Lanaya is one of the most annoying mids to deal with. Her Psi Blades offer mana-free sustainable harass while her Psionic Trap provides free vision in key spots on the map, as well as helps in securing ganks on any hero who strays too far from their tower.
Map awareness and rune control are the keys for playing Lanaya well. When played properly she will squelch the enemy's farm by providing consistent ganks to the sidelanes. She has very strong potential to turn a losing lane around.
This guide is a work in progress.
12/11/12 - v1.0 - Created guide!
12/18/12 - v1.1 - Formatting Tweaks.
I'm going to go into a detailed item breakdown here, but for now let me just say this.
Many TA guides tell you to rush into a Desolator early. I have a big problem with this. 1600 gold for a hammer is not cheap, especially in the earlier stages of the game (before towers). The only way you'll be able to farm this up relatively quickly is if your team is already ahead.
I prefer to plan for the more even matches, or those that you start out at a disadvantage. Going from Phase Boots into Crystalys allows more of a progressive buildup to your game so that you can benefit from the component items. This also allows you to dump some of your gold off so that if you are killed, the loss won't be as heavy.
To be Continued]
Alright, lets get to it. Let me preface this by saying every match is different. Lanaya is fairly dependent on her items as the game progresses, so picking the best loadout for the match can and will have an impact on the game. That being said, very early, she is somewhat item independent. I find early game agi items like Wraith Band to be somewhat of a waste with decent last-hitting ability. Any lack of damage you may have can be made up for with Refraction. Refraction can also be used to counter any early harass damage.
I always like to be on the lookout for an enemy Zeus in my lane. Pick up an early Magic Stick or Magic Wand, toss up your refraction, and enjoy the free no-damage charges.
[*] Early Game (~Levels 1-6)
Start off by heading to top (Radiant) bottom (Dire) rune before the match starts. Runes spawn at 0:00, and an early Double Damage or Illusion can really make life miserable for your opponent. Be sure to get back to lane before the creep waves clash.
In lane, always be mindful of where your opponent is and try to keep the creep you're attacking in a straight line between you two for psi blades to take effect. Feel free to autoattack to keep constant pressure on them as long as you pause to secure last hits.
Runes spawn every 2:00, regardless of what time they're picked up. You should try to push the lane towards their tower every X:50 or so to give yourself a bit of time to scout for the rune.
At level 6, push the lane out as soon as possible and get a rune up on one of the rune spawns. Farm the next creep wave and do the same for the other rune spawn and Roshan's spawn if you have time.
[*] Mid Game (~Levels 6-11)
This is where you, as a semicarry, excel.
Alright. You have your Psi Traps. Time to gank. Now is when you really need to pay attention to your side lanes while still keeping tabs on where the enemy mid is. It is still your responsibility to call MIA on your lane, even while ganking.
Try to bottle a rune before you go for a gank. Haste is definitely my favorite as it allows you to easily hit your Meldstrike, but Double Damage is great too. Communicate with your team to tell them what you're doing and set a trap on the enemy's escape. Setting it early will allow it to charge a bit, increasing its potency. Be sure to pop Refraction slightly (5-10 seconds) before you engage, so that you can recast it during the fight.
After your (hopefully) successful gank. Swig your bottle and head back to mid for a bit of farm. Lanaya is a great ganker, but getting caught on her own is a death sentence until you get your blink dagger. Even then, a disabler like Shadow Shaman or Bane can really ruin your day.
To Be Continued
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