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Kel’Thuzad, The Lich Guide by Suizida

Written by admin on May 21st, 2008

This guide provided by Suizida.

Here you can see items guide, skill guide, secrets and common strategy for Defence of the Ancients ( Dota ) Allstars hero Lich. Let’s See Kel’Thuzad Guide.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

  • Pros and Cons
    The Lich’s Role in the Team

  • All about Kel’Thuzad

  • Lich’s Skills
    Items Info

  • How to play Kel’Thuzad

  • On to the build
    Skill Build
    Core Item Build
    Other Items
    In Build Items
    Items to Avoid
    Levels 1-7
    Levels 8-12
    Levels 12-16
    Levels 17-25

  • Important Strategies

  • Mini Guide to Chain Frost
    Knowing the creeps
    Wards and Blink around the map

  • Allies and Enemies

  • Good Supporting Heroes
    Tough Enemy Heroes

  • Replays

  • Frequently asked questions

  • Updates

  • Final Words


Hey guys, I’ve decided to re-write basically my whole Lich guide for the HGC. Expect a lot of changes since this guide is incredibly out-of-date. This is my 2nd guide and previously this guide spoke about Lich’s awesoem soloing skills. The fact of the matter is that Lich’s solo skills don’t fit into the ‘metagame’ that is DotA. This new version will focus more on the dual laning skills of Lich. I also used to have quite a long list for the item build. Lich doesn’t really need all those items, so I’m going to make the core items and you choose the rest, like in Tucker’s or De_dust’s guides.
Pros and Cons


  • Not-item dependant
  • An endless supply of mana
  • Game breaking ultimate


  • Below average starting stats
  • Below average movement speed
  • No escape mechanism
  • Terrible strength gain
  • Kel’Thuzad’s Role in the Team
    Kel’Thuzad’s role in the team now-days is to do all the damage he can, support and die. It’s that simple. Much like Venomancer he is in the majority of team-battles going to die. But him dieing isn’t what he goes into battles for, he goes into battles so he can create rip-shit riot with chain frost. So what do you do with a hero that dies a ton? simple support your allies and spend your $ to gain total map-control


    Range: 500 | | Move Speed: 295 | Primary: Intelligence
    Str: 18 + 1.55 | Agi: 15 + 2.00 | Int: 18 + 3.25
    Damage: 37 – 49 | HP: 492 | Mana: 234 | Armor: 1
    HP Regen: 0.79 | Mana Regen: 0.73 |Attack Speed: 1.48 (+ 15% IAS)

    All about Kel’Thuzad

    Skills Info

    Frost Nova
    IPB Image

    Blasts enemy units around a target enemy unit with a wave of damaging frost
    slows movement and attack rates for 4 seconds.
    Level 1 50 target damage and 75 nova damage. (Costs 125 mana, 9.25sec cooldown)
    Level 2 – 100 target damage and 100 nova damage. (Costs 150 mana, 9.25sec cooldown)
    Level 3 – 125 target damage and 125 nova damage. (Costs 175 mana, 9.25sec cooldown)
    Level 4 – 175 target damage and 150 nova damage. (Costs 190 mana, 9.25sec cooldown)

    Your sole nuke. Quite straight forward. This nuke does 175 to the targeted enemy and 150 nova damage to a 200 AOE. A common misconception is the Nova damage doesn’t hit the main target also, but that is incorrect. So technically, Frost Nova does 325 to one unit and 150 damage to the rest (level 4, before spell resistance). Coupled with Dark Ritual, there is an unlimited amount of times you can use it. This is the skill that gives you your lane dominance early game. Mid game Frost Nova is used in team battles as it damages and slows everyone and to assist ganks. Late game this is also used to assist ganks and farming. This skill will be maxed out first with Dark Ritual

    Frost Armour
    IPB Image

    Creates a shield of frost around a target friendly unit. The shield adds armour and slows attacking melee units for 2 seconds.
    Lasts 40 seconds. Cost: 50 mana. Cooldown: 6 seconds.
    Level 1 – Adds 3 armour.
    Level 2 – Adds 6 armour.
    Level 3 – Adds 9 armour.
    Level 4 – Adds 12 armour.

    As of 6.45, this skill is pretty good, but still situational. The increase in Armour is amazing for late game now. The slow is nice, but only works on melee heroes. It’s nice to have on when ganking, but sometimes you don’t have the opportunity to use it. The armour is also nice, but the fact it’s casted armour it is usually overlooked. Between Frost Armour and stats I usually choose stats. But now with the armour buff it can be taken instead of stats. With the buff recently upgrading the armour per level, Frost Armour can be taken straight over stats. Obviously the way the game is going and who your team is versing will make that decision.

    Note: Frost armour won’t slow Ursa warrior as he is considered a range hero. It will slow him if he has Enrage on As of 6.44 Ursa is MELEE.

