This is all about jungling as lycan from level 1- assuming QB+Stout+Tangos starting items and either bottle or soul ring + tangos as the next progression, doing a suicide to creeps at 3-4 minutes to revive at full HP and return without losing gold (by spending it all)
First off some general tips. Creeps target wolves whenever they are CLOSER than your hero. They will switch targets after finishing their current attack to the closest unit, regardless of its HP pool, and that will often be your wolves, causing them to appear to attack wolves. Wolves have 90 attack range, but your hero has 128. So if you attack move or right click a creep camp, your hero will stop moving further away than your wolves. If you want your hero to do the tanking, all you have to do is move closer to the creep camp. Just use an M click for move or click on the ground near their feet or whatever, make it so you get as close as possible instead of staying at attack range.
Then for creeps with skills like centaurs and ursas. They will only use their stomp/clap if there are 3+ units or corpses in range after finishing their current attack animation. If you get into range to provoke their aggro, but then yank your hero out of range while the wolves are still there too fast, they will finish their 1st attack, have only 2 units in range, and start a 2nd attack instead of clapping. Then when you go back into range again, they clap. This can be tricky timing. You need to make sure that you stay in range long enough that you’re there when they would start the next attack, but then pull out of range so it whiffs. Too fast and you just took ‘free hits’ on your wolves without wasting the clap and have to do it again. Too slow and you get hit by the clap on your hero and get trashed. The other trick here is that corpses matter. Even if your wolves die, the centaur will stomp on your hero *alone* because there are 2 corpses in range. This is nonobvious and an easy way to get an unintentional suicide to creeps. Centaur or ursa stomp/claps out of nowhere. Corpses last something like 12 seconds, I don’t have the exact info on dota 2 parity because they aren’t visible. This is of course a big issue with the troll warlord- you don’t want him to spawn skeletons, which he will do if you attack him when there are corpses nearby. Remember that unlike dota 1, your wolves leave corpses and this happens even when they run out of duration or get resummoned. More on the applications of this later. Big satyr on the other hand won’t use its shockwave ever if you’re alone, valve keeps fucking changing the rules it uses so I’m not going to list them for sure, but 1 hero + 2 non-hero wolves won’t trigger it, regardless of their positioning (in dota 1, it would cast on any 3 units if 3 units were lined up in the aoe that would be hit by shockwave, quite logical since it would shoot it only at clumped units instead of solitary ones- this is how the bot players worked in wc3 melee instead of being retards that used chain lightning or shockwave on 1 creep at a time)
Then there is kiting. You can land extra hits on creeps by pulling them to their max range and hitting them as they walk back. Since turning times factor in here, its key to use a summoned wolf to pull it and hit with your hero as the creeps run back, to minimize the amount of damage you take, but get in more hits. This is slower than normal right clicking, and since you’re limited by mana and cooldowns on wolves you don’t want to do it unless you’re very low on hp and just need that last gold or experience on a camp before you suicide. On sylla jungling its a bigger deal since he’s ranged and can easily kite creeps at max range while dancing around them, with lycan its not as important.
And you should always keep in mind the important trees to cut for moving between camps. On the dire set, you need to cut 1 tree to the right of the medium top camp and 2 trees beneath it to make faster paths to access it, as well as providing a choke point so you can attack just 1 medium creep at a time. You can do the same on radiant side for side access to the rightmost medium camp, but you won’t have the easy access to the hard camp beneath it since you need to cut too damn many trees to hollow that out. One tree to the left of the middle hard camp provides faster access and a pseudo choke point (above it is a better choke but slower access), but since the hard camp isn’t visible on approach that way and might be ursas or centaurs that will clap you in that choke, its not too useful to use as a choke.
Now about all the camps in general. The reason why centaurs are worse than ursas, while ursas rape you so much harder with so much more damage output, is that centaurs have dogshit experience and gold. Centaurs and wildkin are the only two hard camps that won’t take you from level 1 to 2 by killing them. Even alpha wolves and medium satyrs will do that. For a list of the gold/experience of all the camps;
Now remember, from level 1 to level 2 is 200 experience, the next few levels are 300,400,500,600 etc up to level 5-6 where it gets all wonky. So the camps that give less than 200 experience aren’t enough to hit level 2, which means no aura for the next camp, no increased mana pool to summon wolves, worse stats, etc. Assuming you buy qb/stout/tangos at the start of the game and want to have a bottle by 2:00 to 3:00 to deliver to you, you need to farm 300 to 400 gold in that time. If you get something like big satyr -> medium satyr -> big troll rotation, you can get that by 2:00. If you had wildkin -> centaur -> centaur, even if you somehow had the hp to tank through that hellish gauntlet, you’d only have ~500 gold by 2:00 and be a full camp behind- and be in no shape to keep creeping. Those are the cases where you have to buy a ring of regen + tangos, suicide, and come back and finish a soul ring, sometimes even a 3rd set of tangos in the worst case.
