3. Info and Stats
4. Skill Usage
5. Skill Build
6. Item Build
~7b. Key Points
8. Hero Synergy
Banehallow is an avatar of bestial fury created by the scourge. For years he has dwelled in the dark forests of the world, hunting innocents that wander therein. Now he is called to aid his masters. He revels in blood and battle, using his wolfish persona to draw the feral beasts to his side and imbue his allies with his flesh-shredding strength. He is also unnaturally quick and agile. Some say he can even transform into a giant wolf, giving him more durability and the speed to gouge and maim with near impunity.
Well I noticed that there weren't any guides on Lycanthrope so I decided to write one. Lycan is a powerful midgame DPSer and carry, and also has some pushing potential. Lycan has no stun or disable, no AOE or single target nuke so in this respect he suffers a bit compared to other carry/semicarry heroes. This guide is mainly meant for newbies and public players because I don't play competitively and Lycan is not much used there anyway ( because of his above mentioned disadvantages ). This is my first guide.
A bit of history: Lycan was used quite extensively in the 6.5x era because he was somewhat overpowered back then, his wolves had bash, he and his wolves had more armour, his ulti lasted longer and so on. But he suffered a series of nerfs and fell out of favour in the competitive scene.
Lycan is a bit of a 'noob autoattack hero'. If you are looking for cool spell combos and hard to place stuns, you came to the wrong place. Having said that I think he is quite interesting to play and not very hard either.
Main attribute: Strength.
Lycanthrope is found in the Scourge Strength heroes tavern.
Lycan's stats are OK as we can see above, not exceptional but not low either. His main strengths come from his skills as we shall see before.
[+] Lycan has very high midgame DPS and steroid skills
[+] He can buff up other heroes and their summons through howl
[+] Can jungle early on and solo Roshan
[-] No disable
[-] No AOE or single target nuke
[-] Is reliant on ultimate
For complete stats, click below:
Lycanthrope hero details
Banehallow summons two wolves to fight his enemies. This is your main skill in early and mid game. The wolves start off quite weak but become quite strong, at level 4, the two wolves combined are stronger than a hero. They help you jungle and roshan early, and lategame they are still useful for farming and scouting.
An eerie loud howl grants an inner strength to all player controlled units. This is an additional DPS skill, not only for yourself and your summons, but also your allies and their summons. We will be maxing this out last since it isn't as useful as his other skills.
This increases the attack speed and damage of Lycan and his units. It is a powerful steroid skill. We will be maxing this out second ( over howl ), because it is a passive and requires no mana early on.
Lycanthrope's signature ultimate. This transforms him into a big badass wolf with extra hp, attack speed, critical strike and gives max speed to all your units ( also you cannot be slowed ). At level 3 of ultimate it lasts for 16 sec with 40 sec cd so you can use it quite often.
All of Lycanthrope's abilities are very useful and it would be a huge mistake to take stats instead of any of them. In almost all cases you should be following this skillbuild ( exception being a pushing strategy with allied summons, in which case you will be maxing out howl ).
Level 1 - Summon wolves
Level 2 - Feral impulse
Level 3 - Summon wolves
Level 4 - Feral impulse
Level 5 - Summon wolves
Level 6 - Shapeshift
Level 7 - Summon wolves
Level 8 - Feral impulse
Level 9 - Feral impulse
Level 10 - Howl
Level 11 - Shapeshift
Level 12 - Howl
Level 13 - Howl
Level 14 - Howl
Level 15 - Stats
Level 16 - Shapeshift
Level 17+ - Stats
Wolves are your most important early game skill and thus must be maxed first. Although theoretically howl gives about the same, or more DPS than feral impulse early, in practice it is almost always better to get feral first because it doesn't cost any mana or have a cooldown. Howl is then gotten and of course you get your ultimate whenever possible.
Lycan's power comes from his high DPS in midgame. Therefore the above items are recommended as core, as they are cheap and easy to build, and complement the Lycanthrope's skills very well.
Vladimir's aura builds up from the early Ring of basilius, it gives lifesteal and extra damage to you and your wolves ( add 16% dmg to the 25% from feral impulse and it is 41% dmg aura ), mana regeneration to spam your spells and extra armour to you and your team. Very useful for neutralling and Roshaning, Lycan is a natural vlads carrier. This should be your first item.
Power treads are your boots of choice. The extra 10 str and attackspeed are very useful and the parts are cheap. I used to go phase boots earlier, but the current version of phase boots are not very good at all.
