Dota 2 Lycan Guide

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Dota 2 Lycan Guide

Unleash your inner wolf and dominate Dota 2 by learning the abilities, strategic gameplay and itemization with our Dota 2 Lycan Guide

Lycan, the master of wolves and fierce werewolf warrior, is a Hero that can shift the tides of a match in the blink of an eye. His ability to push lanes, control units, and become an overwhelming force in battle is unparalleled. His distinctive playstyle, which expertly balances aggression with strategic maneuvering, can often be the deciding factor in a Dota 2 game.

Lycan is a Universal Melee Hero with a high starting HP of 692 and an average Mana pool of 351. He has a reasonable starting movement speed of 305 and deals 49-54 damage per hit. Our warrior has a starting armor of 2.7, which is not that great. These traits, combined with his unique abilities to summon wolves and howl to provide bonuses, make him an intimidating force on the battlefield.

With his summoning capabilities and transformation powers, Lycan excels at quickly pushing lanes and ripping through enemies in team fights. Whether you choose to play him in the safe lane or offlane, our comprehensive guide will help you channel your inner beast.


Dota 2 Lycan Guide

Lycan has a synergized set of unique abilities that allow him to dominate the battlefield and pressure his enemies.

  • Summon Wolves – Lycan summons two wolves to fight alongside him. The wolves have high damage, a critical strike chance and become invisible when not attacking at level 3. At level 4, wolves gain Cripple, which gives a 20% chance to cripple the target, causing 8 damage per second and losing 60 attack speed for 4 seconds. Wolves last for 50 seconds and deal 21 damage at level 1, which increases to 39 damage at level 4. 
    • Aghanim’s Shard Upgrade – One of your creep waves will now contain an uncontrollable wolf that moves with the wave. Wolves generated in this manner may also Cripple towers. 
  • Howl – Howl – Instills terror in all opponents within 2000 range of Lycan and his wolves, decreasing armor and attack damage. Non-Hero controlled units other than creep-heroes flee for a brief period of time. Howl's armor and attack damage is reduced globally during night. Howl lasts for 8 seconds and reduces 40% attack damage at max level. 
  • Feral Impulse – An aura that gives bonus damage and health regeneration to Lycan and all units under his control. This ability significantly enhances his pushing power and his wolves' durability. Bonus damage is 10% at level 1 and 40% at max level. Additionally, bonus HP regen is 1 at level 1, increasing to 7 at max level. 
  • Shapeshift – Lycan transforms into a wolf, offering him and his controlled units critical hits and enhanced night vision. During Shapeshift, he and any units under his command have increased movement speed, cannot be slowed, and have a 40% chance of dealing a critical strike that deals 160% damage. Shapeshift lasts for 25 seconds, and during this time the werewolf has a movement speed of 550. He also gets a bonus night vision of 1000. 
    • Aghanim’s Scepter Upgrade (Wolf Bite) – Lycan bites an ally, bestowing Shapeshift abilities on them. As long as he and the bitten target are within 1200 range of each other, they get 30% Lifesteal and share the healing effect of Lifesteal. Wolf Bite has a cooldown of 125 seconds at level 1 and 95 seconds at max level.


  • Level 10 – +10 Wolves Damage or +2 Howl Armor Reduction
  • Level 15 – -15s Shapeshift Cooldown or +300 Summon Wolves Health
  • Level 20 – +25% Feral Impulse Damage or +6s Shapeshift Duration
  • Level 25 – +2 Wolves Summoned or Howl Reduces Total Attack Damage

Dota 2 Lycan Guide – Tips 

Use Summon Wolves to pressure lanes, secure last hits, and scout the enemy territory. Feral Impulse provides a significant boost to your and your units' combat potential, especially during the early to mid-game. Remember to use Howl not only in fights but also to help your wolves and allies survive engagements across the map. Your strengths lie in your pushing ability and combat prowess when Shapeshift is active.

Lycan can be played in the safe lane or offlane. When laning, use your wolves to harass your enemies and secure last hits. In the jungle, micro your wolves to tank damage for you, ensuring you maintain high health. Join fights when Shapeshift is off cooldown.

Our werewolf needs both XP and Farm to scale on the game. His item build often revolves around enhancing his pushing potential and combat abilities. Starting with items like Quelling Blade, Tangoes, and Healing Salve will ensure you survive the early laning phase. Then, focus on items like Power Treads, Armlet Of Mordiggian, Scythe Of Vyse and Helm Of The Dominator, which can be upgraded to Helm Of The Overlord.