Now for specific camps. I am not necessarily taking the viewpoint of just a level 1 lycan, but thats the most important because past level 4-5 after you’ve suicided and returned everything is such a breeze it barely matters, but consider this a rough guide to how to approach any of the camps as lycan with wolves out.
They are the hardest camp to take down. They will do the most damage to you and your wolves and eat through your tangos and hp pools. You have to avoid getting the clap on your hero at all costs since its 112 HP lost in one hit, but while it won’t deal almost anything to your 80% resist wolves, its still lowering their damage output by 25% for 3 seconds at level 1 (still pretty bad with aura attack speed). What really makes them damning is that its only 12 second cooldown, and you won’t kill him in under 12 seconds at level 1 (level 3+ you will though) so he’ll get a second clap off, which just totally fucks you over. And with the clap working even if your wolves die and you tank the last bit with your hero, its easy for him to solo clap you and chase you down as you panic and retreat and kill you. The fortunate thing about ursas is that unlike wildkins or centaurs, though they are difficult to take down, ursas give plenty of gold and experience return and will get you to level 2 for the next camp. They aren’t as rewarding as satyrs, but the next best thing, so while they might be badasses at level 1, you’d rather see them later on than say trolls, as easy as trolls are to kill. If you’re level 1 and the medium camp(s) be centaurs then you might want to kill the ursas instead since you’ll have to face those centaurs anyway, while with satyrs/wolves in the medium you should definitely kill them first since it will take you to 2, but with ogres/golems you can either take the much easier medium camp than the centaurs first but still be level 1 and have a tough time on the ursas, or you can take the ursas first and then be clinging to your last hit points and tangos when you kite and pull the ogres/golems and have to suicide pretty quickly after that. Killing them at level 1 will leave you at ~100 hp with 2 tangos remaining if you micro perfect, and probably with wolves dead, and its easy to fuck up and die. You really want to avoid it unless the only other option is to face down centaurs. If possible, you can take out a camp like golems/ogres and pull them at 0:55 to stack the camp so you get 2 mediums in a row easily on radiant (on dire, you have 2 easily accessible camps without stacking), but then you run the risk of spawning centaurs on your stack. If you spawn double ursas in the hard camps and centaurs in the mediums on either side you’re fucked.
They aren’t nearly as hard to kill as ursas, since they have much less damage and EHP, and even if the stun means your wolves can’t be microed and will die, you can take them down pretty easily at level 1. But they give dog shit gold and experience despite being harder than satyrs or trolls or maybe even wildkin. You want to avoid them at level 1 just so you can look for a juicier camp, since almost anything is more profitable than centaurs. They only camps that give less gold (medium satyrs and wolves) give over 200 experience, so centaurs are the slowest shits you’ll encounter. Kill them only if its the only choice or ursas. If its centaurs vs ursas at level 1, you’re boned no matter which order you go at them, so might as well take out the ursas and get more gold before you suicide a minute in.
They give almost insultingly low experience and gold when you look at their sky high EHP and DPS. Granted you can micro around them easier since there is no clap or stomp to worry about, but their and EHP are just a twinge below ursa (69 DPS for ursas, 64 for wildkin after normal vs hero reduction on the little guys). Of course, lower after stout shield since its 3 units vs 2. You’ll come out with more HP and tangos and wolves left remaining thanks to that easier micro / no clap / no free hits, but you’ll still be level 1 and low gold for it. And if its centaurs in medium vs wildkin in hard, whats particularly awful is that you can’t even just kite and kill one of the small wildkin to hit level 2 before you engage the big one after clearing the centaurs first, since the little wildkin only give 25 experience and centaurs 160- you’ll still be at 185/200. Shit even the littlest satyr bugger with his 0 damage attack and 10 hit points is worth 41 experience, the wildkin hits more than a lane creep and is worth less than half the experience. Take these guys at level 1 only if the other option is centaurs, and then kill the small centaur in a choke point for level 2.
