportation active and huge move speed.

Optional Late Game

Whilst still viable and nearly essential to most casters, Lich doesn't really need it because of sacrifice but it does offer more HP, Mana and a variety of bonuses which are also useful - up to you.

Very luxury. Might tie in well with the Nuking build, but generally you don't have the attack speed to make it too beneficial.
Orb of Venom can actually be a very annoying early game item on Lich when coupled with Frost Blast and for 275G is not a bad pickup - you choose.

Minions!!! They provide extra damage and some pretty nice skills along with a walking bomb in the warrior form - Nuker path would benefit more.

Other Ideas

No need for Arcane but you could get them to support your team/burst of mana for nuking.
Phase Boots give active move speed boost so you can catch/escape that [insert-hero here].
Boots of Travel as mentioned earlier.

Escape tool mainly, Force Staff is better for you though.

Nuker build should take this. More damage = more kills right?

More slows? Really? Your opponents will hate this but it could be a bit overkill.

A Little Frost Among Friends/Foes


Dark Seer - Vacuum+ Chain Frost=team wipe.
Slardar - His Slithereen Crush synergizes really well with Frost Blast.
Tidehunter - Ravage and Chain Frost is a nasty, nasty combo.
Warlock - Excellent laning combo and provide devastating ulti's.
Magnus - Chain Frost and Reverse Polarity is great fun for you, not so much the enemy.
Naga Siren - Song of the Siren, Rip Tide and Ensnare work really well with Frost Blast and Chain Frost.
Bristleback - Using Frost Blast can help secure first blood combined with his vicious nasal goo and Quill Spray.
Silencer - Laning nightmare.
Faceless Void - His Chronosphere ultimate combined with your Chain Frost is very deadly.
Venomancer - Venomous Gale and Frost Blast make for a virtually guaranteed first blood.


Riki - Has silence and big damage. Need I say more?
Huskar - Face melts you, additionally his buff now makes him virtually immortal vs magic users.
Omniknight - Can ruin your spells if he's good.
Bounty Hunter - Gondar, gonna take yo' money!
Pudge - Your spells barely tickle him if he's got some points in Flesh Heap.
Silencer - Silence is bad.
Nyx Assassin - If he's got to a good start he'll end up destroying you so fast.

Back to the Black Pool - Summary

Overall Lich is a great hero to pick for new players wanting to test out Support/Nuker roles and get a good feel for face melting (or freezing) team-fighting. Just remember that in pub games you're most likely to the only support on the team consisting of Riki, Clinkz, Bounty Hunter and Timbersaw so make sure you're buying those Observer Wards throughout and it'll earn you the respect of your rage-enduing team-mates and maybe even a commend.

Make sure you get a nice group of opponents (2 or more) before using Chain Frost to maximise its potential and get you some epic kill-steals.

Hope you have enjoyed my first guide, I hope to write more in future and look forward to some comments (constructive & suggestions).

Remember in the words of Lich "Fortune favors the cold."

Hydriss (Rob).


12/03/2013 - Added a "When not/to play Lich section.

18/03/2013 - Removed Aghanim's Scepter from the Mid-Game core items.

20/03/2013 - Changed all 3 skill order's sacrifice now is taken at lvl 1. Added Faceless Void to friends!

02/04/2013 - Changed the buy order to work up to Mekansm

09/04/2013 - Changed the Items section slightly - added Drum of Endurance.

27/05/2013 - Added a note to Sacrifice.

06/07/2013 - Various small changes, added a few notes.

Quick Comment (12) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

Similar Guides
Featured Heroes

Quick Comment (12) View Comments

You need to log in before commenting.

DOTAFire is the place to find the perfect build guide to take your game to the next level. Learn how to play a new hero, or fine tune your favorite DotA hero’s build and strategy.

Copyright © 2019 DOTAFire | All Rights Reserved