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Kel'Thuzad, the Lich
Background story
Forcibly raised from the dead by the Lich King to serve as his elite magical guard, the Lich has the burning cold of Northrend in his realm of control. Evoking numerous freezing blasts, his talent in life still remains in death. Delving into the essence of cold magic, he has the power to cause ice to condense into an orb that bounces from foe to foe, causing tremendous pain in its wake. Sacrificing his allies for magical power, the Lich is a murderer without a trace of warmth.
Guide Introduction

Hello all. This is my first guide attempt at a hero I've played many times and have come to enjoy greatly. Lich is a support hero with good spell damage and lane control, and he can be a great asset to any team. Please be constructive with your criticism as this is my first guide. Enjoy
Is Lich a hero for you?
You should pick Lich if:

-You like to play support heroes.
-You are comfortable ganking and letting other heroes farm.
-You like to play caster heroes.

You should NOT pick Lich if:

-You like carry heroes.
-You like heroes with skill shots.
-You prefer to farm all game and not gank.
-You like strong, tanky heroes.

Lich's Stats

Strength: 18 + 1.55 per level

Agility: 15 + 2.0 per level

Intelligence: 18 + 3.25 per level

Advanced Statistics:

Affiliation: Scourge
Attack Animation: 0.46 / 0.54
Base Damage: 42-51
Casting Animation: 0.4 / 1.1
Base Armor: 1.1
Base Attack Time: 1.7
Base Movespeed: 315
Missile Speed: 900
Attack Range: 550
Sight Range: 1800 (day)/ 800 (night)

[+] Good attack animation and base damage make for easy last hitting and harassment.
[+] Dark Ritual makes Lich item independent
[+] Fantastic lane control
[+] Very good intelligence gain.
[+] Above average movement speed of 315.

[-] Fragile when focused
[-] Loses some potential in late game
[-] Chain Frost can be difficult to use correctly
[-] Somewhat poor Strength gain
[-] Somewhat long casting animation*

*to clarify, after Lich casts a spell, he spends 1.1 seconds completing the animation. However, once the spell is cast (you see the nova, or the dead creep), you should IMMEDIATELY issue a move command to save that precious second.

Frost Nova

Description: Blasts enemy units around a target enemy unit with a wave of damaging frost that slows movement and attack rates for 4 seconds.

Target damage per level: 50/100/150/200
Nova damage per level: 75/100/125/150
Mana cost per level: 125/150/170/190
Cooldown per level: 9.25/9.25/9.25/8
Casting Range: 600
Nova AoE:200

This is Lich's primary skill. It deals good damage with a low cooldown and a decent slow. Coupled with Dark Ritual makes you a difficult hero to lane against. This spell will be used pretty much non-stop

Notes: - Frost slows movement speed by 30% and attack speed by 20%.
-The targeted enemy receives both Target damage and Nova damage. So the damage you deal to the target is: 125/200/275/350, before magic resistance is applied.

Frost Armor

Description:Creates a shield of frost around a target friendly unit. The shield adds armor and slows attacking melee units for 2 seconds. Lasts 40 seconds.

Armor per level: 3/5/7/9
Casting Range: 800
Mana cost: 50
Cooldown: 5
Duration: 40 seconds

A rather straightforward spell, Frost Armor is very useful. It decreases psychical damage dealt to the target and slows melee attackers, so it's a useful escape mechanism from pesky melee heroes. It's also extremely useful late in the game in a team push as you can give your allies +9 armor, which is nothing to scoff at. DO NOT SET THIS SPELL TO AUTOCAST!!!

Notes: - Frost slows movement speed by 30% and attack speed by 20%
-If autocast is activated, Lich will cast this spell on nearby allies who are attacked.

Dark Ritual

Description: Sacrifices a target friendly unit to convert its hit points into mana.

Mana per level: 15%/30%/45%/60% of the creeps current health
Cooldown per level: 30/27/24/21
Casting Range: 400
Mana Cost: 25

This is the spell that gives Lich such a strong lane presence. Very few heroes can compete with the level of damage you can deal through repetitive frost novas. This spell also negates the need for mana regeneration items, allowing us to spend our gold elsewhere. When using this spell, use it on a full health melee creep for maximum effect.

Notes: - Enemies gain no gold or experience from the sacrificed creep.
-The mana Lich gains is show in blue above the denied creep.
-Denies are indicated by an ! above the denied creep.

Chain Frost

Description: Releases a jumping breath of frost that jumps 7 times.

Damage per level: 280/370/460 (550 with Scepter) per jump
Mana cost per level: 200/325/500
Cooldown: 145/115/60
Casting Range: 750 (850 with scepter)
Bounce range: 600 (how far the frost can bounce between targets)

An extremely powerful ultimate that is devastating against 2 or more heroes. This spell is best saved for ganks or team fights where there are few creeps for maximum damage potential.

