Taken from : http://risq55.deviantart.com/art/DOTA2-LION-383035113 Lion: The Demon Witch Lion is an solid choice for a support as he is extremely good at skirmishing, harassing, and doesn't need too much farm to be a very relevant disabler throughout a game. This makes him one of the best low MMR supports in DoTA. Pros: Has some the highest magic burst in DoTA Very reliable disables, one of them being instant cast Doesn't suffer from mana problems Extremely high int gain (3) Good attack animation and base damage Extremely low cast points Cons: Linken's Sphere, BKB, and Lotus Orb counter lion Like a lot of supports, his base strength and strength gain is extremely low Inherently, magic damage becomes more irrelevant in the late game Lion performs very well against the more common carry picks in the current patch during the early and mid-game. Phantom Assassin: Your targeted instant cast hex and high damage nukes can be problematic for PA. Most low MMR PA's skirmish or participate in early-mid game team fights once they hit level 6 rather than farming. Lion, at level 6, has 4.6 sec of reliable disable and 800 magic damage at his disposal making him good at dealing with an agressive PA. Morphling: Mana Drain and hex will keep him from morphing strength making him more than killable in the early to mid game. With some backup a gank on a morphling who has morphed a lot of agility will be extremely effective. Hex can remove linken's, although you might not want it to. Juggernaut: He suffers from mana issues (terrible base int and int gain) which is made even more apparent by mana drain, as long as you lead with your hex will be hard for him to just spin away in the early game. Low MMR juggs tend to overextend which you can take advantage of. Anti-Mage: Your instant cast hex is a reliable way to disable him and your nukes can help kill him before he blinks away. Wraith King: Mana drain destroys his ability to use his ult and stun. Prior to him building a BKB, lion's disables are very effective against him. Weaver: His crappy strength and strength gain and your ability to hex him to keep him from using his invis means that with some help you'll be able to burst him down before he can use his ult. Picking Lion into any of these heroes and playing intelligently will give your team an advantage against them early. You have the capacity to shut them down before they itemize against you (if they even try to in low MMR) as Lion. HOW YOU SHOULD PLAY LION Don't Go Mid Lion's low base strength makes him easy to pick off. The opposing team will gank you constantly in mid and you'll end up feeding a lot. Your base damage might be good and your levels do give you good utility and damage, but that farm is better served on someone who scales better into late game. Your talents are best used to help your carrys out and deny farm from other heroes. Unless you think that you'll have an easy time mid and will be impactful with your ganking early, don't do it. Hard Support In the Lane: If you're in a lower MMR bracket, the way you should play lion is in a duo lane. You should be denying as much farm from the enemy team as you can and securing as much farm for your carry as possible. This means you'll be harassing the enemy offlane and stacking and pulling as much as possible. Higer MMR lions can roam or coordinate with their team in a Trilane. In lower MMRs, people go for very greedy builds with limited amounts of regen, meaning that harassing, especially once you have tranqs or if you have tangos, is quite effective for keeping the enemy's farm at bay. As lion, your positioning in lane, when not pulling or stacking should be behind the enemy creeps, initially out of sight like this: Dire Example Radiant Example When an offlaner comes up to CS, walk behind him and start autoattacking. Walking behind the creep wave will ensure you don't draw creep aggro. It's extremely important to not draw creep aggro because if you are tanking creeps you might die very easily. When they break focus from CSing and either run away or try to attack you, earth spike them, throw another autoattack, and then run away. Depending on who you're up against, this will be more or less favorable for you. If you run out of mana, use mana drain on a ranged creep for the full channel. You will not be able to use the full channel on a hero and Mana drain has a high cooldown early, if you want to use it on a hero, lead with your stun and then cast it. If your lane is pushing, pull the creeps and make sure that you get as many of the neutral last hits as possible. In lower MMR, people do not often block the camps that are used to pull which makes it even more effective. NOTE: Pulling takes a lot of practice and if you mess it up you'll end up pushing the wave, but unless the enemy is smart you'll more than likely have the lane pushed back by the enemy tower. The purpose of pulling is to deny the enemy experience by allowing your own creeps to die to the neutral creeps, the more you do it the weaker your lane opponent is and the more effective your ganks and harassment will be. After the Lane: With some levels, Lion becomes an extremely potent ganker with some backup. You should try to TP to lanes with smoke (and dust if you need it) and gank the enemy carry(s). As a rule of thumb, you should always lead with hex if you are in range for it since it is instantly applied versus earth spike which requires some travel time and windup. When you cast your hex you should move closer to whoever you've disabled, and then cast your earth spike making sure to not stack your stuns. Once you've blown all your abilities you should continue autoattacking as Lion has decent auto attack damage due to his high base damage and int gain. If you need to chase someone, make sure you keep in mind that Earth Spike has a travel distance of 825 but a cast range of 500. This means that you should try and cast it on the ground instead of