    Dark Ritual
    IPB Image

    Sacrifices a target friendly unit to convert its hit points into mana.
    Cost: 25 mana.
    Level 1 – 15% of hit points to mana. Cooldown: 60 seconds
    Level 2 – 30% of hit points to mana. Cooldown: 55 seconds
    Level 3 – 45% of hit points to mana. Cooldown: 50 seconds
    Level 4 – 60% of hit points to mana. Cooldown: 45 seconds

    WOW. One of the best non-ultimate abilities in the game. This gives Kel’Thuzad his endless supply of mana. It also denies experience from the enemy. This together with Frost Nova gives Kel’Thuzad his awesome laning skills.

    Note: Dark Ritual does not dispel Battle Hunger

    Chain Frost
    IPB Image

    Releases a jumping breath of frost that jumps 6 times.
    Level 1 – Deals 280 damage per hit. Cost: 200 mana. Cooldown: 145 seconds
    Level 2 – Deals 370 damage per hit. Cost: 325 mana. Cooldown: 115 seconds
    Level 3 – Deals 460 damage per hit. Cost: 500 mana. Cooldown: 60 seconds
    Aghanims – Deals 550 damage per hit. Cost: 500 mana. Cooldown: 60 seconds, 7 bounces

    One of the best team ultimate’s in the game. The move that ensures that you can win a 1v2 situation. The projectile is a bit tricky as the Chain Frost jump will hit the enemy before it actually touches them. The bounces from the Chain Frost have a bounce range of 600 to hit another target. Coupled with an AOE stunner, it is a combo that promises some serious destruction.

    IPB Image<—Click me
    Here is a slideshow of how deceiving Chain Frost’s projectile is.

    Note: The casting range of Chain Frost is 750, with Aghanims it is 850

    Core item build
    IPB Image – Mekansm = Optional


    IPB Image

    Item Build Justifications
    As you can see now, there are 2 choices for core item builds. The only difference is the choice between Boots of Travel and Blink Dagger. Blink Dagger is used mostly for escaping, aiding teamates and setting up perfect Chain-Frosts. Boots of Travel is used for total map control and with the superior MS to help eenemies chase, support etc. So what do you choose? It comes down to 2 things. No.1 Preference. Some people prefer BoT over Dagger and Vice-Versa. No.2 The way the game is going. If your versing a massive pushing team then you would take BoT but if your versing a team that lusts on tema battles then you go

    A chicken is optional early game and 95% of the time I buy one. Since Lich buys all his items in little bits and he needs to by observer wards constantly, a chicken would seem mandatory on him. The Tango of Essifation is also an optional item, but he helps Lich’s lane control tremendously. A Ring of Regeneration is next to give Kel’Thuzad survival in his lane. Turn RoR into Headdress as soon as you can.

    Kel’Thuzad is one of, if not the best choice to put down Observer Wards for the Scourge. Since he doesn’t need expensive items to be effective he can use his spare change to have sight around the map. Ward-spots will be shown later in the guide.

    Mekansm suits Kel’Thuzad very well (as oppose to my previous thoughts on it :P ). Since Kel’Thuzad always has mana, he has no problem with holding it. It helps Kel’Thuzad and everyone in the team with pushing also. In a team battle Kel’Thuzad uses Frost Nova then Chain Frost, then DPS’s the rest. With Mekansm, you can seek out heroes who are in need of aid. Mekansm is now being deemed optional in the first build since Lich with a Blink Dagger early can rape almost any hero early.

    Blink Dagger is a great item on every hero, because it gives all heroes an escape mechanism. But it is better used for the heroes who can assist the DPS’ers or do massive burst damage. Kel Thuzad is a prime candidate for blink dagger. He has no escape mechanism, his Frost Nova assists allies taking down heroes. It is also used to get close to enemy heroes so he can use his Chain Frost. When Kel’Thuzad uses his ultimate, he will automatically be focused fire, using Blink Dagger to escape will cause confusion for the opposition and your DPS’ers and stunners can finish off what Chain Frost left. The amounts of uses for Blink Dagger are endless. The main usage for Chain Frost (which I actually forgot :D) is to get into position to pull off a perfect Chain Frost. Dagger helps out with this due to the slow movement speed of the first bounce in Chain Frost. The bounce is incredibly slow, so by getting Blink Dagger you can blink right next to the opponent thus eliminating the ugly process of waiting for the first bounce.

