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This Ice Ain't Nice! - Mid/Core Lich 7.00+

May 3, 2017 by HaF.Raven
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This Ice Ain't Nice!

DotA2 Hero: Lich

Purchase Order

Starting Items (with Rune)

Early Game

Core Items (Pick at least 2)

Situational - Single-Target

Situational - Utility/Durability

Luxury/Extension Items

Hero Skills

Frost Blast

2 3 8 9

Ice Armor

11 13 14 16


1 4 5 7

Chain Frost

6 12 18


10 15

Hero Talents

+35 Ice Armor Structure Armor
Attacks Apply 30% MS and AS slow
+150 Damage
+120 Gold/Min
+125 Cast Range
-3s Frost Blast Cooldown
+125 Health
+15 Movement Speed

This Ice Ain't Nice! - Mid/Core Lich 7.00+

May 3, 2017


Ethreain the Lich is primarily known as a hard support, staying in the back of the battle with a strong harass/nuke, armor spell, experience denial and large-scale ultimate — all well-suited to his traditional role, but with the right items and a quick experience lead, he can quickly snowball into a strong front-line hero, always able to bend the direction of a team fight to his will and turn the tides of battle.

The new talent system introduced in 7.00 works strongly in Lich’s favor, as his ability to out-level other heroes means he will get to take advantage of his level 20 and 25 talents earlier in the game, greatly boosting his right-click potential, making him a force to be reckoned with all match long.

Why and How to Mid Lane

Lich’s unique ability to Sacrifice creeps, denying experience to the enemy and gaining it for himself (from the very minute the match begins!), is perfect for shutting down most mid-lane heroes, as they typically focus on gaining a quick level/item advantage to start snowballing and control the pace of the game. As such, a mid-lane Lich will be able to take on almost any such hero easily, harassing and weakening them at first with Frost Blast and then lashing out to finish them with a very early and unexpected Chain Frost.

Many common mid heroes such as Lina, Invoker, or Shadow Fiend can be quickly defeated this way. The only heroes that can give Lich trouble are those who have mechanics that counter single-target burst damage early on - Weaver’s Shukuchi, Templar Assassin’s Refraction, and Nyx Assassin’s Spiked Carapace.

As powerful offensively you are, Lich is not exactly the most durable during the very opening game, so as a rule, try not to dive or risk dying for a kill until you have your ultimate — you'll be getting it much earlier relative to your opponent anyways.

Skills and Talents

Frost Blast is your bread-and-butter nuke. Put a couple of points in it early on and harass the enemy relentlessly with it. Remember, it deals both the single and AoE damage on the primary target, making it deceptively powerful early on. While the raw damage drops off later on, the slow continues to scale as a fixed percentage, so always use it when you can.

Sacrifice, the ability that lets you win the lane. Put your first point in it and use it on the ranged creep the minute the game begins, and always use it when off cooldown. It allows you to never be at a loss for mana and to spam Frost Blast relentlessly at your enemy. You’ll quickly gain of 2 - 3 levels against your opponent within 10 minutes of the game. Remember later on that allies can share the xp gained from Sacrifice too, so always use it around them even if you don’t personally need to.

Ice Armor boosts your durability and that of your teammates and structures, giving armor and slowing all enemies who dare attack you. Levelled last due in favor of the early harass potential with the previous two abilities.

Chain Frost is your ultimate ability, allowing you to annihilate enemy teams and counter would-be ganks. Early on, use it against the enemy mid when there are a few creeps nearby to bounce back and forth from, ensuring that the spell hits the enemy hero multiple times and ensures their demise.

Lich's talents for this build are fairly self-explanatory, as the build relies heavily on the two later talents.

At level 10, take the +125 health for the added durability. Fairly simple choice.

At level 15, take the -4s Frost Blast cooldown to spam your nuke even more — besides, the added cast range talent can be replaced with Aether Lens.

At level 20, take the +150 damage, which allows your auto attacks to scale very well into the late game once Frost Blast starts to fall off.

At level 25, take the AS/MS slow — it’s basically a free Eye of Skadi effect!


