Lanaya, the Templar Assassin
The Solo Mid Guide
Updated for v6.77
Updated for v6.77
See the Dota 2 version of my guide here!
Soloing mid will work fairly well in most situations; indeed you will solo fine against many common solo mid heroes including Tinker, Lion, Shadow Fiend, Storm Spirit. This is due to Refraction, which makes it very hard for these heroes to control the lane as they rely on nukes to harass and keep you down. You need really good last-hit ability, especially seeing as Lanaya is pretty much a melee hero until you get more levels of Psi Blades (Which won't be until mid game).
Skills and Statistics
All of Lanaya's skill and statistical information may be found here, for those unfamiliar with her stat gain and skill set.
- Psi Blades
- Psionic Trap
- Psionic Trap
- Psi Blades
- Psi Blades
- Psi Blades
- Psionic Trap
Psi Blades at level 1 so you don't have to walk around creeps for a last hit. When last-hitting, try position yourself in the lane so that the damage splashes onto your opponent. Note that damage from denying your own creeps also splashes via Psi Blades.
One level of Meld has its uses for hiding/mindgames/spell-dodging, so take it at level 4 or maybe at level 3 if there's certain spells you could dodge with it on the enemy team and they gank you early (Magic Missile, Storm Bolt etc).
Refraction is maxed first. This is for defensive reasons to ensure your opponents do not harass the hell out of you with nukes or a ranged high base damage. It should also be used for last-hitting.
Meld is maxed next to pump your damage output to the max by midgame. Meld is NOT used to hide. If, and only if the shit hits the fan and your Refraction's run out and it's on cooldown and you're about to die, attempt to juke into some trees and Meld and wait for Refraction to cool down. It's generally an OFFENSIVE skill.
One thing about Meld; try not to Meld-hit uphill if you can. If your opponent is at a higher position on a ramp than you are, you have the 25% chance to miss because you are a ranged hero no matter how short your range his. Your Meld-hit can miss, and this leads to halving your burst damage.
Psionic Trap is taken at every possible level, for cooldown decrease and to increase warding capability. As soon as you hit level 6, ward both rune spots with it. If enemies counter-ward, simply replace it later. It has low cooldown and negligible manacost!
Additional levels of Psi Blades is nice but not as necessary as Meld and Refraction until later levels.
To kill with Lanaya, see the step-by-step guide below.
Solo Mid Tips
Good Refraction use is key to the solo mid Lanaya. It's quite difficult and takes a lot of intuition to know when to use Refraction. As of 6.77, it now costs 100 mana. You can't spam it like an idiot anymore, unless you're perma-bottlecrowing. Use it when you need it to last-hit, and when you feel there's danger (e.g. enemy walks forward to nuke you)
Before you hit level 6 you will have to watch your map a lot to avoid ganks. After, you can lay down Psionic Traps on common pathways such as the ramps leading to your side of the lane and on the runespots to help avoid ganks. This way you can keep a constant eye on the Runes, and so you can use them yourself for your own ganks.
Set a trap at the top of the enemy ramp the moment you hit level 6. This gives great vision on the top of the enemy ramp that you normally cannot see. Then wait for your trap to cool down. Then when they walk onto it and their creeps are still busy hitting yours, run up to them and slow them. Start hitting, and when the slow from the first trap runs out you can slow them again. This ten seconds of slow easily spells doom for squishy solo mid heroes with no escape mechanism.
If you do get ganked, and have no hope of getting away, don't run. Turn on Refraction, wait for them to come into melee range and Meld-hit them. Either you catch them by surprise and kill them, or you deal some massive damage on them before you die so they are forced to the fountain or to empty their Bottle afterwards, or a nearby teammate can clean them up.
While somewhat risky to play, a well-played solo mid Lanaya has amazing mid-game destruction potential. However a single death will be very costly, so you will have to play very cautiously and be very map-aware.
I strongly suggest having a chicken. If your allies won't buy one, buy it yourself I guess. It does hurt having to buy your own chicken, but it's worth it.
Along with Refraction, Magic Stick and later Magic Wand helps you mess with your opponent's mind. Refraction + the use of a significant amount of Stick/Wand charges gives you a very sudden burst of survivability that can catch your opponent by surprise.