Notes: -Slow enemy move speed by 30% and attack speed by 20%
-First target of this spell is ministuned, which cancels channeling.
-Can be upgraded with Aghanim's Scepter.
-Can hit invisible enemies.

Skill Build

Level 1 - Dark Ritual
Level 2 - Frost Nova
Level 3 - Frost Nova
Level 4 - Dark Ritual
Level 5 - Frost Nova
Level 6 - Chain Frost
Level 7 - Frost Nova
Level 8 - Dark Ritual
Level 9 - Dark Ritual
Level 10 - Frost Armor
Level 11 - Chain Frost
Level 12 - Frost Armor
Level 13 - Frost Armor
Level 14 - Frost Armor
Level 15 - Stats
Level 16 - Chain Frost
Level 17+ - Stats

Frost Nova is maxed first as it is your primary damage spell. Dark Ritualis maxed next to make sure you have enough mana to consistently cast your spells. Frost Armor is maxed last as it is less important than the other skills, though it is useful late game. Chain Frost is taken whenever possible as it deals very good damage.

Alternative Skill Builds

Again, the above build is just a recommendation that works for 90% of all games. But, in DotA, things happen, and modifications must be made. For example, you may consider skilling Frost Armor over Dark Ritual at level 2 or 4 against a heavy melee team.

Depending on your starting lane, you may want to level Frost Nova over Dark Ritual for certain first blood strategies but in general denying creeps asap with DR is better.

**Special Note: Lich is a very common pick for a level one Roshan strategy. If this is the case, you must get Frost Armor at level 1. However, you still max Frost Nova and level Dark Ritual when possible. The level one Frost Armor doesn't change the build very much, excepting delaying a level of Dark Ritual
Item Build
Starting Items

As a support hero you should be the one to buy the courier for the team and upgrade it with your first 200 gold. The branches are for starting stats and will later be used for the Magic Wand and also Mekansm. The Magic Stick will be purchased from a side shop, which is why you buy the recipe at the base. Tangos are for early game healing. You may buy a Salve over a set of tangos if you prefer. Simply a playstyle thing.

Note: I haven't quite made up my mind about the new Medallion of Courage. . It's very cheap, gives 6 armor for survivability, 50% mana regen for more nova, and its active helps a lot in ganks. I will need to do more testing but I believe this item is very powerful on lich. Just be careful as using it does make you more vulnerable to physical attacks and it will delay your Mekansm if you go for it first. Still, a nice little item.

Core Item Build

Lich is the perfect hero to get mekansm as he has nearly infinite mana with dark ritual. Urn of Shadows is my personal preference to a bracer as the mana regen and heal / damage are very useful. Boots of Speed are a no-brainer.

However, expect to buy multiple: throughout the game.

Also, as a note for warding, since Lich is a roamer and ganker, wards are extremely useful. They are best placed to provide vision of runes, allied jungle, and enemy jungle. Sentries are for destroying enemy observer wards.

Luxury Items

If you have already completed the core item build and have been buying wards throughout the game, yet you still have extra gold somehow here are some items to consider:

Scepter gives nice stats boosts and makes your ultimate even deadlier.

Double Chain Frost is just nuts, especially with Scepter.

The massive Intelligence boost and the hex make this item very useful.

Situational Items

A useful item against hard carry heroes and it gives you a third slow. A bit expensive though.

All these are feasible as protection from casters and disables.

Sort of a last resort item. If you get killed before you can Chain Frost, Blade Mail can help buy you some time.

Another answer for carries.

More of a battle mage item, but feasible if you need to disable enemy casters.

Good for pushing and for those pesky invisible heroes.

Occasionally this item is very handy. It dodges stuns, provides an escape, and also helps position Chain Frost. Best if used with an allied Tidehunter or Enigma.

I have seen people get Bloodstone on Lich. While it does give a substantial amount of HP and HP regen, the mana and mana regen are wasted. It's true that Lich's role is to die after Chain Frost, but for >4k gold you can get something better. Still, in a game where you realize you're going to die later, a bloodstone could be beneficial for the team...

Dagon is very situational. Combined with Nova, Chain, and Urn, it can deal an insane amount of damage. And Lich certainly has the mana for it with Dark Ritual. I'd buy this item against a team of squishy heroes. A decent item for Lich.

[img][img] The best Boot in the game for Lich, but also the most expensive.

A note about Boots

While Boots of Travel are certainly the best boots for Lich because of map mobility, there will be times where you cannot afford them, and some people just don't like to get them. The other options are:

Lich doesn't really benefit from the damage that Phase Boots give, but the movement speed buff could be useful for escaping. And you can move through units which makes for some interesting chases and jukes.

Power Treads are probably the second best boot for Lich because they are cheap and they give +10 Strength, which is almost 200 hp. This goes a long way in trying to survive.

