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Lich icon.png
Strength attribute symbol.png
Agility attribute symbol.png
Intelligence attribute symbol.png
20 + 2.1
15 + 2
24 + 4.1
Level 0 1 15 25 30
Health 200 600 1180 1840 2080
Health regen 0.25 2.25 5.19 8.49 9.74
Mana 75 363 1047 1683 1947
Mana regen 0.75 1.95 4.82 7.47 8.6
Armor -1 1.5 6.17 11.5 13.5
Att/sec 0.59 0.68 0.84 1.03 1.1
Damage 24‒33 48‒57 105‒114 158‒167 180‒189
Magic resistance 25%
▶️ Movement speed 295
▶️ Attack speed 100
Turn rate 0.6
Vision range 1800/800
Attack range 550
Projectile speed 900
Attack animation 0.46+0.54
Base attack time 1.7
Damage block 0
Collision size 24
Gib type Ice

Ethreain, the Lich, is a ranged intelligence hero that uses his abilities to slow his enemies down with his ice-based attacks, as well as giving a boost to ally defenses, and serves as a great teamfight ganker with his powerful ultimate. His Frost Shield bolsters his team's defenses with a damage-absorbing shield while releasing slowing pulses of ice to either deter enemies or catch up to them in a chase. Lone enemies he can disable and pull closer to himself with his Sinister Gaze, potentially pulling the target to their own demise. But his foes will find no safety in strength in numbers, as Lich's ultimate, Chain Frost deals massive damage to enemy heroes who dare stick together. While a relatively frail hero and mostly known as a support, Lich is a powerful crowd controller and can easily turn any teamfight or dominate in a lane.


Lich minimap icon.pngEthreain, the Lich
▶️ "And so the dead will bury the dead."
In life, the frost-mage Ethreain (not yet a Lich) had used the threat of destructive ice to enslave entire kingdoms. His subjects, aided by a few desperate magicians, eventually grew bold enough to ambush him. Armed with enough charmed rope to bind him forever, they tied the frost mage to adamant weights and dropped him in a pool known chiefly for being bottomless. It wasn't.

He only fell for a year or so before an outcrop snagged him. There he rested, dead but undecaying, until the geomancer Anhil thought to verify the legend of the supposedly bottomless Black Pool. Anhil's plumbline snarled with the ropes that bound the drowned magician, and up he hauled an unexpected prize. Thinking that by rendering the dead undead, he could question the Lich about the properties of the pool, he removed the bindings and commenced a simple rite of resurrection. Even the descendants of Ethreain's enemies were long forgotten by time, so there were none to warn Anhil against imprudence. But he learned the error of his judgment almost immediately, as Lich threw off the shackles and consumed him.


Frost Blast
Frost Blast icon.png
Blasts the target enemy unit with damaging frost, dealing area damage and slowing movement and attack rates for 4 seconds. The primary target receives both base and area damage.
Cast Animation: 0.4+0.93
Cast Range: 600
Effect Radius: 200 (Talent 325)
Primary Damage: 40/80/120/160
Area Damage: 80/120/160/200 (Talent 205/245/285/325)
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 30
Slow Duration: 4
Cooldown: 7 (Talent 4)
Mana: 110/130/150/170
Does not pierce spell immunity. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked fully only when primary target. Particles still visually appear.
Debuff modifier_lich_frostnova_slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
Frost-mage Ethreain has not forgotten even the simplest of ice manipulation.


  • The targeting reticule must be centered over an enemy unit.
  • The area damage is dealt before the primary damage.
  • The primary target takes the primary damage and the area damage, resulting in 120/200/280/360 (Talent 245/325/405/485) damage (before reductions).
  • Frost Blast first applies the damage, then the debuff.

Frost Shield
Frost Shield icon.png
Allies / Enemies
Applies a magical frost shield around the target, reducing damage from attacks against you. While the shield is active, ice magic will affect nearby enemy units every 1 second, dealing minor damage and slowing them.
Cast Animation: 0.2+0.93
Cast Range: 1000
Attack Damage Resistance: 30%/40%/50%/60% (Talent 40%/50%/60%/70%)
Pulse Radius: 600
Pulse Interval: 1
Pulse Damage: 20/30/40/50
Pulse Move Speed Slow: 20%/25%/30%/35%
Pulse Slow Duration: 0.5
Shield Duration: 6 (Talent 10)
Talent Health Regeneration Bonus: 50
Cooldown: 30/25/20/15
Mana: 100/110/120/130
Partially pierces spell immunity. Can be cast on spell immune allies.
Does not affect spell immune enemies. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Buff modifier_lich_frost_shield: Dispellable with any dispel.
Debuff modifier_lich_frost_shield_slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
First conceived of to protect him in his mortal years, the frost magic that Ethreain weaves around himself has only grown colder with time.


