Dota 2 Heropedia – Lich
Heropedia is a look at the many heroes of Dota 2. While the 100+ choices may seem daunting at first, I am here to guide your way through the massive list. Starting with the “easiest” to learn heroes, this feature will focus on an individual’s abilities and general tactics.
Lich is one of the first heroes I introduce to new players, his slow-centric abilities are simple to understand and execute, and he can be extremely helpful even if played passively.
Frost Blast – Lich’s bread and butter skill. This ability strikes a single target for 50/100/150/200 damage, and provides a 30% movement speed and 20% attack speed slow for 4 seconds. When the blast strikes the enemy, it also deals damage to units around the enemy in a small AOE (area of effect). While providing a good slow and damage, ease of use, decent mana cost, and good range players should expect to be throwing out Frost Blasts often.
Ice Armor – While seemingly useless to the absent minded, Ice Armor is a strong ability. When cast on an ally or himself, Ice Armor increases the targets armor by 3/5/7/9 for a duration of 40 seconds. While not only providing reduced physical damage from the +armor, Ice Armor will also slow down attackers movement and attack speed, similar to Frost Blast. If attacked by a melee hero, their movement speed will be reduced by 30% and their attack speed will be reduced by 20%. Those values are cut in half if attacked by a ranged hero. With its extremely low mana cost and good duration, Ice Armor should always be cast on the teams most important heroes.
Sacrifice – If this was Lich’s only spell, he would still be one of the biggest pain-in-the-asses to lane against. For 25 mana, Lich can sacrifice one of his own creeps to sap their health in exchange for mana, at a rate of 25%/40%/55%/70% per level. Why would you want to sacrifice one of your own creeps? Because having one less creep on your side means two things. One, it means one less creep on your side, which will push the enemy teams creeps closer to your own tower, which allows your teammates to feel safer and less prone to a gank. Second, when you Sacrifice a creep, it disallows the enemy heroes to gain XP OR gold from said creep. While the ability has a high cool down in the early game, mid game Lich has practically unlimited mana.
Frost Nova - Lich’s ultimate can turn the tide of a battle within seconds. When cast on an enemy hero, Frost Nova releases and orb that does 280/370/460 damage on each bounce, and can bounce a total of 10 times. Frost Nova will bounce randomly between all available enemy creeps and hero within a distance 575. Frost Nova is definitely a game changer, but it is also one of the hardest spells to pull of properly in Lich’s repertoire for a new player. You want to cast Lich’s ultimate when there are 2 or more enemy heroes around, but when there are little to no enemy creeps around also. If cast on a single target with no other of their allies around, the ability wont be able to bounce, thus just dealing one instance of damage.
- Sacrifice should be the first skill chosen by Lich. This may seem redundant, seeing as how you have no other abilities to spend mana on, but as I stated in the Sacrifice description, one less friendly creep goes a whole lot further than a single point in Frost Blast will provide.
- Players should alternate between Sacrifice and Frost Blast when leveling up their abilities, also picking up Frost Nova when available. While Frost Armor‘s armor boost can help a lot in early game, Lich’s other abilites generally carry more weight in early and mid game. But like most of Dota, you should adapt to the circumstances. If the players have a lot of physical attackers or “right-clickers”, it may be useful to dump a few points into Ice Armor for some nice damage reduction.
- Ice Armor can be set to Auto-Cast by holding down the Alt key and pressing the abilities hotkey (set to “W” if using the default control scheme). This will make Lich cast Ice Armor on the closest friendly hero who are attacked. With the low mana cost, setting this ability to auto cast is highly recommended for new players.
- Lich should be played primarily as a support. As a support, your job is to…well…support. Provide vision of the map for your team with Observer Wards. Help your Carry and Mid get items by buying a Courier. Pick up items that benefit the team as a whole, such as Mekansm and Pipe of Insight. But most important of all, just make sure you are around for the inevitable team fights.
- While most supports tend to pick up Arcane Boots for the mana boost, Lich should pick up Tranquil Boots. While you may not be able to provide your team with mana, Tranquil Boots are cheaper, and allow you to heal up in between fights. They also provide a bigger movement speed bonus, which will help you get out of sticky situations early game.
When played well, Lich can decimate teams with well timed Frost Nova‘s. He can keep enemy heroes close or far, depending on the situation, with Frost Blasts slow. And with Sacrifice, he can slowly starve the enemy team of precious gold and XP. If you are new to Dota 2 and looking for a good place to start, get in a practice lobby with bots, and pick Lich.
Bonus Sound Clip!