The newest boots in DotA are certainly an attractive option. However, Lich doesn't really need the +250 mana and he doesn't need replenish because Dark Ritual is so much better. I would not buy these boots on Lich UNLESS your team is very caster heavy and can really benefit from the boost. (Tiny, ES, pudge, etc)

Rejected Items

Lich is not a tank. Enough said.

Lich isn't a carry and in general he shouldn't be able to farm this much gold.

Early Game Strategy

Buy your starting items and head to a lane. Lich is a strong solo but is also a potent dual or tri-lane support hero. If you are soloing, middle lane or the long lane (Sentinel bottom, Top for Scourge) is preferable. Which lane you take depends entirely upon your team. Still, regardless of lane you should play defensively. Deny creeps as often as possible. Harass the enemies with Frost Nova when it's safe. Levels 1-5 should be played defensively, farming and staying alive. However, if a gank presents itself, you should jump on it.
Mid Game

Mid game for Lich is when he has Chain Frost and probably his Mekansm. Levels 6-13 should be about ganking. Gank gank gank gank gank. Team pushes and fights start to happen around this time. Stay behind your tank and cast your spells from a safe distance. Use Mekansm to save allies and always use Dark Ritual if you need to. Lich is a potent ganker around this time.
Late Game

By now you have Mekansm, Boots of Speed, Urn, Wand, and possibly Scepter or another higher tier item. This is the part of the game where team fights are everything. Stick with your team and push towers. Your role in team fights is to give everyone Frost Armor and unleash a devastating Chain Frost. Use Frost Nova on fleeing enemies and save allies with Mekansm. You must play cautiously and always stay with the team to be effective.

A note: Chain frost is often used as an initiation. If your enemy isn't running many melee heroes and stays spread apart enough, you often wont find a window for a great Lich ult. That being said, opening a team battle by throwing an ult at a relatively isolated hero will prevent them from coming and rescuing him, and allowing your team to jump on him and pick up a quick kill at the start of a team fight.

Around this time Frost Armor is at its best. Giving your entire team +9 armor (more with Mekansm armor aura) is nothing to scoff at.

In team fights your priorities should be, in order:

1. Frost Armor allies, specifically tanks and/or carries.
2. Try to get off a good Chain Frost.
3. Use Frost Nova on an enemy you think your team can kill.

In a team fight it's not at all uncommon for Lich to die after step 2 or even after step 1. While this can be very frustrating, it's usually for the better. If the enemy team is focusing down Lich for fear of his Chain Frost, that gives your carry more time to dish out damage. So really, dying for the team as lich is both predictable and acceptable.

Strong Allies

Lich really benefits from heroes that can help him land his Chain Frost in team fights. These are always strong allies.

-Also, since lich is a ganker, any other ganking heroes are strong allies. Such as: and many more.

Enemies to Watch Out For

Mana burners are a pain even with Dark Ritual.

OD is annoying because his arcane orb lets him deal good damage, and he can take you out of the fight for 4 seconds while stealing 8 intelligence which is annoying because it decreases your maximum mana pool. Additionally, his ult will drain 75% of your mana so you can't really Chain Frost...

Burst damage casters like Lina here can kill you in one shot before you Chain Frost, thus rendering you useless.

Any hero that can create images is a bad enemy because Chain Frost can bounce to illusions, making it less effective.

Chain disables make you useless because you can't Chain Frost.

Pugna can be a real nuisance. Decrepify + Nether Blast + Life Drain is a lot of damage and Lich can't easily tank it. However, his Nether Ward is even more annoying. At level 16 Chain Frost costs 550 mana, so if nether ward is up it HURTS! Still, Pugna drops easily if focused.

Naix is extremely annoying for Lich. He has high hp, he steals health with each hit, he has a slow, and he has magic immunity. Lich really can't escape from Naix at all so be careful.

Ah yes, the infamous Lucifer. He's a pain to play against because LvL death is quite painful for the squishy Lich and of course if he Dooms you, you're pretty much dead.

This is your worst enemy by far. His Mana burn is extremely annoying, his stun prevents you from ulting, his beetles act as free wards, his Vendetta makes him difficult to track, and he has high burst damage. Be cautious about picking Lich if the enemy has this hero on their team
In conclusion, Lich is a powerful support hero with great lane control. He is a strong ganker and a decent farmer. He is at his most potent in the early game and starts to lose potency late game which can be countered with Aghanim's Scepter. Frost Nova lets him gank while Chain Frost makes him a devastating force in team fights. I hope you enjoyed reading this guide and found it to be helpful
March 6, 2011: Updated to version 6.71b.

Kel'thuzad the Lich
Author: shikasshadow
Map Vers.: 6.68c

My Talents are Yours - Lich guide

Taste this. *Frost Nova*

Date Posted: 08/04/10
Last Comment:15/02/2012
Total Votes: 31
Current Rating: 7.87
Views: 303029

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