Image by Melchiah and UC
Lina is number one in the patch and it’s not even close. Great laning stage, high farming speed, impressive scaling and flexible builds make them a bit too strong in the current patch. Strong but not unbeatable and today we want to talk about how to deal with Lina.
A potentially exploitable quirk of the heroine is that she is usually chosen in the second phase, and sometimes even in the first. She has time to adjust to her choices.
In lane, she’s often paired with midgame melee supports such as Riki or Nyx Assassin, often chosen in the first phase. They usually have a bad laning phase when it comes to trades and in situations like this Ax is amazing. He can ignore the alley from level two or three and just go behind the tower and pull creeps towards the neutral camps. This speeds up his farm immensely.
Similar concepts can be applied to Centaur Warrunner and Dark Seer although they usually need a bit more levels to make games like this. The latter isn’t necessarily the best hero to have against Lina in the later stages of the game either, but the farming speed can still be used to great effect.
If you choose this route, you don’t “counter” Lina’s lane stage: she gets an absolutely free farm in lane. But you will have a timely response with a very strong, aggressive hero who can farm more than Lina and will have a much higher speed.
Against weak lanes and when played well, both Ax and Centaur can come very early Blink Dagger and have an absolute field day all over the map. Again, don’t necessarily counter Lina directly, but make sure she can’t play around her teammates.
Once you have an additional item, such as Blade Mail on Axe, you can go for Lina kills, but it’s not necessarily the best course of action. When you have pace in the early game, aiming for objectives, limiting the map for the opponent, and making sure you get to the win is usually the more reliable play.
Lina is a glass cannon. She starts off pretty squishy and keeps going into the very late stages of the game where Satanic is usually her preferred durability item. Several heroes can take advantage of this squishy very well.
Above all there is Phantom Killer. The dynamic between her and Lina is a bit weird since Lina can leave early Silver Edge or late midgame Monkey King Bar, but it’s still very initiation-loving until the end of the game.
If Lina can open up on PA, she can absolutely melt them with the right items during her stun. If PA can skip Lina with BKB, she usually needs a critical hit or two to seal the deal. However, with access to Blur on PA, getting the jump should be a lot easier, and that’s reflected in Lina’s win rate: she only wins 47% of her matches against Phantom Assassin.
Some of the more reliable burst heroes include Sven, Ursa and Chaos Knight. All three are strong physical burst heroes who prefer to jump in on a target and wipe them out in the process.
Of the three, Ursa is definitely the most meta-friendly, as he’s one of the better laning phase carriers with built-in target pick-up. Don’t sleep on Chaos Knight, though: most pro players simply spam Phantasm off cooldown, thereby solving the farming speed problem the hero used to have.
Sven is probably the group’s niche hero, but we have a feeling he’s grossly underrated. His farming speed is very high, he can deal a lot of damage during gameplay, and his laning phase is pretty impressive: the hero’s level 1 stats are among the best in the game.
More importantly though, he can give his team an insane amount of extra armor with Shard and Warcy. With the current meta revolving around heroes like death prediction, drow ranger, lycan, tusk and Shadow Fiend, it makes perfect sense to have extra protection for your supports. We feel that a well-played Sven can mitigate a massive amount of damage in teamfights, turning “one-shot” kills into drawn-out fights where his supports can cast their spells multiple times.
There are several points to consider against Lina. First is a forget Wraith Pact. The item is a far cry from what it used to be, but it’s still a great armor aura and a powerful physical damage mitigation tool. We understand why players are reluctant to use it, but we feel it’s still underrated.
Another option is a recently polished one Crimson Guard. Lina strikes very quickly: she gets +385 AS from Fiery Soul, which basically makes her better Troll Warlord. However, she doesn’t hit really hard before she gets crits, be it silver edge or Daedalus. 75 Damage Block can go a long way in preventing allies from going full zero during the duration of a stun.
The regular save items in mica cape u Force Staff also goes a long way, but we want to highlight Guardian Greaves, which is one of the most popular items in the meta right now, and with good reason. It has an insanely good aura that activates much sooner now. It provides a spell for the wearer, and the clutch heal can sometimes allow teammates to use their priority spells for a turn.
What do you think about dealing with Lina? Do you feel like there are other options you should consider when dealing with her? Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.