Dota 2 Lina Inverse Guide

Dota 2 Lina Inverse Guide by Zwitterion

This guide aims at mid lane Lina, being a hard carry in the beginning and mid-game, turning into semi-carry later on. It uses her ability to harass enemies with dragon slave, and deliver a killing blows with laguna blade. You need a good understanding that lina is very squishy hero, and try keep behind the team tanks and killing from afar.

Pros and Cons:

-Has a disable
-Has a high damage
-Good lane control
-Can gank early
-Can finish off enemies
-She is hot

-Very squishy; has low hp and mana
-Loves shiny things (items)
-Loves to be ahead of everyone (lvl dependent)
-Hard to land disable
-Original Lina Inverse was a flat chested teenager

Dotabuff info:
-40th most played hero
-45.7% win rate
-win rate with Aghanims Scepter is 63.55%

Early game

If you managed to get a mid lane, then it’s good, if not, then this tactics still can be used on offlanes. During the first couple of minutes try to last hit creeps (be mindful that animation cast of Lina is 0.5 seconds, so practice last-hitting and denying with bots) and don’t cast spells up until lvl 3. At lvl 3 you get dragon slave of 2 level, which deals a decent amount of damage (170dmg or 127.5 with magic immunity). At this point you should get sage’s mask which will boost your mana regen, so you should be okay. Cast it on enemy hero and try last-hit a creep with low health as well. Dragon slave have a cast range of 800, but travels 1225 units far, so you can damage enemy hero from safe distance.
When you hit level 4 and get fiery soul go and try to gank off-lanes. Land light strike array (stun delay of 0.5 seconds + 0.5 sec cast animation [1 second in total] so dont cast it on moving hero directly, but in front of hero, so that you land stun properly) followed up by dragon slave. After that finish him off with right clicking. If you didn’t manage to kill enemy, it’s OK, because you made him to move out of experience gain area and enemy hero will lose a lvl or so.



Get 3 for the beginning. Buy them throughout the whole game until you get bloodstone. Always have at least one in inventory. [starting item]


Only tango, try staying out of fight. Tango will keep your health up if enemy will spam his skills. [starting item]


Your boost for mana and damage. [starting item]


Boost for all stats. Equals to 2 iron branches (which is cheaper) but later this transform into null talisman. [starting item]


By the time you hit lvl 3 get sage’s mask to cope with mana problem. Works with clarity (150mp instead of 100mp)


Pretty obvious item. Boots for speed

LVL 6 and Laguna Blade

At lvl 6 you get laguna blade (450dmg; 337.5 with magic immunity) one of the most powerful single target skills in DotA. Most people use it as a secure kill on hero with some 100hp left. This is not right, because you can cast dragon slave with the same result. This skill have very high damage, so wasting 300dmg is useless. Cast this skill on enemy carries or tanks to kill them faster. A good combination is: Light Strike Array->Dragon Slave->Laguna blade. On lvl 7 it will deal a massive damage of around 630. Then finish your target with last hits. Thanks to fiery soul passive, we gain 12% increased speed and 120 IAS for 7 seconds to finish a low health hero.

basillus null
Get two of these items before you upgrade your shoes. for null talisman all you need to buy is a recepie, and ring of Basilius will take to buy ring of protection. Basilius ring will also give you so needed armor and make you less squishy

Why boots of speed you will ask. Because. Of course it is better to get Arcane boots and build them into bloodstone and boots of travel later on. BUT, 135 mana is only one skill for Lina, and I personally didn’t find them very useful. On the other hand boots of speed give you a quick speed boost to chase down an enemy hero and 24 bonus damage, which, with increased attack speed from Fiery Soul passive gives a very good outcome.

Early mid and Mid game

It starts for as soon as you hit lvl 7. Go to base to regenerate mana (or use regeneration rune if there is one) and start your ganking. From now on you show up on mid lane rarely, mostly making a casual walks to bottom/top lanes and back to base to get some mana. Remember that Lina is very mana consuming hero, and her 3 skill combo takes around 550 mana (with total mana pool of around 800). Many people say that lina is not the best ganker, and it is true for inexperienced players. It is hard to land a good stun, but if you do, you get one kill for sure.


