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  1. moh’s guide to Lycan.
  2.  
  3. Who am I?
  4.  
  5. Hello reddit! My name is moh and I am a lycan spammer in the immortal bracket. Since the first mmr system (before the medal system) I have been a stable rank 70 player who got my way by spamming lycan. Throughout the different systems I even managed to get rank 1(very short period) and was known as the lycan spammer.  I took a years break and dropped a lot of ranks (obviously), but grinded it slowly back to 8k, which is equivalant to rank 140 in todays mmr system. For a long time I was top 1 in both dotabuff, and opendota rankings regarding lycan players.
  6.  
  7. I am doing this guide because a lot of my friends aswell as people who tune into my stream have been asking abuot lycan specifically. Especially new people who watch my stream because some streamers says ”its that lycan spammer”, or ”this is the guy who only plays 1 hero”  and it seems like a lot of people are interested in the hero with my perspective on it.
  8.  
  9. I stream sometimes and answer questions regarding the hero on twitch.tv/mohdoto
  10.  
  11. Now back to the lycan guide, which is the reason you are all here!
  12.  
  13. Why should we pick lycan? / Strengths of lycan
  14.  
  15. You should pick lycan because it is a strong and versatile hero. The hero can be played on all 3 lanes, which makes your draft a lot more verstaile and have potential for some outdrafts/counterpicks. The hero is strong and tanky by nature due to his spells and item builds (later on that). His hero especially makes it easy to focus the enemy backline, and kill them easily which makes teamfights a lot more advantageous for your team.
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  17. Today lycan has the highest winrate among anceint/divine/immortal brackets.
  18.  
  19. https://www.dotabuff.com/heroes/meta
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  21. Lycan is a hero that pushes fast, and generally have a lot of shorter games compared to other heroes. So if you want some easy mmr/short games, you just pick lycan and get yourself som easy mmr. Lycan doesnt really need a lot of farm compared to other carries, so you can join teamfights or take towers a lot earlier compared to other heroes.
  22.  
  23. Lycan can also build items such as, solar crest, assault cuirass of vlads. Which buffs your teammates. Which makes your teamfights a lot stronger than the enemy team
  24.  
  25. Example of lycan in different lanes:
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  27. Midlane, with last pick: https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/5096714463
  28. Safelane games: https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/5083632121
  29. https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/5087806811
  30. Example of a game, where you know you will not be the win condition, but another hero in your team will win you the game.
  31. https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/5106272350
  32.  
  33. Offlane, where you usually 2nd/3rd pick:
  34. https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/5086594739
  35. https://www.dotabuff.com/matches/5108184279
  36.  
  37.  
  38. Weaknesses of lycan
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  40. Lycan is a weak hero in laning stage, due to not having any kill potential (you only have your wolves) and only has 1 armour, which makes trading a lot difficult in the earlier stages. The hero is also an easy kill, due to low movement speed, low armour and no escape. If you do not know how to trade hits with wolves, you will have the hardest time in lane because you cant trade with any heroes basically and you just give them gold if they kill your wolves and they win the trading game, due to using their spells. You can only start trading/winning the lane once you have lvl 3 wolves who have cripple, and higher hp/damage and dominator (hp regen, attack speed and a neutral to help secure the lane / farm the jungler faster).
  41.  
  42. Lycan is not a late game hero, so if the game goes to lategame your hero falls off a lot due to the item choices and the enemy backline becomes much stronger and harder to kill.
  43.  
  44. Lycan also sucks against heroes who have high mobility, or are illusion heroes. If the enemy heroes have high mobility, it will take you much longer time to kill them, and your shapeshift only lasts for 18 seconds. Lycan has nothing against illusion heroes, so the hero falls of to them and cant kill them as fast, since illusion heroes are usually agi heroes and they build stats items which means high armour.
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  46. Lastly, once shapeshift is down you are basically a walking man with only your necros/wolves and no kill potential, unless you can micro your way to a kill. But you become a lot easier to kill.
  47.  
  48. Skill build:
  49.  
  50. This will be a short text, since this is what I go 100%
  51.  
  52. I always go 4-0-2-1, where I max wolves. After that I max my passive and then howl.
  53.  
  54. At level 10, if you need armour, you take the armour talent, if the enemy team only have magical burst you go the +20 damage.
  55.  
  56. At level 15, you always take the cool down reduction, since it goes well with your spells and items.
  57.  
  58. At level 20, you always take the +8 shapeshift, there is not a scenario where the damage is better.
  59.  
  60. I am usually done with the game by level 25, but I would always take the +40% since it scales with my hero, wolves and necros. If I sell my necros, i take the +3 wolves.
  61.  
  62. Item choices
  63.  
