Tresdin, the Legion Commander
Hi, I’m SlashStrike (not the same person as slahser), and I’m bringing you my guide to solo mid Legion Commander. I find her to be one of the most underrated heroes in the game, and not understood too well either.
Everyone has seen plenty of offlane LC being played, with that also being pretty much the only position she has seen competitive play in. However, this guide will be about solo mid LC, which is where I believe the hero has most potential, making great use of the exp and farm, and being a solid rune contester.
If you want to see me play Legion Commander or other heroes live at ~7000 MMR, you can check out my twitch channel as well as see my game history with her on dotabuff.
Lastly, section 6 is a video, as it is easier to visually demonstrate how exactly to pull off a successful duel pick-off in various situations.
Table of Contents
- Characteristics & Statistics
- Skill Builds
- Item Builds
- Laning Stage & Match-ups
- Spell Use, Item Use and Combos
- When to Pick LC
- Closing Words
2. Characteristics & Statistics
- Good farmer
- Extremely high solo kill potential
- Has a strong dispel
- Forces enemies to stick together
- Mediocre laning stage versus some heroes
- Relies on snowballing with duel damage to an extent
- Becomes item dependent after early game
(Thanks to Dota2wiki for the table)
Her starting stats as well as stat-gains are great in terms of Strength and Intelligence, with only agility slightly lacking. However, this is fine because the hero has two spells that help her hit faster. Her movement speed is very high at 320, which is somewhat unusual for a hero that also has an MS-boosting spell. Her turn rate is mediocre at 0.5, to a small extent balancing her high movement speed. Her cast-point is not bad but not as fast as you’d like it to be, meaning it can be a bit difficult to get all your spells off in the correct order. Her attack damage is slightly above average and attack point is average, but with just a quelling blade it is almost impossible to get your last-hits denied. Her level 1 armor at 2.5 is also pretty good for a melee hero that starts with so much strength.
3. Skill Builds
A solo mid Legion Commander’s skill-build is fairly straightforward. There is of course some slight variation possible, but you will find yourself levelling your skills in the same way in 95% of games. Lastly, the scaling on all her spells is very linear and logical, so they have no significant value-point levels past level 1.
Turns the enemies’ numbers against them, dealing damage and granting you bonus movement speed per unit or per hero. Deals bonus damage to illusions and summoned units as a percent of their current health.
Cast Time: 0.3+0
Cast Range: 1000
Base Damage: 40/80/120/160
Damage per Creep: 14/16/18/20
Damage per Hero: 20/35/50/65
Summoned Units Damage: 25% of Current Health
Move Speed Bonus per Creep: 3%
Move Speed Bonus per Hero: 9%
Speed Duration: 7
Cooldown: 18 Manacost: 100
- Summoned unit bonus damage is dealt before normal spell damage.
- Lone Druid’s Spirit Bear, Primal Split spirits and creeps dominated by Enchant, Holy Persuasion and Helm of the Dominator count as creeps and don’t take the summoned units damage.
- One part of the spell’s sound effect plays during the cast animation.
While the damage doesn’t seem to scale that well, and you get all other bonuses fully from level 1, this is a spell you still definitely want maxed out by level 7. The damage is really not to be underestimated early on. Assuming 1 hero and 4 creeps, at level 4 it will deal 305 damage, which is not amazing, but quite good considering the massive casting range. As soon as there are more heroes and creeps, the damage goes up a lot.
If there’s a big fight and you manage to hit 5 heroes and 7 creeps, that’s 625 damage in an aoe which is absolutely massive. Granted, that situation will rarely arise, but it is not uncommon to hit a few heroes and get an average of 400 damage per cast, which is very good for a 100-mana nuke.
People tend to not spread out versus an LC, making this one of the strongest de-pushing spells, especially versus summoners. It also wrecks illusions at any stage of the game. It deals 25% of their current hp as damage, meaning that a typical illusion that takes 300% damage will lose (25×3) 75% of its health, and then also take the nuke damage, often insta-killing it.
