Lina Inverse, the Slayer Guide & Walkthrought

Lina Inverse is a powerful sorceress who is famous for killing bandits (to take their loot) and slaying dragons (accidentally destroying the occasional city in the process). She is quite adept at shooting fireballs at her enemies, and has also mastered more powerful spells like the Dragon Slave and the Laguna Blade. Concerned primarily with acquiring gold and powerful weapons, Lina fights for the Sentinel in exchange for a huge promised reward should she help destroy the Frozen Throne.

I. Hero Overview

  • Basic Stats
  • Pros
  • Cons
II. Overview of Skills

III. Skill Build

IV. Item Build

  • Basic Items
  • Core Items
  • Extension/Luxury Items
  • Other Items
V. General Strategy

  • Early Game
  • Mid Game
  • Late Game
VI. Allies and Enemies

VII. Replays

╪═ Basic Stats ═╪

Range: 600 | | Move Speed: 295 | Primary: INT
Str: 18 + 1.5 | Agi: 16 + 1.5 | Int: 19 + 3.2
Damage: 37 - 55 | HP: 492 | Mana: 247
HP Regen: 0.79 | Mana Regen: 0.77 | Armor: 1.2

╪═ Pros ═╪
++ long range
++ high int growth
++ spammable AoE nuke and stun
++ a decent support hero
++ good killer during early - mid game
++ strongest single target nuke
++ actually decent with dps items because of ultimate
╪═ Cons ═╪
-- low starting movement speed
-- fragile early game (low hp, low armor)
-- spells easily deplete her mana early game
-- low str and agi gain
-- hard to aim stun
-- slow as and animation

Dragon Slave (D)
A wave of fire that ripples out from the Hero, causing damage to land units in a line of 825 range. 0.5 second casting time.
Level 1 - 100 damage.
Level 2 - 170 damage.
Level 3 - 230 damage.
Level 4 - 280 damage.
Mana Cost: 90/ 105/ 125/ 140
Cooldown: 8.5

Dragon Slave deals damage in a rectangle in front of lina with a width of 275 AoE and a length of 825. Casting range of 600 units. Deals magical damage which is reduced by the target's Spell Resistance and is blocked by Spell Immunity.

Your main harassing and farming spell. It has quite a long range which will be discussed further in the guide. Together with LSA, use it to farm creepwaves with ease and also to chip away your enemy's hp from a distance. With its 8.5 sec cd, it's pretty much spammable provided you have enough mana and regen.

Light Strike Array (A)
Summons a column of flame that damages and stuns an area of 225 AoE for 1.6 seconds.
Level 1 - Deals 90 damage.
Level 2 - Deals 150 damage.
Level 3 - Deals 210 damage.
Level 4 - Deals 280 damage.
Mana Cost: 90/ 100/ 110/ 125
Cooldown: 10

600 casting range. Has a 0.5 sec impact delay. Deals magical damage which is reduced by the target's Spell Resistance and is blocked by Spell Immunity.

Your only stun and a quite hard to aim one. This is best used in conjunction with an ally's disable for you to be able to land a perfect hit. If your enemy is moving, predict where they will be after 1 sec and aim your skill there. This can also destroy tress. In team battles this can stun multiple enemies and is also a good skill for farming coupled with dragon slave.

Ultimate (E)
Increases Lina's attack speed.
Level 1 - 10% increase for 20 seconds.
Level 2 - 20% increase for 25 seconds.
Level 3 - 30% increase for 30 seconds.
Level 4 - 50% increase for 30 seconds.
Mana Cost: 60
Cooldown: 30

Doesn't get removed by Purge. Does not interrupt channeling spells like town portal when casted. This skill does not stack with any frenzy type of skill.

The skill that makes lina different from all the normal casters in the game. Some people tend to just leave this skill out for the last 4 skill points but a permanent (30 sec duration, 30 sec cd) 50% as is nothing to laugh about. Getting dps items on her will not be waste provided you get your priority items first. This skill coupled with the right items turns lina from a caster early - mid game to a battle caster late game.