Cranium basher is required to solve your main problem, your lack of disable, even though the bash is somewhat unreliable it can be very effective. It has a STR component, adds quite a lot of damage and goes very well with his high attack speed. Basher has a cooldown, so you can't perma-bash. The basher also prevents people from TP'ing out on you.
Black king bar makes you immune to disables and spells, as well as giving a lot of useful stats ( str and dmg ). This will be required in most cases.
After playing a lot of games, I have come to the conclusion that Magic stick is a core item on Lycan. Why? For one reason only. Shapeshift cost 100 mana. Sometimes you will be in a fucked up position that you don't have mana for your ultimate for one reason or another. Magic stick saves you from looking like a giant moron in these clutch situations. No need to upgrade to wand, just leave it at stick.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Alternate item build
Sange and Sange'n'Yasha are alternate means of getting a disable if you don't want basher, and the stats from Sange are very good for Lycan. The maim orb doesn't have a cooldown thus you can perma-maim unlike basher, the downside being that slow is much less useful than a stun. You can skip Yasha if you want and keep it at just Sange, Lycan doesn't benefit much from the Yasha, already having max ms and high attk speed.
Armlet gives you a lot of extra damage and hp, the con being the life degeneration, though lifesteal makes up for it when you are in battle. In my opinion armlet isn't a good item for Lycan since a lot of the times you will be going on prolonged chases and the degen hurts quite a bit, besides if you go for an early armlet you are not getting Basher/Sange/BKB, meaning you are giving up your disable or will be disabled. Getting armlet after core is quite stupid because by then it is already lategame and you might aswell get a costly luxury item.
Phase boots is only gotten if you're having troubles constantly getting blocked by creeps ( since Lycan has lower collision size in ulti, this is not likely to happen ). Otherwise treads are almost always better. Boots of Travel will be needed in lategame for pushing.
For version 6.68+, Orb of venom is really good on him. Don't bother to upgrade to skadi though, it isn't worth it. Get it some time after vlad and treads and sell it when you need a bigger item or another orb ( deso/mjollnir ) later in the game.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Late game luxury items
Desolator adds a huge bunch of damage via the corruption orb ( don't get this if you already have Sange ). MKB is another high damage item that gives ministuns as well as True strike, which can counter evasion users. Battle fury gives cleave, which is pretty good lategame and may be necessary against illusion heroes, though the regen is kinda wasted. Assault Curiass gives you a bunch of armour, -armour aura, and extra attack speed which is very useful due to Lycan low BAT in wolf form and especially if you get MKB or basher because it make them proc more. ( thanks bekyuubi ). Mjollnir gives high attack speed, chain lightnings and a lightning shield that could be useful in some situations.
Typically your best extension would be either deso or MKB. Heart, satanic and curiass promote more of a tanking role which isn't exactly a great idea on him, however they are decent in case you are over-fed.
I don't think these items work very well on Lycan but you can get them if you want..
I used to like these items but now I think that they're not that useful. Lycan is not a tank and don't make him one. Concentrate on dealing damage.
Funny ( zoo ) build
This item build focuses on the fact that ALL units owned by Lycan will get the benefits of howl, feral impulse and the max ms from his ulti. It is a funny build but it can work in a sort of pushing strategy.
In most cases, jungle is the best option for him. Lycan is absolutely useless in a lane being melee and having no slow/stun, and the benefits of having two solo lanes and getting more money from jungle is too great to be overlooked. I would suggest picking Lycan when your allies have two good solo heroes and are arguing over who should solo mid. Lycan jungling opens up top to be a solo lane, but bear in mind that some solos who can do well in mid ( against a single hero and with bottle rune ) will suffer against a dual lane ( examples are Pudge, clockwerk ). A perfect choice for solo top ( top on scourge bot for sent, the short lane ) is a ranged hero who benefits greatly from early fast levels and gold ( eg. Puck, Mirana ).
You should also make sure that your allies have quite a few stuns/disables, because Lycan is a bit dependant on allied stuns. If your allies picked Troll+void+sniper+Bara.. well it may not be worth picking Lycan.
These are the best starting items for Lycan to jungle effectively. I tested various builds such as stout, QB, gauntlets, branches etc. but none of them are good enough. The mana regen from basilius allows you to get more summons, and the armor is very good for you and wolves. Also it builds into vlads. You could get salve instead of tango, but that means you would be going dangerously into red hp in order to make full use of it.
You must start jungling right from level 1. A common mistake I see is going to the side lane, staying till lvl 3 and then going jungle. This is very wrong. Why? because this means your lane partner will get fucked once you leave, because he is the same level as your opponents. A solo requires additional levels to be able to handle a dual lane.