Lastly, this spell is perfect for cancelling blink-daggers from a very long range as you are about to initiate on someone with your own blink-duel.
Press the Attack
Removes debuffs and disables from the target friendly unit, and grants bonus attack speed and health regen for a short time.
Cast Time: 0.3+0.83
Cast range: 800
Health Regen Bonus: 30/40/50/60
Attack Speed Bonus: 60/80/100/120
Cooldown: 16/15/14/13 Manacost: 110
- Applies a strong dispel on the target upon cast.
- Restores health in form of health regeneration, so it regenerates 3/4/5/6 health in 0.1 second intervals.
- Regenerates a total of 150/200/250/300 Health.
Fairly simple skill with plenty of application. You want this maxed out after Overwhelming Odds because the attack-speed boost is what will help you win duels. Great spell to sustain on the lane as well, since using it together with a bottle charge will restore 285 hp at the cost of only 40 mana.
It has a very high casting range which makes it great for saving allies in teamfights – being a strong dispel, it removes a large amount of not only debuffs but also disables, including all stuns. There is of course a huge list of exceptions that cannot be dispelled, such as AA’s Ice Blast, Dazzle’s Weave, Viper’s Viper strike, etc. – some of them you have to memorize, but a good rule of thumb is that it does not dispel some long-duration ultimate-level debuffs, nor anything that covers an area for a period of time.
NOTICE: It cannot be cast on magic immune targets, so make sure you cast this on yourself before you pop bkb.
Moment of Courage
When attacked, Legion Commander has a chance to immediately attack again with bonus lifesteal.
Proc Chance: 25%
- Fully stacks with all other sources of lifesteal.
- Cannot lifesteal off of siege creeps, wards, buildings and allied units.
- When this ability triggers while Legion Commander is currently performing an attack, an extra attack is instantly thrown in, without interrupting her current attack.
- This instant attack does not count as a regular attack. This means it does not proc Return, Reactive Armor and Counter Helix.
- However, it does proc every form of attack modifier.
- When this ability triggers while not attacking, a buff will be placed on her, which gives her next attack maximum attack speed. The buff lasts for 1 second or until the next attack.
- Uses Pseudo-random distribution.
The scaling of this spell recently got changed, making it a little bit weaker in the mid-game, but a whole lot better on the lane. With a 25% chance of proccing from level 1, simply attacking the enemy mid and aggroing all 4 creeps gives you a near-guaranteed proc, which is a very quick hit for harass that also heals you a little bit.
Later on in the game, the lifesteal is huge, and is what gives you higher EHP during duels, allowing you to take on enemies with more damage.
Legion Commander and the target enemy hero are forced to attack each other for a short duration. Neither hero can use items or abilities. If either hero dies during the duration, the hero winning the Duel gains permanent bonus damage.
Cast Time: 0.3+0
Cast Range: 150
Winner Attack Damage Bonus: 10/14/18
Duel Duration: 4/4.75/5.5 (Permanent)
Cooldown: 50 Manacost: 75
- The loser of the duel is the hero that dies while under the buff. There is no victor if both heroes are alive at the end of the duration, and no damage bonus is granted.
- The dueling units do not have to do the last hit to win the Duel. Allies may interfere.
- Silences and mutes both, Legion Commander and the target.
- Dueling units fully ignore disarm
- If a dueling unit becomes ethereal, it still attacks the Duel target, and can still be attacked by the Duel target (though still won’t be damaged by the physical attacks).
- If a dueling unit gets hexed or disarmed by Frostbite or Overgrowth, it stops attacking for its duration. However, if Duel is cast on an already hexed unit or a unit disarmed by Frostbite or Overgrowth, it attacks.
- Forces Batrider and Timbersaw (and Rubick) to attack even while having Flaming Lasso or Chakram active.
- When a unit is affected by Berserker’s Call or W/inter’s Curse and Duel, Duel will always have priority.
- Casting Force Staff or Geomagnetic Grip on a dueling unit will have no effect, wasting the mana and cooldown.
