Hello again. I've been playing Dota2 since November 2011 and I like Lion a lot. I gave the Lion guides on here a look over and the top rated one had an item build that made me nauseated so I figured I would write a proper guide. This isn't a guide for semicarry Lion, although I'd imagine a lot of the strategies could be carried over to that style.
I honestly have no idea why Jakiro went vladimir's. I was bot with DK against a solo Omniknight who warded our camp regularly so it was pretty boring early game but later on my earthspike was able to set us up for some crazy AoE damage. Lifestealer tried to target me a lot but every time he tried to slow me I would just cyclone myself, thus wasting his slow and some of his magic immunity. This game is a great example of why Eul's is so good on Lion. My earthspike was great against Naga because it would immediately show us which Naga was the real naga.
I was top with juggernaut against solo treant. If you look at juggernaut's score, look at my score, and then look at Treant's score, it's pretty easy to see what happened that game. Not much explanation required, haha.
[*] Capable of Instagibbing
[*] Good Range
[*] Disable intensive
[*] Pretty Versatile
[*] Very Mana Intensive
[*] People hate you, so you are targeted often
[*] Skill set promotes close ranged encounters
[*] Mana Drain is rather useless in a team fight
As you can see he has more cons than he does pros, and his cons seem to have synergy with his other cons, making them even more debilitating. He's slow, but he has to get kinda close to throw down his nukes, and he's also fragile. This means that you need to not only supplement that fragility, but give him some form of mobility as well without ignoring his obvious mana problems. Luckily for us, these things run hand in hand and we can attend to both of them at once.
Lion is all about the element of surprise and being generally unexpected. I consider him in a lot of ways a support assassin. He's slow and the range on his spells is too short for him to be a run of the mill support. In order to be an effective Lion, you need to get in quickly and get out quickly. Getting caught and focused makes you a liability to your team.
Your ultimate can do huge amounts of damage (I've seen it take 3/4 of a squishy heroes health). It's a great finisher, but you should try to avoid using it solely as a KSing tool. It's understandable that you will pick up some kills with it, especially in teamfight situations where someone needs to die quickly.
Mana Drain can be used in teamfights as well, although it is incredibly situational. I tend to use it if I NEED mana and not just for the sake of using it, and in the safest way possible, although it is great for shutting down blinkers like QoP. A good skill to have is to be able to watch enemy mana pools and to know how much mana they need so you can drain properly.
Hex is great because it makes it impossible for your earth spike to miss. With both of these skills maxed out, you can disable a single target for 6.5 seconds. That's a huge amount of time, ontop of the fact that you do around 1.2k if you have an aghanim's.
For earth spike, it's important to note that even though the range is 500, it actually goes for 700, so it's possible if you are just out of range of someone to be able to earth spike them. Ideally, you should want to get as many people earth spiked as possible and then Hex the most important / most dangerous target, following up with a mana drain and ult on that target if you have enough mana.
I play Lion as your run of the mill babysitter. He's pretty versatile in the sense that he can operate in both kill lanes (with juggernaut for example) or more passive lanes. It's basic support play, essentially. Deny creeps, pull and stack, look for opportunities to get kills, keep your carry alive, use mana drain on enemy ranged creeps if it is safe enough to do so.
Gank, gank, gank, gank. Smoke Gank. Lane gank. Gank their jungle. Kill their wards. Stack ancients if you feel inclined and are nearby when the :52 mark hits. Never overestimate yourself. Lion is very powerful when the player understands exactly how powerful he is, which means you shouldn't be underestimating his potency either. Try to use your ultimate so the enemy just barely has any health left. You don't really need the gold, so it's better off it goes to someone else. That being said, f you can, avoid opening up with your ultimate. It's more or less a pseudo KSing tool, except you should try to give the kill to someone else. If you do happen to get a kill with your ult, it's not the end of the world. Just make sure that it was a necessary KS and not just a way to up your score.
Essentially the same as the mid game, but more team fight oriented. Use Cyclone to break channels or to save a fleeing teammate. You can also use it to avoid being focused or to catch fleeing enemies. it's a very versatile tool. Try to hit as many of them with your earth spike as you can without putting yourself in danger. Hex the most dangerous opponent. Mana Drain if you can but don't put yourself in danger for the sake of draining someone. Use your ult on people who need to die quickly. Try to be aware of enemy mana pools so you can make the right decision. You want to drain the safest enemy who has the least mana. If your carry is 1v1ing a sven and that sven has 200 mana left you can take away his ability to use his stun which could potentially win the game for your team. I like to treat drain like a pseudo silence, more or less.
This is what I prefer using for the purpose of getting Tranquil Boots as fast as possible. You have to wait 2 seconds to get RoP if you didn't random Lion. There are other paths you can take for a quick wand or whatever. It's up to you. This is just what works for me.
I've found this build to be the most optimal early core build. Tranquil boots are really nice because they give you a bit of tankiness while maximizing your mobility, which is arguably Lion's biggest fault. Combined with a soul ring and magic wand, you never have to go back to fountain. You can alternatively go Arcane Boots and / or Urn of Shadows, but in my opinion it's not worth missing out on having more regen overall (hp and mp wise), having the burst regen potential that soul ring has, and having the mobility TB offers. This build is great because it gives you the best of both worlds while offering mobility and making it so you never have to go back. Lion is, after all, a ganker.
Eul's is just great for so many reasons. First off, let's talk about the active. The range on it is 700, which means it allows you to close in on enemies you might be just out of range on. It's also an amazing baiting tool, and a pseudo escape mechanism against heroes like Lifestealer. It's very easy for Lion to get locked down and killed in a teamfight if he gets caught, and having a Eul's gives you a way to punish the enemy for trying to focus you. On top of that, the added mana and regeneration is amazing, and the added movement speed has great synergy with your tranquil boots, making you even more mobile. I get Eul's every game.
Aghanim's is a great item to buy after you have your Eul's. It pushes your ultimate over the edge and gives you a pretty well rounded amount of stats. The early point booster will do wonders for your mana problems and fragility, and it's not too difficult to build given what it offers you. Go point booster first always.
Blink Dagger is an amazing item on Lion but it is so difficult to build as a support Lion unless you pull a huge, sudden lead. I originally intended for it to be an item that I rush but it simply isn't a viable option to do so. It's a great last item, but trying to rush it is, in my opinion, very silly due to the fact that you are completely neglecting every single one of his problems all for a blink.
Even though he is a support character, Lion is honestly a horrible candidate for items like these, simply because of his mana pool. A large portion of the game I barely have enough mana to even use all of my skills, let alone accommodate that have actives without offering any regen in return. They are great support items, and in certain cases, if no one else can pick one up, it might be a good idea to get one of them, but only in extreme cases where your team absolutely NEEDS that added heal or magic resistance, cases where no one else can get it.
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