Laguna Blade (G)
Fires of bolt of lightning at a single target, dealing critical damage.
Level 1 - Deals 450 (600 with Aghanim's Scepter) damage.
Level 2 - Deals 675 (875 with Aghanim's Scepter) damage.
Level 3 - Deals 950 (1250 with Aghanim's Scepter) damage.
Mana Cost: 280/ 420/ 680 (640 with Scepter)
Cooldown: 150/ 90/ 55

600 casting range. Deals magical damage which is reduced by Spell Resistance, and blocked by Spell Immunity and Linken's Sphere.

The deadly laguna blade. This skill is the strongest single target nuke in the game only competed by finger of death. Laguna Blade is what makes you a great killer early to mid game because you can already kill heroes even if they still have a big amount of hp left. Or when ganking and your carry hero is there, you can use this to heavily cripple your target's hp for your carry to kill him with ease. The true essence of lina inverse...

Knowing Your Spells

Range of Dragon Slave

The circle marked is where I targeted the spell and as you can see it has quite a distance, it's actually equal to your attack range of 600. The perpendicular line at the tip shows how far the spell actually goes in spite of the graphics. The parallel line in front of lina shows the aoe of the spell. Taking this illustration as consideration, simply clicking on the hero while aiming dragonslave is not the most efficient way of using the spell.

Range of Light Strike Array

This is the farthest you can cast light strike array without lina moving from her initial position. Like dragon slave, the max casting range of this skills is 600 which is actually your own attack range. Of course, you don't need to master the actual range unit per unit but you should just have an idea of its casting range; also take not of the skill's AoE.

Indication of Ultimate

So you know when ultimate is activated when you see the icon on your status and the smoke appears on your head. Unlike MoM's frenzy, you don't receive any additional damage when you get hit when you have this activated. It doesn't stack with MoM's berserk either or any form of frenzy.

Range of Laguna Blade

This is the farthest you can cast laguna blade without lina moving from her initial position. Like your other 2 nukes, its casting range is equal to 600 which is actually your own attack range. This is Lina's ONLY single target attack spell linken's sphere will waste it.

There's only one proposed skill build for lina inverse, a simple cookie cutter build.

Level 1: Light Strike Array
Level 2: Dragon Slave
Level 3: Dragon Slave
Level 4: Light Strike Array
Level 5: Dragon Slave
Level 6: Laguna Blade
Level 7: Dragon Slave
Level 8: Light Strike Array
Level 9: Light Strike Array
Level 10: Attribute Bonus
Level 11: Laguna Blade
Level 12: Attribute Bonus
Level 13: Attribute Bonus
Level 14: Attribute Bonus
Level 15: Attribute Bonus
Level 16: Laguna Blade
Level 17: Attribute Bonus
Level 18: Attribute Bonus / Ultimate
Level 19: Attribute Bonus / Ultimate
Level 20: Attribute Bonus / Ultimate
Level 21: Attribute Bonus / Ultimate
Level 22: Ultimate / Attribute Bonus
Level 23: Ultimate / Attribute Bonus
Level 24: Ultimate / Attribute Bonus
Level 25: Ultimate / Attribute Bonus

Light Strike Array: This is taken at level 1 to help if your team decides to do a lvl 1 gank. On the other hand, this can save you from an early messy situation when you encounter it. This is maxed second after dragon slave.

Dragon Slave: Your main harassing and killing/farming tool. This is maxed first because it is easier to hit than LSA and much more effective in harassing your opponent. It also has quite a long range so abuse it against them. Use this in conjunction with LSA to farm huge creep waves for easy gold.

Ultimate: The name is not to be confused with your ulti. This is learned at latter levels because lina needs more stats to boost her low hp and also to have enough mana to cast her 3 nukes. Increases as by 50% which makes getting dps items decent on her. If you are close to completing that dmg item, then better start investing points here. Unlike frenzy, you don't take extra damage while this is activated. This can be perma casted at levels 3 & 4 since the duration equals the cool down.

Laguna Blade: Your deadly ultimate skill. Get this whenever you can as 95% of your kills/ks during early to mid game will come from this. There is absolutely no reason to get this whenever it's available as the burst dmg it provides is too strong to pass up.