- When a dueling unit is defeated and has Aegis of the Immortal or Reincarnation, the victor still gets the bonus damage.
- When Legion Commander dies to the shatter of Ice Blast, the dueled enemy will not get bonus damage. If the Duel target dies to it instead, Tresdin will get the damage.
- Duel can be cast on illusions. However, defeating them grants no bonus damage. But if the illusion is victorious, it gets the bonus damage, which is useless for the illusion.
Finally we get to LC’s defining spell, the ultimate that makes this hero so unique. Duel is what allows you to solo kill any hero if you are even slightly ahead, and almost any hero if you are a bit behind.
There are four types of duels.
- You and your target are isolated. This is most often the preferred situation, because it means no ally is going to disable them and prevent them from hitting you and taking blademail damage, and of course no enemy is going to interfere and disable you. It is important to be able to estimate whether you can win the duel on your own or not, but that is something that simply comes with experience. It is ABSOLUTELY 100% MANDATORY to click on the enemy hero first before dueling in order to check what items, status etc. they have so that you are sure of your duel win.
- Your target is alone, but you have allies with you. This is often the ‘easy duel’, however it depends on your allies and some can actually end up saving the enemy. Having your ally Lion finger the duel target – great, he dies faster. Having your ally Lion hex the duel target – horrible, he is no longer hitting you and therefore not taking blademail damage nor proccing your MoC. Congratulations Lion, you just saved the enemy. Having your ally Lion impale the duel target – depends. If it’s early game, sure. If you are able to deal more than the 260 Impale damage through blademail and MoC in the 2 seconds the stun would last (i.e. the game is past ~15-20 minutes) then it’s a bad idea.
- It’s a 5 on 5 clash, and you are using Duel to initiate. Duel is not the ideal initiation spell, although it can definitely serve as one. Only do this if you are sure you won’t die during the duel, which often means having a BKB and therefore not getting blown up. It’s ok if the enemies have defensive spells to save the duel target and he doesn’t end up dying – your goal was to initiate the teamfight and what’s important is whether your team wins the fight.
- You are alone, but your duel target has allies around him. There are very rare situations in which this is a good idea, but when they do arise there is no reason to not take advantage of them. Usually this is when you have 2-3 enemy heroes around but only one of them can disable and/or significantly damage you through BKB. You duel that guy and kill him while the other two stand around waiting for your BKB to expire. At that point you need to get out quickly, either by shadowblade-ing away if they have no detection or TP-ing away, but be careful as the latter means you need to win the duel quite quickly in order to have enough magic immunity duration left to TP out safely. All things considered, it is still a risky maneauver and should only be attempted to kill a core – the risk outweighs the benefits if the target is a support.
The cooldown is very short so unless a fight is about to break out, do not hesitate to use it on a for-sure dead target just to get the bonus damage.
While getting damage from a duel win is the ideal scenario, you should also not hesitate to use it purely as a disable to for example set-up an arrow or buy time for your supports to move in and get a kill on the enemy mid you would otherwise never have gotten.
Lastly, according to IceFrog, the victorious player has to announce ‘WINNER!’ in all chat. Source: http://www.playdota.com/heroes/legion-commander
Exemplary Skill Build
- Overwhelming Odds
- Moment of Courage
- Overwhelming Odds / Press the Attack
- Press the Attack / Overwhelming Odds
- Overwhelming Odds
- Overwhelming Odds
- Press the Attack
- Press the Attack
- Press the Attack
- Moment of Courage
- Moment of Courage
- Moment of Courage
The skill-build for LC is fairly standard and you will rarely deviate from it. If you are being pressured on the lane, you want to take PtA at level 3 in order to heal up a bit – otherwise just keep maxing OO since it’s your main harass and last-hitting tool. PtA is maxed before MoC because it simply has far more functionality as it can be cast on allies, does not rely on units hitting you, and boosts your damage during a duel more than a maxed-out MoC would.
Duel is obviously taken any chance you get because getting more damage per duel win is a huge plus.
