Li Li is a highly positional support who relies on her spammable heal and multi-target blind to keep her and her allies in the fight. An unexpected mix of healing and mitigation, Li Li will often catch her foes off guard with her Blinding Wind as they initiate. Her Heroic Ability, Jug of 1,000 Cups, is a massive, channeled AoE heal that can easily turn the tide of a battle, and has an extremely low cooldown to boot. Don’t underestimate her pet cloud serpent, either, as it can easily add that last bit of damage needed to take out a fleeing enemy hero. Finally, Li Li is extremely quick on her feet, speeding up any time an enemy hits her, allowing her to get out of trouble where others might fall.
Li Li’s abilities are all very easy to use, with only one requiring a target at all. Therefore she is very easy to pick up for veterans, as they will already understand good positioning, and a solid pick up for a beginner as well, since they will very quickly be forced to learn positioning.
Elusive Feet: Passive. Upon taking damage, gain 15% Movement Speed for 1 second. Much more powerful than it sounds, since chase is so hard to come by in the game at the moment. Makes Li Li naturally slippery and will usually get you out of a situation anybody else would have died in, combined with healing yourself.
Healing Brew: Mana 30. CD 3s. Heals ally with the lowest Health (prioritizing Heroes) for (113 + 13/level) Health and 20 Mana. Restores no Mana if it heals you. Li Li’s bread and butter spell; you’ll be casting this constantly. This spell can heal Li Li.
Lucky you it costs so little mana. Blizzard nerfed the mana cost, GG 5 extra mana broken game
Cloud Serpent: Mana 40. CD 8s. Duration 10s. Summon a Cloud Serpent to assist an ally, mirroring the attacks of the Hero, doing (19 + 4) damage. This ability scales off of the target Hero’s attack speed, up to a cap, and essentially adds a flat amount of damage to each Basic Attack. Relatively potent, especially later in the game.
Blinding Wind: Mana 50. CD 10s. Throw a cloud of Blinding Wind at the 3 nearest enemies (prioritizing Heroes, dealing (62 + 12) damage. Targets miss their next Basic Attack in the next 4 seconds. You should almost always be using this for the Blind instead of the damage, though especially at early levels it can secure a kill. This ability is deceptively strong even with no talents, and can easily remove hundreds of damage for one cast.
Jug of 1,000 Cups: Mana 100. CD 70s. Rapidly tosses brew to the most injured nearby allies, prioritizing Heroes over Minions, restoring a total of (1320 + 72) Health and 120 Mana over 6 seconds. Restores no Mana when targeting you. Li Li can move during this spell but take no other actions. Relatively potent, very low cooldown, feel free to pop this even to save one person, as all the healing will go directly to one target if they are the only one in range.
Water Dragon: Mana 100. CD 45s. Summons a Water Dragon that deals (510 + 25) damage to the nearest enemy Hero and half to nearby enemies. They are also slowed by 40% for 3 seconds. The way this works is Li Li summons a Water Dragon above her head, channels for 3 seconds, and then the Dragon crashes down upon whichever Hero is closest at the end of the channel. This can whiff if a Hero moves out of range before the channel is over. This is a great AoE and chase ability and will often secure a kill. Notably, Li Li can use her abilities after about one second of channeling.
Level 1: Conjurer’s Pursuit. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, this talent sucks, and it does. But so does Li Li’s mana regeneration. I personally find this is mandatory for me to feel even halfway comfortable with my Mana later in the game, let alone early. However, if you refuse to take this talent, then take Mass Vortex instead. This basically means you get to blind every single Hero on the enemy team every time you cast this, assuming you can position yourself accordingly, which is a massive amount of damage removed, even with proper tanks.
Level 4: Lingering Blind. If you don’t take Mass Vortex, you remove 6 Basic Attacks every time you hit E. That’s a ton of damage, especially later in the game. If you do, you remove 10 Basic Attacks. That’s a SHITLOAD of damage. Protective Shield is a little more flashy and “clutch,” but will more often than not save less damage in a team fight than Lingering Blind. Healing Ward might seem nice, but keep in mind it’s really only 20% health total on a 1 minute cooldown, and you don’t even get it instantly. And everybody has to stay in the area. No thanks.
Level 7: The Good Stuff. This is just an outright buff to your best ability and shouldn’t even really be a contest were it not for Bringer of Gifts, which is essentially an extra Healing Brew on a different button and longer cooldown. Bringer of Gifts seems nice but The Good Stuff will just heal for more period over time. Might be useful if you’re trying to pull off some nutty Mana restoration build.