Attribute Bonus: Stats are good; just get it. No explanation needed...

Basic Items

Animal Courier - This little critter can save you traveling time from lane to base to get your items. It can deliver your items for you as well as some expendable items without you having to go back to base.

Ancient Tango of Essifation - Provides your minor HP regenerations so you can stay safe from some light harassments.

Healing Salve - This provides a great amount of regen for those near death experiences. If you are like 50 HP from dying salve is your choice. Early game regenerations determine lane staying power. Just make sure you don't get hit while using this as to not dispel it.

Clarity Potions - Although lina's spells are powerful, you won't be able to spam them very much due to your low mana pool early game. Constant regeneration to your mana will ensure that you can harass and farm with your spells. You can do zeus style and last hit with dragon slave to get that bottle sooner since lina really has crappy attack animation and damage early on.
Core Items

| Item Build order |
Bottle -> Bracer -> Boots -> Point Booster -> Dagger
Bottle - Lina has mana problems because she has 2 nukes to spam during early game and 1 heavy nuke to kill her opponents. The solution -> Bottle. Bottle provides burst regeneration which is perfect for spamming her skills as well as healing her fragile HP. This can also be used to store runes and it refills itself after a rune is used from it essentially giving you another round of HP and mana to stay and control your lane..

Boots of Speed - Lina doesn't have the fastest ms to not get boots. It lets you travel faster, makes catching up to enemies and escaping from them at the same time easier. No explanation required really...

Bracers - To be honest, Lina is as soft as paper with her hp. She needs hp for her to be able to survive in the field. Bracers are taken over nulls because she has high enough int growth and a hero without mana is wayy better than a hero without hp. She has mana regen from clarities, bottle, and some rune whoring for ganks. You can do a combination of bracers/nulls if you want that exta int depending to your playstyle. But always keep in mind that more hp lets you survive a bit more against spells and combos.

Point Booster - This item provides more raw hp and mana to lina using only 1 item slot and in addition, this can be upgraded to either a skadi or bloodstone, or aghanim's scepter, all of which lina benefits well from.. Since this will be upgraded to either of those items, this will not be sold later on.

Kelen's Dagger - While it's nowhere near as good as it was before in the 6.48 days, it's still a very viable item choice for lina. It makes her very versatile as it provides you with an escape mechanism as well as for backstabbing and surprise attacks, leaving your enemies little time to react and run from you deadly nukes. It makes aiming your LSA much easier but do be careful when you blink into an enemy because this becomes disabled for 3 secs if the enemy hero damages you.
Extension/Luxury Items

Boots of Travel/Phase Boots - Lina has 2 boots upgrades to chose from -> Boots of Travel or Phase Boots.

BoT's benefits, especially teleportation are very good complements to lina's aoe skills where she can wipe out a creep wave in seconds or be there to defend an enemy push. She can assure her team that she is there for a gank/push/defend if they need her. It also compensates for her slow starting ms and this will make ganking much more manageable..

Phase Boots is a cheap but good upgrade from boots of speed. It gives extra damage for those easier last hits and denies and given its cheap components and buildup. As a ganker, she already has crippled income because she does little to no farming at all and PB gives good benefits for a cheap amount that isn't really hard to farm for. The Phase ability gives her a spammable boost in ms which she really lacks that can allow her to chase and escape while she doesn't have dagger yet.

Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse - Provides lina with great mana and mana regen plus the bonus hex skill that can aid you in terms of killing and surviving. It also gives a nice +10 to all stats and good amount of damage that will increase your dps even more. Get this when your team lacks disables to take down that enemy carry as hex can make even the most farmed hero useless for a few seconds where your team can pound on him nonstop.

Eye of Skadi - The luxury item of the year. You can upgrade the point booster in the core item build into this. Grants great survivability thanks to the high bonus stats which translates to more HP and mana and it can ensure that you survive a bit more in team battles. The frost attack will also come in handy because you can actually utilize it thanks to ultimate as it enhances your dps as well. Although a bit expensive, it's an excellent item to have next to guinsoo. You can get this as a last luxury item since it has really expensive parts but if the game drags along THAT long, it's viable to invest in skadi so you can enjoy the benefits of ultimate's increased attackspeed.

