The Demon Witch
I've played Lion for Sometime now and seen a dozen ways to play him. In my opinion he's one of the easier heroes to play but, also more confusing for new players in team fights. He's not to be underestimated even late game he can cause some terrifying amounts of damage given the right circumstances and item build. He's versatile in the fact that he can be used to support or gank depending on your team composition. I usually choose to gank with him.
Here's where I make my case for choosing these items right? :D
Honestly to you my build sounds a little crazy yes and I agree with you but, here me out as i've carried with lion in pub games many a time with this simple yet elegant build.
In general you should always buy the courier because well Lion isn't super item dependent early game at least. Gauntlet provides more hp which is good because Lion's health pool is terrible as well as ring for armor which helps lessen physical blows.
By the time you have tranquil boots you should NEVER have to go back to base for anything unless your courier dies or something. Tranquil Boots also gives you good speed for running down people who run should they make it through your cc's and ult. You can also pick Arcane Boots if you prefer these are handy if you need to make a quick escape after wasting out all your mana on a gank, the choice is yours. Bracer works for more hit points which need and a bit more damage to hit with before you gank. Point Booster should be gotten last out the core items assuming you're scaring the **** out of your lane and going for the kill it shouldn't be all that hard to get this item that quickly. After which point Lion should have over a thousand hit points so he's not as vulnerable.
This is where I said late game he becomes a pain the ***. While most of you will argue with me that he drops off late game I beg to differ. Lion needs relatively few items to carry a game.
First off get Aghanim Scepter since you already have Point Booster might as well get this first. Gives you a lot more hit points and a bigger mana pool not that it matters means more survivability also makes your ult hurt like ****.
Afterwords get Veil of Discord. THIS ITEM IS IMPERATIVE late game if you wish to continue your killing spree. As time goes on chances are the carries on the other team are pretty well off by now assuming they have a lot of AGI carries or squishy int heroes, Veil of Discord is your best friend it gives you 25% extra magic damage do the math that's roughly 1280 damage from your ult which is amazing.
Then, Assuming you're doing well get Dagon this little gem will make sure you never have any problems ever again killing someone and finishing the job. For the rest of the game you should be able to focus on scaling Dagon up if it goes into the late game mark and still do a ton of damage with Lion.
A lot of these situational items really depend on what you're up against. If there's a lot of CC or you're getting focused a lot BKB is a good option to keep on the table also gives you more hit points and damage which is never a bad thing.
Blink Dagger is good if you need to high tail it or get a quick gank off a carry who's free farming some lane away from the rest of there team or decided to wander off into the mystical jungle all alone.
Boots of Travel are good for the same reason as Blink Dagger also good if your entire team decided to bail and you're all alone making that quick escape. Bottle! Should be mid against someone who's ranged bottle isn't a bad thing to have use it sparingly until you get your boots.
Drum of Endurance scales well for any INT hero especially since they're so squishy early game and the extra move and attack speed is good for chasing down or finishing the job.
Scythe of Vyse is never a bad option either it's effectively a 2nd sheepstick should you need it to deal with another bad CC in the game it's not a bad option but you already have 2 CC's so you shouldn't really need it.
Orchid! While I do love orchid it's very costly and honestly Lion doesn't get much from Damage stats he'll always get more done trying to gank though this is arguable because it's a good effective silence and enchances magic damage but, Veil of Discord is a much cheaper option and since they're CCed while you're ganking you shouldn't really need it.
Necronomicon this is a rarely gotten item on Lion and honestly I agree unless the other team has lots of invis or you need the extra attack power you shouldn't really need it.
Heaven's Halberd should the other team get fed and hard carries are hitting hard like pa the Evasion and extra strength will help you dodge and give you more hp and give you enough time to disarm there next attack so you can counter strike.
Note about Boots
Arcane Boots I can see these being useful on the run and being out of mana needing a stun to lose a pesky chaser while I prefer Tranquil boots there may be some instances where having Arcane Boots instead could save your butt. You may pick these or Tranquil boots.
Earth Spike- This is your initiation on Lion as well as an awesome stun maxed out its 2.52 secs more than enough for killing someone idiotic enough to cross you. Always start your gank out with this spell I cannot stress it enough. The damage becomes negligible late game but can scale well with Veil giving you that extra push to knock a hero into the grave.
Hex- This is good for you and your teammates! Free Sheepstick who doesn't love that! It lasts pretty long and it's good for making a dash or killing someone if they're down to 200 or 100 hp and your ganks just weren't enough. If you run into someone like naix or axe this is the perfect way run for it. In team fights target the hardest hitting carry first or someone with really bad CC like Tide, Void, or Enigma.
Mana Drain- Ah how I love this! It drains mana from whatever target you choose except for Ancients and anyone with bkb obviously. This with Tranquil Boots makes it so you don't ever have to go back for anything in your lane. Also means you don't have to get caster items like Bloodstone or Orchid which are pretty expensive. This also has other uses in Early Game which i'll discuss later on.