Ferry this over via Courier the moment you have 600 gold. The ability to store Runes is quite useful. Lanaya can wreak havoc with a well-used Haste/Illusion/Invisibility/Double Damage Rune. You Rune-whore extremely efficiently thanks to your Psionic Traps.
After much experimenting, I've found that Phase Boots are in fact much much sexier than Treads on Lanaya. The damage is great, phase ability for chasing is great.
Gives survivability and attackspeed, very nice and still very cheap. It's not bad, but I prefer Phase Boots. Get whichever works for you.
With Blink Dagger, you have excellent survivability as you can juke into trees and Meld, then Blink out when shit gets thick. As well as this, this is amazing for positioning of Meld-hits.
Ganking: From the trees, Refract and cast your Psionic Trap, and set it off. Then Blink next to the target. Then Meld-hit and finish it off.
Team fights: Let your team initiate, turn on Refraction and set off a Psionic Trap, Blink next to their weak heroes and Meld-hit, and then kill them.
BKB is a great item that lets you ignore disables and go straight for their support heroes; it should be bought if there are simply too many disables in the enemy team's arsenal or if you're having a tough time in the game. If you're doing well, you should get BKB after Desolator.
Desolator is your first choice for your core damage item. Giving a -6 armor debuff on your target, combined with Meld this rips off a great 14 armor from your target. Desolator gives a significant increase to Lanaya's burst damage and will make even the tankiest of heroes feel the pain. If you had a great start (multiple kills, high cs) then you can expand your lead on your enemies by getting this and two-shotting their supports. You should always aim to get this item first, but sometimes when you have a tough game you're forced to get BKB first.
Some players do like to use Medallion on Lanaya, so I'll mention it here. I personally don't use it, since Dagger and BKB are very important items for Lanaya to function in mid-game teamfights; Medallion delays these items. You can get Medallion after Dagger if you want; it is a strong item; but it's not necessary.
Luxuries are very situational. MKB is a great luxury when you're against people who buy Butterfly, PA, and Windrunner (I often get it just to counter a Windrunner).
This item adds a great amount to your burst damage, and is another solid luxury choice for the lategame.
This item lets you keep up with the hard hitting carries in the lategame with the attackspeed and armor, and also adds more -armor to your arsenal.
Step by Step Guide to Killing with Lanaya
Your bread-and-butter ganking combo. Dangerous on its own, it's absolutely deadly with teammates throwing disables at them as well.
- Turn on Refraction, preferably from the Fog or trees.
- Cast Psionic Trap next to the enemy. It has an insane 2000 casting range; abuse it.
- Set off the Psi Trap. My preferred method is to press tab after casting the Trap (When you cast Psionic Trap the Trap is automatically added to selection, pressing tab will select it as your main unit) and activate Psionic Trap.
- Cast Medallion on your target at this point, if you have it - it has a long cast range, and you don't want to be fiddling around trying to cast it after you Blink in so better to do it beforehand.
- Blink next to your enemy if you have a Dagger; walk if you don't. Blinking is very efficient; if you don't have a Dagger you may need ally disables or a second Trap. If you're walking and have Phase Boots, DO NOT activate Phase at this step.
- Meld-hit them. The correct way to do this is hold your cursor over the enemy hero, tap D and then right-click them right away.
- Autoattack to finish. If you have Phase Boots, activate Phase at this step - They will help you chase once your Psionic Trap's slow has worn off.
- Blinking to chase when they're cooled down and using more Traps as it comes off cooldown if necessary.
Due to Lanaya's map control with Psionic Traps, you can sometimes see your opponent moving from one place to another - for example, going to a rune spot. If you happen to be in the path that they are travelling, you can actually Meld-hit twice if you predict their movement accurately.
- Turn Refraction on. Make sure they can't see you.
- Position yourself in their path, and Meld. Again, make sure they don't see you do this.
- When they walk by you, Meld-strike them.
- Cast a Psionic Trap, and activate it if they start to run.
- Autoattack them.
- Meld-strike as soon as the cooldown is up. It will be considerably shorter, since you Melded in the second step - the Meld cooldown triggers from the start of her invisibility.
This is your counterganking combo; it works best in an environment where you have a well-coordinated team that you trust and communicate effectively with (i.e. On Ventrilo, or other voice communication means). If your ally is being chased by one or two heroes:
- Set a Psionic Trap down.
