Lion the Demon Witch is a ranged intelligence hero who is adept at disabling and nuking his enemies, as well as being a strong lane support. Although his abilities do not scale into the lategame, his offensive power can destroy enemies during the early game and remain somewhat useful throughout the later game.
Lion is famous for his outstanding ability combos, making him a solid and versatile choice in any team composition. He has the ability to drain mana from enemy heroes with his Mana Drain ability and his complement of disables makes him an effective team-fighter and support in any stage of the game.
- Earth Spike works as both a nuke and a stun, and can hit multiple enemies. Targeting Earth Spike on the ground can be less accurate, but is necessary to utilize the ability's max range.
- Level 4 Earth Spike does approximately the same damage and stun as a level 2 Ravage, with only a 12-second cooldown. While it's obviously much harder to land a multi-hero Earth Spike, this can be Lion's most important spell when used effectively. Positional items, particularly Blink Dagger, make it much easier to land Earth Spike on multiple heroes.
- As a pure disable spell, Hex doesn't deal damage but lasts longer than Earth Spike. It also has an instant cast time, making it a more secure standard opening spell when going on the offensive in a gank (rather than risking a swift enemy reaction to Earth Spike).
- Use your disables one after the other so you maximize potential disable time.
- Using Mana Drain on enemy heroes is a very good form of harrassment, and it maximises killing potential for laning partners like Anti-Mage.
- Whether leveling Mana Drain as a semi-carry is more or less effective is dependent on the situation. If Hex and Earth Spike are leveled and Arcane Boots are built (with an optional Attribute Bonus) Lion will be much harder to kill, and still have enough mana at any time. However, some enemy heroes will be impaired by having their mana stolen from them, and some allied ones will be facilitated. Let the hero lineup on both sides inform your decision. For example, if there is a Storm Spirit or Leshrac on the opposing team, leveling Mana Drain is wise as these heroes are crippled horribly by accelerated loss of mana. However, if the enemy team has an Outworld Devourer or a Keeper of the Light, leveling Mana Drain is fairly pointless as these heroes have abilities which replenish mana for themselves and others.
- Mana Drain is still useful if left for late-game, as it greatly reduces Lion's need to return to base.
- Mana Drain also pops Linken's Sphere, which makes Lion an excellent hero for catching and focusing down elusive heroes that commonly carry Linken's Sphere like Weaver, Puck, and Storm Spirit. At level 4, it has a 5-second cooldown, which means it should always be available when you need it.
- Finger of Death is a very powerful nuke, especially considering Lion's largely supportive role. Use it to help damage enemy carries or to eliminate supports; but try not to use it for a sure kill unless a carry is unable to execute it themselves, as they require kills much more than Lion does. Combined with Dagon, it deals enough damage to one-shot many heroes throughout most of the game, but its best to resist this to allow allies to level.
- The low cooldown of Hex and Mana Drain are good for dispelling Linken's Sphere and any illusions.
- Lion combos exceptionally well with Lina and Shadow Shaman as his disable will allow Lina to land Light Strike Array not to mention that together they can cut down even high HP heroes within moments. With Shadow Shaman due to the fact that both possess two disable abilities they can effectively disable a hero indefinitely or for a very lengthy duration.
- It is not uncommon to see support heroes such as Lion to purchase Ghost Scepter in order to protect themselves from DPS heroes in team fights. If the game is going well you might even consider completing the item into an Ethereal Blade as it not only makes you impervious to physical attacks it allows you to greatly increase the damage output of your spells. Be wary however to not use the Ethereal Blade on a hero your team carry is about to kill as it impedes your own team's dps heroes from attacking your target.
- Force Staff is a good alternate to Blink Dagger, it gives more mobility and initiate options, especially if the enemy team has a Radiance.
- Phase Boots on a roaming support Lion, when paired with a Bottle, give better chasing and kill potential.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity should also be considered if you are constantly out of mana or need the additional movement speed and disable, and you can not afford Scythe of Vyse.