Linken's Sphere - A situational item for those teams that have deadly nukes and disables. Perseverance helps you regen HP and mana for staying in your lane and ultimate orb increase your stats and survivability. A defensive item but nevertheless a great item to have to that lets you spam your spells and aid your fragile hp during the mid levels of the game. When the enemy team has deadly nukes and disables, invest in this one to protect yourself from that first disable, which often times mean the line between tragedy and escape.

BloodStone - Another survivability item that boosts your hp and mana quite a lot. Since lina is a good hero killer during mid game you can build up your charges effectively and the bonus hp and mana regen each charge provides is very beneficial. Spam your spells at will and don't worry about running out of mana for that laguna blade. It also reduces the lost gold and resurrection time if ever you get killed and it restores 450 hp and 400 mana in a 1700 area where you died; you are able to support your team even at the last second.

Aghanim's Scepter - With this item, you boost your laguna blade's damage to 1250, the strongest single target nuke damage. It can easily kill int and agi heroes since they tend to have low hp or it can heavily cripple them during the start of team clashes giving your team no problems killing them. Also increase your hp and mana to a full extent giving you great survivability as well as enhancing your already deadly ultimate. Get this when your team has enough disables but generally lack some firepower in the team arsenal.
Other Items

Orchid Malevolence - It provides you with high bonus damage fit for easier last hitting and denying and great mana regen to spam your spells. The Soul Burn ability can further enhance your spells' damage to your targeted enemy. Since lina has an as increasing spell, this is a fit item for her to increase her dps for a cheap amount of gold all the while keeping the necessary int and mana regen to help her spam her spells. When it comes to ganks, LSA plus the silence can really help you kill those heroes with escape abilities like blink, windwalk, among others.

Mekansm - A good support item for the team as well as for yourself. If no one's buying this and your team needs it then you should volunteer to get this item if your team needs it. If your team has enough carries and gankers but generally lack a support hero, you can opt for this to support the team. The bonus stats can be helpful and the AoE heal can greatly supplement your team. Of course, do watch your mana before using this because don't forget she has 4 active spells to use.

DPS Items - DPS items are not usually worn by int heroes except if you are playing natural battle int types; however, lina has an as increasing skill in ultimate which gives a 50% increase which is quite a lot. Lina also has a high int gain which means her overall base damage is also quite high. But of course still being an int hero this items would be her last priority since she still needs to prioritize her hp and mana. After accomplishing that, treat yourself to dps items because by late game physical attacks are now more crucial as nukes start to lose their effectiveness.

Observer/Sentry Wards - In more competitive games, lina is sometimes used as a team warder because of her lack of item dependency. Using obs wards can also help you spot the runes since if you go bottle you can easily refill them and controlling the runes contribute a lot in controlling the lane. Wards can also help you gank when placed in the right places and also it can help you escape from attempted ganks. Sentry wards are there if you are facing an invisible hero or warding the enemy territory while pushing and defending against those windwalking heroes.

XXX Rejected Items XXX

Now I won't discuss every item that musn't be used on her because that'll take me such a long time. Therefore, you won't see very obvious stupid items here like vlads or bashers or the like..

Vanguard - Everything about the item is fine, except the cost. It gives 22 more hp than 2 bracers, but costing twice as much. You really don't tower dive early to kill your enemies because you have amazing burst damage that you can fire off from a distance. You really shouldn't tank creeps given your 600 range either.

Hoof of Defiance - Yeah so you have really high magic resistance, but no hp to back it up either. This may be feasible come mid and late game but by then more raw hp will take precedence than stacking magic resistance.

Lothar's Edge - Windwalk in, cast LSA - DS and then finish with Laguna Blade.. Seems rather ok but you spend all that gold just to be countered by 200 gold wards or 180 gold dust. If you want a chasing or escaping tool, dagger is way better to use because it's instant - you don't have to travel any distance and it has no real counters except for you to take damage. Plus, farming for lothar's takes too much of lina's time which would've been spent on ganking.