- Turn Refraction on.
- Meld a little behind your Trap.
- Get your teammate to run past your trap and you.
- Select the Trap, and press T to activate the trap when the enemy hero(es) run onto it. This ensures that Lanaya does not break Meld by activating the Trap.
- Select Lanaya, and Meldhit the enemy hero with the least survivability (In terms of HP and armor).
- Add a second Meldhit if it's cooled down; if not Meldhit with the next cooldown which will be short, as you Melded before your enemy reached your trap.
- Finish them off with the help of your teammate.
This is the biggest part of playing Lanaya. She's designed to be a very aggressive hero, but her downside is her extreme vulnerability without Refraction. Due to her squishiness, if you do not use Refraction properly you cannot be aggressive. But she is not the kind of hero you buy tanking items like Vanguard and Hood for, and mindlessly rambo and tank all your enemy's attacks. The trick to playing Lanaya is abusing her Refraction to get the most survivability. You have to be able to see the situations when you can be extremely aggressive and get away with it, and the situations when you should play more cautiously. This is fairly difficult to explain, so I will give an example.
If you Psi Trap and Blink onto a Zeus in the river, how will he attack you? Your Refraction blocks his nukes and his normal attack is too slow, so his only option is to run. But that is also difficult against Lanaya, due to Psi Traps. A Zeus by himself is an easy target that you can be extremely aggressive on.
Now let's say the Zeus in the river has a Vengeful Spirit tagging along next to him. Again, Venge's attack is quite slow and she only has one stun up her sleeve. You can dodge this stun with a Meld or Blink if you are quick enough, and you could probably still end up killing the Zeus even if you eat the stun, since Refraction will soak up the stun's damage and Zeus's nukes before it runs out. Again, you can still be aggressive in this situation and take out the Zeus.
Now let's say the Zeus and Vengeful Spirit are in tower range. This is a situation where you should NOT engage. The tower will take too many Refraction charges off, and VS's stun and Zeus's nukes will ensure you do not leave that fight alive.
You need to be able to read these situations and learn when to engage and not engage, rather than rely on items like Vanguard and Hood to keep you alive. Those items are for mindless rambo tank heroes like Bristleback. Your own intuition should keep you alive instead.
In the later stages of the game, against a team with one brain among the five of them, you cannot survive without BKB. The tactics and mindgames that work throughout small clashes and ganks in the early-mid game do not apply in teamfights. In teamfights your BKB is entirely necessary (except in the worst of pubs where they don't have many stuns). So unless you are stomping your enemy extremely hard, you should be walking into the mid-game with a BKB straight after Blink, and get Desolator as a luxury.
In earlier teamfights before you have BKB, you should be standing back, looking for the squishy support heroes and Blinking in a position where you can take them without getting focused by the rest of their team. With good positioning, not many spells should fly your way and your Refraction will block the ones that do. However, if you have a BKB, you can be much much more aggressive in teamfights and even initiate them, Blinking and focusing the squishy heroes straight away while your team follows up.
Enemies to note
- A well-placed Macropyre renders your Refraction utterly useless in a fight.
- Dual Breath has a damage over time effect which will burn up your Refraction. Engaging a THD will likely cause him to retaliate with a Dual Breath and probably an Ice Path as well, so keep in mind you will likely have zero Refraction charges left afterwards to fight subsequent opponents.
- Fairly tankier than most supports, he might take a few more hits to kill than you'd expect so be wary of possible counter ganks. It won't be good to jump onto a THD, get slowed+stunned+Refraction burned off and have his teammates come rape you.
- If you solo against an equal-skilled Bat Rider, you will inevitably lose the lane.
- Napalm will make Psi-Blade-spill aiming tricky with its turn-rate slow. Also, it will be very easy to pile it on you since Lanaya's attack range is so short. You should probably back off from the creepline if he gets three stacks of it on you.
- Refraction offers no protection whatsoever against Firefly.
- Flaming Lassoo drags you out of position, rips your Refraction off (with Firefly) so 90% of the time you get Lassooed, you will die. Once Bat Rider gets a Dagger, getting Lassooed is just about unpreventable.
- I strongly advise against picking Lanaya when your opponents have picked Bat Rider; you will want to ban him if you're planning to pick Lanaya in -cm.
