Many players obsessed with MMR. They want to get out of their bracket, play with better teammates and opponents. All of them have the same question: How can I boost my MMR quickly?

We have answered this question before and will answer once again. The easiest way to farm those delicious MMR points is to learn how to play on heroes with high pushing potential. Why bother playing two 60-minute games on Spectre or Anti-Mage, if you can play four 20-minute games instead?

In our previous gameplay guides, we have talked about Nature’s Prophet and Beastmaster, two very powerful offlaners with insane pushing potential. Now it is time to talk about a hero, who is very strong as both carry and midlaner. This hero can lane very comfortably against most other heroes in Dota 2. He can demolish his opponents in seconds, kill Roshan very early into the game, and which is more important – he can potentially finish games in under 20 minutes. As you have guessed, the hero in question is Lycan.

As always, in combination with this gameplay guide, there is a Steam guide already waiting for you. Subscribe to be able to use it in your games.

Table of contents

Starting Items

Lycan 7.22 starting items

Carry: Starting item build for Lycan is very default, just like for any other melee carry, with only one exception. You should get a regular x6 Tango, Stout Shield and x2 Iron Branches. This starting item build allows you to buy Quelling Blade at the beginning of the laning stage. Some Lycan players also like to get additional Enchanted Mango, it will delay the purchase time of Quelling Blade a little bit, but will allow you to use Summon Wolves for the first creep wave.

Mid: Get the regular for any melee midlaner Quelling Blade, Stout Shield and x2 Iron Branches. For the remaining gold, get yourself either a set of Tangoes or an Enchanted Mango. Make sure to ask your supports to share x2 Tangoes with you as well.

Early stage of the game

Laning stage for Lycan is fully dedicated to farming. Your goal is to get yourself Helm of the Dominator as soon as possible, as this item will help you to make kills and apply pressure on Towers. Buy and bring yourself cheap components of HotD, as they will allow you to lane more comfortably.

Even though Lycan’s gameplay in the lane is mostly passive, he has the ability to make kills with the help of Summon Wolves. You can use one of the wolves to body-block your opponent and kill him with the help of your main hero and the other wolf.

Lycan 7.22 ability build

As Lycan usually has many units, it is very important to manage your hotkeys effectively to select a different group of units. Do not be lazy to spend some time in the settings for it. Later on, it will pay off.

Once you finish Helm of the Dominator and gain level 6, your ‘go time’ begins. Use HotD to get yourself a useful neutral creep and start moving around the map and apply pressure on enemy towers.

Shapeshift has a very long cooldown, it is very necessary to use this skill effectively. Do not aim to use it constantly. Try to use it as a fear-factor. Whenever you have Shapeshift ready to use, your opponents will likely be afraid to fight you.

Mid and late stages of the game

Farming and killing towers – this is your main job in the game. Play around the cooldown of Shapeshift. Whenever this ability is ready to use you should try to act aggressively, but when it is on cooldown, focus more on farming and split pushing.

Whenever you use a Shapeshift, you need to make sure to get something out of it. Use it to get kills, kill Roshan or destroy enemy towers. Try not to be caught out of position, so you will not be forced to use it for escape purposes.

Maintain good communication with your teammates. Let them know what your plans are. Do not forget about one of the most important objectives of the game – Roshan. Lycan has the ability to kill him very fast.

Lycan 7.22 talents

Use wolves to scout for your opponents throughout the game. Use level 3 Necronomicon to scout for enemy wards from time to time. By effectively using your units to scout dangerous areas you will be able to farm safely.

Doesn’t matter how the game goes, you always have the possibility to win it. Lycan is no doubt the fastest pushing hero in the game. Your team just needs a little bit of space so you can shred the enemy base in the space of several seconds. Try always to have one of the lanes pushed, as it will disable backdoor protection and allow you to destroy enemy structures faster.

Just to sum this guide up:

1)   Your main job in the game is to farm effectively and apply pressure on enemy structures.
2)   Play around the cooldown of Shapeshift. Do not try to fight if you have this ability on cooldown.
3)   Use Shapeshift as a fear-factor. It is not necessary for you to use it to push towers.
4)   Use wolves to scout for opponents and to split push lanes.

Common mistakes

1.   Buying too little healing items for the laning stage. Even though you have Feral Impulse, which improves your HP regen, it is still necessary to get yourself a needed amount of healing items to sustain the laning stage comfortable. For the side lane it is necessary to buy at least x6 Tango.

2.       Using Shapeshift ineffectively. Shapeshift has a long cooldown. If you use it and not get anything out of it, you will basically drop from the game for almost two minutes.

3.       Forcing activity with Shapeshift on cooldown. Shapeshift is a key ability of Lycan. Make sure to play around its cooldown.

4.       Not farming effectively. Just like any other carry, Lycan is very dependent on his items. Maintain a good amount of farm to be able to have good timings on your key items, such as Helm of the Dominator, Necronomicon level 3 and Assault Cuirass.

Tips & Tricks

1.   Improve your skill through watching streams, videos or replays of professional players, who pick this hero.

2.   If the game goes bad, you can always rely on high pushing potential of your hero to turn it around. Keep one of the lanes pushed so you can have the chance to destroy enemy barracks.

3.   Force fights around key objectives of the game, such as Towers or Roshan. It will help you to secure that objective after you win a fight.

Best allies/counters

There are very few heroes, who can potentially ruin the gameplay for Lycan. Kunkka and Sven are probably two strongest counter picks to this hero. Kunkka can hold Lycan in place for a long time and deal AoE damage to kill his units. Sven also has the ability to kill Lycan’s units very fast, which will significantly decrease his ability to provide impact in fights.

Lycan is good to pick against greedy line-ups. He can also provide a lot of impact if the enemy team has very little AoE damage.


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