    Boots of Travel. I shouldn’t need to argue between Travel and Treads, but I will for pubbers sake. Treads cost 1530. They give 65+MS and 30%attack speed. Travels cost 2700. They give 90+MS and a 60 second teleport. Although Treads are considerably cheaper, Boots of Travel are still the better choice. Why? Kel’Thuzad needs as much movement speed as he can get. With his below average movement speed, he won’t be able to catch any hero with treads when they have treads and he won’t be able to outrun any heroes when he has Treads and they have Travels. The 30% attack speed from treads is a waste on Kel’Thuzad. He doesn’t need any attack speed and his base damage is nothging special as he is a spell casting hero. With proper animation cancelling, he can last hit fine. The extra 30+ movement speed from Boots of Travel gives Kel’ Thuzad the opportunity to catch up to enemies and slow them with Frost Nova. BoT coupled with Blink Dagger makes it very hard for enemies to catch you. These 2 items +Frost Armour will make it near impossible for any melee hero to catch you. The free teleport ensures map control, especially with Kel’Thuzad. Since he will be your lane solo’er, his level advantage + Travel will make it very hard for any heroes to establish dominance in a lane.

    With Mekansm in the build, it makes a lot of the items interchangeable. If you like to rush Mekansm like I do, then I rush everything ASAP. If you like to have more HP early, then get the Bracer after Headdress.

    As I said I like to rush Mekansm, but I don’t gank as frequently as others. If you are a constant ganker, then
    Blink Dagger takes priority over Mekansm. This is all a matter of preference.

    After Core Items

    IPB Image
    Necrominicon:For people who like to grab a couple more kills with Lich, then the Necrominion build is the one for you. Obviously to be able to use this build efficientelly your going to need sufficient micro. This build focuses around having your enemies constantly slowed with Frost Nova. The MS buff from your Range demon gives you a nice edge when chasing enemies. That coupled with Boots of Travel makes it tough to catch Lich. Also if the other team is constantly trying to gain Map-control with wards then you can use your minions, since the range one has true sight. If you want to learn more about this truly sexy item then check this guide by MightyDraenei.

    IPB Image
    Aghanims Scepter:
    Quite a nice boost to Lich’s MP and HP. Also the increase in damage and the extra bounce from Chain Frost is also strong

    IPB Image
    The debated item. Before my update I said that this item was shit since you would need to spend 900 gold on nothing (Void Stone). After trying it out it is quite good. As I said earlier in the guide, Lich tends to die, so why not take advantage of it? The benefits from dying are quite strong, especially for your team (400 HP aoe heal.) So if your team tend to be getting into a lot of team battles, this item will keep you and your team alive for that much longer.

    IPB Image
    Another item where the regeneration is a waste. But once again the benefits are to good to dismiss, the Cyclones/Hex is a great asset for the team

    Other Items

    The Other Item build:

    IPB Image
    If you are getting sick of the general core builds and feel like going on constant killing sprees then this is the build for you. This build is based mainly in pubs. If you manage to farm Dagon quickly (With Lich I would say about by 18min) then you go around and do some serious burst damage. Basically turn into a roaming hero and own lanes creating total map control, this can be done well since everytime you pass a lane, Dark Ritual a creep so you are constantly replenished. If you feel that you are lacking health in this build then throw in a Point Booster.

    In Build Items

    Hood of Defiance
    Ever since this item was introduced to DotA, it has been a favourite for basically every hero. Tanks who have enough HP use it, Agility and Intelligence heroes use it so they don’t die from nukes and for a very affordable price. Kel’Thuzad is no exception to this item. Like Mekansm if you’re being outnuked, skip the Bracers, stack branches and delay stat points. Just remember, that nukes do become harmless in the later stages of the game, so if you think you can handle the nukes early then just leave Hood. But if the majority of your enemies team are nukers, then by all means, this is the item for you.

    Items to Avoid

    Attack speed items
    Hyperstone, Midas, Treads etc. Kel’Thuzad is not a DPS hero. He is a spell caster and he supposed to be played as a spell caster.

    Skill Build

    Solo Lane/Dual Lane
    Frost Nova:1 or 2,4,5,7
    Frost Armour:10,17-19
    Dark Ritual:1 or 2,3,8-9
    Chain Frost:6,11,16
    Attribute Bonuses:12-15,20-25

    Babysitter Lane
    Frost Nova:1,4,7,8
    Frost Armour:10,17-19
    Dark Ritual:2,3,5,9
    Chain Frost:6,11,16
    Attribute Bonuses:12-15,20-25

    Skill Build Justification
    Dark Ritual is taken at level one so you can deny experience from the enemy. But if you are versing a team that you know will go for a level 1 gank or your team is going for one then Frost Nova is needed first. Frost Nova is your sole nuke so it needs to be maxed out ASAP. Chain Frost is taken at 6,11,16 because it increases his killing abilities buy a huge amount. Dark Ritual is maxed out at level 9 so you can have an endless supply of mana. One point of Frost Armour is taken at level 10. The armour is low at that level but the -MS stays constant between levels. From level 12 up (excl. 16) you have the choice between stats and Frost Armour. Depending on your team facing melee, DPS monsters (Spectre with Radiance) or even range DPS monsters mid game (for the armour buff) you will want to take Frost Armour then. If you’re still playing against the spell caster team (which the majority of the team will be) then get stats and level up Frost armour after.

