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Lich icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
20 + 2.1
15 + 2
24 + 4.1
Level Base 1 15 25
Health 200 600 1180 1600
Health regen 0 2 4.94 7.04
Magic res. 25% 26.2% 27.96% 29.22%
Mana 75 363 1047 1539
Mana regen 0.75 1.95 4.82 6.87
Spell dmg 0% 1.68% 5.7% 8.57%
Armor -1 1.4 5.88 9.08
Att/sec 0.59 0.68 0.84 0.96
Move sp amp. 0% 0.75% 2.15% 3.15%
Damage 26‒35 50‒59 107‒116 148‒157
Movement speed 295
Attack speed 100
Turn rate 0.5
Vision range 1800/800
Attack range 550
Projectile speed 900
Attack animation 0.46+0.54
Base attack time 1.7
Collision size 24
Gib type Ice

Ethreain, the Lich, is a ranged intelligence hero that uses his abilities to slow his enemies down with his ice-based attacks, as well as giving a boost to ally defenses, and serves as a great teamfight ganker with his powerful ultimate. His Frost Shield bolsters his team's defenses with a damage-absorbing shield while releasing slowing pulses of ice to either deter enemies or catch up to them in a chase. Lone enemies he can disable and pull closer to himself with his Sinister Gaze, potentially pulling the target to their own demise. But his foes will find no safety in strength in numbers, as Lich's ultimate, Chain Frost deals massive damage to enemy heroes who dare stick together. While a relatively frail hero and mostly known as a support, Lich is a powerful crowd controller and can easily turn any teamfight or dominate in a lane.


Lich minimap icon.png Ethreain, the Lich
▶️ "And so the dead will bury the dead."
In life, the frost-mage Ethreain (not yet a Lich) had used the threat of destructive ice to enslave entire kingdoms. His subjects, aided by a few desperate magicians, eventually grew bold enough to ambush him. Armed with enough charmed rope to bind him forever, they tied the frost mage to adamant weights and dropped him in a pool known chiefly for being bottomless. It wasn't. He only fell for a year or so before an outcrop snagged him. There he rested, dead but undecaying, until the geomancer Anhil thought to verify the legend of the supposedly bottomless Black Pool. Anhil's plumbline snarled with the ropes that bound the drowned magician, and up he hauled an unexpected prize. Thinking that by rendering the dead undead, he could question the Lich about the properties of the pool, he removed the bindings and commenced a simple rite of resurrection. Even the descendants of Ethreain's enemies were long forgotten by time, so there were none to warn Anhil against imprudence. But he learned the error of his judgment almost immediately, as Lich threw off the shackles and consumed him.


Frost Blast
Frost Blast icon.png
Blasts the target enemy unit with damaging frost, dealing area damage and slowing movement and attack rates for 4 seconds. The primary target receives both base and area damage.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0.93
Cast Range: 600 (Talent 800)
Effect Radius: 200
Primary Damage: 50/100/150/200
Area Damage: 75/100/125/150
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 30
Slow Duration: 4
Cooldown: 7 (With talent: 3)
Mana: 105/130/155/180
Does not pierce spell immunity. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked fully only when primary target. Particles still visually appear.
Debuff Frostnova Slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
Frost-mage Ethreain has not forgotten even the simplest of ice manipulation.


  • The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
  • The area damage is dealt before the primary damage.
  • The primary target takes the primary damage and the area damage, resulting in 125/200/275/350 damage (before reductions).
  • Frost Blast first applies the damage, then the debuff.

Frost Shield
Frost Shield icon.png
Allies / Enemies
Applies a magical frost shield around the target, reducing damage from attacks against you. While the shield is active, ice magic will affect nearby enemy units every 1 seconds, dealing minor damage and slowing them.
Cast Animation: 0.2+0.93
Cast Range: 1000 (Talent 1200)
Pulses Radius: 600
Attack Damage Resistance: 30%/40%/50%/60%
Health Regeneration Bonus: 0 (Talent 60)
Pulse Interval: 1
Pulse Damage: 20/30/40/50
Pulse Movement Speed Slow: 20%/25%/30%/35%
Pulse Slow Duration: 0.5
Shield Duration: 6 (Talent 9)
Cooldown: 30/25/20/15
Mana: 100/110/120/130
Partially pierces spell immunity. Can be cast on spell immune allies.
Does not affect spell immune enemies. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Buff Frost Shield: Dispellable with any dispel.
Debuff Frost Shield Slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
First conceived of to protect him in his mortal years, the frost magic that Ethreain weaves around himself has only grown colder with time.


  • The buffed ally gains resistance against attack damage. It does not gain physical damage resistance.
  • Despite the description, the damage pulses hit every enemy within the area, not only the closest enemy.
  • Pulses in 1-second interval, starting 1 second after cast, resulting in 6 pulses.
  • The pulses first apply their damage, then the slow debuff.
  • Recasting Frost Shield on the same target does not stack, but refreshes the duration, and resets the pulse interval.
  • The level 25 talent adds health regeneration to Frost Shield. The regen works for targeted buildings as well.
    • Can regenerate up to 360 (Talent 540) health over its full duration.