Sange and Yasha - If you want to build her as a battlemage, fine.. But there are a lot better orb effect items out there for you to invest in. For one, you just invested 5k gold on something that gives you 12 damage, big whoop. Lina can chase better with dagger instead of relying on the bonus ms of sny. Better invest that 5k gold for the completion of guinsoo or aghanim which gives you better and more benefits.

Last edited by Kaiser Leon; 20th Apr 2009 at 15:23 CEST.
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Old 12th Nov 2008, 18:34 CET #2
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└┼ Early Game ─┐

▌▌▌ Starting
After picking/randoming/swapping lina, buy the core items brought up in the guide. Learn Light Strike Array as your first skill and hopefull your team has picked a good lane partner for you like sven/leoric/raylai/etc.. and head into any side lane. If your team picked a babysitter to babysit your carry, opt for the short lane instead so they can have the safety of the long lane.
▌▌▌ Laning
  • Solo - If for some reason you had to solo, then might as well go for it as it's better than leaving the lane without any hero to defend it. It might be a bit difficult for lina to handle a solo lane much more against a dual lane because of her slow animation and crap attackspeed. What you can do, however, is to use you spells to lasthit much like a zeus would use arc lightning. This is where the amount of clarities plus bottle will come in handy if you are having a hard time with lina's animation. If your enemies are decent they WILL deny their creeps with much more ease if you don't be a bit aggressive.

    Look at the bright side, you get to harass 2 enemies with your AoE skills if they're a dual lane and you will be a bit higher in level so it's easier to kill with your DS + LSA + Laguna Blade combo. You have 600 range so take a cheap shot every now and then. But if you're up against a dual nuker or stunner lane, then better have someone go with you otherwise you're toast.

  • Dual Lane - It is preferable that you lane with an ally that has a disable or slow so you can land LSA easier and chain your disables and nukes. Always check for rune spawning so as to refill your bottle every now and then to help you keep yourself in your lane. If there's no rune spawn, you have your chicken with you to help refill and deliver your bottle..

    Click to enlarge

    Against your lane, let your ally initiate with their stun/slow first and then follow up with your LSA and dragon slave. This will deal considerable amount of damage early game and if you need to, regen your hp and mana with bottle if you have it. Always pick the easier to kill enemy to target your stuns and nukes so you can control your lane more. Use your aoe nukes to last hit creeps if you're having a hard time last hitting and also try to hit the hero with it if possible.

    Since you don't go mid, you don't have the pleasure of having easy access to both runes so if the rune is not at one spot, it can either be at the other spot or your opponent got to it first. If you feel it necessary, use obs wards to scout the runes. Ask your ally in the middle or in the other side to grab the rune if it's not in your place so you can start its respawn time. A common spot to place an obs ward to scout the bottom rune (left) and top rune (right). For more warding spots, visit my Kaiser Leon Dota Strategy #3: Warding Fundamentals.

In the earlier portions of the guide the ranges and aoe of her spells were shown. Now let's take a look how you can maximize them in real action.

Targeting the enemy directly completely ignores the impressive range of Dragon Slave. Of course if the enemy is just in front of you or is very close, then feel free to target them directly.

This types of maneuvering and ninja like aiming will surely make a lot of people jealous. If I just targeted the skill on the hero directly then huskar would've escaped because of lina's slow ms. Maximize the skill's range to make the most out of the skill.

Also take note of the casting time of LSA to make it hit even without an ally's stun. My enemy didn't have boots here so it was quite easy but when they have more ms then timing should be accurate. Consider also the spell's aoe...
|| Animation Canceling ||
Spam 'S' to stop her attack or even her spell casting in the instance you aimed wrong or you know it will miss, etc... Because of her lousy animation, it's actually hard to animation cancel with her at first because you might end up canceling the whole attack. What you can do, however, is to cancel a bit of her animation when she casts a spell so you can chain it up faster especially against heroes with blink or windwalk. Immediately cast the next spell after her arm extends and cancel out the animation where she returns to her up right position. See below.

