Lich's Frozen Wasteland (6.79 updated)
January 22, 2014
Please note this guide is far from finished! I've published it because I'd like feedback from some mates. Feedback from others is always welcome!
Thank you for taking the time to read my guide! While writing this guide, I'm not even a lvl 10 player on DotA2. With a little over 100 online matches, I'm still a noob, but I'm starting to get a grasp of the game, and I'd like to share my noob knowledge with you boys and girls.
(This means this guide is mostly for solo public games, I haven't had the chance to play in team games)
Like most other noobs I started out with a Ranged Support. In my case; Lich. Pretty easy hero, despite of having 4 active skills. I like to read guides and try against Bots to increase my skill before I play in live games. That's why have I have over 200 hours of DotA gameplay, but only about 100 online games.
Pretty much all you'll read here has been written elsewhere, but I've bundled all the useful information I could find, and tried to make a good guide out of it. The stuff I found, but haven't been able to verify in-game has been underlined. If you read something which is wrong; Don't hate, please comment and I will adjust accordingly.
-Dukermons for his awesome Lich guide which made me want to play Lich again and again.
-Dr.D for his BBCode guide.
01-22-2014 - Published initial document. Far from finished, but enough food for thought. Published mainly for feedback purposes.
The most important thing I have learned when playing online games, is also the most cliche one; communicate!
DotA is a team game, and without communication, even the best teams will lose. So even if you don't know who's playing the other heroes, talk to them. A simple `Gank Tiny in 10s, I stun` will let others know what you're about to do, so they can join in.
Nothing is more annoying than initiating an attack with no follow-up resulting in a kill for the other team.
That's why playing with one or more friends whilst also on Skype or TeamSpeak, has a huge advantage.
Skills (usage and sequence)
- Frost Blast (Q), Nuke + Slow.
Awesome for harassing in-lane, 125 damage on lvl1 is quite a lot. Also good for setting up a gank because of the slow. Normally, this skill is leveled second, but maxed first.
-Ice Armor (W), Armor Buff.
This is Lich's least useful skill in my opinion, but handy nevertheless. This skill is normally leveled last. However, because of the long duration (40 sec) it's great for buffing your teams armor when setting up for a team fight. Always use this on the Hero who's taking Roshan's beating, so the mighty beasts AS is lowered, causing less damage over time.
hen you stop having mana problems mid-game you can set this on auto-attack. (right click on skill) This way you keep the armor up of all team mates in range without having to think about it.
-Sacrifice (E), Mana regeneration.
Lich is very mana dependent early to mid-game. This skill keeps your mana pool nice and full. Being able to deny a creep without having to wait until the last moment can be useful. This skill is normally upgraded first because it can be used to greatly influence the laning phase. I'll explain later in this guide.
- Chain Frost (R), Ultimate; Damage + Slow Bounce.
This is the one skill why everybody fears Lich. Upgrade this every time you can (lvl 6, 11 and 16) Sure he's just a squishy support who hasn't made a single kill all game, but watch your enemies flee when you cast this bad-boy in a team fight. I can't tell you how many times I've turned the team fight, or even the game, with a well placed Chain Frost. With emphasis on 'well placed'. You do have to know when to cast it. Here are some do's and don'ts:
-Never cast it when there are no other enemies around. This is only acceptable when you're alone and some Riki just popped up and you're melting like crazy. Then give him EVERYTHING.
-Never cast it when there are a lot of non-hero enemy units around. Like creeps, neutrals, illusions or minions (like Broodmothers Spawn Spiderlings or Nature's Prophets Treants. It's a waste of your ultimate if the orb randomly bounces to non-heroes.
-Please just wait for the perfect moment. Cast it when there are only Heroes around, and AT LEAST two enemy Heroes, preferably close together.
With the exception of leveling Chain Frost whenever you can, you can alter the leveling according to the situation you're in. Some examples:
- You and your lane partner are suffering from heavy harassment, forcing you to stay back. You can't seem to scare them away with your Frost Blast
- Before the game begins, you've been using team chat with your teammates and you've all come to the conclusion you want to gank the other teams level-dependent Carry. To help ensure that kill, you'll want to level your Frost Blast first for the nuke+slow.
Items (Hard Support)
The Hard Support build is based on you being the only hero who's able to support. So you'll be responsible for both the Animal Courier
and Observer Ward
s. Being as squishy as Lich
a couple of Tango
's is very much recommended. To increase overall stats, increasing your damage and denying abilities, get an Iron Branch
Mana regen items (like Clarity
) will not be necessary, your Sacrifice will regen your mana for you.
Next Buys (in order)
Cost: 670 gold
Your first priority is making the Animal Courier
fly. So buy Flying Courier
right when the 3 minute mark has passed. When playing Hard Support, you will not be getting a lot of income. So buying your Boots of Speed
will take some time.
