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Lycanthrope - I'm Beginning To Feel Like I'm a Rat God, Rat God. (Jungle Build) Updated for 6.84

May 5, 2015 by Miyamura
Comments: 31    |    Views: 120868    |   

Kills mean nothing, throne means everything

DotA2 Hero: Lycan

Purchase Order

Starting Items

Before 10 mins

Pre 20 mins

Game Ending Items

Situational Items

Typical Game Full Build

Extremely Situational Items

Do not build

Hero Skills

Summon Wolves

1 3 5 7


10 12 13 14

Feral Impulse

2 4 8 9


6 11 16


15 17 18

A Quote

"You pick Lycan. You tell your team that you will jungle. You tell your team that you will never fight with them. You tell your team that you will split push. You do this in a nice way because you are Lycan picker and you want to win. You buy stout, quelling, tangoes in that exact order. You go jungle. You get: level 7, 4-0-2-1 skill build. You have: vlads, quelling, stout, smoke. You smoke and take rosh before 10 minutes. You time that **********er. You buy brown boots. You go push a lane or take ancients if there is no safe lane to push. You repeat until game is won. You never fight with your team ever. You never fight without your team ever. Wolves need no armour. Why do wolves need no armour you may ask? Wolves need no armour because wolves never fight; wolves split push. This is why wolves need no armour.
Your team dying 4 mid? You do not fight with them. You do not teleport to them. You do not flame them. You are Lycan and you want to win. You have teleportation scrolls but you use them to get to lanes as far away from danger as possible and push. You tell your team to fight under tower. You tell your team not to come to your lane. You do this in a nice way because even though wolves need no armour wolves want to win games.
If you are getting ganked (you should be looking at the mini map and not be in a situation where you�re getting ganked) but if you are getting ganked you know what to do: you listen to Lycan and Lycan tells you what? That�s right you sonofa*****: Lycan tells you that "the wolf runs". You pop that ultimate, you back off and you TP out. You push another lane or you farm jungle/farm ancients/smoke roshan. If you don't know what to do then what do you do? That's right; you listen to Lycan again and Lycan tells you that "the wolf runs" and that "wolves need no armour". This does not mean "the wolf fights"; it means that the wolf go split push. You are on a lane preferably furthest away from danger. You are in the jungle or at the ancients farming. You are at roshan getting that aegis timing that ****.
You get necro 1, 2, 3. You upgrade your brown boots into boots of travel. You do it in this exact order. You keep that split push going. You smoke rosh whenever he's up. You keep telling your team not to be with you or come to your lanes. You are Lycan. You are nice about it. You are split push. You are objectives. You are win. You remember that "wolves love to battle" against structures because then wolves will need no armour and wolves can run in circles around the structures. You never fight. You end the game with 0-0-0 and the highest building damage ever conceived by man."
- Licheus on Reddit


Hello, the name is Miyamura. Welcome to my first guide on Dotafire. I decided to make a guide on my best hero, Lycan (duh), on Dotafire as the guides on this website are either outdated, or just don't play to his strengths. I am not very good at Dota 2, with only about 502 matches played (as of writing this guide). However, most of that time has been spent mastering the hero that I think is the best rat in the game, Lycan. I am confident in my skill in this hero, and I think that this guide might be able to breathe life into this near forgotten hero in pubs.

This guide is a carbon copy of what I do in pubs. WARNING GIANT BLOCK OF TEXT AHEAD.

This guide is also extremely text heavy. Just a quick heads up.

Changes to Lycan in 6.84

Ganking is now more important more than ever, so you'd kind of want to disregard the "Wolves Need No Armour" quote from above (even though that's a similar playstyle to what I created Lycan to do). AoE gold changes, more gold for assists, so in the mid game it is really, really important that you find those crucial pick offs on their fat heroes using your exp and gold advantage over them. So find the time when you are farming your *** off in the jungle and kill those mid lane/ carries.