└┼ Mid Game ─┐

▌▌▌ Ganking
The ganking routine of lina is pretty much the same with the laning part of her style. Since you have 3 burst damage nukes you are an excellent ganker. Hpefully this is the time when you acquire your blink dagger because it enables you to become a great ganker with the element of surprise plus your nukes. Activate ultimate if you have it and again just like the basics let your ally/s initiate with a stun or disable and follow up with LSA and Dragon Slave if needed then finish the enemy off with laguna blade. Bottle will let you refill a bit of your mana so save enough for a situational stun for emergency purposes. When ganking a hero with an escape skill use guinsoo/orchid to silence them after hitting them with your LSA.

The Scarlet's Combo

This will be your signature combo once you get your dagger. Lag can be an issue on how well you can perfom this combo but generally this is the way it goes. Basically blink in your opponent and target LSA around where he can move in the casting time of LSA so you can still hit them. Cast Dragon Slave and if you are sure you can kill them cast laguna blade. This can be easier if you had an ally disabler where you can save blink for catching up/escape purposes.

There are also some instances that you may need to use your laguna blade first when you initiate a gank since your other 2 nukes are AoE, you can still hit your enemy even if they manage to go invisible (if they can). Also when your gank turns out bad and you're about to die, try to cast your laguna blade on the most targeted hero so your ally/s can manage to kill him because of laguna blade's damage even if you die.

Now if you are ganking with your carry hero, then your job is to just deal enough damage for him to get the easy kill. Trust me, your ally carry will really appreciate your honor and team coordination. Consecutive ganking will make your enemies get on the defensive side and calling you missing won't make much difference. Always try to check the runes if you happen to pass by their spots.

You can use dagger in all sorts of situations from escaping to a sneak attack.


|| Farming ||
Lina's farming fortitude is actually very strong because of her 2 aoe spells. She can clear creepwaves easily netting her easy gold. One important thing to remember is that at mid game creeps' hp have increased thus the melee creeps can survive your dragon slave + lsa combo with below 30 HP but the ranged creeps won't. Once you cast 1 of those spells, let your own creeps damage them for a little bit so that when you cast your 2nd spell you kill them all. Even though lina is a great farmer because of her spells, it doesn't necessarily mean that she should be farming. Because of her high damage nukes, she's the type of hero who generally spends more time ganking instead of farming; which in turn gives the team carry more creeps to farm.

|| Escaping Ganks ||
You have an aoe stun plus your dagger so escaping won't be such a real problem. Use dagger to blink to inaccessible terrain or into the fog of war then use tp scrolls/BoT to escape. Never push if majority or especially if all of the enemy heroes are missing from the minimap.

└┼ Late Game ─┐

▌▌▌ Pushing
Use your spells to clear creepwaves fast provided that you have bought your mana increasing items. If ultimate is now at level 3 or 4, you may just activate it anytime since its duration equals the cooldown now. During team battles try to keep a safe distance from the front line but enough to get you in range for your stun easily. Use every drop of aoe spells you have and item skills such as hex and soul burn if your team has a targeted hero. If you have bought some dps items then more or less join in in the whacking and attacking of the battle and use your spells whenever they're ready. Use laguna blade to heavily cripple your team's focused hero because a red hp hero acts differently from a green hp hero. The enemy carry won't be so confident if he sees 1/2 of his hp gone just after 3 secs by lina. You can also use it to finish off fleeing heroes.

If the enemy team have some invi heroes then don't forget to place sentry wards before you decide to push. Also place obs wards to sides of the lane you're pushing just in case the enemies come from different directions. Use your stun to interrupt channelers.
▌▌▌ Defending
Pretty much like pushing except you're doing it in your territory and hopefully you have the assistance of your tower and its true sight. Activate ultimate and start whacking as well as spamming your spells. Place wards if ever the tower was destroyed and there are invi heroes in the enemy team. Do not stand in the front of the battle as you might get killed easily instead let your carry and initiators enter the battle first and stand safely behind casting spells and stuns and disables. Use dagger and laguna blade to finish any fleeing hero. Try to disable the enemy's dps hero first then kill the support heroes and save the tanks for last. Just literally spam your spells until the battle ends.

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