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.
Ethreain, the Lich[external_link_head]
▶️ “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.
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 ( 325)
Primary Damage: 40/80/120/160
Area Damage: 80/120/160/200 ( 205/245/285/325)
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Attack Speed Slow: 30
Slow Duration: 4
7 ( 4)
Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity and when not dispelled.
Blocked fully only when primary target. Particles still visually appear.
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 ( 245/325/405/485) damage (before reductions).
- Frost Blast first applies the damage, then the debuff.
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% ( 40%/50%/60%/70%)
Pulse Radius: 600
Pulse Interval: 1
Pulse Damage: 20/30/40/50[external_link offset=1]
Pulse Move Speed Slow: 20%/25%/30%/35%
Pulse Slow Duration: 0.5
Shield Duration: 6 ( 10)
Health Regeneration Bonus: 50
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.
modifier_lich_frost_shield: Dispellable with any dispel.
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.
- Can be cast on any allied unit which is not an invulnerable ward. This includes others wards, buildings and invulnerable allies.
- ↓↓ Double-tapping automatically targets self.
- Applies generic incoming damage reduction on the target. Stacks additively with other sources of generic incoming damage manipulation.
- The reduction affects attack damage the target takes that is not flagged as HP removal. Does not affect spell damage.
- Frost Shield does not hit invisible units or units in the Fog of War.
- 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.
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 ( 1.9/2.2/2.5/2.8)
Casts Sinister Gaze in a target area. Sinister Gaze lets you cast your other abilities while channeling it.
Not blocked when upgraded.
modifier_lich_sinister_gaze: Dispellable with any dispel.
Ability Draft Notes:
Allows casting any non-channeled abilities and items during Sinister Gaze without interrupting it.
- Hypnotizes the target, forcing it to move towards the Lich, and preventing it from acting.
- 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 ( 101.05).
- Grants the target unobstructed pathing, so they can move through cliffs, trees, and other units while Sinister Gaze is channeling.
- 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, 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.
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
Move Speed Slow: 30%
Aura Linger Duration: 0.5
Slow persists if debuff was placed before spell immunity.
modifier_kill: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_magic_immune: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_lich_ice_spire: Dispellable with death only.
modifier_lich_ice_spire_debuff: Undispellable. Persists death.
Ability Draft Notes:[external_link offset=2]
- Requires Aghanim’s Shard to be unlocked.
- 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.
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 ( Infinite)
Bounce Delay: 0.2
Initial Damage: 250/400/550 ( 350/500/650)
Damage Increment per Bounce: 15/20/25
Move Speed Slow: 65%
Attack Speed Slow: 65
Slow Duration: 2.5
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.
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.
modifier_lich_chain_frost_thinker: Undispellable. Persists death.
modifier_projectile_vision: Undispellable. Persists death.
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 immediately update currently flying Chain Frost projectiles.
- This is how much damage each bounce deals on each level (before reductions):
- Can potentially deal up to 3575/5500/7425 ( 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.
- Lich’s voice actor, Gary Schwartz, also voiced the Heavy and Demoman classes in Team Fortress 2, another title by Valve.
- Lich’s line upon casting Sacrifice, ▶️ Om nom nom! refers to a line spoken by the Heavy which he uses upon consuming the Sandvich Edible Device.
- In the first iteration of 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 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, 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.
- Lich’s response ▶️ “Dead man drifting.” is a reference to the line ▶️ “Dead man walking.” spoken by the Warcraft 3 hero.
- 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.
Early concept art
Ability icon progress
Hero icon progress