The best item for lina. Gives you a huge boost of stats and improves your ulti. Get Ogre Club first to solve health problem, staff of wizardry after for mana (if you feel that it’s better to change order of these two items, do it), point booster afterwards for hp and mp, and blade of alacrity at last.

Mid to late game

After you hit lvl 6, use same starategy for every case [Light Strike Array->Dragon Slave->Laguna Blade] (but use your brain, don’t rush into 4 enemy heroes, this is suicide). Try keeping a safe distance and spam skills all around. Keep track of mana and regenerate it when low.


This will finally solve your mana problem once and for all. At this point we have two item slots left, so we make soul booster first. Item order is: vitality booster-> point booster -> energy booster. Get the health boosts first if you die often or just win the fights with some 100hp left, if not, change rotation to get mana first.
Then we get perseverance with void stone coming first (to boost mana regen).

“Dagon? DAGON? This guide is ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, I quit” – this is what you probably think. “Yes, dagon”- I say. “Dagon, to set things blazing” – says Lina when she gets this item. And now think: Light strike Array (280dmg)->Dragon Slave(280dmg)->Laguna blade(1250dmg)->dagon(800dmg). In total 2610dmg or 1957 with magic immunity. How cool is that. Lina really sets things blazing. No carry will stand that devastating combo.
Perhaps you choose other item over this one, but i personally prefer that.

Other items

By the time you finish Dagon, there is an obvious victor in the match, if not, there’s a set of items for Lina.
Whatever you like more.

Daedalus – for more auto-attack damage
Orchid Malevolence – for more skill based damege
Shiva’s guard – for more armor and itelegence
Helm of Dominator – lifesteal and armor
Desolator – again, more damage

Sell your Ring of Basilius to get free slot for items.
You can buy any other item you want.

What about skills?

I have said loads about how to use skills, when to cast them, and even told some mechanics, but haven’t specified when to get which skill. Lina has 4 skills (like most of heroes), one of them passive.
For skill description and mechanics please go here.

Dragon slave:
Our main spam skill. Cast it when you see enemy hero trying to last-hit a creep. Freaks them out. It will keep their health low or make them eat a lot of trees (which cost money).
Max as fast as we can. Put points on lvls: 2;3;5;7
Start using after you get second level of this spell (i.e. you will be on third level).

Light Strike Array:
Put one point in on the first level, and forget about it till lvl 10 or so.
Lina’s spells are very consuming, and mana usage increases with level of skill. LSA is not 100% skill, i.e. you can never be 100% sure if it will hit enemy or not. Not to be disappointed in mana lose in case you miss, we keep only one point in this skill to get a stun (which btw is 1.5 sec regardless of it’s lvl).

Fiery Soul:
Our passive, that makes Lina to be considered even when her skills are on cooldown.
Put points on lvls 4;8;9;10.
Many people disregard this skill and max LSA first, BUT this skill does not consume mana, and it gives mad attack speed increase as well as quite good move speed boost.

Laguna Blade:
Our bread and butter skill.
There is a whole section about this skill, so you will learn about it a bit later.
Max as soon as you can (i.e. lvls 6,11,16).

In the left corner of the ring : Light Strike Array.
In the right corner of the ring : Fiery Soul.
[sound] cheering crowd [/sound]
Who will win today?
This was one of the most puzzling questions while playing Lina.
Took me a good dozen of game and a couple of calculations to figure out what and why.
As you have already seen, I picked Fiery Soul over LSA. And here’s why:
– Fiery soul is passive ability and does not require mana, while LSA is very mana consuming;
– LSA is mainly used for stun, which, regardless of skill level, stays at a value of 1.5 seconds;
– Fiery Soul gives attack speed boost, which means you are going to hit faster (much faster when you max it and go for 3-spell combo [255 attack speed to be exact]); LSA gives more damage when max’d. It took me 30 mins and couple of A4 sheets to calculate and deduce that they give about the same damage output regardless of what you max first. So to save mana we max Fiery Soul first and then LSA.
-Also it just works out better [for me] to max Fiery Soul first.