More changes:


Pushing has becoming much, MUCH easier (thank you IceFrog :D) thanks to armour changes to T2 and T3 towers, so late game rat Lycan has become much more better <3

Vladmir's Offering's changes is rather interesting. You now need an extra 250 gold to complete it in exchange for a headdress. This actually is a good thing, and your wolves can actually tank much earlier in the jungle (do remember to tank with your hero too though be a man). So what the remedy for the extra cost?


Ask the supports to get you your tp and smoke. That leaves you with a 50 gold deficit, which if you calculate, walking back to base actually gives you that, so its negligible.

Stout Shield nerf, really minor, don't care. Its costs cheaper though.

Necronomicon Level 1 and 2 has been buffed, so you can now actually fight earlier and push earlier with your BoTs.

Desolator has been buffed, with a cost change of 4100 to 3500. The Desolator is now actually really good for its cost, and all the more makes it better on Rat Lycan.

Barracks give more money. Go figure.



Bounty changes to multiple creeps in the jungle, so your early game farming rate WILL be affected.

Bounty changes to Ancients, so make up for this with kills.

Hero Overview + Pros and Cons

Lycan is (in my opinion) best played as a Postion 2, as he drops off in the ultra late game as a 1, but pushes extremely fast given the space and opportunity at any given time of the game. He is able to 1v1 nearly any hero in the game, and can run away from a fight using his ultimate, which turns him into an absolute racecar.

- Has one of the best escape abilities in the game
- Stupidly fast pusher
- Able to man fight almost any hero in game
- Insane single target DPS (will explain later)
- Able to backdoor bases with the correct items at decent speeds WITHOUT CREEPS
- Can win games by himself
- Solo roshan at Level 7

- Extremely weak early game
- Slow jungling early game (pre level 3)
- Forces your team to fight 4v5 till you hit Level 9
- Durable, but not durable enough to tank heavy nukes
- Vulnerable to CC
- Ultimate has a transformation time that leaves you vulnerable for 1.5 seconds

When to play the Rat God

Lycan is an extremely good pick when drafted along side

- Team fight specialist heroes

Queen of Pain
Shadow Fiend

- Snowball carries/ Carries that come online fast

Phantom Assassin
Troll Warlord

The reason for this is because you want a team that can fight the other team to at least a shoddy stalemate 4v5. You need the space to take towers down, and you can only do that if your team keeps the other team busy.

Other than that Lycan is mostly good on pro team mates, there's not much more to be said since you will be alone 60% of the game.

On the other hand, DO NOT PICK LYCAN WHEN:

- There are heroes with innate global presence

Nature's Prophet
Spirit Breaker

Special mention goes to Bloodseeker.
Rupture + Shapeshift MS = Dead wolf

- Your team does not have a hard carry

This will force you to raid boss. You'll crush everyone till about the 40 minute mark, and then you'll see why Lycan is a Tier 3 hard carry pick.

He drops off as a carry. HARD. as you can see this specimen
17.6k hero damage, 13.4k tower damage with a rapier and we lost.

Ring of Protection VS Stout Shield

This one took me a while.

I have come to the conclusion: Stout Shield is currently better, even with the current nerfs.

What RoP gives you is a head start to your Vlad's, but honestly, with the reduced bounty changes, you are going to need to farm and survive more. That is what the Stout Shield gives you. RoP gives you much less survivability, for a faster Vlad's. The thing is, you won't have a faster Vlad's. You have to

a) Suicide more

b) Walk back to base more
because of your lack of survivability.
Both of which wastes time and your efficiency drops.

Stout allows you to stay in the jungle, and farm for your Vlad's. In the minute it take your to walk to and fro to base, a Stout Lycan would have already farmed up 200, thus there is really no point to skip Stout.

Anyway, why take only RoP when you can have both?

