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 useful throughout the game, though more so to very fragile heroes than others.
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.
| Lion, the Demon Witch
| Play "All hell's broken loose, and I hold the pieces."
|| Support / Disabler / Nuker / Initiator
|| Once a Grandmaster of the Demon Witch tradition of sorcery, Lion earned fame among his brethren for fighting on the side of light and righteousness. But adulation corrupts. With powers surpassed only by his ambition, the mage was seduced by a demon and turned to evil, trading his soul for prestige. After committing horrible crimes that marred his soul, he was abandoned. The demon betrayed him, striking better deals with his enemies. Such was Lion’s rage that he followed the demon back to hell and slew it, ripping it limb from limb, taking its demonic hand for his own. However, such demonoplasty comes at a cost. Lion was transfigured by the process, his body transformed into something unrecognizable. He rose from hell, rage incarnate, slaying even those who had once called him master, and laying waste to the lands where he had once been so adored. He survives now as the sole practitioner of the Demon Witch tradition, and those who present themselves as acolytes or students are soon relieved of their mana and carried off by the faintest gust of wind.
|| Tom Chantler (Responses)
- The spikes travel at a speed of 1600.
- When targeting a unit, the spikes are released towards its current location upon cast. Spikes do not home, thus can be evaded.
- The damage is applied upon landing, not upon getting hit.
- Can hit units up to 950 range away (825 travel distance + 125 spikes radius).
- When Earth Spike hits invisible units, the visual effects below the hit unit are still visible.
- Can only be cast on units which have a mana pool.
- Drains 2/4/6/12 mana in 0.1 second intervals, starting 0.1 seconds after cast, resulting in 50 instances.
- Can drain up to 100/200/300/600 mana when fully channeled.
- Instantly destroys targeted illusions on the first interval.
- Aghanim's Scepter causes Finger of Death to be cast on all enemy units within 300 radius of the target.
- This includes invisible enemies and enemies in the fog of war.
- An area indicator is added to the mouse pointer, to make easier to tell wether or not enemies are within range.
- Tangoes and a Healing Salve provide HP sustain in-lane, allowing Lion to remain active despite enemy harass.
- Gauntlets of Strength, while expensive as a starting item, provides Lion with strength, increasing his meager HP and giving him some more survivability.
- Iron Branch is cheap and can be purchased with any leftover gold, giving Lion some additional stats. It can be build into a Magic Wand or Mekansm components if needed.
- Animal Courier should always be purchased by the support. If another support purchases courier, it is advised to purchase other support items such as Observer Wards.
- Magic Stick gives Lion burst HP and mana regen, critical to have on hand for low-HP casters whose spells can make large differences in teamfights. While a fully-charged Magic Stick is not fully guaranteed to allow Lion to cast one more spell if he's out of mana, it can buy him a few seconds to contribute more in an engagement or escape pursuers.
- Boots of Speed is important to get early on Lion due to his strong disables. The extra movement speed allows Lion to chase enemies and get into position to cast his disables, securing early kills for his team.
- Bracer can be upgraded from Gauntlets of Strength, giving Lion more HP as well as additional other attributes.
- Magic Wand is a great upgrade for extra attributes and the additional charges, always useful on hard supports. Its cheap price makes it useful on Lion, who will not always have the gold to buy better items.
- Tranquil Boots are the best boots upgrade for Lion, as they are cheap and give him everything he needs. The passive HP regen keeps his health pool topped off, synergizing with his ability to keep his mana pool at full with Mana Drain. The additional armor gives him increased survivability, while the increased movement speed gives him better roaming and positioning ability.
- Mekansm is useful to build on Lion if no other teammates can utilize the item effectively. The additional stats and armor increase Lion's survivability, while the heal drastically improves his teamfight contribution. As well, Lion does not suffer from the tremendous mana cost of the item as he can always recoup it with Mana Drain.
- Observer Wards should always be picked up when available, one of the core duties of a support. Spotting enemy movements allows Lion and his team to re-position to meet them, and lets Lion pounce on his foes with his array of disables and nukes.
- Town Portal Scroll is important to carry at all times. Lion's nuking and disabling potential allows him to turn ganks and teamfights completely around if he is present.
- Blink Dagger is extremely powerful on Lion, and should be considered a core item no matter his farm situation. The ability to instantly jump on top of enemies allows him to get much more use out of Hex and Earth Spike, greatly increasing the odds of getting kills on the enemy.
