This build is for survival, getting gold and getting exp in a tough lane. Lich is possibly the safest solo off laner in the game. Sacrifice allows him to keep the creep wave near his tower which guarantees that even if the opposition decides to gank you, they will have to take a lot of tower aggro to kill you.
Your goal as a solo suicide laner is to survive and get what gold the opponents will allow you to get. Don't get greedy, don't harass needlessly as it will throw off your concentration of what's important: survival, gold and exp.
It's best to solo Lich. If someone must dual lane with you, it's not terrible but you must manage your expectations. This build does not allow for kill opportunities as you are maxing sacrifice. Let your laning partner know you are there to farm, not to get kills.
You have to be methodical and fast when the game starts. Buy your items right away and go ward the opponents pull. Warding as fast as possible reduces the chance of you getting scouted out while placing them. Once you've warded, go for rune control. Not enough people do it in pubs and it reduces gank potential for you and your mid laner.
If you're radiant and off laning, you can get by with 1 ward which you will place to block their small camp pull. If you're dire side, warding the magic bush and the rune ward which gives vision of the gank spot is what you should do. Right now in pub games counter warding is not highly focused on. In most of my games I get the full usage of the ward.
If you get a very conscientious support who counter wards you, it's still not the end of the world. Usually their sentry will come out 2 minutes into the game and by then your sacrifice is at lvl 2 allowing you a bit more control in the lane.
You want to remain behind the river. Don't contest the enemies pull, don't go for rune control unless you were dual laning. Be extra cautious the first few minutes in until you get a lvl advantage against your opponents.
Keeping a safe distance and last hitting with your frost blast is your bread and butter. Don't use it on the enemies, the slow and the damage aren't enough to make them fear you anyways.
Keep the frost armor on you all the time if possible but not at the cost of not having enough mana to cast sacrifice. Armor your tower if necessary, it'll help stall the tower coming down.
Try to sacrifice away from your opponents as to not split the exp with them. I'll usually walk down back to the tier 3, walk/block my creep wave and then sacrifice when it comes off cool down while making sure I'm still away from opponents. Sometimes you can't sacrifice away from opponents and that's OK. Don't hold onto sacrifice waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it if it means you'll be waiting another 30 seconds for the next creep wave to spawn. You want to be using this skill nonstop and always have it on cool down. You're sacrificing to pull the wave to your tower first and foremost, the lvl advantage is the secondary benefit.
Tranquil Boots are still the best boots for Lich. You could run with brown boots the entire game but tranqs allow you to persist in the lane.
Branches built into a magic wand are good and give you extra stats. You might consider getting a magic stick before your boots if opponents are spamming spells in the lane(I.E. - Batrider, Bristle Back, Zeus)
Town portal once you hit lvl 6 is a good purchase. This allows you an option to punish opponents who have over committed.
I think Aghanim's is a better purchase than Mekansm. Your teammates might hate you for it though so decide if the team needs it or not. The decision could make or break the mid game. If you're up against illusion heroes or heroes with minions(i.e. - visage, enigma, nature's prophet) that might be a good factor in deciding between the two items.
If you have to play a 5 role because your teammates picked greedy, then you're going to have to buy observers, sentries, dust and smoke and build your Mekansm/Aghs that much slower.
If the game has gone well in mid and late, Scythe is a good pick up. If you're dealing with illusion/minion opponents go for a Shiva's instead.
Boots of Travel are a good pick up on Lich late game if you're doing well.
In ranked you will get more counter warding so be aware of your positioning. Being 1 or 2 steps out of position will make you a more tempting target. Remember, you want to stay alive first and foremost.
When you hit lvl 6, you want to use your ulti right away. Look for opponents near enemy or neutral creeps. If you find a support pulling a wave, that is a good opportunity to ult.
Lich definitely drops off in mid and late game. If played properly you're leveling as fast or even faster than the cores on your team, something other supports are unable to do.
After your first ult, carry a tp to punish the enemy for over committing on a gank. Don't save your ulti thinking you MUST find 5 heroes together. Even ulting one opponent who is not near any creeps might be worth it if you can get the kill.
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