Pretty much tied with satyrs as far as favorable camps. If you see them at level 1, you kill them no matter what else spawns since its pay day. Just make sure your hero has aggro and not wolves, so no corpses spawn. Since they deal piercing, its also slightly more to wolves than hero (piercing is 75% vs heavy armor like wolves, 50% vs hero). Whether its level 1 or later on, its never worth the bother of clearing the skeletons, so don’t let wolves die, resummon or duration run out when you’re near these guys, and if they just spawned after another camp died be ready for a tougher fight. Kill the skeletons first if this happens, they deal way more dps than the trolls for their size. But on the opposite of that note, at level 1, you should actually do an attack command on your wolves once the main troll gets low enough, so he shrugs aggro off you and onto your wolves before he dies, so that your wolves do some of the tanking before they time out. The idea being that you don’t want your wolves to die before the big troll does, but you also don’t want them to die at full hp without soaking up some of the damage, so let them tank when the big troll is low or dead at level 1, since thats when they’ll be just about ready to expire.
Pretty much cha-ching payday when you see these guys, when the magic eightball comes up with fortune = good. Even at level 1 you kill them in a breeze and they give fantastic gold and experience, enough more gold than trolls while slightly less exp (but still above 200) that you’d rather have these guys and their lower EHP. You always kill these if its the first spawn you see.
If you have centaurs, ursas or wildkin in the hard camp, take wolves at level 1 instead always. They will get you to level 2 right away, and while they are the lowest gold camp around, they have pretty high damage output for a medium camp. Overall against a hero they have 52 DPS, but its not commonly known that the small wolves deal piercing while the big is normal type, making them quite a bit more against your wolves. So you should obviously focus the big wolf first since it shaves that 30% damage aura off the small wolves, but the little wolf creeps deal a bit of damage to your summoned wolves after the packleaders dead thanks to that +50% relative piercing damage. Still pretty low overall, and they die fast. Wolf creep camp is the 2nd best to get at level 1 after satyrs.
Praise the gremlins who control your RNG when these happy little buddies spawn in the medium camp, since you’ll take almost no damage after stout shield and can easily clear them without even needing your wolves up. The gold return isn’t great, but the experience is, so just plow through them and conserve some mana if your last cast of wolves expired. They are of course infamously hard to stack if you wanted to get another camp in there at the minute mark since ickle satyrs have the longest attack range of any creep, 600. Even if you get ursa at level 1 in both hard camps on radiant or a centaur in the other orange as dire, a spawn of satyrs can make it easy enough to hit level 2 and still have time to pull and stack it if you know what you’re doing. Always do these guys pronto unless you have a juicer big satyr or troll to attend to.
Pretty blah camp, only trick here is to kill the ogre magi first since all 3 ogres have the exact same DPS but the big tan ones have much more EHP (901) than the blue guy (600). The main problem here is that while the gold bounty is great, the experience isn’t, so at level 1 you’d rather take a juicier camp, but ogres are much easier than ursa/centaur/wildkin, they just won’t net you level 2 right away. They take forever to kill and will put a bigger dent in you because of that then other medium camps, even alpha wolves, so don’t do them at level 1 unless the other options are all terrible.
Fairly easy and you’ll take low damage and clear them fast enough, but while the gold is decent, like ogres, the experience won’t hit you level 2. You can do these at level 1 much more easily than ogres though due to having so much less damage output and EHP, so if its that vs centaurs or ursas you’d probably want the golems first and try to pull and stack them to get a medium roll again, and if you spawn centaurs, just kite them to finish the low hp golem and run away. Unlike the centaurs, you get enough experience from golems that killing any creep will push you to level 2, so you don’t get skunked by going golems into wildkin and picking off a small wildkin first like you would with centaurs, you’ll be at 201/200 experience.
And finally overall, dire jungle is preferable to radiant. Its better to have access to 2 medium camps and 1 hard than 2 hard and 1 medium because you’re much less likely to get a combination of all centaurs/ursa/wildkin at any time, but also its less running around to get between camps, and you can cut all the required tunnels with just 1 tree between the hard and medium and 2 beneath the medium compared to needing that laborious tunnel beneath the radiant leftmost medium camp that takes what, 4 or 5 trees? And you still can’t run over that cliff, the running time between camps is just much lower. And on radiant, its much more likely someone will ward the magic bush and shut down your 3rd camp when on dire, almost never are any of your 3 ‘safe’ camps ever going to be blocked. And while the dire bottom medium camp might be prone to ganks from the rune ward above it and fog of war access from two different sides, its still better than having a gankable leftmost medium on radiant *and* plainly visible and gankable exposed hard camp on the middle that gets blocked so often.