Jungling Lycan (Dire) Pre-game

Get your items, and stay in base. At the 0:45 mark, summon two wolves, and send them down to the rune spawns. You want to place them such such.
One near the Radiant side ancients...
And one in the rosh pit...
The purpose of the first wolf is to give vision of the mid lane when Radiant heros come to check. It gives valuable information to your teammates and lets them decide whether or not to contest the rune.

The purpose of the second wolf is to deny the bottom rune. You first hide it in the rosh pit, bring it out at 0:04 to deny the enemy the rune. This is very important as the new bounty rune changes make the laning stage make easier. You don't want the enemy to be getting the upperhand on you, don't you? (Note: If your teammate wants the rune, micro the wolf to scout Radiant jungle.)

Important thing here: Do not feed the wolf. It gives enemy heros gold and exp advantage.

Jungling Lycan (Dire) Post 0:00

At 0:08 after rune shenanigans, summon your wolves and head STRAIGHT TO THE HARD CAMP. You can kill the camp as long as it is not
a) Bear camp
b) Centaur camp
c) Wildwing camp

If not, go straight to the medium camp.

It will force you to go back to base earlier, slowing your Roshan timing, and decreasing your efficiency.

The goal of jungling is to get a Vlads circa 7/8 minutes.

Purchase order:
1) Ring of Basilius
2) Ring of Regeneration into Headdress
3) Morbid Mask
4) Recipe

The reason we get a RoB first is to speed up our jungling speed. With the bonus mana regen, armor and damage, your jungling speed increases dramatically, and will settle your mana issues while jungling.

The amount of gold to get your RoB is approximately 2 medium camps and 1 large camps.

Take the 2:00 top rune.
If it is a Haste rune, run straight back to base. You should have your Ring of Basilius for your Vlads by then. Heal up, and go back to farming up that Vlads.
If it is any other rune, continue jungling till you are out of mana and hp at the same time.

The jungling path is as follows:

If you choose to walk back to base, you can choose to get a TP if you want, granted it will slow down your Vladmir's Offering timing.

Important: Do not under any circumstance let your wolf dies from creep damage. Tank the camps using your hero. (Be a man.)

It is possible to dodge Bear claps and Centaur stuns by running at the creeps and immediately pulling back after reaching melee range.

Jungling Lycan (Radiant) Pre-game

Using Lycan on Radiant isn't that much different, other than the fact that you want to position your wolves when checking the runes...

...down the ramp from the secret shopThis is to provide vision of Dire heroes coming from the top side of the map.

...and down the ramp from the Radiant jungleThis, is to deny the rune at bot.

Jungling Lycan (Radiant) Post 0:00

Same thing with Dire, at 0:08, spawn your wolves and head to the hard camp closest to the middles lane. Same rules apply here, don't kill Bears, Centaurs, Wildwings pre level 3. I should mention, you CAN kill the Centaurs pre level 3, but you will need to dodge the initial stun from them, but only as a last ditch attempt as you will take a megaton of damage from doing so and forces you to run back to base prematurely.

There is no particular path in the Radiant jungle. One thing to keep in mind while in the jungle is making sure that on either your right or your left, there is always AT LEAST 2 camps. Again, this is for efficiency in the jungle.

Take the bottom rune as much as possible, and you'll be fine.

Jungling Lycan (Both sides) Circa 7/8 minutes

At this point, you should have:
1) Level 7
2) Vladmir's Offering

Go ahead and use your ultimate form to run back to base, you won't be needing it anytime soon. Regen up, and get a TP and a smoke. The moment you get to the fountain, summon your wolves and micro them to run straight to the tier 2 tower mid.

TP to the same tower, smoke, and run to the Roshan Pit.


Soloing Roshan is up to experience. Once you get the hang of it, its not the hardest thing in the world to do. I don't have any tips on this, other than its mostly learning on the job.

Jungling Lycan (Both sides) Wrap Up

Following your successful solo Roshan, you should be level 9.

