Hello people, I felt like I want to share my experience of playing Lycan throught pubs in decently high MMR(5400atm) as well as some team matchmaking games.
1. WHY LYCAN?
I’ve started massively picking lycan since 6.79 although I belive he was even better previous patch in terms of getting levels faster due to satyrs and golems giving more EXP. Reason why I’ve decided to pick him this patch is because of change to pulling. As you very well know pulling has been crippled very hard this patch and this causes supports to have a hard time getting their levels which favors heroes that can find their levels through jungle or mid. This means I will have much easier time 10 minutes in against level 6 enemy support with boots only, whereas in the previous patch that would probably be lv 8 support with arcane boots+bracer or similar.
2. JUNGLE OR LANE?
Although some people are convinced Lycan can no longer jungle after 6.75, this is completely false. It’s much harder after 6.75 but still completely viable and prefered over laning where Lycan is still poor hero to have. Yesterday EternalEnvySamathepraised picked Lycan vs Sigma summary VOD.
Envy had a great start, getting first blood and he was getting his items at rate just little above the jungle while his level progression was better due to jungle EXP nerf. Although his team lost that game, he was least responsible for that, his farm was insane for having such disadvantage and he was hardly ever ganked, always slipping away using shapeshift.
Now, thing about jungling Lycan is that he will get really good farm and levels, also allowing you to play most popular lane composition nowdays, 2 safe, 1 mid, 1 offlane+1 jungle.
And while other team may be having that furion jungle farming out midas and treads in 10 minutes you will have supercarry and best pusher in the game coming out of the jungle being level 11 in 11 minutes with vlads, treads, medallion, stout and aegis. This is of course the best scenario that can happen, with you sniping roshan and without too much disruption in the jungle. I am going to show you an fresh example games where I was ganked and disrupted in jungle and it still didn’t cause me too much problems.
3. SO HOW DO I JUNGLE HIM?
There was countless debates on his starting item build when he decides to jungle. With my experience I’m going to tell you what seems to be optimal and safest build.
My build is stout, ring of protection, tango. No quelling blade needed for simple reason, wolves are your DPS, they do insane damage and they are what makes Lycan efficient jungler through entire game.
It’s like a free battlefury when it comes to clearing creepwaves/jungle/ancients and they wreck towers faster than any other units in game whether it’s edilons or chen creeps or NP’s treants.
Now the most common belief is that Lycan needs to kill small camp twice to get his level 2, which is false. With build im using I can kill any camp at level 1 except ursa’s(even them but it’s not viable). Now when you head to jungle the best thing to do is to choose creep camp which will give you level 2 after killing it. These are:
1.Dark troll warlords
2.Big satyr camp
3.Alpha wolf camp
4.Small satyr’s (easiest and best camp to have at level 1)
So you should kill any of these in any of the 3 camps, mud golems and ogre camp’s are also allright but they won’t give you level 2.Avoid centaurs and Ursa’s, even though I can kill centaurs without getting stunned they still do too much damage and DON’T give me level 2, whereas other big camps DO.
In order to jungle you need to tank with your hero only, wolves do not tank and you can let them tank only when they’re about to expire. To tank with the hero you need to come closest to the neutral creeps, you sort of need to walk into them to be closer than melee range and if neutrals ever draw aggro on wolves use A command with them and select hero to put aggro back on the hero.
Things that can help you jungle are having CM aura which will allow you much more frequent wolves use and treant armor for obvious reasons. 2 Tango pools from allies are recommended but not needed. Lycan gets more efficient with each rank of wolves, at lv 7 he can clear any camp even ancients in seconds.
Do not be afraid of centaurs or ursa’s at any level because you can evade their stuns/claps with this method: walk with all 3 units into them, and back off with all 3 units. Simple as that, they will use their abilities 1 second after 3 units walked into their melee range so if you backed off immediately they will miss and you can proceed killing them after.
Jungling Lycan may or may not require 1 suicide into creeps depending on creep camps, but 75% chances are that you will have to. Buy items you need before suiciding so you don’t loose any gold and do it. It’s faster than walking back to base and refilling.
4. JUNGLE RESULTS AND RISKS
If you do everything allright you should have level 8 in 8 minutes, worst case being level 7 and thats due to bad creep camps. Vlad’s comes in 5.5 minutes earliest screenshot and 7.5 min latest. You can kill roshan with vlads only and level 7, it’s much faster thus much less risky if you do it with medallion as well, which comes in 8-10 minutes. However I suggest trying kill roshan as fast as you possibly can, earlier you do it less risk it involves. If you try to do a 12 min roshan your enemies will probably be aware of that and whenever you’re not on map they will scout it out.This however, they won’t know what hit them if you do it this early.