Where should you jungle? In your own side jungle. Lycan is not an aggressive jungler like Engima or Chen that he should be in the enemy jungle- there is no way he can gank the sidelanes.
Just the game starts, summon your wolves and put them on the two runespots, this way your allies benefit from an early rune. If there is a techie on the other team, run your wolves over the popular mining spots to blow them up. The neutral creeps spawn at 0:30 . Summon your wolves and take out the easy camp ( tank the dmg on your wolves ).
Some time later, go to the pullable medium camp and do a creep pull. The way this is done is: when your lane creepwave is at the 2nd tower, attack the creeps and move back into the lane, your allied creeps will start attacking the neutrals. Last hit the neutrals to get the gold. This is easier to do on the scourge jungle because on the sentinel side there are trees blocking the way. Only 1 pull is required for Lycan. Go to the easy camp again and kill it. You should now be level 3 ( lvl 2 wolves ), or close.
At this point, you begin neutralling with care. Tank damage alternately on your hero and wolves. Whenever a wolf reaches yellow hp, pull it back and let the creeps hit something else, then send it back to fighting. This prolongs the life of your wolf. Also when your wolf is nearly dead, back it out and send it to search for a rune/ scout around. A DD or regen rune is very good for you, while the others are good for your allies ( alert them ). Don't be afraid to tank some damage on your hero, he has natural regen after all. Consume your tangos from time to time. Your main enemies are the satyr trickster and centaur khan. When facing the satyrs send your hero first and make sure the purges land on him instead of wolves. The centaur will stomp when there are 3 units near him. To avoid this, just send your wolves first, and then when one dies, send your hero. Avoid the furbolg and wildkin camps till you have lvl 4 wolves because those buggers do way too much damage.
Continue on like this till you hit lvl 6 ot 7 and then go back to the base to heal and pick up your vlads and boots ( you should be able to farm this much ). Remember you are in maximum danger around lvl 5 when you're low hp and the opposing solo starts looking for kills. Keep an eye on the lanes and don't rely on your allies to call miss because they probably won't.
The level 4 wolves are incredibly powerful and without any help from you they can take out a hard and an easy camp. After reaching lvl 7, you should neutral away from your wolves, this gives you a lot more gold. After lvl 7 you can easily take out the ancients as well.
Early items :
I don't think these items are particularly good on Lycan.. they are generally completed from starting items such as branches and gauntlets, but you're starting out with RoB and tango. Bottle is quite useless as the only good rune for Lycan is DD. So you might as well head for the big stuff. Lycan's core items are neither costly nor hard to build anyway.
You are completely useless at lvl 1-5 so don't even think about it. But at lvl 6 and 7, Lycan's power increases drastically. Your level 4 wolves at lvl 7, are, combined, as powerful or more than the Lycan himself, they are equivalent to like one and a half heroes. Lycan is the most powerful DPSer at this point and you can take on anyone 1v1, so it would be foolish to waste his potential. Start looking for kills. The wolves themselves are killers.. even without the help of the Lycan they can chase down and kill puny INT heroes like Zeus and Techies at this point. It depends on the situation but I highly recommend aggresive towerdiving, it can really pay off.
You should easily be able to get a few kills at this point and with the help of your allies. Aim to get your vladimir's and treads as soon as you can. If all goes well, you should be level 9 soon and have vlad + treads.
Get these ASAP.
So, you're level 9 and have your vlads and treads. Now you know what you're going to do. Yep, it's going to be...
Solo Roshan! :
That stone bugger deserves his comeuppance. Lycanthrope is one of the best solo roshaner's in the game ( second only to Ursa warrior ). Unlike Ursa though, it's not a "right click press overpower/enrage piece of cake, but takes a bit of micro.
Summon your wolves and head over to him ( summon them beforehand for the cooldown ). If you find a DD rune, all the better, but it's not needed. Start attacking Roshan with your guys. Now here's the tricky part. Whenever a wolf reaches yellow ( ~60% life ). back it away and let the others tank, then send it back to lifesteal it's hp. Same for your hero, tank the Roshan, then back off, let it attack a wolf, then lifesteal back. Get the most out of your wolves as you can but don't retreat a red hp unit as Roshan will target it automatically. You will generally need 2 sets of wolves though I am sure it could be done with just one ( you'll need 3 if you don't micro properly or get unlucky with the bashes ). Beware of the lethal bashes and remember that unlike your wolves, your hero is not expendable.