- Boots of Travel are invaluable in the late game for the the additional movement speed and ability to globally teleport. The movement speed helps with Lion's positioning and chasing, while the teleport allows him to jump to allied creeps to set up or participate in kill opportunities on other parts of the map.
- Scythe of Vyse is expensive, but is a strong late-game item on any casting-oriented support. In Lion's case, it gives him better overall stats and reduces his reliance on Mana Drain, while also adding yet another instant hard disable to his already formidable arsenal.
- Dagon drastically increases Lion's nuking potential, as it allows him to double up on the already formidable nuking power of Finger of Death. However, it is extremely expensive to upgrade and can be relatively useless if bought too late, so it is best purchased if Lion already has a strong gold advantage and needs to end the game early.
- Aghanim's Scepter greatly augments Finger of Death's killing power, as well as drastically reducing its cooldown to allow it to be used tactically. It is best purchased if Lion is given farm priority and his team has good crowd control that can group the enemy up to hit them with the area of effect.
- Flying Courier should be purchased as soon as it is available if playing in the hard support role.
- Lion is renowned for being one of the strongest disabling supports in the game. He has two hard disables in Hex and Earth Spike, which allow him to set up kills in virtually any situation once he hits level 2, potentially giving his team a strong early advantage with his combination of nukes and disables. Be sure to layer your disables properly, in order to lock down a target for the longest possible duration instead of stacking the disables and wasting one or both.
- Like most other intelligence-based casters, Lion suffers from low strength and agility growth, making him frail and easy to kill if focused down. Due to this and his strong array of disables, Lion benefits greatly from building survivability and mobility items, as his great intelligence growth combined with his Mana Drain ability means that he is never wanting for mana to cast his spells.
- Beware that due to his single-target nature, all of Lion's spells can be blocked with Linken's Sphere, or even worse reflected with Lotus Orb. As such, be extremely careful about when and where you cast your spells, and be sure to regularly check the enemy's inventory so that you know if they are building towards either item.
- Because of his powerful early disabling potential, Lion can be played in a variety of ways.
- In most cases, Lion is played as a hard support, protecting his safe lane carry by pulling neutral camps and harassing the enemy off-laner. He is also able to set up kills with his disables if he is able to get within range to cast them on the enemy, whether it be their off-laner or rotating to gank their mid-laner.
- True to his name, Lion is also a strong roamer who can prowl and pounce on enemies in their lanes, using his disables to hold them in place while his teammates kill them.
- In unusual circumstances, Lion can also be a respectable mid, as his good base damage allows him to compete with other mid heroes with last-hits, and his disables allow him to set up the enemy mid if supports rotate for a gank. The early gold and levels can allow him to transition into a strong roaming who can catch enemies with his disables and nuke them down with Finger of Death.
- Earth Spike is a disable that deals damage and stuns in a line in front of Lion, making it a well-rounded stun and nuke.
- Because both its damage and stun duration scale with levels, Earth Spike is generally Lion's best ability to max out first. This allows Lion to deal respectable nuke damage and disable for a good duration with a single spell.
- Earth Spike is unusual in that it can be both ground-targeted and unit-targeted. This allows the spell to be used both as a reliable and unreliable disable, however it also means that the spell can be blocked by Linken's Sphere even if ground-targeted.
- Due to its line target nature, Earth Spike can potentially damage and stun multiple targets at once. If the opportunity presents itself, try to position yourself such that you can line up a stun on at least two enemies at once.
- One unusual aspect of Earth Spike is that it can be targeted at only 500 range but travels up to 825, possibly hitting enemies up to 950 units away. This means that while the spell can reliably stun an enemy at 500 range or less, with skill it can be used as an unreliable stun to disable an enemy at almost twice that distance.
- Beware that Earth Spike does have a travel time, and that it is possible for the enemy to dodge the spikes near the end of the spell if they are fast enough. As such, it can pay off to get as close as possible to a target before casting Earth Spike on them, to give them as little time to react if possible.
- Keep in mind that the elevated spike animation will still play if the spell catches an invisible hero. While it cannot be used to reliably search for invisible enemies due to its thin radius, a successful hit will alert allies to a stunned invisible enemy, allowing them to cast an area-targeted unreliable disable or nuke on that spot.