    The baby sitter skill build is to be used when laning with heroes like Spectre or Faceless Lloyd. Level 1 Frost Nova is taken to ensure safety for your late-game-carry hero from ganks at level 1. 3 levels of Dark Ritual are taken early to keep your enemy harassed and away from your ally. The difference between Dark Ritual 2 and 3 compared to Frost Nova 2 and 3 is quite vast. With 3 levels of Dark Ritual you can have constant mana at the expense of a bit less damage. Since you’re are baby-sitting you and your ally will not be going much for hero-kills so the damage from Nova is negligent, but ensuring the safety of your ally is your top priority

    General Walkthrough
    Note:The strat is mainly based around buying Blink Dagger, so if you go the BoT route just disregard any tips about Dagger

    Levels 1-7

    Kel'thuzad Dota Allstars Screenshot

      Skill order

      Level 01 | Dark Ritual
      Level 02 | Frost Nova
      Level 03 | Frost Nova
      Level 04 | Dark Ritual
      Level 05 | Frost Nova
      Level 06 | Chain Frost
      Level 07 | Frost Nova

      Item order

      Ironwood Branch (57)
      Ironwood Branch (57)
      Bracer (510)
      Headress of Rejuvination (657)
      Boots of Speed (500)
      Observer Wards (215)
      Total Cost:1996

    The game has begun and you have picked/randomed Kel’Thuzad. Either go top or bottom for either Scourge and Sentinel. Lich is incredibly strong early game since his unlimited supply of mana and Frost Nova. So Lich’s role early is to either a. Dominate a lane with another early-game ownage hero (Pugna) or to be the babysitter for the carry hero (spectre, faceless Lloyd[it's lloyd since void rhymes with my name]). Once you have bought all your starting items wait in-front of your 1st tower. When the timer hits 1.29 (assuming it’s not RD) use Dark Ritual on the first melee creep. Since melee creeps give off the most exp and do less damage then the range creep, you won’t be tower hugging all the time. Once you have denied the creep start to creep block the rest. This is done by standing in front of your creeps and constantly pressing ‘H’. If done correctly you will have your tower hitting the first wave of Sentinel creeps and you would’ve denied experience from your enemy. Between levels 1-2, your objective is to last hit and deny as much as you can. Don’t auto-attack your enemy’s creeps, hold ALT and wait until your enemies creeps are under the threshold Hp for a last hit. It may take a few games to learn Kel’Thuzad’s projectile but once learnt it’s quite a simple task. You can also animation-cancel Kel Thuzad’s attack. When you see the projectile flying out, don’t just wait around until it hits the creep, issue another command cancelling the rest of the animation. Remeber kids, Lich’s attack damage is absolute shiza, so remeber when you attack creeps they have to have a tiny bit of HP, Lich is no-orb walker with nice damage. Try to gain lane-control so you can stand closer to the dieing creeps, effectively minimising the casting time.

    Between 3-5, you can start harassing your enemies more with your Frost-Nova and keep your mana regenerated with Dark Ritual. Whenever Dark Ritual is on cooldown, use it on a ful HP melee creep (unless you need to wait to use for a kill), this will keep the creeps closer in your territory and keep the XP and the money lower for the enemy. Keep last hitting and denying but if an enemy hero gets to close, make sure they pay with a Frost Nova. Make sure that when your mana is full you cast your Frost Nova on your opponent then use Dark Ritual. There is no point keeping your mana full when you can harass your enemy.

    Level 6 you gain a new weapon in your arsenal, Chain Frost. At level 6 you can kill an enemy hero, but it takes timing and precision. If you are versing 2 heroes, wait until there are no creeps around and use Chain Frost on the one with less HP. Hopefully, they will stay close and it will bounce until one of them dies. When the other one is trying to run, attack him until the slow from Chain Frost wheres off. At that stage you Frost Nova him, this is to ensure the maximum amount of slow possible. If done correctly you have a double kill and a lot more money to spend. If there is only one enemy hero in your lane, wait until they have one more creep left (if it is a range hero you are versing, then wait till their spell caster creep is the last one left. If it a Melee hero you are versing, wait until they only have one Treant left.) Cast Chain Frost on the enemy hero. Hopefully the enemy creep will be able to stay alive for 2 bounces so the enemy hero gets hit by 3 which should be enough to kill him. If it doesn’t kill the enemy do like in the other situation, wait for the slow to where off and Frost Nova guaranteeing a kill. Anywhere Between Levels 1-7 you can put down Observer Wards. Put 2 wards at either side of the river for now. Also put one Observer Ward on the top of the hill so you can see where there is usually fog. Later game when heroes are moving around more Observer Wards will be put in more places.
    IPB Image<–Click me