Choose your Boots
Upgrade Cost: 900 gold
Upgrade Cost: 950 gold
Upgrade Cost: 525 gold
There is always a lot of discussion about which boots are best on which hero. I normally go for the Tranquil Boots
because they're cheap and the HP regen is pretty good. The 6.79 update has adjusted the Tranquil Boots
(positively in my opinion) but the boots cannot be disassembled anymore, which is a shame when you're planning to upgrade to better boots later in game.
If you need and escape, because the enemy heroes gank you a lot, go for the Phase Boots
. These are more expensive, but they give +24 damage which will help your last hits/denies. The Active will increase your MS by 16% for 4 second.
If your not receiving a lot of damage, you could go for the Power Treads
. You'll need to buy Gloves of Haste
and either a Belt of Strength
, Robe of the Magi
or Band of Elvenskin
. Because of the slow income you'll have to wait quite some time between items. I normally start with a Robe of the Magi
for the +6 Intelligence, which is an item more suitable for Lich
. After that, I get the Gloves of Haste
to complete the boots.
Choose for your Team
Total Cost: 2306 gold
Total Cost: 1725 gold
Always communicate with your team which item you'll get. If someone else is already making one of these, you go for the other. Of no-one is making them, go for Mekansm
. The stats are lower, and it loses value later in the game, but the active makes up for it. It will instantly restore 250 HP to everyone around you can greatly improve the outcome of a team fight. Also, you can keep using Mekansm
to no limit. Drum of Endurance
has way better stats, but only comes with 4 charges for the active. When those charges are used up, you have to buy the recipe again to get another 4 charges, setting you back another 800 gold.
Choose wisely, even if you have enough gold; never get both. You'll probably get one good team fight until the enemy team notices you have two items which greatly benefit the whole team, they'll target you first the rest of the game.
Always have these with you
Cost: 135 gold
Cost: 150 gold (contains 2)
As the title suggest, always have at least one of each with you at all times. Town Portal Scroll
should be in the inventory of all Heroes, except those with Boots of Speed
or those who have an equal skill (like Nature's Prophet
). In the role of Hard Support, you are responsible for warding. I mostly ward specific spots around the runes and in lane to create extra visibility. There are lots of warding spots. team-dignitas has an awesomely specific warding guide
. Check it out if you want to improve your warding.
Cost: 180 gold (contains 2)
Cost: 200 gold (contains 2)
When dealing with invisible heroes, always come prepared. There are some Heroes who have invisibility as an ability, like Riki
, Bounty Hunter
, Sand King
. Some Item can grand anyone invisibility, like Shadow Amulet
which is upgradable to Shadow Blade
s work like Observer Ward
s but there is an important difference. Observer Ward
s grant visibility in an 1600 AoE. Sentry Ward
s grant no visibility on their own, but turns the visibility in an 800 AoE into True Visibility. True Visibility shows invisible heroes and Observer Wards.
When activating a Dust of Appearance
all invisible units in a 1050 AoE will become visible and will be slowed 15% for 12 seconds. Even if they move out of the original 1050 AoE.
Total Cost: 2250 gold
Total Cost: 3628 gold
Total Cost: 5675 gold
Total Cost: 4700 gold
Total Cost: 2650 gold
Total Cost: 2050 gold
Total Cost: 2800 gold
Total Cost: 4200 gold
You're about 30 minutes into the game, and everything is working out for you and your team. You've managed to destroy a couple of their towers, and even their Barracks. You've completed your Mekansm
10 minutes ago, and all you've bought since then is wards. So you have a little extra cash. Everything from this point out is situational. By now you've met all enemy heroes, and you know what their strengths are. Use that knowledge to your benefit. If you notice your team has poor escape ability, get the Force Staff
. The extra intelligence and HP regen don't hurt, but the active makes the item very useful. Pushing a target (frendly, enemy or self) 600 units in the direction it's facing can be powerful. You can push the initiator of your team into a fight, or get that fleeing team mate out of the fight. You could move their hero out of the fight if he's doing too much damage. Or you can use this as your own escape item. It'll even push over impassable terrain like cliffs. I strongly recommend you get this when possible, and learn to use it.
The Pipe of Insight
is a very good choice if you and your team get a lot of magical damage thrown at them. It passively gives you magic protection, but it's active can help the whole team.
Scythe of Vise gives you an awesome disable. 3.5 seconds of disabling a single hero can make all the difference in the world. Aside from the disable, the stats are amazing. Hence the price.
has some pretty good stats as well, and its slowing passive and active is in great sync with Lich
's other abilities.
I have personally never bought Veil of Discord
. The stats are acceptable, but the active makes the item. If your team has a lot of magical damage, this item will definitely be a good pick-up. Making the whole team do more damage in a team fight with the push of a button.
is another item I've never had on Lich
, but once again, if your team doesn't already have one of these, but needs it, go for it. A little lifesteal for everybody can keep the fight going when you'd normally fall back.
Eul's Scepter of Divinity
is one of my personal favorites. The mana regen and intelligence do wonders for Lich
, and the movement speed stacks with your boots, so you'll be a lot faster. And the active can be applicable in many situations. Disable an enemy chaser, or disable the chased enemy hero so your team can get to him. Save that one team mate who's about to die, just in time for the others to get there. Disrupt someone who's trying to use a Town Portal Scroll
to get away. All examples for good use of Eul's.