Dota 2 Lycan – Pros and Cons 

Like all Heroes, Lycan has his own set of strengths and weaknesses. 


  • Excellent pushing power 
  • Strong combat potential during Shapeshift 
  • Good map control with wolves 
  • Great farming efficiency


  • Relatively weak without Shapeshift 
  • Lack of hard disable 
  • Reliant on good micro-management skills.

How to Play Lycan 

Let's take a closer look at the early, mid, and late game strategies, as well as item choices for the wolf warrior. 

Starting Items

To kick off your game, invest in Quelling Blade, which will aid in securing last hits on creeps. For sustain in the lane, get Tangoes and a Healing Salve, essential items that will help keep your HP topped off during the initial skirmishes. 

Iron Branches are also a good buy for some additional early-game stats. They can also be planted and eaten with a Tango for extra health regeneration. 1 or 2 Gauntlet Of Strength might also be helpful in some games.

Early Game

The early phase is all about survival and lane dominance. Use Summon Wolves to secure last hits and harass your lane opponent from a safe distance. The wolves have high damage and can also be used to scout and control runes. Keep your health high with Healing Salve and Tangoes, and remember to always keep an eye on the map. Use Howl effectively to assist your teammates in fights or skirmishes happening in other lanes.

In terms of items, start building towards Power Treads for increased attack speed and survivability. If you are getting harassed in lane, a Morbid Mask for lifesteal can keep you healthy. Also, look to purchase the Helm of Iron Will, an essential component for the Helm Of The Dominator.

Mid Game

Your mid-game aim should be to exert map control, secure kills, and push towers. By now, you should have Helm of the Dominator, allowing you to control a jungle creep and further your push and fighting capabilities. 

Remember to use Shapeshift effectively during fights and tower pushes. This ability turns you into a fearsome combatant and allows you to take down towers swiftly. You can upgrade the Help Of The Dominator to Helm Of The Overlord to boost your pushing and fighting power.

Late Game: 

As the game progresses into its later stages, Lycan transitions into a formidable pusher and can even take on the role of a primary damage dealer, given the right items. Consider purchasing a Black King Bar. Assault Cuirass significantly enhances your armor, attack speed and also reduces the armor of nearby enemies. An Abyssal Blade is also a great choice, providing a useful stun and a massive boost to your damage, not to mention the added survivability from the Vanguard component.

If the game goes very late, consider a Satanic for its immense lifesteal, or an Eye of Skadi to both beef up and slow down your opponents. Getting a Scythe Of Vyse is also a good choice for extra control. Finally, if you have the money for it, sell Power Treads to buy Refresher Orb. Always remember to adapt your item build based on the game situation and your opponents. By carefully managing your summoned units and choosing the right times to push or fight, you can lead your team to victory.

Dota 2 Lycan Counter 

Several Heroes can pose a challenge to Lycan. Let’s look at some of his best counters. 

  • Bane – Bane's Nightmare and Fiend's Grip are crucial abilities that can effectively disable Lycan during Shapeshift. Nightmare can put him to sleep for several crucial seconds, while Fiend's Grip can completely hold him in place, rendering him helpless.
  • Axe – Axe's Berserker's Call can taunt Lycan and his units, compelling them to attack Axe. This sets them up perfectly for Axe's Counter Helix. This essentially uses your strength, your units and attack speed against you.
  • Bloodseeker – Bloodseeker’s Rupture can greatly hinder Lycan’s game plan. Rupture deals damage based on movement, and given the werewolf’s reliance on mobility during Shapeshift, this can inflict severe damage. Even with your high-speed transformation, you will have to think twice about running around when affected by Rupture, severely limiting his effectiveness in fights.
  • Winter Wyvern – Winter Wyvern's ultimate, Winter's Curse, can turn Lycan's wolves and units against him or an ally. Since his game revolves around micro-managing multiple units that deal a significant amount of damage, Winter's Curse can easily turn these units against each other, leading to unexpected casualties in his team.


We regularly upload guides for your favorite Heroes, so watch for more to come. 


Dota 2 Lycan Guide
The Old One
When he's not sighing at sub-standard teammates in Dota 2 and CS2, The Old One is writing about those two games (among other things). If you see his name around the site too many times for your liking, well, the guy just never stops writing. Yes, we've tried an intervention.