    Levels 8-12

    Dota Allstrs Kel'Thuzad The Lich Hero Screenshot

      Skill order

      Level 08 | Dark Ritual
      Level 09 | Dark Ritual
      Level 10 | Frost Armour
      Level 11 | Chain Frost
      Level 12 | Attribute Bonuses

      Item order
      Bracer (500)
      Chainmail (600)
      Netherezims Buckler Recipe (200)
      Mekansm Recipe (900)
      Observer Wards (215)
      Total Cost:2415

    From levels 8-12 your main priority is to finish off Mekansm and to ward the map. Kel’Thuzad needs to constantly suppply wards so your team can assume total-map control. Mekansm is essential in team battles so you can keep you and the rest of your team fighting. At this stage you can go around ganking and try keep everyone on the map underleveled while warding the map or stay in your lane and try and keep your enemy/s underleveled until a team battle emerges or a gank is being initiated. Both of them are viable strats.

    Your role in team battles is to do as much damage as possible to the whole collective group while focusing on one main target, This hero is usually a disabler/spell caster as they will have little HP and will be easy target for Kel’Thuzad. When a battle starts use Frost Nova on the hero you want to kill, then use Chain Frost on the same hero. Hopefully the bounces will continuously hit your main target and kill him and there will be more bounces left to damage the rest of the team. One thing that is taken for granted is the huge range on Chain Frost. When using it in a team battle use the range fully and/or over terain, so if/when you’re focused fired, you have a nice head start when you go into a Juking position.

    Make sure you always have a TP scroll on you, so if you push to far and see a free lane you can teleport there immediately. Since everyone is moving more freely around the map, more Observer Wards will need to be purchased so you can see around the map.

    IPB Image(Thanks to ResetX for letting me use his ward picture)

    The last place I would recommend putting a ward down is at Roshan. With the new changes to how Roshan works, teams will try to take him out when they have the chance, so a ward there would seem mandatory. Also in a team battle near Roshan would be one of the best places for Lich to fight, as there are no creeps for the Chain Frost to bounce to.

    Between the later levels here and going into the level 13 it is your duty to farm up Blink Dagger/BoT.

    Levels 13-16

    Dota Allstars Lich Screenshot

      Skill order

      Level 13 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 14 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 15 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 16 | Chain Frost

      Item order
      Observer Wards (215)
      Blink Dagger (2150)
      Point Booster (1200)
      TOTAL COST: 3565

    Level 13 to 16 are very important to Kel’Thuzad. Team battles and pushes are as rampant as ever. Like levels 8-12 your main objective is to put down wards and help out in team battles. Since there will be a lot of team pushes, make sure you walk around with a TP scroll. It is imperative that you have one, so you can lane jump and assume map control. If there are a lot of towers down and you need to lane jump constantly due to the enemy.

    In the early stages of 13-16, you should have Blink Dagger. You finally have a full-proof escape mechanism. Now you don’t have to rely on Juking spots to sneak up on your enemy, you can use a blink dagger to blink in or out of battles to keep yourself safe. Make sure you Blink effectively by:

    • Blinking into the correct positions for battles
    • Blinking 1000 yards and not over, so you use the full distance of the Blink
    • Blinking over Terrain to outrun your enemy
    • Blinking directly ontop of the enemy, stopping him from moving so you can get extra shots in

    Level 16 is a great time for you. The damage from Chain Frost has increased while the cooldown has reduced massively. Make sure you use this effectively, you don’t even need to wait for team battles, just use Chain Frost whenever you think it is appropriate.

    Levels 17-25

    Dota Allstars Kel'Thuzad The Lich Items and Skills build guide screenshot

      Skill order

      Level 17 | Frost Armour
      Level 18 | Frost Armour
      Level 19 | Frost Armour
      Level 20 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 21 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 22 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 23 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 24 | Attribute Bonus
      Level 25 | Attribute Bonus

      Item order
      Boots of Travel (2200)
      Vitality Booster (1100)
      Energy Booster (1000)
      TOTAL COST (4300)


    UUUH…any intelligence heroes worst nightmare in Dota Allstars, late game. Kel’Thuzad is no exception to the rule. To be honest, at this point of the game you are quite a liability. You fight, you Chain and you die…that’s why it is impreitive that you keep buying wards and pop them down all around the map.