  • Pulses in 1-second intervals, starting 1 second after cast, resulting in 6 (Talent 10) pulses.
    • All pulses together deal up to 120/180/240/300 (Talent 200/300/400/500) per enemy (before reductions).
  • The pulses first apply their damage, then the slow debuff.
  • Recasting Frost Shield on the same target does not stack, but refreshes the duration, and resets the pulse interval.
  • With the level 25 Talent talent, Frost Shield grants health regeneration to the target. Fully works for buildings.
    • Can regenerate up to 300 (Talent 500) health over its full duration.
    • Does not update currently active instance of Frost Shield.

Sinister Gaze
Sinister Gaze icon.png
Hypnotizes an enemy unit, causing it to move towards a point between the two of you and drains a percentage of its current mana.
Cast Animation: 0+0
Cast Range: 600
Distance Moved: 32%/38%/44%/50%
Current Mana Drained: 10%/15%/20%/25%
Duration: 1.4/1.7/2.0/2.3 (Talent 1.9/2.2/2.5/2.8)
With Aghanim's Scepter Radius: 400
Cooldown: 24/22/20/18
Mana: 80
Aghanim's Scepter upgrade: Casts Sinister Gaze in a target area. Sinister Gaze lets you cast your other abilities while channeling it.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Not blocked when upgraded.
Debuff modifier_lich_sinister_gaze: Dispellable with any dispel.
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Scepter.
Allows casting any non-channeled abilities and items during Sinister Gaze without interrupting it.
Mind the cold...


  • Sets the target's movement speed to 32%/38%/44%/50% of the distance between Lich and the target.
    • The speed is set once upon cast. If the target gets moved or teleported, the speed does not adapt.
    • When cast at max cast range, this results in a speed of 137.14 (Talent 101.05).
    • Grants the target unobstructed pathing, so they can move through cliffs, trees, and other units while Sinister Gaze is channeling.
  • Drains 0.714%/0.882%/1%/1.087% (Talent 0.526%/0.682%/0.8%/0.893%) of current mana in 0.1-second intervals, starting immediately upon channel begin, resulting in 15/18/21/24 (Talent 20/23/26/29) instances.
    • Can drain up to 10.19%/14.75%/19.03%/23.07% (Talent 10.02%/14.56%/18.85%/22.9%) of the target's current mana, assuming nothing else affects the target's mana.
  • Does not provide any form of vision over the target. However, the target turning invisible or entering the Fog of War does not cancel Sinister Gaze.
  • Destroys trees within a 200 radius around the target at the end of the channeling.
  • With Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, Sinister Gaze turns into an area-targeted ability, so that it cannot directly target units anymore.
    • Does not target invisible units or units under Fog of War.
    • Aghanim's Scepter also allows Lich to cast his other abilities while channeling Sinister Gaze without interrupting it, as long as the target is within cast range.
      • This means during Sinister Gaze, all of Lich's abilities have a cast point and backswing of 0 and do not require facing the target to cast.
      • Only works with for Frost Blast, Frost Shield, Chain Frost, and Ice Spire. All other abilities are not affected by this (e.g. when acquired via Spell Steal, Morph).

Ice Spire
Lich Ice Spire model.png
Level 4
Duration 15
Health 800
Health regeneration 0
Armor 0
Magic resistance 0%
Status resistance 0%
Collision size 16
Vision range 800 (G)
Bounty 20
Experience 20
Model scale 0.8
Notes Spell immune

Ice Spire icon.png
Creates an icicle at the target spot for 15 seconds, slowing enemies within 750 range by 30%. Has 800 health.

Chain Frost can bounce to the Icicle if there are no other enemies in range.

Can cast Frost Shield on it.
Cast Animation: 0.3+0
Cast Range: 750
Radius: 750
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Aura Linger Duration: 0.5
Duration: 15
Cooldown: 25
Mana: 150
Does not pierce spell immunity. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity.
Buff modifier_kill: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_magic_immune: Dispellable with death only.
Buff modifier_lich_ice_spire: Dispellable with death only.
Debuff modifier_lich_ice_spire_debuff: Undispellable. Persists death.
Ability Draft Notes
Ability Draft Notes:
Upgradable by Aghanim's Shard.
Requires drafting Chain Frost to be unlocked.


