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Lich icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
20 + 2.1
15 + 2
16 + 3.6
Level Base 1 15 25
Health 200 560 1082 1460
Health regen 0 2 4.94 7.04
Magic res. 25% 25.96% 28.98% 31.14%
Mana 75 315 1065 1605
Mana regen 0 1 4.15 6.4
Spell dmg 0% 1.4% 5.81% 8.96%
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 42‒51 92‒101 128‒137
Movement speed 315
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. He can use Sacrifice to easily level up and keep his mana high, making him very good at harassing in the early stages of the game. While a relatively frail hero and mostly known as a support, he can prove to be a force to be reckoned and mighty foe to stand with as he can render the attempts of multiple enemies futile with his ultimate, Chain Frost. Lich is a powerful crowd controller and can easily turn a teamfight, or dominate in a lane.


Lich minimap icon.png Ethreain, the Lich
Play "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
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
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 takes the most damage.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0.93
Cast Range: 600 (Talent 775)
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: 125/150/170/190
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.

Ice Armor
Partially pierces spell immunity. Play
Ice Armor icon.png
Allies / Enemies
Creates a shield around the target friendly unit or building, which adds armor and slows attacking units. Lasts 40 seconds.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0.93
Cast Range: 1000 (Talent 1175)
Armor Bonus: 4/6/8/10
Health Regeneration Bonus: 0 (Talent 30)
Move Speed Slow: 8%/16%/24%/32%
Attack Speed Slow: 8/16/24/32
Armor Duration: 40
Slow Duration: 2
Cooldown: 5
Mana: 50
Partially pierces spell immunity. Can be cast on spell immune allies.
Does not slow spell immune enemies. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Buff Frost Armor: Dispellable with any dispel.
Buff Frost Armor Autocast: Undispellable.
Debuff Frostarmor Slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
Originally crafted during his ambush for self-defense, the Lich is capable of enchanting others with a formidable defense of frost magic.


  • The slow is applied upon a successful hit on a unit with the buff on.
  • Allied units can attack an ally with the buff on without getting slowed.
  • Can be set to autocast.
    • When on autocast, Lich automatically casts this spell on an allied hero that is attacked within 1100 radius of Lich.
    • This includes attacks from any source, including wards and allied attacks.
    • Only heroes and illusions are autocast targets, including spell immune heroes. All other units are ignored by autocast.
    • Can interrupt Lich's current order and makes him forget the next queued command. Following queued commands are not forgotten.
    • Cannot occur while channeling a spell.
  • When choosing the talent, restores health in the form of health regeneration, so it regenerates 3 health in 0.1 second intervals.
    • Regenerates a total of 1200 health.
    • The regeneration works for buildings as well.

Does not pierce spell immunity. Play
Sacrifice icon.png
Allied Units / Self
Sacrifices a friendly creep and converts its current hit points into mana for Lich.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0.93
Cast Range: 400 (Talent 575)
Current Health Converted: 55%/70%/85%/100%
Cooldown: 60/46/32/18
It was not unheard of Ethreain to make examples out of those who contested his rule during his human life.


  • Despite the visual effects, Lich instantly gains the mana from this spell.
  • Units killed by Sacrifice do not count as denied. Enemies do not gain any experience from the unit.
  • All allied heroes within the experience range share experience from the unit killed by Sacrifice.

Chain Frost
Cannot be disjointed. Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Partially pierces spell immunity. Play
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 925) (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. 850, Talent 1025)
Bounce Distance: 600
Number of Bounces: 10 (Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter. Infinite)
Bounce Delay: 0.2
Damage: 300/400/500 (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 1800/2400/3000 (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 3300/4400/5500 (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: 40%
Attack Speed Slow: 40
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 40% MS and AS Slow25 Ice Armor Provides +30 HP Regen
+180 Gold/Min20+175 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.

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, along with Sacrifice, 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 Branches are cheap and can give Lich good attributes at the cost of inventory space. They can be used to build Mekansm icon.png Mekansm components or upgrade your 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.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows is a useful utility item to build on Lich. On top of providing extra strength for more HP, the additional mana regen 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.

Mid game:

  • Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots are the best boots for Lich given his ability to sustain his mana pool with Sacrifice. The enhanced mobility allows Lich to do more in teamfights, as he is not expected to right-click enemies but rather get close enough to make use of his spells. The passive HP regen replenishes Lich's health pool while Sacrifice replenishes his mana pool, allowing him to remain on the map indefinitely without the need to return to base.
  • Town Portal Scroll icon.png Town Portal Scroll is mandatory on all heroes, and especially on supports like Lich. Being able to show up to a fight to cast his spells and use his items is critical, and showing up to counter-gank and breaking up the enemy's chase with Chain Frost can change the tide of a game under the right circumstances.

Late game:

  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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. The mana cost of the active is incidental to Lich since he can always stay at full mana by using Sacrifice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Shiva's Guard icon.png Shiva's Guard gives Lich a bigger mana pool and armor that stacks with Ice Armor, allowing him to weather physical attacks better. The active and passive auras also synergize well with Lich's other abilities, greatly debilitating the enemy's movement and attack speed.
  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord is a good utility support item that can greatly benefit Lich. The extra stats and armor give Lich more survivability, while the large intelligence bonus gives him a larger mana pool to work with. The active can greatly enhance the effectiveness of all of Lich's nukes, particularly Chain Frost.
  • 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 slow an enemy from a very long range and can be followed by Frost Blast.
  • Solar Crest icon.png Solar Crest is a good utility support item as Lich is a ranged hero that does not get into the thick of battles. Using the active ability on an enemy during a gank will allow teammates to capitalize on any slows you place on them, and using it on an ally synergizes with Ice Armor, giving them immense physical survivability as it grants evasion as well as armor. Lastly, it can be used to reduce Roshan's armor and induce a miss chance on his attacks, making Aegis attempts more efficient.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter is very useful on Lich as it gives him stats across the board and a method with which he can evade physical damage, giving him time to cast more spells if he is jumped on by the enemy's carry.
  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens can boost Lich's nuking power tremendously and is very easy to build. It increases the size of Lich's mana pool, boosting the utility of Sacrifice and facilitating his ability to cast his full spell combo in fights (particularly Chain Frost due to its extremely high mana cost), while also providing increased HP regen to keep him out in the field more often. It also boosts the cast range on all of Lich's spells, allowing him to nuke enemies from a safer distance.
  • 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 Ice Armor on them. The passive HP regen also allows Lich to maintain his HP pool without returning to base to heal, while Sacrifice maintains his mana pool.
  • 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.


Roles: Support Support Nuker Nuker
Complexity: ★☆☆
Playstyle: Resurrected by a curious geomancer, Ethreain threw off his shackles, and immediately Sacrificed his savior for mana. Finally freed from the depths of the Black Pool, the Lich returns to wreak icy destruction on the world. Shielding his followers with Ice Armor, 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 Play "Dead man drifting." is a reference to the line Play "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 :Play "Frost bitten, twice shy" is a referense to Great White albums: Once Bitten... and ...Twice Shy
  • Lich's response Play "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.