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Friday, 25 March 2011

Plague Rider (Lich)

 Skill Build:
1 - Extinguish
2 - Contagion
3 - Contagion
4 - Extinguish
5 - Contagion
6 - Plague Carrier
7 - Contagion
8 - Extinguish
9 - Cursed Shield
10 - Cursed Shield
11 - Plague Carrier
12 - Cursed Shield
13 - Cursed Shield
14 - Extinguish
15 - Stats
16 - Plague Carrier
17 - Stats+

Justification / Modifications:
Getting Extinguish at level 1 allows you to deny the ranged creep in the first creep wave. This will deny the enemy XP (he will reach level 2 significantly later than you if you eat a creep from the middle lane) and it will push the wave to your tower. If rune ganking, Contagion at level 1.
As of the re-alignment patch, eating a creep from mid and being able to run to the sidelane and still block creeps is now much better with his base 320ms!
3 levels of Extinguish are enough to cover mana costs and this build allows you to get the Cursed Shield one level earlier.
It is possible to skip Extinguish and level Contagion and Cursed Shield straight off, but Extinguish gives you an amazing amount of lane control.
Starting Items:
/ 2x 2x:MinorTotem

Plague Rider will often be the babysit in a lane, and we take 2 sets of Runes as to capitalize on being able to nuke someone and get in extra autoattacks of harass while they are slowed. You will usually cop a bit of damage from creeps for it, hence the extra regen.
Marchers >> Power Supply >> (Ring of the Teacher) >> Wards of Sight >> (Fortified Bracelets)

Plague Rider is a pure support hero and should be played as such. Thus your main job will be warding! The gold that is left over will be invested in support items as listed below.
Ring of the Teacher complements his armour capacity and helps the other person in lane with mana regen. Strongly consider getting one.
Fortified Bracelets as necessary.
After core:
- Wards of Sight - You know why.
- Plated Greaves - Best boots for him, giving a small amount of stats and armour. Can be disassembled at your leisure for a quicker Astrolabe.
- Striders - If you aren't getting the farm at all between Ward purchases.
- Astrolabe - Extinguish ensures you'll always be running around with enough mana to use your spells and this baby. Also gives more armour, making you a veritable fortress with a heal. (level 13 with Plated Greaves, Ring of the Teacher, Astrolabe and Cursed Shield, you're sitting on 32 armour!)
- Tablet of Command - Mobility under silence, larger mana pool, ministun.
- Kuldra's Sheepstick - 800 range disable.
- Puzzlebox - The slows on Plague make this pretty decent on him for the minions to catch up to someone and pump out damage.
- Staff of the Master - Gives +90 damage per bounce of Plague Carrier, for +630 total. As a 4th/5th item, it's ok. Not worth rushing before Astrolabe/Tablet are done.
- Nome's Wisdom - Upgrade path for Ring of the Teacher. Gives stats and a heal aura. Only consider if nobody else wants one. The extra mana regen it now has is meh for you.
Roles: Support
Preferred Lane: Any. Ok solo mid, but wasted there.
Difficulty: 3/5 (ult not trivial to use)
Farming capabilities: 3/5 (unlimited mana, aoe nuke)
Item dependent? No, functions well off just basic Marchers and minor totems.
- Early Game / Lane Control: 5/5 (decent harass with Contagion nuke and slow allowing harass, Extinguish denies exp hard from a lane)
- Mid Game / Ganks: 5/5 (Devastating ultimate, strong ganker with no real mana issues)
- Late Game / Team Fights: 3/5 (ult is a low enough cooldown to flog off every fight, armour is very strong)
- If you are laning mid your reason-to-be is to gank. As soon as you hit level 6 head to the top or bottom lane and try to grab that double tap.
- If you are laning with a partner your job is to babysit. Focus on harassing over denying over lasthitting as with any babysitter except for that your harass actually is more than an annoyance with Contagion+autoattacks.
- Your ultimate has a ministun on the person that you cast it at. This will interrupt TP's and nasty stuff like Tempest's ultimate.
- Be aware that Nullstone will counter your entire ultimate if you cast it at someone with one. It will bounce to them like normal with no problems if cast on someone else.
- When to cast your ultimate (Plague Carrier):
//In the forest with 2-3 enemies away from creeps
//When ganking 2 or more and you chase them back towards the tower away from the creeps
//When one hero and 2 creeps are standing very close (it will bounce between them very quickly)
//You are about to die lategame and might as well do some damage before you go (low cooldown)
- Barrier Idol. Absorbs the major damage of his ultimate.
- Magic Armor in general really helps.
- Positioning. This kinda applies to everything, but moreso to Plague Rider. If he's flogging his ult at you, spreading apart is the best way to mitigate its damage potential as it won't bounce if there are no targets nearby! This is the difference between a 280/370/460/(550) damage nuke, and an eventual 1960/2590/3220/(3850) damage nuke.

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