  64. When I play lycan I aim to finish the game in the early/mid game. My item choices are the following:
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  66. Helm of domiator > Necro 3
  67.  
  68. This is my build 100% of the time.  I never start with boots, since it slows my item timings on necro or hotd. After that I estimate wether I need a vlads, ac og bkb. If I dont buy vlads after necro 3, I just skip the item. Usually a 6 slot for me would be: Dominator, necro, vlads, ac, bkb, nullifier
  69.  
  70. Some players like to go aghs, but I have never gone it, since I dont find it very strong. In my mind, you can always buff your team/yourself and necros. In everyone of my games I have faced a lycan with aghs, I have never lost and usually find the item very underwhelming. Obviously there are many players who have success with that item, and you should look at their guides since they must do something right, but i this guide I will not write about it.
  71.  
  72. Gameplay:
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  74. In the beginning, you use your wolves to scout for the enemy wards (if you can see they place them). If not you wait till 0.47-0.50 where you spawn your wolves and run towards the bounty runes (wolves uptime are 55 seconds). You fight for the rune, unless you see their heroes are stronger, then you send your wolves to the enemy bounty. This makes them either go back, or you fight for your rune 2v1. I think 95% of the time, you either end up with a rune, or you deny one of their runes.
  75.  
  76. In the laning stage, you usually wanna fight for the lasthits/deny, and most of the time – if you play the lane correct – you should win it, since you have higher damage with your hero + quelling blade + 2 wolves. The only way for the enemy team to win the lane, is basically harass you out of the lane or kill you, which most of the time will happen if the lane is pushed too far. You should tell your supports to pull as much as possible, so you can get last hits while staying close to the tower (that way enemies cant kill you), usually only heroes that want to dive you in this scenario are heroes such as tidehunter, or ogre magi (tanky heroes).
  77.  
  78. When you have dominator and level 3 wolves, you should aim to always push the lane and farm the jungle. If you have a hard lane, you can farm the entire jungle in 1 minute and just repeat. Once you see a rotation from the enemy offlaner, you take their tier 1 tower and pressure their tier 2. Once they defend, you go to the enemy lane and make a play there, either by killing the enemy carry or take their towers.
  79.  
  80. Everytime you have your ult up, you should make a play. The only exception is if you need some gold (between 500-1000) for an item, then you should farm your item then fight for either towers, teamfights or roshan.
  81. In teamfights you should ALWAYS focus the enemy backline, or heroes you feel like you can kill really easily. Examples are zeus or skywrath or templar assassin, you can kill those mid heroes really easily if properly engaged. If you face mobility heroes such as ember or storm, you ignore them and let your team deal with them, unless you see an opening with centaur creep/troll. But in 80% of the time, you focus the enemy supports and kill them to make teamfights easier.
  82.  
  83. Every time you have necros up, you should use them to farm since you farm much fsater, and go around the map looking for their wards. This makes the enemy team forced to go for cliff wards which are ineffective since your supports deward those spots 99% of the time.
  84.  
  85. As  lycan you wanna play fast dota, not afk farm creep dota and you should always look around openings. If you kill roshan you never take aegis unless multiple enemy heroes are in the pit, since lycan is a bad aegis carrier. Once he dies with no shapeshift he becomes useless and cant escape.
  86.  
  87. In an ideal world, you wanna end the game before 30-35 minutes into the game before you start becoming useless.
  88.  
  89. Lycan counters
  90.  
  91. Lycan is a good hero againt most heroes in the game, but he has some obvious counters. Since the hero is good against most heroes,  I will only list his top 5 counters by my personal experience.
  92.  
  93. 1)  Winter Wyvern – Lycan is all physical, so cold embrace makes lycan do 0 in damage. Winters curse also deletes either your hero, or one of your teammates sine you do a lot of damage.
  94. 2)  Bristleback – Destroys lycan in laning stage, and midgame because of all his skills. (first gives minus armour, second makes your units die fast, and third one he takes literally no damage and he comes stronger there more he procs)
  95. 3)  Kunkka – Tidebringer kills your units really fast, and boat effect makes killing the backline a lot harder.
  96. 4)  Timbersaw – Annoying in laning stage since you cant kill him and he destroys you because you are a strength hero. In midgame he takes n odamage because of his passive and kills your units fast because of his spells.
  97. 5)  Naga Siren – Tanky carry, a lot of illusions and most of all her ult makes you waste a lot of shapeshift time, and you cant go on the backline since they will disengage with song.
  98.  
  99. Honorable menions: Phonix – All of his spells are good against lycan
  100. Tidehunter: Kraken shell and anchor smash and a big ult to focus down lycan.
  101.  
  102. Hope you enjoyed this guide, if you watch to watch me play, you can follow me at twitch.tv/mohdoto .
  103.  
  104. Peace
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