- Hex is an extremely powerful hard disable that can silence and mute its target, preventing them from casting spells or using items. As well, it has an instant cast animation, giving the enemy absolutely no time to react.
- Due to its poor scaling, Hex is generally best left with one point in the early game. Each additional level only adds half a second to the disable duration while drastically increasing the mana cost, which can tax Lion's mana pool beyond its limit. It is better left as the last ability to max out, as Lion can replenish his mana pool reliably with more levels in Mana Drain, and it is unlikely that targets need to be hard-disabled multiple times in the early game when all-out teamfights are rare.
- Due to its instant cast time, Hex is a powerful initiating disable since it can lock down a target immediately when Lion gets within range to cast it. As well, the slow it inflicts on the target makes them an easier target to hit with a followed up Earth Spike. However, this will generally vary according to the situation, as Earth Spike's longer disable range can allow Lion to disable an enemy from a greater distance away first, then follow up with a longer-duration Hex.
- Hex can instantly destroy illusions, making it a powerful counter to certain illusion heroes and Manta Style. If the enemy can create a small number of powerful illusions with abilities like Replicate, Phantasm or Mirror Image, Lion can instantly remove one of them from play or hard-disable the source of the illusions directly. And if an enemy uses Manta Style defensively, Hex can instantly remove one of them, increasing the chance of finding the right hero to 50%.
- In dire situations, Hex can be cast defensively as well. If a lone enemy initiates on Lion and he is unable to kill them with his nukes, casting a max level Hex on them will disable them for 4 seconds, more than enough time for Lion to channel a Town Portal Scroll to escape.
- Mana Drain is a strong utility and soft-disable spell that allows Lion to roam independently as he can maintain a near-limitless supply of mana.
- Next to Earth Spike, Mana Drain can be a powerful spell to max out early on. While it is not very strong at level 1, getting it to level 2 allows Lion to start recouping the mana cost of his spells, giving him the mana to cast his full combo whenever he needs to. At level 4, it can drain mana at double the rate that it does at level 3, making much more powerful.
- Used judiciously, Mana Drain can hinder enemies' attempts to lane as Lion can threaten to remove their mana pool if they remain in the area while he casts this spell on them. It is particularly effective against melee heroes who have to approach the creep wave to last-hit, and used over time it can force them to leave the lane as they will not have the mana to cast any of their spells, including escape abilities in the event of a gank.
- While Mana Drain can be a powerful harass tool in the laning stage, it can leave Lion wide open to retaliation since it is a channeled spell that forces him to stand still. Be sure that the enemy is not in a position to jump on him before attempting to cast this spell on them, and that allies are ready to come to your aid if necessary.
- Remember that Mana Drain can be cast on any non-friendly unit that has a mana pool, not just enemy heroes. This means that Lion can drain mana from ranged lane creeps, as well as neutral creeps with mana pools. However, keep in mind that casting this spell on neutral creeps will draw aggro, so it is best to cast it when they are otherwise occupied in order to avoid taking damage while draining mana.
- Past the laning stage, Mana Drain has strong utility despite its seemingly mediocre effects. Its ability to drain up to 120 MP/sec means that, when combined with other disables, it can completely destroy an enemy's ability to retaliate at all as they will have no mana to cast any spells or use certain active abilities. It can be extremely powerful against heroes with small mana pools that rely on survivability abilities, with Reincarnation being one of the most prominent examples.
- Like Hex, Mana Drain is capable of destroying illusions, removing them from play upon the first drain instance (0.1 seconds after casting). As its cooldown and mana cost is even lower than Hex, Mana Drain can effectively destroy an illusion every four seconds.
- When used in combination with Earth Spike and Hex, Mana Drain can allow Lion to completely remove Manta Style illusions from the field: use Earth Spike to disable all three targets and identify the real hero by how much damage they take, destroy an illusion with Mana Drain, and follow up with Hex on the hero once Earth Spike's stun ends. The second illusion can be destroyed at leisure once Mana Drain comes off cooldown.
- Due to its long cast range, Mana Drain can be used to break an enemy's Linken's Sphere ahead of a fight or gank. However, be very careful when attempting this, as Mana Drain's cast animation can add an additional delay that the enemy can take advantage of.