If you feel like maxing LSA first, go for it.

Power of Laguna blade, Aghanims Scepter, and how to use it wise.

After you get Aghanims Scepter (which gives you a huge boost for Laguna blade), the game changes for you. With Aghscept a cast range increases to 900 and deals 1250dmg (930 with magic immunity) on lvl 16. Now you are ready to be the most annoying person for enemy team supports.
Use Laguna Blade to kill them from safe distance. Pick heroes such as Crystal Maiden, Jakiro, Witch Doctor and others. By taking out support you make it harder for enemy team to win a fight.
Most supports have low health, so you can kill them with a single blow without getting too close.
For example witch doctor has around 1000 hp on lvl 16, so casting dragon slave and laguna blade will melt him on a spot, without exposing you to a high danger of being auto-attacked.
Keep in mind that if you can take out a carry (like riki or drow ranger, who also lack high health) better do that, and your team will be grateful.

What if you didn’t get mid.

It could happen that some teammate picked Drow Ranger and wants to go mid.
Lina can still be powerful hero and make a life of enemy heroes harder. Use the same strategy as if you were on the middle lane, and try to hit both enemy heroes when you cast Dragon Slave. When you see that they have a low health, try killing them from behind. Again, same tactics applies as if you were soloing mid [Light Strike Array -> Dragon Slave …]. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

Items and skills:
Item and skill build will still be the same. The reason for it is that we still want Lina to be semi-carry by the end of a game. Moreover, except for LSA stun, there’s no any supporting skills which could be maxed over offensive ones.

Whom to lane with:
It is very important to pick an ally of yours for the first ten minutes of game. He will either lead you to victory (as well as you will lead him), or ♥♥♥♥ up the game. Or you can mess somewhere and loose. In first case, follow points 3 and 8 from

So whom is it better to pick if you are about to lane with someone? A very good choice will be someone who has a stun (but not spirit breaker). These can be Lion, Sand King, Skeleton King, Nyx, Jakiro, Shadow Shaman or any other disabler. Second priority is someone with a slow (Lich, Dazzle, PL picker…). Never go with someone like Riki, Lycanthrope, Clinkz and other right-mouse-button heroes.
The explanation is simple – we want to ensure a well placed LSA stun. It is hell easy to follow it after someones stun, and easier to stun a slowed hero. It is impossible to do it when some Clinkz scare enemy heroes off.
My favorite heroes to lane with is Crystal Maiden (you also get funny comments) or Tusk. They both have two disables, and are good lane supports in general.

Things to keep in mind

– Lina is very squishy, with low armor and hp, so try staying behind your team not to be auto-attacked.
– Dragon Slave and Light Strike Array DO hit invisible heroes, so if you see riki or bounty hunter running away with 100 hp that goes into invis, cast Dragon Slave for luck, maybe you will kill them.
– DO NOT cast Laguna Blade on Templar Assassin whe she enters a fight, TA probably has refraction on her, it is a skill waste. Wait until her charges of refraction will go down, then hit.
– Laguna Blade DOES NOT goes through refraction, linken’s sphere, magic immunity. Be aware of that and don’t waste this skill.
– As it was said, Lina’s cast animation is 0.5 seconds and her stun has 0.5 sec delay. Cast it not on a hero, but in front of him (unless enemy is not moving)
– Fiery soul gives you a speed boost, so if you are running away cast Light Strike Array somewhere between you and hero that chase you, may be it will stun him, and you also get higher move speed that can save you

P.S. and P.P.S.

This guide is not follow exactly what I said, so if you feel that you need one skill or item more than the one I stated here, do it.
Use your brains as well, because every match in DotA is unique, and although principle is the same, it can differ depending on situation.

I played Lina a lot, and every time i play, i find something new.
I will update this guide, upload some videos and pictures to make it easier to understand what i mean.
If you think that I am not right, please feel free to say it and correct me. I will consider it and change a part where I was wrong.
Feedback is very welcome.

Thank you for your patience in reading all these boring words. Sorry if my English is terrible, I was never good at essays.

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