- In the transition from DotA to Dota 2, the names of two of Lion's abilities were changed. Impale changed to Earth Spike and Voodoo changed to Hex.
- Upon killing Witch Doctor, Lion says, "Play All we need now is a wardrobe." This is a reference to the high fantasy novel The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
- Fixed some ability Backswing timing issues ( Kunkka, Clockwerk, Timbersaw, Meepo, Pudge, Spirit Breaker, Sand King, Riki, Nyx Assassin, Lion, Pugna, Shadow Demon, Batrider).
- Updated Lion's hero selection icon to reflect his new texture.
- Updated Lion's minimap icon to match his new texture.
- New visual style for Lion.
- Fixed Mana Drain missing its last 1/4 tick.
- Lion portrait is less clown colors.
- Fixed Lion's Mana Drain and Shadow Shaman's Shackles to properly handle getting purged.
- Impale no longer uses a frontal cone.
- Mana Drain will now stop if the unit goes into the FOW
- Mana Drain will now kill illusions in 1 second instead of 2
- Fixed Impale' timing.
- Fixed Impale to not affect Ancients.
- Mana Drain is now eaten by Sphere and it will cancel the channel.
- Mana Drain now ticks once per second over 4 seconds.
- Mana Drain is now novt purgable.
- Finger of Death damage is now delayed by 0.25 seconds.
- Fixed Lion being able to cast Mana Drain on units without mana.
- New Shape Model and Animation for Lion [has no updated textures/details yet]
- Fixed cast point issues with Shadow Shaman, Lion and Tinker.
- Fixed Lion's impale starting too far away from him.
- Fixed Lion's Mana drain working on units with no remaining mana.
- Fixed cases where creating a linear projectile directly on yourself would cause it to get stuck. This includes fixes to Fissure, Ghost Ship, Dragon Slave, Arrow, Impale, Waveform, Illusory Orb, Meat Hook, Burrowstrike, Wave of Terror, and Power Shot.
- Earth Spike damage increased from 60/130/200/260 to 80/140/200/260
- Hex cooldown reduced from 30/25/20/15 to 30/24/18/12.
- Aghanim's Finger of Death now causes Finger of Death to hit units within a 200 AoE of the primary target.
- Mana Drain duration increased from 4 to 5.
- Cooldown increased from 15 to 30/25/20/15.
- Duration increased from 1.75/2.5/3.25/4 to 2.5/3/3.5/4.
- Mana Drain break and cast range improved by 100 (750/1100 to 850/1200).
- Aghanim's Finger of Death cooldown decreased from 160/100/40 to 100/60/20.
- Mana Drain break threshold range increased from 850 to 1100.
- Finger of Death cooldown rescaled from 170/105/40 to 160/100/40.
- Finger of Death cast range increased from 700 to 900.
- Finger of Death cooldown rescaled from 150/90/55 to 170/105/40.
- Finger of Death damage increased from 500/650/850 to 600/725/850 (Aghanim's from 600/800/1025 to 725/875/1025).
- Mana Drain initial cast range increased from 600/650/700/750 to 750.
- Mana Drain threshold range increased from 800 to 850.
- Mana Drain cooldown decreased from 25/20/15/10 to 20/15/10/5.
- Hex cooldown increased from 13 to 15.
- Hex manacost increased from 110/140/170/200 to 125/150/175/200.
- Hex duration increased from 1.25/2/2.75/3.5 to 1.75/2.5/3.25/4.
- Mana Drain level 4 increased from 100 to 120 per second.
- Mana Drain now drains at 0.25 second intervals instead of 1 second.
- Finger of Death and Laguna Blade no longer target magic immune (since they do 0 damage but waste spell)
- Hex duration reduced from 1/2/3/4 to 1.25/2/2.75/3.5 seconds.
- Lion's Mana Drain is now faster (same mana drain over 4 seconds instead of 5).
- Improved Lion's movement speed a little.
- Improved Lion's Mana Drain level 4 a little
- Reduced duration of Lion's Hex from 2/3/4/5 to 1/2/3/4