Level 10: Hero Ability. Someone at Blizzard got really really mad at small panda girl one day and ground his boot into Jug of 1,000 Cups really really hard until it was a mere shell of its former self. It’s still useful if your team is beefy enough to be able to survive in the first place, and will essentially increase your team’s survival even further. However, Water Dragon is a fantastic chasing tool, and is great when combined with someone who can keep the entire team in place. It also does a respectable amount of damage. If you aren’t totally sure, pick Jug. If you find enemies get away a lot,
get better teammates pick Water Dragon. I find myself picking Water Dragon when I’m ahead, and Jug when I’m behind.
Level 13: Shrink Ray. This ability is absolutely fantastic. It lets you catch someone who’s trying to run, it locks down the biggest damage dealer on the team, it can bail you out if your team let a Zeratul jump you, it’s an all around versatile and amazing talent. More than that the other talents in this tier just aren’t competitive. Cloud Serpent cleave wouldn’t even be good if it was at full damage, and it’s less than half. The slow on Blind is worthless as 25% is barely enough to catch one person and Shrink Ray could do the same job. Elusive Feet is like a poor man’s Actual Block Talent, and Ice Block doesn’t really accomplish anything Shrink Ray can’t, plus Li Li is naturally hard to kill.
Level 16: Two for One. This one has a really stupid downside, but still doubles the healing of your best ability, so is pretty much always worth taking. Herbal Cleanse is unreliable, as you cannot ensure it will hit someone during a CC, and Stoneskin is just… not worth it for Li Li. Some consideration can be given to Timeless Creature, as this will double the potency of Cloud Serpent. Unfortunately this extra damage does not really compete with doubling your Healing Brew casts. Note that Stoneskin actually IS a potent ability, it’s just that Li Li is already very difficult to kill, so it’s not necessary.
Level 20: Hero Ability Morph. Blink might be a good alternative, since Li Li is so dependent on her positioning, but by this point in the game it usually won’t make more of a difference than your Hero Morph. Storm Shield’s okay, but Jug of 1,000,000 cups will do more, and summoning two Water Dragons is really good. Plus the talent is named Double Dragon so if you don’t pick it you’re a moron.
Li Li’s primary job is to keep her team mates in the fight. The most important thing you can learn as Li Li is proper positioning. This will allow you to not only stay out of harm’s way, but most effectively utilize Healing Brew, and Blinding Wind. In a team fight it’s crucial that you cast these two spells on cooldown, and that you hit someone important with both every single time. It’s well worth it to jog in to hit that Valla, since your passive allows you to slip right back out (assuming your tank is positioned appropriately as well).
If you’ve taken Jug, there’s a lot of things to consider. First and foremost, you can be knocked out of Jug. Stuns, knockbacks, and the like will stop the channel of Jug. It is extremely important that you do not waste this channel. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but with the numbers as they are now, it’s best used to heal everybody up AFTER the fight so you can secure a push, or to break off and heal an Assassin up quickly so they can get back in the fight. If you can position yourself correctly however, and the enemy team has no way to stop the channel, it is obviously very effective to use this right in the middle of the fight.
Water Dragon has a considerably different playstyle. The best use of this spell is as a ganking tool. It’s possible to catch someone without a Blink, even with the extremely long 3 second channel, and with a buddy you can finish them off. However, it’s much more difficult to figure out the use of this ability in a team fight. This goes back to Li Li’s extreme reliance on her positioning. The damage can be rather devastating to the enemy Assassin if you can manage it, but the damage and slow splash, so this ability works great with a wombo combo. Either way, you should almost ALWAYS cast this during a team fight, even if you cannot get an ideal use out of it, since you can use abilities during the channel anyway.
Keeping Cloud Serpent up on yourself used to be the best gameplan, but it now scales off of Attack Speed, so whoever on your team is landing the most Basic Attacks should get Cloud Serpent. If your Valla keeps getting zoned out and isn’t able to attack, but your E.T.C is consistently swinging away, Cloud Serpent will add more damage. Additionally, you can have two Cloud Serpents summoned at once for a brief window – be sure to use this to your advantage, particularly if you have taken Timeless Creature.
The little panda girl has gotten a significant number of (in my opinion undeserved) nerfs in the past couple of months, to the point where she gets outshined by heroes like Brightwing and Uther. However, she’s still great at turning the tide of battle with a well-timed Jug or Dragon, and has a way of slipping through the cracks even when she’s being focused down. She’s also super fun and cute, which are nice bonuses.
If you have any questions about the guide, feel free to post a comment below, and I’ll try and answer them as best I can! I’d consider myself to be one of the best Li Li players in the game at the moment, but it’s pretty hard to judge right now. You can also add my Battletag: Poultron#1383 if you wanna play or have questions!
And yes, before you yell at me, you really don’t have to pick up Conjurer’s Pursuit. I do it because I like to actually use my abilities.