Sinister Gaze
Sinister Gaze icon.png
Hypnotizes an enemy unit, causing it to move towards a point between the two of you.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Cast Range: 500/525/550/575 (Talent 700/725/750/775)
Distance Moved: 32%/38%/44%/50%
Duration: 1.6/1.9/2.2/2.5
Cooldown: 24/22/20/18
Mana: 120/130/140/150
Debuff Sinister Gaze: Dispellable with any dispel.
Mind the cold...


  • Sets the target's movement speed to 32%/38%/44%/50% of the distance between Lich and the target.
    • When cast at max cast range, this results in a speed of 100/105/110/115 (Talent 140/145/150/155).
  • The speed is set once upon cast. If the target gets moved or teleported, the speed does not adapt.
  • Provides True Sight over the target for the full duration. Does not provide any other form of vision.
  • Grants the target unobstructed pathing, so it can move through cliffs, trees, and other units.

Chain Frost
Chain Frost icon.png
Releases an orb of frost that bounces between nearby enemy units up to 10 times, slowing and damaging each time it hits.
Cast Animation: 0.3+1.03
Cast Range: 750 (Talent 950) (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 850, Talent 1050)
Bounce Distance: 600
Number of Bounces: 10 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Infinite)
Bounce Delay: 0.2
Damage: 250/400/550 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 400/500/600)
Move Speed Slow: 65%
Attack Speed Slow: 65
Slow Duration: 2.5
Cooldown: 100/80/60
Mana: 200/325/500
Aghanim's upgrade: Increases damage and casting range. Removes the limit on the number of times Chain Frost can jump.
Partially pierces spell immunity. Can target and bounce to spell immune enemies. Does not slow or attempt to damage spell immune enemies. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked upon cast or impact only as primary target. When blocked upon cast, it fully affects the primary target and continues to bounce. When blocked upon impact, it continues to bounce without affecting the primary target.
Debuff Chainfrost Slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
Almost universally considered the ultimate in frost magic, Ethreain's orb of frozen death strikes fear into those who dare stand against him.


  • Chain Frost travels at a speed of 850.
  • The projectile bounces with a 0.2 second delay.
  • Can bounce on the same unit multiple times, but only when another target was hit between the bounces.
  • Can bounce on, but cannot damage or slow Roshan icon.png Roshan. Only the initial hit can damage and slow him.
  • Chain Frost first applies the debuff, then the damage.
  • Can deal up to 1500/2400/3300 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. infinite) damage to a single unit (before reductions), since it can hit one unit up to 6 times.
  • All bounces together can deal up to 2750/4400/6050 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. infinite) damage (before reductions).
  • The projectile has 800 range flying vision. The vision is not provided during the 0.2 second bounce delay.
  • Chain Frost stops providing vision and stops playing a sound upon hitting non-hero units when bouncing more than 60 times.

Freezing Slow
Cannot be used by illusions. Not disabled by Break. Pierces spell immunity.
Talent Left 4.png
There is no description for this ability.
Movement Speed Slow: 60%
Attack Speed Slow: 60
Duration: 3
Cannot be used by illusions. Illusions use the changed attack projectiles against valid targets.
Debuff Attack Slow Debuff: Undispellable.


  • The ability is unlocked by choosing the left level 25 talent.
  • The debuff from successive attacks does not stack, only the duration gets refreshed.
  • The attacks first apply their damage, then the debuff.
  • Fully stacks with other slows, including all of Lich's abilities.
  • Changes the visual appearance of Lich's attack projectiles (same effect as Eye of Skadi icon.png Eye of Skadi).
    • Uses default attack projectiles against enemies which cannot be affected.
    • Desolator icon.png Desolator's red projectiles take priority.


Hero Talents
Attacks Apply 60% MS and AS Slow25 Frost Shield Provides +60 HP Regen
+3s Frost Shield Duration20+200 Cast Range
-4s Frost Blast Cooldown15+120 Damage
+20 Movement Speed10+200 Health
  • The health talent increases maximum health capacity, and keeps the current health percentage.
  • This attack damage talent is added as raw attack damage, so it does not benefit illusions, and is not affected by most percentage-based damage increasing or reducing effects.

Recommended items[edit]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango sustains Lich's health so that he does not get harassed out of lane; he can also use it to heal allied carry as well.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve also restores health to Lich or an ally.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity supplies mana for Frost Blast, keeping enemies from touching the creep waves.
  • Animal Courier (Radiant) icon.png Animal Courier ferries items to allies.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch is cheap and gives Lich good attributes. It can build to Mekansm icon.png Mekansm or Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward provides map vision for team to spot enemy ganks.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick is useful on all heroes, and in particular on supports, so buying one on Lich is highly recommended during laning. It can be upgraded into a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand for additional stats and more burst regen.
  • Boots of Speed icon.png Boots of Speed are very powerful on Lich, as his innately high base movement speed already gives him some measure of mobility to allow him to harass and escape in the laning stage. Augmenting that with Boots will allow him to do even more, harassing more effectively with Frost Blast and even chasing enemies down.