Walk down to bottom lane, use your ultimate form and kill someone. Anyone. Just kill someone. After that, clear the hard and medium camps in the Radiant jungle, then proceed straight to the Dire ancients. This farming pattern will be your life till your Necro 3. Alternatively, you can farm creeps in the mid lane and kill the Radiant ancient. Both methods are equally efficient.

While farming you want to keep in mind to kill someone every time your ultimate is up. You have to start making space for your team; they made space for you, its time to contribute back. With your sizable amount of exp lead on the enemy (Lvl 9 at 9 mins after rosh), you can solo kill basically anyone in the game. Kid you not. Not even a Storm Spirit is able to escape your clutches. This is a win-win situation for you and your teammates. You give them space to farm, get exp with your kills etc, you get gold and exp for a faster Necro 3. Really though, there really isn't much I can say about when you must fight and kill, when you must not fight and kill. Its really up to game sense and experience with Lycan that gives you the correct answer. As it stands now, I myself do not actually have a good answer for you beautiful people reading my somewhat ****py guide, as I rely on adapting and thinking to fit to my situation. The closest thing I can think of that fits what I have in mind is the Arteezy fighting Lycan style, except toned down and with more emphasis on farming.

With your BoTs around 12-13 mins, go ahead and farm the whole map. Kill creeps in lane as often as you can, they give a hell of a lot of gold than they look like they do.

Do keep in mind, if you are behind, its a much better choice to just farm and rat henceforth rather than throw yourself at people as your exp and gold won't be that big and your DPS isn't high enough take down big tanky heroes e.g. Axe Centaur Warrunner

The important thing to keep in mind here is to kill ancient stacks as often as possible. I cannot stress this enough. It will give you a significant level advantage over enemy heroes and your allies. This will enable you to possess extreme amounts of single target DPS and defend yourself while ratting.
Push both middle and bottom lane as much as possible and get the global gold as fast as possible. (Don't suicide for the towers though.)

Aim for a pre-20 minutes Necro 3 for maximum stomp effect.
My personal record, 16.30 minutes.

Show Time! (Post 20 mins)

You should have your
1) Boots of Travel
2) Necronomicon 3
This is your time to shine, my friend.

Take a second Roshan at your earliest convenience.

At this point of time, you can choose to stray from the path of the rat, and bulldozer through heroes with you insane amounts of gold and exp advantage you have build up. It is possible to get triple kills in a 3v1 situation with a Necro 3 and ultimate form used in tandem.

But that is not the point of this guide.

Through pushing, you can get a pre 30 mins Assault Cuirass, though timing for this item isn't very important.

Take down all remaining Tier 2 towers by pushing, using your Necro 3, wolves and howl all at the same time to achieve the maximum amount of damage output you can give. You should be able to melt Tier 2's in LESS THAN 10 SECONDS.

Get your Assault Cuirass as soon as possible, then break their bases while your team makes space from you to do so.

With an Assault Cuirass, you are literally an one man aura stack strat.

Feral Impulse
Vladmir's Offering
Assault Cuirass
Howl (not really an aura but)
Necronomicon 3 unit aura

That's a staggering 5 auras. ON ONE HERO.

Once you break their precious little base to little bitty pieces, its time for the final nail in the coffin:

The Desolator.

This enables you to melt towers even faster than before. But usually by then the game has ended, and you do not really need this item.

Keep in mind, the ultimate goal of Lycan is to take the throne before the 40 minute mark. After that, you're going to have a rough time ending the game, due to enemy carries reaching their peak, and you not being able to defend yourself against the enemy due to their carrying TPs/ building BoTs to counter you.
Happy pub stomping!

The Limits of Lycan

This is what he can do at

Pre Level 3 circa 3-4 mins
Basically nothing. Farm farm farm farm until level 3 when your jungling speeds up. Until then, DON'T DIE DON'T FEED. YOU ARE A BABY. DON'T RUN BEFORE YOU CAN WALK.