4. Item Builds
Ask a support to pool you 2 tangos, buy a quelling blade and a stout shield. If no one pools you just buy the tangos, it’s not fatal. Thanks to your high base damage, with a quelling blade you should be virtually uncontested in last-hits, which is very important because farming is your main goal mid. You can swap the stout shield for a magic stick against some spell spammers like Zeus, Batrider and Skywrath. If you suspect you’re going to be taking a lot of harass, pick up a salve as well. Get Bottle as soon as possible and Boots after.
While rushing blink with brown boots may seem tempting, the truth is that power treads give you a huge safety net in terms of being able to fall back momentarily into the jungle in order to finish up your blink dagger. Between tread-toggling, bottle, PtA and the lifesteal from MoC you have so much sustain that you should rarely need to go back to base. Treads also heavily increase your chances of winning a duel, and in some cases you might find one without a blink dagger. Conversely, if you have a blink but no power treads, you might be able to find more duels earlier but be unable to win them.
Phase boots are a big no-no – they allow you to run up to people and duel them before you get your blink, but that only works on heroes with no disables, no defensive spells and no escape mechanisms. Yeah, there aren’t many such heroes. Treads are far superior for farming for obvious reasons. Furthermore, once you get your blink you won’t need the MS boost and will really wish you had power treads instead of phase since they amount to a lot more damage during the duel. Phase Boots are suitable for the more situational sidelane LC+Wisp combo, because then they allow you to reach max MS combined with OO and Tether, and the Overcharge makes up for the lack of attack speed.
TP scrolls are generally a no-brainer on any mid that is capable of ganking and counterganking, but LC is one of the few mids that cannot effectively tp-react without a blink dagger, which is something to keep in mind.
This is the absolute core that will be the best choice in 95% of games.
With these items your solo kill potential is extremely high, you have solid damage, attack speed, armor, hp, mana, and mobility. This means that despite the build being centered around getting solo pick-offs, you can still farm fast and sustain yourself easily with it thanks to LC’s skillset. It is for these farming purposes that I would recommend keeping the Quelling blade as long as possible, and getting rid of the stout shield instead as soon as the laning stage is over.
Normally you should always be tread-switching to int before casting a spell, agi when regening and strength when you need damage. However, since LC’s usual combo of PtA->Blademail->(BKB->)OO->Blink->Duel is quite a lot of clicks and needs to be done very fast, it is better if you just keep them on strength for maximum damage and to make sure you cast everything correctly as quickly as possible, without worrying too much about tread toggling. You’d rather lose out on 100 mana than mess up or be too slow and lose out on a kill opportunity.
BKB will commonly be necessary after your core since clashes involving multiple heroes will become more common. Occasionally you might be able to skip it, but most of the time having a BKB at this stage of the game means you are pretty much immortal during the duel, since whatever physical damage they have would most likely not be enough to kill you through the PtA and MoC healing. Of course, be wary of heavy physical damage line-ups involving heroes such as Visage, Drow, SF, Venge, etc. If those heroes have BKB’s of their own, they can ignore your blademail and right click you down during the duel.
Shadow Blade probably seems surprising, considering a Blink Dagger is part of your core. However, these two items actually work very well together. Think of the Shadow Blade as a Smoke of Deceit on demand, with no charges, that also gives you some damage and attack speed. The idea is that you blink out of invisibility, giving you a much higher chance of surprising your enemy. With nothing but a blink, you are likely to pass through observer wards on your way to finding a pick off on for example an enemy farming his safelane. However, without a blink, you are likely to pass through sentry wards commonly on the lane itself if you attempt to walk up to him with shadowblade. Having both shadowblade and dagger lets you blink out of invisibility giving you the strongest initiation and essentially the most stealthy way of moving around the map and finding pick-offs. The only way you could get caught is if they have both observers as well as sentry wards around the lane, which is incredibly costly to keep up throughout the game.
Since Legion has in fact little to offer other than right-clicks, evasion counters her quite hard. With the somewhat recent introduction of Solar Crest, evasion is available not only for agility carries but also supports, and pressing one button on their duelled ally is an easy way to make duels much harder to pull off for you. So, despite Daedalus giving more damage against non-evasion targets, getting an MKB is the wiser choice as enemies will inevitably start picking up evasion items as the game progresses.