Finger of Death- This is why you play Lion the thrill of that one hit KO once you get this people will run from you like crazy. The damage here is nothing to scoff at and I believe one of the best single target ults in the entire game the only other spellcaster ult that compares to this is Lina's single target ult Laguna Blade. Right from the get go this does 600 damage which is more than enough to handle any hard carry such as Phantom, Drow or Morph as well as squishies. However, This is costly after you've used it chances are you're either REALLY low or mana or have none at all so make sure when you use this that your enemy is at three quarters to half of there hitpoints. And if you can make sure you take a gander at how much health they have this takes the guess work out of when to use it.
This is the moment you've all been waiting for. My silly explanations for choosing the way I do. Lion is one of my favorite heroes in Dota I started playing him when I first began playing Dota 2 and loved him over the patches he's changed a lot and has become very versatile to fit many roles he can nuke and support and he's a great asset to any team.
For all intensive purposes I designed this guide for 2 reasons.
1) everyone believes Lion is good for nothing more than semi-ganking and supporting in pubs.
2) His spells are largely underestimated late game.
I personally have carried teams to victory with lion getting double digit kills and going on wicked sick killing sprees with him. Given the right skill set and player he can become an unstoppable killing machine.
Early game within your first 5 levels you want to make sure you have your mana drain and earth spike depending what lane you're in which is usually top or bottom you must have these skills. If there are melee enemies in your lane cast earth spike as much as possible and drain there mana when they go for last hits on creeps your laning partner should be able to deny the hit or it'll get killed by your creeps. This is a very good method to keep them starved of mana making them run back to there spawn every few minutes keeping them starved of xp and gold in the process. Keep in mind as well Lion isn't largely dependent on items early game so if you're with a carry in your lane let them have last hits and let the gold come to you. Inevitably your laning partner will have to go back leaving you with the lane so you can last hit a few creeps if need be.
By now you have tranquil boots and a bracer probably no point booster yet but, that will come shortly as i've said before Lion doesn't need very many items to do a lot which means you'll get a lot of gold ganking single player fights. You should start roaming to other lanes by now if they need help ganking this extra gold will ensure you have enough to buy point booster post haste. Go for all of the hard carries ideally such as Bounty, Phantom Assassin, and Drow type heroes they're squishy and they only function if they get enough feed to carry late game if you can starve them now you've almost assured your team a GG.
This is where things get interesting by now you probably have Aghanim which is a good start with your first ability and aghanim you should be dolling out about 1200 raw damage in a few seconds assuming no one has magic resistance. You should be able to rack up kills by giving your enemies a false sense of security by just auto attacking them in the face and getting them down to whatever you need them to to kill them instantly slowly giving you gold for more expensive items like Veil and Dagon. I'd get veil first as it gives you some more armor and hit point as well as a damage buff by this late in the game giving you that extra edge to take out those hard carries. If you reach the 40 minute mark you should be well on your way to Dagon by the time you have it just focus on getting Dagon's level up. Adding up the stats just with regular Dagon your ult and your Initiating stun you should do about 2000 damage if you're using veil with all of it. IF you manage to max dagon which if you are stomping a pub can happen you'll do about 2.5k damage in a few seconds if you're using veil with it 2k without, which can spell doom even for some strength carries.
-Not Item Dependent
-Huge Nuke Potential
-Lots of CC
-Can Knock hard carries out of the ballpark early game
-His ult looks amazing
-Is easily countered by high strength heroes and CC
-Positioning is essential or people will run
Much like Slark, Zeus or Lina he's a hit and run kind of character if he can't make it through the first try run for your life :D On the other hand given the right items Late Game he is a force to reckoned with.
With creeps take last hits if you can but, give priority to your laning partner if they need it. Your AoE stun isn't very good for creep laning so don't waste the CD is too high and it's primary use is initiation anyway. Don't Jungle with Lion BAD IDEA. If you're mid play it safe not stupid don't be greedy if there's another nuker or a ranged carry in your lane.
In team fights always go for High Priority targets who can ruin your fights like Tide or SK if your team is getting stomped on by a particular hero who has too much feed go for him or her first always start with your stun. However you are by no means a hero who should initiate you're squishy and should have someone like Axe or SK or a tanky hero like Centaur charge in first and go behind the rest of your group. Make sure to start with Veil if you have it then goto town with your magic spells.
When to play Lion
If the opposing team has heroes like Drow, PA, Bounty, or Squishies in general Like Zeus, Lina Dazzle or others its a good thing to play him. While that sounds odd the whole point in picking Lion is to starve hard carries early on so you have the advantage late game so they can't one shot you. Squishies like lina and zeus are easy because you have such good CC to use.
When not to play Lion
If the other team has heroes such as, Silencer, Rubick, Lifestealer, Centaur, Anti-Mage, Phantom Lancer, Viper. Essentially anyone who's tanky or has built in Hood of Defiance.
That about wraps it up for me if you have any suggestions or comments you'd like to share I realize it's not the best guide this is my first one. This is my first guide go easy on me plzzz. Thanks for the read!
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