Level 3-7 circa 4-7 mins in the jungle
Still rather weak, but you can solo kill supports that come to gank you in the jungle. Lycan is actually deceptively strong at this stage of the game, and can kill most ganking supports by himself if he is above 1/3 of his total hp. Run from mids though. They spell trouble for you.

Level 9-14 circa 9-17/18 mins post solo Roshan
Stronk, but not stronk enough young padawan. You can 1v1 anyone in the mid apart from a fat Storm Spirit maybe. Kill people in 2v1s maybe, but please do run from 3v1s. You aren't strong enough yet. Your time will come soon in...

Level 14 circa 17-20 mins
Got your necro 3? Fantastic work. Backdoor Tier 1 towers. Get rid of their map control. Run away like an ******* after you do so with your ulti and watch as they attempt futile skillshots on your race car self. You can kill people 2v1, potentially 3v1. Rat down Tier 2s with space from your team. Keep them in their base. Whatever you do, make sure that you are always either farming, pushing, ratting, or fighting. DON'T STAND THERE LIKE AN IDIOT, DO SOMETHING. EFFICIENCY IS KEY WITH LYCAN. Run away if 2 or more tp to defend their tower, its unnecessary to suicide for towers and you have done your job pulling 2 people from a 5v4, turning it into a 3v4. Keep in mind not to feed your Necros, its 200 gold per unit.

Level 16 circa 25 mins
Kill everyone in sight, unless they have friends with your AC. Drop Necros for special occasions only, its your Sunday Punch on a 90 cd. Use it sparingly, like for base defenses or backdooring stuff, breaking base etc.

Level 18 post 30 mins
From here on out till 45 mins, do your best to end the game. Do drastic things like push bot so the creeps come near enough then ulti and run to mid and kill their racks. Slowly but surely, kill and suffocate them in their base. You have to win in this time window when you are at your peak.

Level 20 or so post 45 mins and beyond
Your carry potential is basically dead now, and your sole reason to be in the game is to
a) pick of the squishies in team fights if your team decides to go down mid together
b) push push push push push push push push push
The game is going to be rough from this point onwards as your exp and gold advantage have dropped off. Try your best to win though, it really does feel damned good if you can pull off a come from behind rat win. e.g.

Items Explanation

This section further explains item choices, and the capabilities of Lycan with the items.

Vladmir's Offering

Just what you need,
Mana Regen for your mana problems,
Bonus Armor aura for tanking up in the jungle,
Lifesteal for sustainability,
Bonus damage aura for faster farming.
The first item you rush in the game. Do not get anything else before this.

Necronomicon 3

Abusing the aura stack strat, this increasing your DPS to insane levels, coupled with your level advantage from non-stop farming, will allow you to SHRED the mid to late game.
Additional units = Win

Assault Cuirass

via Imgflip Meme Maker


More damage, armour reduction on towers, need I say more?


Your allies are heroes with summoned units, or have auras/ buffs of their own.
Examples of the former are...


Her Broodlings each get an extra +20 damage per Broodling.
Lets assume Broodmother has the maximum number of 40 Broodlings.
20 X 40 = 800 extra damage

Combined with the Broodlings BAT of 1.35,
thats a staggering extra 592 damage per second.

Talk about pushing the limits.


Each clone receives +50 damage. Thats a total of 250 added damage. Your teammate with be happy to know that he can shred towers and heroes extremely fast.

Nature's Prophet

Prophet and his trees minions get +50 and +20 respectively. Combined with a Necro 3 from Prophet, towers go down faster than a fat man chowing down on a burger.

Examples of the latter would be...

Free 45 attack speed anyone?

Ogre Magi

Bloodlust gives you and your units steroids.


Heroes with extremely high amounts of single target DPS, illusion based heroes and heroes with good amounts of AoE damage counter Lycan.

Examples of Single Target DPS:

Faceless Void

This guy will kill you in the Chronosphere before you and your army can trample him. Definitely a hard counter and a good answer to Lycan.