    This is where Frost Armour finally becomes effective, when the DPS’ers start to run the game. Cast it on as many of your allies as you can, focusing on your tank or your main DPS’er unless someone is specifically being focused fired. When heroes are pushing and push to far either TP into the lane and counter the push or assist in ganking the enemy. If the game is going long then decide between the late-game items (explanations of which ones later). This is where you become more of a support hero, as your spells are becoming less and less effective. Still keep using your Chain Frost in team battles, even though it doesn’t seem to do much damage, it actually does a net damage of 2300. Also remember to use your Mekansm late game, as that has a net heal of 1250. While your chances of getting late game kills are slim, supporting your allies should be satisfying enough. Try and get your team to do mass-pushes so the game doesn’t end with everyone being level 25, thus making you ineffective.

    Important Strategies

    Mini-guide to Chain Frost

    I’ve decided to dedicate a mini-guide to Chain Frost as I’ve seen countless players using Chain Frost to recklessly or they are to cautious to cast it, in fear of it being wasted. So I hope to show how Chain Frost is meant to be used different situations.

    2 Running heroes

    IPB Image

    The best situation you will ever receive as Lich. 2 heroes running away, with no other enemies in sight. If you notice in the clip, the fleeing heroes are Meepo and Skeleton King while Pandaren Brewmaster and a bunch of creeps are chasing me. I could’ve shot my Chain Frost earlier, but I wanted to ensure my kill by isolating both heroes.

    Using Creeps

    IPB Image

    This strategy of Chain-Frost is primarily used early game. Since the enemy creeps can tank 1-2 of Chain Frost early make sure they are used effectively. Even though there was a Nevermore in this GIF, my intention was not to kill him (which I ended up doing :lol: ) but to kill the Bloodseeker. Make sure when using this strategy there is only 1 creep around for the Chain Frost to bounce off. If The Bloodseeker was next to the Necromancer at the start of the confrontation, I most likely would’ve not got any kills. Since most players tend to run when they see a Chain Frost being launched at them, the range that the Chain Frost jumps isn’t enough, resulting in less bounces. It is essential that the hero is a little bit in front so when he runs, he runs into another bounce.

    Chain Frost on a lone hero
    A technique that I use rarely to ensure kills, but it is effective. I suggest this technique only early game. This technique only works with harassing the enemy (which you should always be doing). If you establish lane control it makes this technique tons easier. Constantly nuke an opponent, keeping at 2/3rds health. At level 6-7 Frost Nova your target and hit him a few times, at this stage he will already be running backwards. When the slow from Frost Nova has warn off and the enemy is under 280 hp (before spell resistance) launch Chain Frost. While some may think this is an unneccesary technique, the fact of the matter is it does bag kills. What is the difference between using a creep to bounce off or one direct enemy if they both grab the kill.

    Chain Frost from Fog of War positions/Juking positions
    A technique that needs practice to make perfect, like all moves. Basically using the range of Chain Frost (750) and the Fog of War to your advantage. Get into a position where you can see the enemy but where they can’t see you and Chain Frost. obviously this technique is better used on 2 enemy heroes but if there is a creeps there, then use him as a reflector. I only suggest using this technique when you have your blink dagger. In the case where your Chain Frost doesn’t go as you planned, you will need to blink out ASAP and it’s better to be safe then sorry. For the people who don’t think that the 750 range on Chain Frost is enough, then I strongly suggest you play Dwarven Sniper and use his range to his full potential. Chain Frost is only 20 yards less then level 4 Take Aim.

    Juking has the same principle as the fog of war. When the enemy is chasing (preferably 2), use the trees or hills so you enter a position can’t see you and you can see them. When they start running around frantically looking for you, Chain Frost. Once again like Fog of War, only do this with a dagger in your inventory for precautions.

    Ganking with allies

    IPB Image
    In this GIF, you see Magnus and Darchrow get ready to gank. They blink in with Magnus stunning both heroes. Lich blinks in and gets a double kill since the bounce is recurring between them.

    Lich is a great ganker, that’s obvious. He manages to get a bunch of nice kills in 2v1 situations. But 2 or 3 heroes is always better then one. Lich’s Chain Frost when it comes to ganking is best used with an AOE stunner to clear everyone up. AOE stunners most of the time have blink dagger and in that case so should you.

    Chain Frost in team battles
    If you have realised, all the situations that I have used are meant for killing, In team battles though, Chain Frost can kill enemies but in most cases it is used to do as much damage to a team as possible. Chain Frost is a quick move that can affect a whole team in seconds.
    When using Chain Frost think about who you should aim at, this obviously depends on what section of the game it is. AOE disablers are always a primary target, the main DPS’ers are main targets are mid to late game. If there are neither (99.9999999999% not going to happen) pick the hero in the middle, so the maximum amount of bounces can be used.

    Nova, Chain, Nova vs. Chain, Nova, Nova
    2 separate ways fro Kel’Thuzad to use his attack. While they both do the same amount of damage (assuming Chain Frost bounces the same amount of times) they are 2 separate tacticts that are implemented for 2 separate situations.