  • Chain Frost can bounce on, but cannot directly target Unknown Unit icon.png Ice Spires.
    • It may only bounce to the spire if no other valid targets are within range.
    • The bounces still fully count towards the bounce limit.
    • Can only bounce on allied spires. Enemy spires are ignored.
    • If multiple spires are within range, it chooses one at random.
    • Can bounce back and forth between multiple spires if no enemies are within range.
  • Frost Shield fully works for the Ice Spire, applying all its effects.
  • Ice Spire gains its spell immunity through a buff, so it is possible for enemies to check the buff and Ping the duration of the ward.

Chain Frost icon.png
Releases an orb of frost that bounces between nearby enemy units up to 10 times, slowing and damaging each time it hits. Each bounce increases the damage for the subsequent bounces.
Cast Animation: 0.3+1.03
Cast Range: 750
Bounce Distance: 600
Number of Bounces: 10 (Talent Infinite)
Bounce Delay: 0.2
Initial Damage: 250/400/550 (Talent 350/500/650)
Damage Increment per Bounce: 15/20/25
Move Speed Slow: 65%
Attack Speed Slow: 65
Slow Duration: 2.5
Cooldown: 100/80/60
Mana: 200/350/500
Aghanim's Shard upgrade: Grants a new ability: Ice Spire.
Partially pierces spell immunity. Can target and bounce to spell immune enemies. Does not slow or attempt to damage spell immune enemies. Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Partially blocked by Linken's Sphere. Blocked upon cast or impact only as primary target. When blocked upon cast, it fully affects the primary target and continues to bounce. When blocked upon impact, it continues to bounce without affecting the primary target.
Buff modifier_lich_chain_frost_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.
Buff modifier_projectile_vision: Undispellable. Persists death.
Debuff modifier_lich_chainfrost_slow: Dispellable with any dispel.
Almost universally considered the ultimate in frost magic, Ethreain's orb of frozen death strikes fear into those who dare stand against him.


  • Chain Frost initially travels at a speed of 1050, and continues traveling at a speed of 850 after the primary target.
  • The projectile bounces with a 0.2 second delay.
  • Can bounce on the same unit multiple times, but only when another target was hit between the bounces.
  • Chain Frost first applies the debuff, then the damage.
  • Leveling up Chain Frost and the damage increasing Talent talent immediately update currently flying Chain Frost projectiles.
  • This is how much damage each bounce deals on each level (before reductions):
    • Level 1: 250 / 265 / 280 / 295 / 310 / 325 / 340 / 355 / 370 / 385 / 400 + Talent 100 damage on each bounce
    • Level 2: 400 / 420 / 440 / 460 / 480 / 500 / 520 / 540 / 560 / 580 / 600 + Talent 100 damage on each bounce
    • Level 3: 550 / 575 / 600 / 625 / 650 / 675 / 700 / 725 / 750 / 775 / 800 + Talent 100 damage on each bounce
  • Can potentially deal up to 3575/5500/7425 (Talent 4675/6600/8525) damage total if all bounces hit (before reductions).
  • The projectile has 800 range flying vision. The vision is not provided during the 0.2 second bounce delay.
  • Chain Frost stops providing vision and stops playing a sound upon hitting non-hero units when bouncing more than 60 times.


Hero Talents
Chain Frost Unlimited Bounces25 Frost Shield Provides +50 HP Regen
+4s Frost Shield Duration20+100 Chain Frost Damage
-3s Frost Blast Cooldown15+0.5s Sinister Gaze Duration
+125 Frost Blast Radius and Damage10+10% Frost Shield Damage Reduction

Recent Changes[]

Main Article: Lich/Changelogs
Level 15 right talent changed: +100 attack damage ➜ +0.5s Sinister Gaze duration.
  • Increased turn rate from 0.5 to 0.6.
  • Frost Blast
    • Reduced primary target damage from 50/100/150/200 to 40/80/120/160.
    • Increased area damage from 75/100/125/150 to 80/120/160/200.
    • Reduced mana cost from 115/140/165/190 to 115/135/155/175.
  • Increased Chain Frost mana cost from 200/325/500 to 200/350/500.
  • Aghanim's Shard icon.png Aghanim's Shard upgrade:
    • Ice Spire
      • Increased Unknown Unit icon.png Ice Spire health from 600 to 800.
      • Increased radius from 600 to 750.
      • Increased movement speed slow from 20% to 30%.
  • Talents:
Level 10 left talent changed: +90 Frost Blast area damage ➜ +125 Frost Blast radius/area damage.
Level 10 right talent changed: +100 cast range ➜ +10% Frost Shield attack damage resistance.