- Finger of Death is one of the most powerful magic nukes in the game, capable of dealing a tremendous amount of damage to a single target.
- In general, it is best to use Finger of Death at the start of an engagement, rather than in an attempt to finish off a foe. Using the nuke on an enemy at the earliest opportunity will ensure that it deals all of its damage rather than a portion of it, and can allow your team to kill the target faster. As well, it is usually wise to try to let your team's carries score the last hit and claim credit for the kill, as they can usually make better use of the gold than Lion can. However, if there is a chance that the target may escape, do not hesitate to take the kill yourself, as getting a kill on the support and assist gold on other teammates is better than missing the kill and everybody getting nothing at all.
- Keep in mind that there is a 0.25 second damage delay once Finger of Death connects with a target, meaning that the damage will take effect 0.55 seconds after giving Lion the command. This delay can allow players with quick reaction times to evade its damage and possibly escape death, as activating spell immunity or becoming hidden/invulnerable will effectively dodge the damage, wasting the spell.
- Due to its strong nuking potential, Finger of Death can be profitably used on a squishy enemy support rather than trying to damage the enemy carry. At the start of a teamfight, if the opportunity presents itself to instantly remove an enemy player from the field, it can benefit your team far more than dealing more damage to their tanky carry: killing a support at the start will prevent not only any high-impact spells they might otherwise cast, but also any items that could give their team an advantage (such as Mekansm or Crimson Guard). Be sure to use your judgment and choose your targets wisely.
- Beware that Finger of Death's nuke can be turned against you if the enemy builds the right items. A Blade Mail can cause Lion to blow himself up as well as the enemy, preventing him from further using his disables in a fight, while a Lotus Orb can amount to the same result, but even worse can potentially allow the enemy to bounce the beam onto Lion's allies. Check the enemy's inventory for such items ahead of time, and be sure to refrain from casting your spells if the enemy attempts to bait you.
- Lion can benefit from building many different items to suit his needs.
- Sentry Ward is crucial to purchase regularly as a support Lion. As a ranged hero, Lion can destroy enemy Observer Wards he finds, taking away map vision from the enemy team.
- Urn of Shadows can be a strong alternative purchase over Bracer. Given his roaming ability, Lion can accumulate charges relatively easily, and then use those charges offensively or defensively, healing his team or dealing more damage in fights.
- Medallion of Courage gives Lion more utility, along with a blend of armor and mana regeneration. As a ranged support with strong disables, Lion can use the active on gank targets, increasing the damage they take from teammates' physical attacks. It can also be used on Roshan to reduce his armor, and later upgraded into a Solar Crest for even more benefits.
- Ghost Scepter is useful on low-HP casters such as Lion. The ability to evade physical damage for a short duration can buy Lion time to survive if the enemy attempt to focus him down, giving him the few seconds he may need to get his spells off.
- Glimmer Cape gives Lion strong utility and some initiation power. The active can allow Lion to invisibly approach gank targets and get within range to cast his disables, and can even be used as a shield while channeling Mana Drain. More importantly, it can be cast on allies who are caught out of position, granting them invisibility and strong magic resistance to aid them in escaping.
- Force Staff is a powerful utility and mobility item on Lion that grants him more mana, base damage and some HP sustain. It can serve as an inferior substitute to Blink Dagger, or as a supplement to further increase Lion's mobility. The active can also be used to help allies re-position as needed, or on an enemy to disposition them or instantly break their Linken's Sphere ahead of other disables.
- Aether Lens is a very strong item to obtain on Lion. The increased mana pool allows Lion to more easily get off his spell combos due to the high cost of Finger of Death, and can be easily replenished with Mana Drain, while the HP regen works alongside Tranquil Boots to keep Lion's HP topped up. The cast range increase can greatly extend the reach of all of Lion's spells, especially Hex and Earth Spike for disabling foes, and the spell damage amp makes his nukes deal additional damage as well.
- Eul's Scepter of Divinity can give Lion some very strong benefits. The item grants more movement speed, giving him more mobility, as well as some more intelligence and mana regen to help him with casting. The active ability can be used either as an additional disable on the enemy, or on Lion himself to give him temporary invulnerability while purging debuffs like silences.
- 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.
- Lion's rival response towards Witch Doctor Play "All we need now is a wardrobe." is a reference to the second book in The Chronicles of Narnia book series by C.S. Lewis, titled The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
July 03, 2013 Patch
- Updated Lion's head.