    So when to use which?
    Nova, Chain, Nova (N/C/N) is the more commonly used technique. It allows to do some nice burst damage, Chain Frost and wait for the cool down on Frost Nova to cooldown, finishing them off. A very commonly used tactic for obvious reasons. This startegy is commonly used in team battles and taking out single heroes.

    Chain, Nova, Nova (C/N/N) is a less commonly known tactic. Why would anyone use this tactic? N/C/N lets you do something while Frost Nova is on CD. The problem is, if you are ganking 2 enemies, you are only going to damage one significatly enough while the other one will escape with a scratch. If you use the C/N/N it has an element of surprise, giving little to no time for your enemy/s to react. This technique is used more for ganking enemies. If you are having problems with catching fleeing enemies while your 2nd Frost Nova is on CD, you are either:

    • Using the first Frost Nova to early, not letting the Slow from CF take full effect.
    • Waiting for the full animation when you can animation-cancel
    • Letting your enemies go out of range

    The best way to counter these problems is to learn Kel’Thuzad’s animation and looking at your enemies status bar, to see if the cold attack is still in effect. Also, a lot of people tend to forget they have a Blink Dagger in their inventory. Dagger is a very critical part of chasing, always use it to your advantage.

    Knowing the creeps
    Admittedly, this part was taking Fat404’s guide to Juggernaut but the same principles apply to Kel’Thuzad’s Chain Frost. Creeps spawn every thirty seconds at either 1.29(AP,AR etc) or at 3(RD,LM etc) it is imperitive that you learn the motions of the creeps. Have you ever seen heroes go into the jungle and pull the creeps with them? this is due to the fact that have memorised the movements of the creeps and found a way to manipulate it. If you want to learn about manipulating the creeps then go to my Rexxar guide. But more importantly, creeps can fuck up a perfect Chain Frost. If they manage to walk and creeps are there, then you’ve just wasted you ultimate.

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    Until there are pushes and manipulations of creeps (this could include just creep killing) the DotA map when it comes to Sent/Scourge creeps is symetrical diagonally. For Eg. When the creeps hit the 3rd tower for Sent another spawn will occur, this principle will work for the top scourge. Try to remember the times of when creeps spawn and make sure you don’t interfere with it.

    Wards and Blink around the map
    Dota is a game where you must be aware of the terrain. Like most games you need to be aware of the map, who your are friendly with, enemies with etc. In DotA it is imperitive to have sight around the map so you can control it. It is also important to understand the terrain to take advantage of it. So here is a blown-up map of DotA with some handy ward places and blink areas.

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    Blue: Nice areas to blink
    Red: Areas to put observer wards

    Allies and Enemies

    Good Supporting Heroes
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    AOE Disablers
    These guys make Chain Frosting 1000x easier. A simple technique that needs little to no effort, with a maximum effect. All of these heroes can also buy a Blink Dagger (except Faceless Void of course) so a blinking gank is the most effective in this case. Just make sure that your ally does the disable first so the enemies can’t run away.

    Chain Frost works normally in the Chronosphere.

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    Late game DPS’ers
    These are 2 main candidates who work well with Kel’Thuzad late game. Why? Simple, while your moves are becoming less effective, there’s are getting stronger. While the damage from your moves are ineffective now, the slow is as powerful as it ever was. A 4 second slow from Frost Nova gives enough time for these heroes to use their steroid spell and take down a hero with ease.

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    Creep Clearers
    These 2 are heroes that can basically take down every enemy creep with one nuke. Although I’m recommending a solo Lich, he is also a great lane partner. The trick with one of these two is to get them to use their AOE’s and clear out a lane while hitting the enemy heroes. Straight after Kel’Thuzad unleashes Chain Frost. With 2 heroes completely unprotected by creeps this is a great way to grab kills.

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    Vol’Jin is the only other hero that prefers 2 v 1 battle. With Paralysing Cask, he can have 2 heroes stunned for 4 seconds respectively. With Kel’Thuzad also preferred against 2 enemies because of Chain Frost, this team can wreck up any team together.

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    One of the sexiest teams in DotA. These two can adapt to virtually any lane. The Lich Enigma combo has awesome lane denying abilities due to Conversion and Dark Ritual. This team can be put in mid together to shut down the late game carry (thanks to Ger- for that one). The Midnight Pulse+Black Hole combo is that much sweeter when you have a Chain Frost shot out.

    Tough Enemy Heroes

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    Heavy Tanks
    These heroes specifically harder to fight because of their extreme amounts of defence and HP. They also gain the HP incredibly quickly making your Chain Frost ineffective in an earlier stage of the game. If they have 3 or more tanks on their team, then Kel’Thuzad isn’t the choice for the game.