Mid game:

  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens gives Lich mana and mana regeneration to use his abilities. The increased cast range helps Lich use abilities and items from a safe distance, and improves Sinister Gaze by making the targets walk farther toward Lich.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff is a very useful utility item on all supports, and is relatively easy to build as well. The ability to quickly displace allies and enemies is very powerful as Lich's spells all depend greatly on positioning, while the item's bonuses give Lich a bigger mana pool and some more HP regen.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape helps Lich or allies escape with bonus magic resistance and invisibility.

Late game:

  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger is powerful on Lich as he can instantly get within range to cast Frost Blast on an enemy, or jump in to cast Chain Frost on an unsuspecting group of enemy heroes. It also improves his map mobility as he can easily jump over impassable terrain to reach his destination faster.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter greatly augments Lich's ability to deal damage in fights, as the increased damage and removal of the bounce limit removes the option for the enemy to simply wait out the spell or lead the ball into creep waves.

Situational items:

  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb will increase Lich's damage output with Chain Frost by a very large margin, especially if it is a follow-up to large disabling teamfight abilities. It is highly recommended to build up your mana pool first though, as Chain Frost itself costs 500 mana at level 3, meaning that the combo will cost upwards of 1375 mana, excluding other spells.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse is a very powerful item on any support hero, although it is also very expensive. The massive intelligence bonus and mana regen allows Lich to cast his spells with almost no limit, and the additional strength also gives him survivability. However, its most important feature is the ability to instantly hard-disable an enemy and prevent them from using items, a powerful ability in late-game teamfights.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter provides Lich attributes and ethereal to counter physical damage, giving him time to use abilities or escape if he is jumped on by the enemy's carry.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is a useful utility item to build on Lich. On top of providing extra attributes for more HP, the additional mana regeneration allows Lich to take advantage of his high intelligence growth, and the active can be used to heal teammates or apply some more damage to the enemy in ganks.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm is mandatory on any team, and Lich can carry one quite effectively. The item gives him stats across the board as well as armor, giving him more survivability, and the instant 250 HP heal is crucial in teamfights.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity is a comparatively cheap utility item that is very powerful on Lich. It enhances his movement speed while giving him a bigger mana pool and great amounts of mana regen, making him much more mobile and allowing him to spam his spells much more frequently. Most importantly though, the active ability allows him to instantly hard-disable an enemy at range, something he otherwise lacks.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos gives Lich many good benefits. The extra HP greatly increases Lich's survivability and the intelligence gives him a larger mana pool. More importantly, however, the item's active ability can be used to root an enemy from a very long range and can be followed by Frost Blast.
  • Solar Crest icon.png Solar Crest helps Lich in ganks by lowering enemy's armor and movement speed. Furthermore, in fights, using the item on an ally buffs their armor, movement, and attack speed. Lastly, it can reduce Roshan's armor and attack speed, cinching the Aegis with ease.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight is a powerful utility item to build for your team, as it can protect them from magic nukes, synergizing with your ability to protect them from physical damage by casting Frost Shield on them. The passive HP regen also allows Lich to maintain his HP pool without returning to base to heal.


Roles: Support Support Nuker Nuker
Complexity: ★☆☆
Playstyle: Resurrected by a curious geomancer, Ethreain bewitched his savior with a Sinister Gaze, then promptly made the man his newest sacrifice. Finally freed from the depths of the Black Pool, the Lich returns to wreak icy destruction on the world. Cloaking his followers with an Frost Shield, Ethreain floats across the battlefield to Frost Blast any who cross him. A frozen orb descends on his foes, traveling from one body to the next until the Chain Frost brings all opposition to their knees.





  • Lich's voice actor, Gary Schwartz, also voiced the Heavy and Demoman classes in Team Fortress 2, another title by Valve.
  • In the first iteration of Invoker minimap icon.png Invoker's abilities, when the order of his three orbs determined the spell that was invoked, Frost Nova was one of his abilities and functioned almost identically to the current spell, and was mapped to Quas Quas Exort. Crystal Maiden minimap icon.png Crystal Maiden also had the same Frost Nova ability with small differences in numbers.
  • Lich is almost entirely based on a Warcraft 3 hero. His title (Lich), DotA name (Kel'Thuzad) and all his spells except the ultimate are same as the original Warcraft 3 hero,[1] although entirely rebalanced around Dota.
    • In his transition to Dota 2, he kept his title (Lich), but his name got changed due to copyright reasons, since Kel'Thuzad is a notable character from the Warcraft universe.[2]
    • Lich's response ▶️ "Dead man drifting." is a reference to the line ▶️ "Dead man walking." spoken by the Warcraft 3 hero.[3]
  • Anatomically, Lich's cranium has no visible sutures, another proof of his age.
  • Lich's response :▶️ "Frost bitten, twice shy" is a referense to Great White albums: Once Bitten... and ...Twice Shy
  • Lich's response ▶️ "And so the dead will bury the dead" is a reference from Bible (Luke 9:59-60), where Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead,” in response to a disciple who wanted to bury his father before committing himself to the Lord.