- Diabolic Edict will trigger your Refraction every 0.25 seconds - your whole Refraction comes off in 1.25 seconds.
- Refraction comes off even faster with Pulse Nova on.
- His nukes will hurt if you don't have Refraction on.
- You really, REALLY wanna dodge his stun when you fight him. Whether that stun hits you or not will often decide the outcome of small clashes.
- He's fairly squishy, so if you dodge his stun you should be able to kill him before he has a chance to retaliate. (Though, since Edict's cast point is now 0, he'll probably be able to cast that before dying and it continues after he dies.)
- Ignite slows, disables your Dagger and burns off Refraction for a whole 7.5 seconds. Very annoying.
- Each hit of a multicasted Fireblast will take off one Refraction charge.
- He's fairly tanky - 5 base armor, large strength gain. Keep in mind it'll take quite a bit of time to take him down, which means he'll have plenty of time to retaliate with Ignite and Fireblast.
- Rot burns down Refraction very quickly.
- Dismember will hold you in place while Rot burns your Refraction off, so it's very unwise to try engage him one-on-one while his creeps and/or towers are on his side.
- Blocking Hook's damage with Refraction won't change the fact that you'll be out of position and have creeps and/or his allies beating the shit out of you. Avoid being Hooked, Refraction or no Refraction.
- Ion Shell takes off Refraction very quickly.
- Vacuum moves you out of position, and often clumps you in the middle of other units, making it difficult to click things.
- The above two in a teamfight is very gay.
- Surge goes through the slow of Psionic Traps, so he can easily save his allies from you.
- He has 5.7 base armor and is quite tank, so you probably don't wanna aim at him first.
- Do try to not walk through his Wall of Replica, because you don't want an Illusion following you around eating your Refraction charges in a teamfight.
- Shadow Word will burn your Refraction.
- His Infernal has permanent Immolation and will likely chase you around hitting you as well, burning your Refraction and turning your Dagger into a big red useless circle.
- His armor and strength gain is quite high so he will take quite a while to kill; be careful when fighting him as Shadow Word + Infernal sets up an easy counter-gank on you.
- Sun Ray is very very gay.
- Lanaya usually won't have enough time to kill the Supernova Egg by herself, especially if you went Phase Boots over Treads.
- Icarus Dive disabling attack for a few critical seconds can screw you over in a teamfight, not the mention that it acts as a get-out-of-Psi-Traps-free card for him.
- His base armor is zero, so killing him when his spells are on cooldown is not too hard.
- Scorched Earth burns off Refraction
- Doom shuts you down completely for a teamfight (You are little more than a creep if you can't use Refraction, Meld and Psi Traps)
- Lucifer is a common Radiance carrier.
- He has zero base armor, so he won't be as tanky as he looks. But even so, he's a huge threat to Lanaya.
- One of the gayest heroes in DotA, Doom counters just about every hero and Lanaya is no exception.
- Probably want to ban this hero if you're planning to pick Lanaya in -cm mode. He's a very common ban anyway.
- Acid Spray's DoT will kill your Refraction.
- Unstable Concoction will not be dodged by Meld (You will still take the stun and damage even when invisible).
- Alchemist is a common Radiance carrier.
- 0.6 base armor means he's not so tanky with his ult off, but when it's on he's very tough to take down.
- Rocket Barrage fires one rocket every 0.1 seconds - that's your whole level 4 Refraction off in half a second. It's probably best to hit Meld and wait for Barrage to finish when he casts it if he doesn't have True Sight.
- Meld dodges Homing Missile.
- If Barrage is going off and your Meld's unavailable (cooldown, or they've got True Sight) kill your target quick since you'll be fighting without Refraction, and if you can't then just back off.
- Spiderlings take off your Refraction charges very fast and are very annoying to deal with, even with Psi Blades.
- Her ult will allow her to recover health lost from a Meld-hit very fast, and once your Meld hit is used up you won't be able to kill her through that insane lifesteal.
- That miss chance is nasty too, you might not even land your Meld-hit because it could miss.
- Keeping these in mind, don't have a one-on-one brawl with a Broodmother.
- Broodmother is a very common ban in -cm; ban him or hopefully your opponents will.
- When you see that big green blob of Soul Assumption flying towards you, dodge that shit with Refraction.