And finally Aghanim's Scepter
. I've deliberately put this one last, because there's always a discussion weather or not someone should buy one. On the one hand, the stats and extra mana/hp are great, but there are other items which can provide the same advantages, but costs less, or have a better side effect. On the other hand, it can greatly improve the output of your ult; Chain Frost
. I've only bought Aghanim's Scepter
when I have enough money and the enemy team learns nothing from my Chain Frost
s and keeps sticking together and taking the damage. This is pretty rare though.
Before the action begins, you should always try to use team chat to determine which role you're going to play. Will you be a Hard Support or Semi Support? Are there other heroes who can take up a supporting role? If your other team mates are all Carry and Semi Carry, you have no choice, but if someone picks a Semi Support, like Warlock you can spread the responsibilities like Warding and the Courier.
Whatever role you choose, there is one thing you always have to do if you have Sacrifice leveled first. Stand just beyond the Barracks of the lane your carry is in, and Sacrifice the first Ranged Creep. The Ranged creep does more damage in lane, while the Melee creep has more HP, which in turn generates more mana for you. Sacrificing Ranged creeps will give your team an advantage in that lane.
As a Hard Support, you're probably in lane with a Carry or Semi Carry. Preferably the Safe lane (The longest lane; top for Dire, bot for Radiant). You'll want to place both first wards by the rune spots. As mentioned above, team-dignitas has an awesomely specific warding guide
. Check it out if you want to improve your warding.
Start with the rune farthest away from the lane you're in. You'll want to place it a bit before the game actually starts, or after the game starts if you know what you're doing. Wards will only give vision for 7 minutes so every second counts. Then place a Ward near the Rune close to your own lane. By then, your lane partner will be busy last-hitting enemy creeps. Join him but focus on denying your own creeps. You can do this by pressing the attack button (default [A]) and clicking on your own creep. Denying creeps gives the enemy heroes less experience and no gold, so practice this a lot!
If the creepline (point where the creeps meet and start to fight) is moving towards the enemy tower, you'll want to move it closer to your tower. There are two ways of doing this. You can body-block the creeps coming from your barracks. This will delay them, causing the enemy creeps to get to the creepline earlier and start pushing it towards your tower. Body-blocking does require some skill, so practice! An other way to influence the creepline is a tactic called Pulling. When Pulling a camp, you attack a neutral camp close to your lane, and immediately moving towards the freshly spawned creeps who are running down your lane. Time this right (attack at **:12 and **:42 on the clock) and your creeps will start attacking the neutral creeps who have followed you to your lane. Not only does this increase lane safety by moving the line towards the protection of your tower, you can also earn some gold and exp. by last-hitting the neutral creeps.
Don't pull to often or to soon, because if the enemy creeps get within range of your tower, it'l be harder for you carry to last-hit.
If you notice your lane partner is having a hard time, help him by harassing the enemy heroes. Blast them with your Frost Blast
whenever it is available, and Sacrifice a Melee creep whenever possible to keep your mana up. When the game progresses, ask an other team mate to come gank in your lane. The gold/exp. your team wins with a successful gank, combined with the gold/exp. the enemy team will lose can turn the tide.
Plying Semi Support can mean a variety of things. As always, communicate to make your role clear. Lich
can play a lot of roles. I have even played him solo-mid, and out-leveled a Lina. To be fair, she was terrible at last hitting, and she was so out of position I managed to kill her twice within the first 5 minutes. Anyway, Lich
does not HAVE to be played a certain way.
Not having to be the Hard Support gives the opportunity to really focus on the lane and denying creeps. Ideally, you have two Semi Support heroes in your team. Both babysitting a Carry/Semi Carry in bottom and top lane. Bot lane wards bot rune, top lane wards top. As with Hard Support, your lane partner should get all last hits. However, if he/she really sucks at it, take over. It's a shame to let that gold and exp go to waste.
You'll level a lot faster when you're Semi Support, because you don't have to roam around to place Wards and pull camps. You stay in lane, and suck up all the XP of the battle. Try to get your boots complete a.s.a.p. so you can focus on getting your Mekansm
or Drum of Endurance
. When everything is going smoothly, you can take your pick from the luxury items. Just keep in mind that a well leveled Lich
in late game does a lot less in team fights than a reasonably leveled Carry, so have patience, and only take over when you feel it's the only way to save the game.
Keep an eye on you're fellow Semi Support and make sure you both do whats best for the team. If you both make a Mekansm
you will (and should) lose the fight. Multiple players buying Aura items which do not stack, is a dumb mistake, and will mostly result in losing the game.
Here is an example
of a match where three enemy heroes have made Vladmir's Offering
, an unstackable aura item. Basically, these hero's were all playing solo, and not with the team in mind.
Learn from their fail, communicate with team, or check what your team mates are building.