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    Omniknight, Storm Spirit
    Magic Counters
    These 2 heroes are your 2 major enemies. Repel completely makes Chain Frost and Frost Nova useless. While Barrier wastes Frost Nova and absorbs bounces from Chain Frost. Storm Spirit is going to be the next big solo’er IMO, so if he’s picked asked for a dual lane and get Viper or Visage to solo.

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    His name says it all. With his Mana Break – Mana Void combo it completely obliterate a hero that focuses on having mana, your not in a good position. Since he also has a blink with a longer range and a shorter cooldown, he makes your makes your Blink Dagger completely redundant. The only advice i can give to you when you fight him is to turn on your Frost Armour. Hopefully it will slow his IAS so your allies can come and help you.

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    One of the only heroes that can hold up in a lane against Kel’Thuzad. With his powerful nukes it makes it very hard for Lich to lane him. I suggest either an extra Bracer, 2 Rings of Regeneration and putting a sentry ward in the top of your hill. Smart Tinkers put an observer ward so he can see over the hill so they can use their heat-seeking missiles. By taking that away from them, you have taken away his most powerful nuke.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Latest Updates

    • Guide finished! 23/05/2007
    • Guide actually finished, added in 2nd part of guide, added in skill build Justification 24/05/2007
    • Added in a replay, fixed up hyperlinks in Chain Frost pictures, fixed some spelling errors 27/05/2007
    • Various Changes, added Mekansm into core build, took out Syllabear and image-heroes in easy to counter heroes. Added Pugna and Death Prophet to allies(Thanks to Chillin’ Ice. Fixed up Early game strategy section. 1/06/2007
    • Fixed a ton of spelling mistakes, added in a description of Replay, further pointed out Travel>Treads 2/06/2007
    • Added in 6.44 heroes to allies/enemies. Added in a mini section to methods of Chain Frost and Frost Nova. Added Bottle to In-game items 08/06/2007
    • Massive Update. 6.45 ready. Changed item build around. Added in 2 new builds (Necro and Aghanims). Fixed up skills for the new map, same with aghanims. 29/06/2007
    • Took out hyperlinks out of pictures that aren’t needed 30/06/2007
    • Revamped whole guide, added in tons of new things, removed a few things too. 3 new replays. HGC ready 30/9/07

    Final Words

    Well, that’s the end of my Lich guide. I hope I have showed you what I have intended to do, to show how Lich is not powerless and doesn’t need expensive items to be a threat. Lich still has great soloing capabilities regardless of what others think. I would just like as much feedback as possible, so please your thoughts/criticism would be much appreciated and noted.

      Credit goes to:

    • Beast_Pete for answering all my PM’s, for all his suggestions and for letting me use his template
    • ThisisBob for making the best guide ever (Axe)
    • MasterJoe for making his guide on Tormented Solo, after trying it out it inspired me to play Intel heroes again
    • To all my mates that I play with. Scribe, Davo, Inferno, Nekid and everyone in CB
    • ResetX for letting me use his picture of wards spots
    • Genosis for making a long-awaited Juking guide
    • IronFisto for making a GIF guide per my request
    • MadCat for making a kickass banner

    15 Comments so far ↓

    1. Sep

      Посоветовали вашу статью. Благодарен. Стану постоянным посетителем и подпишусь на RSS

    2. Mar


    3. Mar

      bakit bracer

    4. May

      thanks a lot =)

    5. Jul

      why bracer???????????? um truth is……… it sucks because of bracer and it sucks because i haven’t tried it yet ^^

    6. Aug

      you were a great help to me thanks!!

    7. Oct

      why bracer??/.
      lich is an intelligence type!

    8. Oct

      ][_,( () )][_, so noob item also can win arh? zz...=.=

    9. Nov

      honestly i dnt thnk i will try ur guide it seems useless there are sum items tht are required but the others are insuring ur lose in the game. And you technique for soloing heroes with chain frost sux. But atleast u tried to make a guide.

    10. Dec
      Ryan Yun Shang Wang

      Your guide was a great help for me THANKS!

    11. Dec

      You know your guide is wasting page!
      Lich is Intelegent Spellcaster!
      Bracer is useless
      I suggest you to use my item build:
      1. Orchid maleovance (+ Mana regen intelegence and damage)
      2. Phase boot
      3. Shiva guard= +frost, armor, intelegence
      4. Refresher orb
      5. Aganims Specter
      6. Eyes of skadi = + frost attack

    12. Mar

      this is awesome…still, there’s a little problem with the bracers. i think 1 bracer and 1 mantle in early game could be enough

    13. Mar


    14. Apr

      This is a pretty decent guide. Stallin is a lame ass, orchid? Shivas? refresher? scepter? EOS? Who are u playing against? noobs? AIs? I would think that u have never played an decent or semi-high level game at all. I agree with bracers depending on the laning and how well is your farming early on. But personally i would prefer to get point booster instead of the bracers if i can, which can be used later to make the scepter.

    15. Jul


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