If you want to get better at Dota 2, our Get Good Series will break down the best ways to play against the heroes you are most likely to see in your pubs.
Either she’s got 200 Duel damage on the enemy team at the 20 minute mark, or she’s in the jungle farming her Blink Dagger (having forgone boots) on your team at the 20 minute mark. Something about Legion Commander seems to draw multitudes of Dota 2 players into playing her, so much so that she’s become the third most-picked hero in the last six months, and the most picked hero with a sub 50 percent win rate.
When it’s one of those Legion Commanders, you don’t have much to worry about, but what to do against a Legion that knows what they’re doing? Certain strategies can help ease your pain, and keep your squishies alive.
Dazzle, Winter Wyvern, Oracle, Ursa
Linken’s Sphere, Solar Crest, Eul’s Scepter, Scythe of Vyse
As a support against Legion Commander, it’s all about awareness. If the enemy’s team composition looks like Legion is likely jungling and your team doesn’t have a jungler, the enemy will likely have less freedom to move around than you do. At the very beginning of the game, move as a team to place a ward in the enemy jungle to spot Legion’s movements. If you go together, you might get lucky and take first blood. If you go alone, it might be the enemy team feeling lucky.
With the ward, keep an eye on Legion and use a Smoke of Deceit to move into the jungle when she’s weak. Slowing down her first item can cripple her later in the game. Keep an eye on her inventory to see whether she’s building a Blink Dagger or a Shadow Blade, both popular first item pickups on the hero. If she starts carrying around a Shadow Amulet, get Sentry Wards ready for the inevitable first Duel attempt. Keep Observer Wards up on the just outside of your lanes so that if she goes Blink Dagger instead, you’ll see her before she’s already jumped in from fog and Dueled you. Too often in pubs, Legion is allowed to get off one or more stealthy Duel kill before proper measures are taken, and by that point the enemy is already beginning to pull ahead.
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An important thing to remember about Legion that many pub players seem to forget is the usefulness of Press the Attack. Not only does this spell heal over time and grant an attack speed bonus, but it can also be used on allies to remove debuffs and disables. Take care when picking heroes like Batrider, Ogre Magi or Mirana against LC because if you stun her teammate and she’s nearby, she can quickly remove it, and Press the Attack has a cooldown of 13 seconds at Level 4.
Defensive supports work best against Legion Commander. Anyone that can keep her from winning the Duel is a good pick. Top Legion counters include Oracle, for his ability to disarm LC or keep a target alive with False Promise, Winter Wyvern for the physical damage blocking Cold Embrace or Dazzle, with a whole kit of abilities designed to keep his team alive. Of course, positioning is paramount as support against LC because once you’re Dueled, you are unable to cast spells or use items until the Duel ends.
A Legion Commander pick isn't something to build an entire team composition against, so don’t get too caught up trying to pick all five heroes to deal with her — her four teammates will have their own challenges as well. That said, cores that fare well against LC tend to be hard to kill. Templar Assassin has high damage and Refraction to negate the first few hits in a Duel, Ursa can use his zero cast animation Enrage to take 80 percent less damage for 4 seconds and Alchemist similarly can cast Chemical Rage to heal faster than Legion can hit.
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More importantly, make sure no one is off farming too far away from backup unless they’re very mobile and you have good vision. LC will likely look for Duels with a hero or two to back her up, and if your team doesn’t take the same precautions you’re likely to feed her damage. Plus, if a few teammates are there to turn a Duel in your favor, that little damage bonus can be quite a nice addition to any hero’s stats.
Handy items to build against a Legion Commander focus on either stopping, interrupting or turning the tides of a Duel. Linken’s Sphere on a core hero can stop her using Duel on them at all, since none of her other spells can be targeted on an enemy to break it. If a hero holding Solar Crest isn’t the one to be Dueled, they can help their teammate win the Duel thanks to the item’s 10 armor reduction and a 25 percent miss chance debuff which lasts 7 seconds. Eul’s Scepter or Scythe of Vyse can also be used to interrupt a Duel.
Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore esports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.