trying to click on an enemy hero if you are sure you won't get juked. In team fights you should try and interrupt channeled abilities, disable people who are fighting with your cores, and nuke people who are being focused. Make sure you're not diving too deep in any situation as you are not very survivable. As a ganking support, you should try to deny and provide as much vision as possible. If you execute a successful gank, you should always try and place an aggressive ward in the opposing jungle or over ancients. This way, when the enemy respawns, you can gank them again using the vision you've established. If your Tier 1 Towers are down and you're behind, it is a good idea to ward the entrances to your jungle to secure your carry's farm. Here is a useful warding map you can find on Steam community under Jimsons profile: Place wards and sentries that cover these locations. HOW TO BUILD LIONGeneral Guidelines for Skill Build Max Earth Spike first In most cases, max mana drain second Put points into your ult when you can Max hex last Always put a point into Earth Spike at level 1. If you are up against someone who typically has mana issues like Clockwerk, Juggernaut, Spirit Breaker, Dragon Knight, Dark Seer, Chaos Knight, etc., you should skill mana drain second. If not then just get Hex. Have a point in all three skills by level 4. Starting items should always include both starting wards, courier, tangos, a healing salve and Ironwood Branches. If you've randomed and have bonus gold, get a ring of protection. Hand one ward to your offlaner and ward the safelane rune spot with the other at 0:20. Starting items Upgrade courier as soon as you have money for it. For boots you want Tranquil over Arcane as you will be sustaining your mana using mana drain. Treads might give you more HP but I think the armor and regen from tranqs, not to mention how cheap it is, make it reasonable. Buying a Wind Lace and Rain Drop is good situationally. Beyond this, wards and support items take priority. If you have supplementary gold or are able to farm, continue to build the following items. You typically do not want to go Mekanism immediately like what is recommended by default DotA client since if you use it in a team fight, often times you'll find that you may not have mana to use Finger of Death. Blink and Force Staff are some of the best items for Lion as they provide him the mobility he needs to cast his spells effectively and survive engagements. Blink is super necessary for initiating with Lion so it is a priority as a second major item after boots. Aether Lens is a nice third item to get as it will increase your effective spell range and boost your damage and mana pool. Mid-Late Game Aghanim's Scepter on Lion is overrated as a third or fourth item. Sure it makes Finger AOE, lowers its cooldown to an absurdly low 20 seconds, and gives it additional damage but often times you're not going to be able to cast it more than once in a teamfight and channeling mana drain to get yourself back up to full mana to cast it again in the late game where people are already building solutions to magic damage and are capable of blowing you up really easily is difficult to say the least. If you're going to be saving 4200 gold, then you should build Scythe of Vyse first. Scythe of Vyse, in conjunction with your other active skills, gives you a whopping 10.1 seconds of disable which is insane plus it gives you a larger mana pool and lots of mana regen. After that maybe you can buy Agh's. You'll have enough mana to cast finger twice in a teamfight with all your other abilities as well. Replace your boots with travels if you wind up buying aghs. Late Late Game Situationally you may want to build a Ghost Scepter or a Glimmer Cape if you're having trouble dealing with lots of right click or magic burst, respectively. You can even eventually build your Ghost Scepter that into a Ethereal Blade and replace your force staff with a Dagon 5 to make your burst damage even higher Kappa. If you like memes... I'VE BEEN TO HELL AND BACK AND BACK TO HELL... AND BACK Things to watch out for/ consider Lion's impact is severely negated after carrys start getting items like manta, BKB, Lotus Orb, Linken's, and have higher HP pools. Lion has a hard time vs the following heroes Lifestealer: His magic immunity makes you useless against him and he can blow you up if he gets close Puck, Storm Spirit, QOP: The silence and high amounts of burst damage give you problems Rubick Omniknight: Repel makes all your damage and disable useless, heals can sustain people through your burst Nyx Assassin: If you try to finger him he's going to reflect it back at you Most carrys can build to counter you, and seeing as how you're super squishy you may just end up becoming irrelevant late game If a lane is unoccupied, earth spike at level 4 can nuke ranged creeps such that they only require one autoattack to die. Lion is surprisingly good at farming creep waves this way. If you need to chase a hero or the enemy has the ability to go invisible and you do not have detection, make sure you keep in mind that earth spike is targettable on the ground and will extend further than the range that you can target. Heroes that have powerful/annoying illusions like Terrorblade, Naga Siren, Chaos Knight, Anti-Mage, Alchemist, etc., can be countered by Lion in that aspect. Hex and Mana Drain both dispel illusions. With a cooldown of 4 seconds at level 4, your mana drain should come in handy when dealing with these heroes. (Thank you to Tensor for pointing out that I hadn't mentioned this) This is my first guide ever. I suck at DoTA. Please excuse my default hotkeys. Watch pro players play lion instead of reading about him through my guide. Play him yourself in unranked matches to get a feel for him or any hero for that matter. Most heroes require at least 25-50 games before you can say you know how to play them. Actions > words. Good luck.