Mjollnir is a great item on Legion not only because MoC gives you additional chances to proc the chain lightning, but also because it is an item that gives you massive AoE teamfight presence during your single-target duel. Your duel target WILL be hitting you, and most likely enemies as well, meaning the static lightning buff will also be proccing like crazy together with the chain lightning. Not to be underestimated is also the lightning’s ability to cancel blink daggers, since both the lightnings it triggers have bounce ranges of 900(!), with the static charge hitting 5 people per proc, and the lightning bouncing between 8 people. Lastly, it also greatly speeds up your farming.
Assault Cuirass is an effective all-round item giving you both great defense in terms of armor as well as offense in terms of -armor and attack speed. Easily the best item when it comes to damaging structures, as the auras benefit both your team and your creeps, making it good for highground sieging as well as split-pushing. When facing the aforementioned heavy physical damage line-ups it is a bit of a must. Versus line-ups with a more balanced damage type output, having both this and a BKB should make you nothing short of unkillable.
Abyssal Blade may seem a little counter-productive at first in the sense that by bashing your enemy you are preventing them from hitting you during duel and therefore getting less MoC procs and Blademail return-damage, but the one huge advantage this item gives you is the active. Duel has a short but definitely not instant cast-time, and versus good players with quick fingers it can be very difficult to Duel before a bkb, doppelganger, sleight of fist, manta, etc. gets used. Here’s where the instant stun from the Abyssal blade comes in very handy and gives you that guaranteed follow-up duel. It can also be used as a Linken’s breaker that pierces BKB.
Silver Edge is nice in theory, but as explained under shadowblade, the point is to blink out of invisibility, meaning the break will not be applied. An alternative method would be to blink in, immediately go invisible to apply the break and then duel. That however gives the enemy plenty of time to react and is a very unreliable way of initiating. Furthermore, the heroes that you would want to apply break on are pretty much limited to those with innate evasion/blind/backtrack, i.e. PA, Void, Brewmaster and Broodmother. Those heroes hit hard and are very susceptible to blademail, making it far more effective than Silver Edge. Lastly, by the time they get their BKB’s they will be able to purge off the break effect, as getting it on them and duelling before they use it is just relying on enemy bad play. While it can be good situationally, I still see this as a situational item for LC.
Armlet is an item that in theory works beautifully with LC, but I personally dislike for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it makes your combo even more difficult and the chances of you messing something up increase, since you’d have to armlet->pta->blademail->bkb->OO->blink->duel all ideally in the span of a second, which is just not something you can rely on. Secondly, it’s another relatively small-cost item that will leave you in a bad spot when it comes to scaling into the lategame, since you already have blink blademail boots tp and possibly a bkb, and you’d rather work towards a 5k+ gold item.
Daedalus is fairly straightforward. It simply boosts your damage a lot. However, remember that it scales with the damage you already have, meaning it might be the most damage you can get out of a single item for your 5th or 6th slot, but not that effective as a 1st or 2nd luxury item. Also remember it literally gives you nothing but single-target physical damage, making it less versatile than items such as Mjollnir, AC, Abyssal, etc.
Skadi is usually not going to be the item of choice. I would recommend it over heart in the case that you simply need to tank up, because it gives you far better rounded stats, and due to your high lifesteal from MoC, the heart regen should not be that necessary. Having a Skadi is also pretty much the only way to be able to afford a refresher mana-cost-wise. All in all, a snowballing item you could pick up in the case that you have more than enough damage but are afraid of dying and want to eventually get a refresher.
Ever since its cost got reduced, Desolator is an incredible damage item considering the cost. As the -armor also works on structures, it is a great pushing item similar to AC. However, the main problem with this item is that it does not upgrade into anything, and simply falls off at a certain point in the game. Also, similarly to Daedalus, it does not give you any defensive or utility benefits whatsoever.