Recommended Items[]

Starting items:

  • Tango icon.png Tango sustains Lich's health so that he does not get harassed out of lane; he can also use it to heal allied carry as well.
  • Healing Salve icon.png Healing Salve also restores health to Lich or an ally.
  • Clarity icon.png Clarity supplies mana for Frost Blast, keeping enemies from touching the creep waves.
  • Iron Branch icon.png Iron Branch is cheap and gives Lich good attributes. It can build to Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.
  • Observer Ward icon.png Observer Ward provides map vision for team to spot enemy ganks.

Early game:

  • Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick and later Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand grant burst healing and mana, keeping Lich going longer in fights or ganks.
  • Tranquil Boots (Active) icon.png Tranquil Boots help sustain Lich's health, while using clarities to regen mana. It also helps Lich kite melees in lane with wind lance build up.

Mid game:

  • Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens gives Lich much-needed mana and allows him to cast his abilities from a safe distance, while letting Sinister Gaze displace enemies further.
  • Force Staff icon.png Force Staff helps manipulate allies' and enemies' positioning to set up Lich's spells or escape in a pinch.
  • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape grants cheap magic resistance and invisibility to foil gank attempts and escape from bad situations.

Late game:

  • Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger helps Lich get the jump on enemies with his disables or Chain Frost.
  • Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter allows Sinister Gaze to disable multiple enemy heroes, synergizing with Chain Frost and other allies' AoE abilities.

Situational items:

  • Refresher Orb icon.png Refresher Orb massively increases Lich's teamfight damage with a second Chain Frost cast, but takes a severe toll on his mana supply.
  • Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse gives a powerful disable and solves Lich's mana problems, though it comes at a prohibitively high price.
  • Ghost Scepter icon.png Ghost Scepter provides Lich attributes and ethereal to counter physical damage, letting him survive against farmed carries.
  • Urn of Shadows icon.png Urn of Shadows gives some cheap armor and mana regen, along with a useful heal or damage-over-time as long as Lich keeps ganking. Can be upgraded to Spirit Vessel icon.png Spirit Vessel to break down bulkier enemies.
  • Mekansm icon.png Mekansm can be used to support allies with burst healing in the mid-game before upgrading to Guardian Greaves icon.png Guardian Greaves, though the heal taxes Lich's mana pool.
  • Eul's Scepter of Divinity icon.png Eul's Scepter of Divinity gives Lich more mana to spam spells, along with some mobility and a coveted hard disable.
  • Rod of Atos icon.png Rod of Atos gives an efficient attribute boost along with a long-range root for leading ganks.
  • Solar Crest icon.png Solar Crest helps allies in ganks with a slow and armor debuff, protects allies that are focused down in teamfights, and helps soften up Roshan.
  • Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight is a useful utility item against nuke-heavy teams and synergizes well with Frost Shield.


Roles: Support Support Nuker Nuker
Complexity: ★☆☆
Playstyle: Resurrected by a curious geomancer, Ethreain bewitched his savior with a Sinister Gaze, then promptly made the man his newest sacrifice. Finally freed from the depths of the Black Pool, the Lich returns to wreak icy destruction on the world. Cloaking his followers with an Frost Shield, Ethreain floats across the battlefield to Frost Blast any who cross him. A frozen orb descends on his foes, traveling from one body to the next until the Chain Frost brings all opposition to their knees.





  • Lich's voice actor, Gary Schwartz, also voiced the Heavy and Demoman classes in Team Fortress 2, another title by Valve.
  • In the first iteration of Invoker minimap icon.png Invoker's abilities, when the order of his three orbs determined the spell that was invoked, Frost Nova was one of his abilities and functioned almost identically to the current spell, and was mapped to Quas Quas Exort. Crystal Maiden minimap icon.png Crystal Maiden also had the same Frost Nova ability with small differences in numbers.
  • Lich is almost entirely based on a Warcraft 3 hero. His title (Lich), DotA name (Kel'Thuzad) and all his spells except the ultimate are same as the original Warcraft 3 hero,[1] although entirely rebalanced around Dota.
    • In his transition to Dota 2, he kept his title (Lich), but his name got changed due to copyright reasons, since Kel'Thuzad is a notable character from the Warcraft universe.[2]
    • Lich's response ▶️ "Dead man drifting." is a reference to the line ▶️ "Dead man walking." spoken by the Warcraft 3 hero.[3]
  • Anatomically, Lich's cranium has no visible sutures, another proof of his age.
  • Lich's response :▶️ "Frost bitten, twice shy" is a referense to Great White albums: Once Bitten... and ...Twice Shy
  • Lich's response ▶️ "And so the dead will bury the dead" is a reference from Bible (Luke 9:59-60), where Jesus said, “Let the dead bury the dead,” in response to a disciple who wanted to bury his father before committing himself to the Lord.