Phantom Assassin

Blur removes half of your effective DPS and if she crits you multiple times before you kill her, you dead son. Manfight her, but pray to RNGesus before you do.

Examples of illusion based heroes:


You won't even know who to trample upon. Before you know it, you've been overwhelmed and left broke of mana to even ultimate form out.

Chaos Knight

^see above

Examples of good AoE damage heroes


Who would have though one of your greatest allies could also be one of your greatest enemies? Meepo will Poof your army to oblivion, removing majority of your DPS (if it hasn't become clear yet, most of your damage comes from your wolves and Necro 3 units)


Cleaves your army down and before you know it, you as well.

Situational Items Explanation

First up, the Black King Bar.

I almost wanted to make this a core item due to Lycan's weakness to CC, but I honestly prefer to pick up a Desolator and/or AC than this item and rely on Lycan's sheer speed from his ultimate form. You can replace your Quelling Blade (we keep it for faster creep wave clearing) with this or...

Battle Fury
This allows you to clear waves even faster than before if you are a pushing a lane that has barracks down or defending against (god forbid) mega creeps.

This allows you to have a pseudo Desolator due to the sheer amount of damage it gives, and a pseudo Battle Fury due to the AoE burn damage. I have to say, works in theory, but I myself have never actually gotten this item.

Divine Rapier

Do Not Get Items Explanation


we do not get a Medallion of Courage as it slows down our first Roshan timing. Pre 10 minutes, you should be able to take Roshan with Level 7 and Vladmir's Offering with a bit of micro control. We also do not get it after that as it slows down your Boots of Travel and your Necronomicon 3 timing. After your Necronomicon 3, you should MELT the Roshan WITHOUT MICRO. Useless item all in all.

We do not get a Skull Basher as you are
1) Not focusing on kills
2) Going for towers

With a Skull Basher, your kill potential increases exponentially, but not your pushing potential. Redundant item and defeats the purpose of using a aura strat push Lycan.

We do not get a Helmet of the Dominator as the bonus damage from the Vlad's and the lifesteal and mana regen aura is exactly what you want in the jungle. It solves your mana problems when farming while a HoD does not. While the dominated creep does get your Howl buff and theoretically will help you push faster, your Necronomicon 3 timing will be slowed as a result, and thus you will not be able to start ratting as fast as possible and forces your team to fight 4v5 longer than they should be.


If you came here from the top, that means you just skipped my guide that I worked so hard on.

*cries in corner*

Nah, I'll give you want you want since you are probably strapped for time.

Get your Vlads before 10 minutes no matter what.

Solo rosh before 10 minutes.

Rush Boots of Travel and a Necro 3.



Wrap Up/ Tips and tricks

That's all folks, pretty one dimensional way of playing Lycan here, but hey it works.

My Dotabuff:

This guide was inspired by eSportsMonies/ MackTen (Top 100 Lycan in the world according to Dotabuff)
His Youtube channel

With Boots of Travel, you can TP to your wolves, allowing you to backdoor easily provided they don't have a gem.

You can fight against backdoor protection with an AC.

You do not need to micro wolves after acquiring your Vlads.

Howl gives ALL summoned units on the map bonus damage. (Looking at you Broodmother.)

Always take Cheese over Aegis for better escapes.

Your transformation is not a channelled ability, thus CC does not cancel it.

Try using a combination of Tab + Ctrl to micro your wolves. (That how I did it)

Body block with wolves.

Howl is unpurgable and undispellable.

Use your ranged Necro units mana burn.

I'm open to comments and constructive feedback, and thanks for taking the time to read my giant wall of text.

Thank you!

To do list

Added 18/2/15 When to pick section, TD;LR section

25/8/15 Removed certain parts of the guide, added pointers on how to play him post solo rosh fitting of the current momentum meta

25/3/15 Added Dotabuff matches of myself for better examples

5/5/15 Updated guide for 6.84

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