Satanic’s lifesteal actually stacks with MoC fully, meaning that you can easily be healing for close to a thousand HP per second during a lategame duel. Like any strength hero that heavily relies on hitting people, Satanic is not a terrible choice, but usually quite redundant given the aforementioned lifesteal from MoC. If you do pick this up, it should most likely be as a 5th or 6th item, at the point where you have enough damage but simply cannot stay alive versus multiple enemy cores dealing heavy physical damage to you.
Refresher – double blink, double bkb, double duel – what’s not to like? You’ll find that upon successfully initiating a winning fight with duel, enemies will start retreating, and at that point you will want nothing more than to have another duel at your disposal. In the very lategame, having a second BKB can also be extremely valuable. Just be careful with the manacost because it is difficult for a Legion to afford unless you are close to level 25. Also, if you do pick this up, remember that if you are quick enough you can refresh blink dagger and immediately blink even if you have just taken damage.
Heart is as mentioned before not that great on Legion because you already have insane lifesteal to keep your HP high. The only situations in which HoT is really good is when you are having a 5on5 standoff at the enemy highground while you chip away at the tower a little bit with every creep wave, and continously poke with long-range spells. That’s when having the sustain from a heart can be very useful.
Heaven’s Halberd seems very counter-intuitive at first, until you realize you are not going to be disarming your duel target because duelling heroes ignore disarm anyway. It is an item which is always bought as an answer to certain heroes, and Legion simply happens to make fairly good use of the stats. Consider it versus Slark (Dark Pact doesn’t remove the disarm), Medusa, Sniper, Viper, WR, etc. – pretty much anyone that relies heavily on right-clicking and doesn’t build a bkb every game. With that being said, it is still an item you would rather avoid and it’s usually only bought if you are behind. It can serve as a Linken’s breaker, of course, but the manacost of 100 is quite a lot higher than Forcestaff’s 25.
Force Staff – the cheapest Linken’s breaker available, and you’ll find that smart players will often purchase Linken’s against you if their hero can work it into their build (think Lina, SF, Slark, Weaver, Morph, Ember). Of course, also gives you decent utility outside of breaking Linken’s spheres. If you, for some reason, have Blink, BKB, Shadowblade and Forcestaff, you won’t be hitting very hard but you sure as hell should never die.
Lastly, the big sword, the Divine Rapier. As mentioned before, Legion is all about right-clicking. Sometimes, if you are struggling to seal the game and are likely to lose in the long run, a Rapier could be the trump card you need. No hero can really survive a duel if you have a divine rapier, regardless of evasion/bashes/etc.
5. Laning Stage & Match-ups
Your goal in the laning stage is mostly just to farm. You can look to trade hits, get runes but mostly focus on getting farm. You have no disables prior to level 6, and even then duel has a melee casting range, so it is highly unlikely you can get a kill against a competent enemy. If you’re facing a ranged hero (generally squishy), you should look to control the lane, run at them to force them back (as they don’t want to trade hits with you due to your MoC), and out-last-hit them by virtue of being melee. Don’t hesitate to use OO every creepwave if you can snag a last-hit and harass the enemy at the same time. Also use it to get movementspeed and push the lane when you want to go for the rune.
Additionally, remember to stack the hard-camp (slightly easier on Radiant), which can be done very easily thanks to the high casting range of OO. Later you can clear it once again using OO, giving you a safe source for the last ~400 gold of your blink dagger.
If you get a great rune (DD/Haste/Invis) and/or see a kill opportunity on a side-lane, you can consider rotating, but keep in mind that the safe play is to simply farm until you have your Treads+Blink, which you should be able to get around the ~12-13 minute mark easily assuming you haven’t gotten kills nor died. Going for ganks can be great if they work out, giving you an even faster item timing, but it can also delay your game a lot. The risk is there, and it’s up to you – this is where your game sense is the deciding factor.