- Gravekeeper's Cloak gives him a TON of armor, so you don't want your Meld-hit to be the first thing that lands on him. Get your team to pile their shit on and take his Cloak off first.
- Familiars take off Refraction charges fairly quickly.
- However, with Meld you can one- or two-shot a familiar for an easy 100 gold.
- Poison Sting Level 1 damage is too low to trigger Refraction. However, from Level 2 on, it will make sure your Refraction will only protect you from one attack.
- He will be tough to solo against, since Lanaya's attack range is fairly short. Try to last-hit as many creeps as you can manage with Psi Blades.
- Keep in mind you can dodge critical attacks and Viper Strike with a well-timed Meld and catch him off-guard by throwing a Meld-hit back at him.
- Attacking him after he's leveled Corrosive Skin will kill your Refraction.
- Damage from Level 1 Burning Spears is too low to trigger Refraction. However, from Level 2 onwards it will burn off your entire Refraction with one Spear.
- In mid-lategame when he's quite tanky, he'll be very tough to take down when he has Inner Vitality on.
- ALWAYS try to dodge Life Break with Refraction. Life Break takes off a chunk of Huskar's health, another chunk comes off from your Meld-hit and then he's easy food.
- The DoT and slow from Venomous Gale is very annoying, taking off your Refraction and disabling your Dagger for 15 seconds and often spells doom for you if they brought Dust.
- A single hit with Poison Sting will take off your whole Refraction.
- Don't ignore his Wards in teamfights, your Refraction will come off faster than you expect.
- Posion Nova also rapes your Refraction.
- He's fairly squishy, but Gale + Nova as a retaliation will leave you very helpless for his teammates to kill.
- Meteor has a DoT component to its damage, which will burn Refraction off.
- Deafening Blast removes your ability to attack (and thus removes your ability to be of any use).
- Cold Snap will interrupt your attacks, remove extra Refraction charges and generally be a pain in the ass.
- Ice Wall is a bitch (slows by a shitload, removes Refraction, disables Dagger). Don't chase through it. Blink across it if you can.
- Forge Spirits can remove Refraction pretty fast.
- Mid-game, EMP can burn the precious mana you need to cast your beloved Refraction. Try not to get hit by it before important teamfights.
- The DoT on this makes it the ultimate anti-Lanaya weapon.
- Once an opponent hero has this, you probably should avoid teamfights until you have BKB. If your opponent managed to get a fast Radiance, then this means your BKB should come before your Desolator or in extreme cases even before Blink Dagger.
- This basically makes the hero who uses it immune to you for 4 seconds. If he's quick enough, he can make you waste your Meld-hit (you right-click him while he's ethereal, your Meld-hit doesn't work)
- In teamfights if your target uses Ghost Scepter, you should change targets, since you can't afford to spend four seconds not hitting anything. In smaller clashes or ganks you can just wait the duration out and Trap him again.
- Pretty basic - when you're farming an empty lane, position yourself to hit multiple creeps at once to farm faster.
- Remember that you can dodge projectiles such as Magic Missile, Hellfire Blast, etc with both Blink and Meld.
- Always keep a rough idea of how many Refraction charges you have left, and how fast your enemies can take them off and play accordingly. Misjudging your survivability in a fight can be fatal.
- Animation cancel between attacks when you're chasing (More important when you have Phase Boots than Treads, since with a lower attack speed the amount of time you stand still between attacks is quite substantial and you want to shorten it)
- Refraction has a 17-second cooldown. If you time it correctly and activate Refraction 10 seconds or so before a clash happens, you can jump into the fight, lose your charges and then bring them back up as your Refraction comes off cooldown - effectively doubling your survivability in a fight.
GosuGamers DotA | Replay: Mushi vs Jnp|Ichigo!
A replay of Lanaya solo mid. Note she was facing Bat Rider, who absolutely annihilates her early game. Thus the Lanaya player was forced to take extra levels of Psi Blades for safety instead of Meld.
Thanks to Vienna and dondy for contributing various points to improve the guide.
Thanks to Style for pointing out that Fatal Bonds do not take Refraction charges; pointed it a while ago but didn't realise that I'd mentioned Fatal Bonds as one of the reasons Warlock can own Lanaya. Warlock is still to be avoided because his Infernal still has a dangerous Immolation effect.