February 07, 2013 Patch
- Fixed some ability Backswing timing issues ( Kunkka, Clockwerk, Timbersaw, Meepo, Pudge, Spirit Breaker, Sand King, Riki, Nyx Assassin, Lion, Pugna, Shadow Demon, Batrider).
May 24, 2012 Patch
- Updated Lion's hero selection icon to reflect his new texture.
May 10, 2012 Patch
- Updated Lion's minimap icon to match his new texture.
April 26, 2012 Patch
- New visual style for Lion.
April 12, 2012 Patch
- Fixed Mana Drain missing its last 1/4 tick.
August 04, 2011 Patch
- Lion portrait is less clown colors.
August 03, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Lion's Mana Drain and Shadow Shaman's Shackles to properly handle getting purged.
August 02, 2011 Patch
- Impale no longer uses a frontal cone.
July 08, 2011 Patch
- 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.
July 01, 2011 Patch
- 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 not purgable.
- Finger of Death damage is now delayed by 0.25 seconds.
June 24, 2011 Patch
- 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]
June 10, 2011 Patch
- Fixed cast point issues with Shadow Shaman, Lion and Tinker.
March 17, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Lion's impale starting too far away from him.
February 04, 2011 Patch
- Fixed Lion's Mana drain working on units with no remaining mana.
January 30, 2011 Patch
- 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
- Increased stun duration from 1.02/1.52/2.02/2.52 to 1.1/1.6/2.1/2.6 (air time reduced from 0.52 to 0.5).
- Reduced manacost from 100/120/145/170 to 100/120/140/160.
- Reduced Mana Drain cooldown from 20/15/10/5 to 16/12/8/4.
- Increased Hex unit movement speed from 100 to 140.
- Increased base attack damage from 20-26 to 27-33 (total attack damage is now 49-55).
- Reduced Mana Drain drain interval from 0.25 to 0.1 (same amount of mana drained overall, but in smoother intervals).
- Increased Earth Spike damage from 60/130/200/260 to 80/140/200/260.
- Reduced Hex cooldown from 30/25/20/15 to 30/24/18/12.
- Increased duration from 1.75/2.5/3.25/4 to 2.5/3/3.5/4.
- Increased cooldown from 15 to 30/25/20/15.
- Increased Mana Drain duration from 4 to 5.
- Increased Mana Drain link break distance from 850 to 1100.
- Finger of Death
- Increased cast range from 700 to 900.
- Reduced cooldown from 170/105/40 to 160/100/40.
- Mana Drain
- Increased cast range from 600/650/700/750 to 750 on each level.
- Increased link break distance from 800 to 850.
- Reduced cooldown from 25/20/15/10 to 20/15/10/5.
- Finger of Death
- Increased damage from 500/650/850 ( 600/800/1025) to 600/725/850 ( 725/875/1025).
- Rescaled cooldown from 150/90/55 ( 150/90/50) to 170/105/40.
- Increased duration from 1.25/2/2.75/3.5 to 1.75/2.5/3.25/4.
- Increased manacost from 110/140/170/200 to 125/150/175/200.
- Increased cooldown from 13 to 15.
- Mana Drain
- Increased mana drain per second from 20/40/60/100 to 20/40/60/120.
- Reduced drain interval from 1 to 0.25 (same amount of mana drained overall, but in smoother intervals).
- Increased model size of Hexed units a bit.
- Recoded Earth Spike:
- No longer turns hit enemies invulnerable during the air time.
- No longer causes hit enemy units to instantly face towards Lion.
- No longer requires channeling in order for the spikes to reach max distance.
- No longer conflicts with Burrowstrike, Impale, Ravage and Earth Spike from other Lions.
- No longer fails to stun and damage enemies when the targeted point was a cliff.
- Mana Drain
- Increased mana drain per second from 15/30/50/80 to 20/40/60/100.
- Reduced duration from 5 to 4.
- Mana Drain
- Increased cast range from 600 on each level to 600/650/700/750.
- Increased mana drain per second from 15/30/50/70 to 15/30/50/80.
- Reduced cooldown from 25 on each level to 25/20/15/10.
- Increased Hexed unit model slightly.
- Reduced Hex duration from 2/3/4/5 to 1/2/3/4.
- ↑ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.