Lanaya is an extremely strong laner that flat out wins the lane versus many heroes by outfarming them as well as harassing them and having solid kill potential. Legion is actually one of the best heroes to lane with against a TA. She cannot man-fight you that easily because the creep aggro will hurt her refraction while help you trigger MoC. Since you’re melee, it should be much easier to dodge psi-blade hits and simply force her back by trading hits. Every time you are certain her Refraction is down, harass her with OO. If she meld-strikes you or slows you with a trap, simply dispel it with PtA.
One of the worst heroes you can face – this guy just dominates melee’s on mid. Whatever you do, don’t tank his remnants. Just try to get whatever farm you can and avoid getting aggressive. He has high base armor and you will 100% lose any kind of trade if you get hit by even one remnant. Fortunately, you are strong against this guy later on in the game, as he’s an easy duel kill.
Legion is hands down one of the best mids against QoP, and in fact one of the few heroes good against her. You can dispel her shadowstrike with your PtA, you can simply run at her and force her back since she is squishy and cannot trade hits, and you can out-cs her since you are melee. Later on, she’s also an incredibly tasty duel target.
Definitely a difficult lane. Dodging Dragon Slave is pretty much impossible since you’re melee, and if you get hit by an LSA you’re gonna eat a lot of damage. Once again, stay back and farm – your best bet is to get aggressive when you have the MS from using OO, as it allows you to easily dodge her stun and run at her for some harass.
Squishy hero, and since OO has no travel time you should be able to easily bait out his phase shift and then hit him with it. His spells do not deal that much damage so he should have no way of harassing you out of the lane, meaning you can outfarm him.
A lane definitely in your favour. Don’t even try to deny, just focus on getting every cs you can since Zeus should have no way of denying you farm either. If he oversteps just run at him and harass him a bit. Once you get level 6 you can even solo him since he’s one of the few mids with neither a disable nor an escape mechanism.
Another lane that should definitely be in your advantage – you can dispel both the coldsnap as well as the armor reduction from his forge spirits. If he goes Quas Wex just spam out your spells and make sure you have no mana for him to burn – his damage will be low and you can outfarm him. If he goes Quas Exort then use OO and run down his forged spirit, then run at him to force him away like other squishy ranged mid-laners.
Slightly more difficult lane – her damage, animation and BAT are so good that she can still contest you heavily in cs, as well as harass you a lot. You have virtually no chance of ever killing her unless she runs out of mana or wastes windrun. Just focus on your farm, and be ready to sacrifice some cs in order to not drop too low in HP and risk dying.
Since you’re a strong strength-based, mana-independent hero, you should not get dominated as hard as other heroes do. It will still be difficult to get cs in between the imprisonments and he will get high damage to contest you, but as long as you’re efficient with your bottle he should not be able to kill you, and will still lose manfights thanks to MoC.
There are very few heroes that can hold their own in a 1 versus 1 scenario facing a Shadow Fiend on the mid lane, and Legion is not one of them. You have no way of dealing with the heavy damage from the razes, you cannot push as hard as he can, you cannot win a right-click manfight, and you cannot out-cs him due to necromastery. This is an extremely one-sided lane you should avoid at all costs, unless you have roaming supports dedicated to shutting down the SF.
Tough lane for any hero, especially a melee one. However, you can use the MS boost from OO to dodge his split earth, and to an extent resist his lightning spam harass with PtA and bottle. You should still be able to cs without him denying you, but make sure to always dodge the split earth, even if it means sacrificing last-hits. If you don’t, you will simply end up taking far too much damage and get zoned.
6. Spell Use, Item Use and Combos
7. When to pick Legion Commander
Pretty simple, these are heroes that can help you win duels from a long range or even globally, either by boosting your damage or simply dealing damage themselves. Special mention to Silencer, who can pop his ultimate when you Duel someone to prevent any kind of pesky spell-casting interference.
These are just a few heroes you want to avoid having on your team when you pick LC, but even if you do have them it’s not fatal. I once played with a Treant who kept using living armor on me every time I dueled someone. When their damage gets blocked, blademail doesn’t reflect it. No duels were won that game.