As a core Lich, your itemization will mainly revolve around making you more durable for front-line combat and able to get the best usage out of your spells, with optional extension items allowing you to get the best out of your later-level right-click attacks.

- Early Items -

After your starting gear, Hand of Midas is the perfect first item for Lich, as its experience boost synergizes well with Sacrifice, the bonus attack speed will greatly be useful as you get to levels 20 and 25, and you’ll be able to farm it quickly between 6 to 8 minutes given you’ve scored a kill or two on the enemy mid.

Veil of Discord is your next item, and it is absolutely perfect for Lich. It offers a wide array of cost-effective, well-rounded stats and armor that will make you more durable for getting in fights — and more importantly, staying in them! The large area-of-effect debuff is nice for your basic Frost Blast, and makes for unleashing a devastating Chain Frost onto your enemies.

- Core Items -

Aghanim's Scepter is fairly self-explanatory, enhancing the raw damage of Chain Frost while removing its bounce limit, allowing you to wipe entire team fights when the enemy is clumped together. Always a must-have item.

Blade Mail further enhances Lich’s durability, providing you with more armor and a boost to intelligence and damage, while its active will obviously make enemies think twice about attacking you all at once.

Shiva's Guard is another good armor item for Lich that boosts your mana pool and right-click damage by a significant amount, and its active is very fitting for our undead frost mage, providing yet another damaging AoE slow to drop in a team fight.

Aether Lens is a good item if you don’t want to build something too expensive, providing a good mana boost, hp regen, and a boost to your spell range/amplification.

- Situational Items -

Single-target items include Dagon 3 and Rod of Atos, which work to provide an edge to single targets with raw damage, a root, and a targeted spell reflection, respectively. Consider getting if the enemy team tries to avoid team fights or split pushes frequently.

Lotus Orb provides mana and durability, and can prove invaluable in shielding you and your team from enemies that rely on single-target spells for initation such as Sven or Lion.

Mekansm, Pipe of Insight, and Guardian Greaves are always good items to get if nobody else has them, and you have the farm to buy them if needed. Just make sure your allies know you’re still not a dedicated support if you get them ;)

Ghost Scepter is a purely defensive item to get if the enemy always focuses you first with physical damage, and Black King Bar does the same with spells.

- Luxury/Extension Items -

This is where you can have the most fun in the late game!

Octarine Core and Refresher Orb synergize excellently with Chain Frost, while the effects and attack speed gains from Eye of Skadi, Assault Cuirass, and Mjollnir allow you to use your powerful right-clicks to their maximum potential.

Scythe of Vyse is the powerful disabling tool it’s always been, while Boots of Travel serve the same purpose in the late-game as they do with any other hero, allowing for quick pushes and base defenses.

Friends and Foes

As Chain Frost works against with multiple enemies, any hero who can massively disable or slow the enemy team, keeping them locked closely, synergizes perfectly with Lich. This includes Disruptor, Warlock, Underlord, Magnus, Enigma and Faceless Void.

Heroes with quick initiation abilities like Timbersaw, Ursa, and Tidehunter do very well alongside Lich, as their ability to rapidly create chaos among enemy ranks gives you just the space you need to launch your spells into the fray.

Ironically enough, Faceless Void also is a hero Lich can do very well against, as a carelessly-placed Chronosphere that traps Void’s own allies can spell doom for them once you launch your ultimate into them.

Lich also fights well against Chaos Knight and Meepo, as their illusions always fight closely together, creating a perfect target for Chain Frost, especially when pumped up by Aghanim's Scepter.

Heroes that commonly get Blade Mail such as Axe, Bristleback, Legion Commander, and Bloodseeker may pose some difficulty, as your ultimate's massive damage can spell your doom just as much as it spells theirs. Fight with caution.

As a spellcaster, heroes to avoid fighting include Silencer, Doom, and Anti-Mage as they heavily impair your ability to cast spells and deal damage with magic. An enemy Rubik can also be a massive danger if he steals your Chain Frost.

Now that you've read this ...

... Go out, play Lich mid, nuke the enemy team to death, and laugh while your enemy mid gets flamed by his team for losing lane to a support hero :P

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