People say you can’t jungle because you will get ganked etc, but 1 rune ward and you’re pretty safe to do it and once you get level 6 nobody can gank you, it’s easier to gank a chen/enigma than lycan who has his ult.
Biggest cancer that can happen to you is bounty hunter leeching your exp in the jungle, thats really unfair mechanic if you ask me but that can be solved by allies who care about you placing sentries and ganking that same bounty. We did that in team matchmaking game and we got a first blood on bounty. Also getting your creep camps blocked doesn’t mean much either, especially since people think you need small camp when i’ve already told you he doesn’t need small camp at all, for an example I never kill the small camp when jungling it’s just a waste of time when it gives little exp and gold and you can farm stronger camps. On lv 1 your goal is to use those wolves summoned in base for free and let them take a decent chunk of damage before they expire killing a bigger camp in process.
Advanatage of having a Lycan farming your jungle is his power to take roshan by using smoke, it’s pretty safe and uncounterable since smoked units are not revealed by sentry anymore. All you need to do is ask your allies to push lanes or do some activity around the map to reduce the suspicion level. Killing roshan will make you level 10 and your level 11 will come soon after it, and this hero wipes ancients like they’re made of paper so he can come to ancients camps at x:50 stack them and kill stacked camp. So you should hit level 11 faster then your mid or their mid by far. And you’re ultimate pushing hero who has an aegis, do the maths what happens from this point.
5. LYCAN’S ADVANTAGES AND WHY HE BREAKS THE GAME
Not many people think about Lycans wolves being permanent double damage to him, if not even more. Wolves are 1.1 base attack units while standard hero BAT is 1.7 and they have a critical strike, alchemist in chemical rage at lv 16 has 1.05 which is lowest in the game. This means wolves scale insanely with attack speed, and lycan’s feral pulse provides attack speed and Lycan is an obvious AC holder. Add that in his ulti form he has 1.5 BAT and very reliable 30% chance to crit, all of this makes Lycan the strongest hero in the game 1v1 fist fight, period.
If we’re playing team matchmaking game we don’t ban lifestealer because if they pick him up we’re going to last pick Lycan and he will take care of him without any problem whatsoever. Heroes we ban are those who can kite him and slippery heroes, let’s say weaver who can drive you in circles and nothing you can do about it, windrunner, invoker, lion, shadow shaman and similar disablers/kiters are Lycans only problem.
Compared to other pushers like chen or NP Lycan doesn’t really care if 1 guy comes to defend since he can kill him and if you wanna stop Lycan push you are forced to commit 2 heroes to defend. Lets continue with his advantages, he is the best necrobook holder even though I only recommend it if you’re ahead and have the potential to push. If you’re behind, your push is not as effective and you’re likely not to use necrobook to it’s full potential. GO for carry items if you’re behind, basher, AC, satanic, BKB and similar. However if you make a push oriented team with 3 necrobook holders expect great results, it usually means 20-25 min win, lycan being one of best heroes to have when doing necro strats.
I’ll continue with advantages; insane farm speed, not only his wolves make his farm as fast as battlefury antimage or alchemist but they also come as early as level 7. His ulti becomes literally spammable once you have level 16 with downtime for about 20 ish seconds.
He is vulnerable to bounty hunter disrupting his jungling by leeching exp, it’s really hard to deal with it unless you get support from your allies ganking him. Ganks can slow his jungle but in no way shut him down, even if you get ganked 2 times it’s still not a big deal. If you’re not going to get any help from allies consider moving to enemy jungle, it’s risky but it’s better than sharing exp with bounty taking your last hits.
He is kitable and you should get allies that solve that problem, you want to have lockdown because 522 ms isn’t as good as people think, chasing down doesn’t really mean you’re dishing out damage, don’t get this wrong, you do damage but nowhere near brutalizing the disabled target.
Furthermore you can’t do anything while you’re jungling, you can’t gank or help your lanes. Other heroes such as furion or chen/ench/enigma can help your lanes but lycan just can’t do that, and it’s the risk you have to take. Also if lanes lost hard your pushing power and farm potential is very crippled and it’s hard for you to make an impact. You are forced to defend towers instead farming, you are forced to fight when you don’t want to and likely to get killed instead pushing enemy towers.
I know how dotabuff or it didn’t happen works, so here it is. I’ve got 70ish winrate in 6.79 patch as solo queue, it could be better but games happen where you come out of jungle and the game is already over, you can just sit and watch or try suiciding, doesn’t really matter but it’s not going to work. This kind of stuff happens when you have those allies who refuse to ward/upgrade courier and fail in lane phase, even Lycan can’t help you there.
Here is a summary video on how to jungle lycan: http://youtu.be/kqIFmUGKacs
I hope you like the guide and find replays educational. I’ve invested some time seeing how this permapicked/banned hero has completely disappeared from competitive/pub scene.