Slippery squishy heroes that hit hard are your ideal targets. Nothing more satisfying than watching a carry farm up a storm and then kill himself as you duel him with your blademail on. Also great versus illusion-based heroes due to OO effectively clearing them, but no so great versus PL because duelling the right one is very difficult thanks to doppelganger.
Special mention goes to two heroes: Bristleback – he’s very tanky and usually you can’t solo him, but Duel forces him to face you and can be a good way of countering his passive in a teamfight. Tide is also very tanky but once again Kraken Shell does not dispel duel, meaning you can burst him down before he can Ravage.
These heroes simply make it very difficult to win a duel because they can prevent the death of their allies one way or another. It is worth noting though that you still get the duel damage bonus by killing Wraith King even if he has Reincarnation up. Tusk is particularly bad to face because he can hide people in his snowball for up to 4(!) seconds, as well as heavily decrease your damage output with Sigil, which you can’t really bring down since you’re a melee hero. Special mention to LD who has his damage on his bear while the main hero is super tanky, meaning you can’t win a duel against him unless you have very high damage.
You will find that opponents do not have many ways to react to a duel pick-off, but a lack of damage is usually what prevents you from getting kills with it within the duration, meaning you often need allies or a low-hp target to actually get early duel wins. Focus on farming up your power treads and blink dagger, after which you should definitely start looking to join fights and get some duel damage going. DD runes are your best friends, as they pretty much guarantee you a duel kill.
This is when LC shines. This is when you will ideally start racking up the duel damage. With your core of treads-blademail-blink you can solo kill a lot of heroes from full HP, with the exception of extremely tanky heroes with low single-target right-click damage (think Bristleback, DK, Lone Druid, Medusa, etc.) Of course, this is why LC is not ideal versus these heroes. However, pretty much anyone else should be food as their supports do not yet have their glimmercapes/solar crests and blink daggers/force staffs to quickly show up and help their ally.
Keep farming of course, but ideally you should have a harder carry on your team, meaning you can start sacrificing farm in order to create pressure and set yourself up for pick-offs. Try to anticipate the enemy’s movement. Do you have a massive creepwave moving down into the enemy team’s safelane that their Anti-Mage will be undoubtedly going for? Make sure you are there first, hiding in the trees and waiting for him to show up, and then get the easy pick-off. There’s nothing more satisfying than sitting poised in the fog and waiting 20 seconds for your target to come to you. Even you jump at the tower and die in order to get a duel kill on the carry, it’s worth it because you have a farmer of your own and you still got the duel damage out of it, as well as forcing enemy rotations, freeing up the map for the rest of your team.
By now you will find that your blademail becomes more and more valuable as it allows you to continue solo killing cores that naturally have built more damage items as their farm progressed.
Supports should be kill-able in ~2-3 second duels at this point, except those that have a solar crest – this item turns the squishy dazzle/venge/visage into a hardly killable annoying support with 30% evasion and +10 armor. They don’t deal any significant damage you can reflect either, so suddenly they are no longer food. Furthermore, if you do jump a core, even if you would technically be able to kill them in a full 5.5 second duel, good enemies will immediately react with TP’s and turn the tables if you are not able to secure the duel win quickly enough.
At this stage, you should still be looking for pick-offs, but not jumping at the first opportunity. Even if the entire enemy team is showing except one support, that support could be sitting behind the carry you want to jump. You get baited, disabled, and suddenly are 1v2 deep in enemy territory. If you can find the support, jump him instead, kill him quickly and get out, provided that the enemy carry has no way of chasing you down.
Keep your farm up and just transition into a lategame physical damage dealer. You kill ancients, roshan and towers extremely fast. You also hit really hard so don’t make the mistake of not right-clicking outside of casting duel. If a support gets stunned during a fight, you can often just right click them down without casting duel, saving it for another key target in the same fight.
9. Closing Words
So, all in all, LC is a severely underrated hero that I believe a lot of people misunderstand and do not play to her full potential. That’s it for the guide! I hope you found it informative, and feel ready to go and d-d-d-d-d-DUEL!