If all goes well, you will emerge out of your Roshan duel with full hp. It might be a good idea to bring a salve in case you get unlucky with bashes. Soloing Roshan gives substantial benefits: 105-600 gold bounty, an additional 200 gold for the team, two levels of experience ( you'll shoot straight from lvl 9 to lvl 11 ), and of course, the sparkling aegis of the immortal. If any of your noob allies want to help you, tell them to gtfo. You don't need their help.. they will be stealing gold, exp, maybe even the aegis, but most importantly the large numbers of heroes missing will alert the enemy as to what you are doing.
Thus concludes the early game.
Ganking or farming? Farmganking:
As I have mentioned before, Lycanthrope excels in midgame DPS with the combination of his howl, passive, ulti and wolves. So it is clear that you should be killing heroes. But Lycan also need farm, so what do you do? Solution: farmganking. Gank while you farm, farm while you gank. Lurk around in the woods ambushing enemy heroes with your allies, and while you're at it, kill neutrals as well. Help your team push down towers so that you have map control. Constantly deny access to the enemy jungle. The enemy jungle is a great place to chill out.. you can gang the sidelanes or a person attempting to neutral, and push their towers. If a team is unwilling to fight, force the issue by pushing a tower. You should be having an aegis so that you can do suicidal things like towerdiving while pushing a tower. Try to get all the towers down as soon as you can.
Farming/scouting with wolves and using howl:
Your wolves slowly start losing their usefulness for DPS. They are still excellent for creeping and scouting as they can clear out jungles very quickly adding to your gold income. Remember they are permanently invisible and fast. Scout runes, Roshan, the enemy jungle. They are good tanks while pushing a tower. A little bit of micro can go a long way.
If you are seeing a fight far away that you cannot arrive at, use howl. A bit of damage goes a long way.
You should farm for these items as you will now be needing them. Your role is simple. Summon wolves, howl, shapeshift, BKB, rightclick. No problem at all.
Keep a mental track of when you killed Roshan so that you can kill him again 10 min later. Suicide-push a tower if you want to get rid of the aegis as Roshan will claim it 10 min later, there's no sense in wasting it.
Lycanthrope's Late game depends totally on his early and mid game. If you farmed well and were able to gank and shut down the lategame carries, you will be having a full item set while they will be having 2 wraith bands. If you failed and feeded, you'll be having no items while your opponents have their butterflies and such.
Lycan also has troubles with illusion heroes as he has no AOEs. Make sure that your allies have enough AOE to deal with them, or buy multiple battle furys.
Buy whatever luxury item you want depending on the situation. In my experience if I can get my core items, the game is pretty much won by midgame and there is no 'lategame', or if there is, it's totally onesided.
Lycan push strategy
You require allies with a lot of summons for this. Examples are:
The basic strategy is to max howl fast as it adds a lot of power to your ally's summons and go for fast pushing.
The zoo build is a good idea to go for in this case.
Obviously you can only do this in an organized game.
7b. Lycan's Key Points
Wolves should be used for farming, scouting and killing
You should always have your wolves up. Send them to the jungles if you don't particularly need them at your side. Don't feed your wolves if you can help it. Sometimes even after your Lycan is dead, you can use them to grab a kill.
Keep an eye on Roshan, he is an important aspect of your game.
Push down enemy towers to gain map control and stop the enemy from farming. Eventually he will be stuck in his own base, at which point you can push down the raxes and end the game.
Help your allies
Howl helps all your allies directly. They can also directly benefit from wolf scouting ( such as runes ).
Lycan push strategy
This strategy involves using howl on allied summons for fast pushing.
Lycanthrope has a good synergy with every disabler/stunner in the game. Lycan provides the DPS, they provide the disable.
If going for a push-heavy strategy, Lycan howl has great synergy with summon heroes like Broodmother, as explained before.
Lycanthrope is a powerful DPSer who reaches his peak much before most other carry heroes. He lacks disables, AOE and nukes and is thus a pure DPSer, a bit dependant on his allies disables. Lycan can jungle early on and solo Roshan as well, giving his team obvious benefits.
1. Lycan replay
Garena public game
What to do when things go wrong? Everything can't be perfect. I make a lot of mistakes, like buying belt at the start, having axe solo against a strong lane, not microing correctly during Roshan. Still it demonstrates the power of Lycan and is quite an interesting replay.
2. PDGG game
PDGG Lycan game
This game was kinda messed up by sentinel rushing dagons, but imho a fun and enjoyable game to watch, see the wolf micro.
3. Fear vs PGG
Superb play by Puppey. Very standard item build though.
Credits for Ramomar's guide template which I am using for this guide