Li-Ming Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Li-Ming. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Li-Ming's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Li-Ming's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Li-Ming efficiently.
1. Li-Ming's Tips and Tricks
- Magic Missiles should nearly always be cast on-Cooldown due to their low Cooldown and Mana cost.
- Do not hesitate to cast Arcane Orb even if you do not fully benefit from the range bonus; waiting for the perfect opportunity might cost you more overall DPS than a far hit.
- Aggressively using Teleport to secure kills is not a bad idea due to Critical Mass and the profusion of strong Talents that affect the Ability.
- Disintegrate deals less damage than your other Abilities, despite being a Heroic Ability, and should be used last in your rotation due to its long range and reliability.
- Consider picking Wave of Force if your opponent's team composition feature strong channeled-abilities or tend to dive a specific target.
2. Magic Missiles
- Mana: 20
- Cooldown: 3 seconds
Fire three missiles toward an area, each dealing 147 (+3% per level) damage to the first enemy hit. These missiles do 50% damage to Structures.
Magic Missiles is Li-Ming's bread and butter. The Ability's extremely short Cooldown, insignificant Mana cost and long range means that it is typically used on-Cooldown whenever enemies are within range — whether it be Minions, Structures, Mercenaries, or Heroes.
One peculiar yet key aspect of Magic Missiles is that it is by far the game's strongest Ability in terms of raw damage per second, being able to deal more sustained damage than a typical Assassin delivering uninterrupted Basic Attacks. This makes Magic Missiles incredibly potent against stationary targets such as Mercenaries, Structures, and certain Map Objectives. This potential is offset by the Ability's skillshot nature: whereas hitting moving opponents with one projectile is usually as simple as aiming in their general direction, reliably landing double or triple hits requires crowd control, much practice, or sheer luck. Magic Missiles is the reason Li-Ming is considered such a difficult yet rewarding character to play, and its mastery goes a long way towards greatly increasing your damage output. Still, remember that casting Magic Missiles and landing only one projectile is often better than not casting it at all.
3. Arcane Orb
- Mana: 40
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Fire an Orb that powers up as it travels, dealing 135 (+3% per level) damage to the first enemy hit. Damage is increased the further it travels, up to 270 (+3% per level) more damage.
Arcane Orb is Li-Ming's main source of burst and area of effect damage. When no opponents are around, the Ability provides you with potent waveclearing and sieging potential. When using Arcane Obs against Heroes, however, there are three main principles that you need to account for.
First, the projectile created by the Ability moves very slowly in comparison to that of most Abilities, meaning that the movement and potential dodging attempts of opponents has to be taken into account for successful hits. In general, this simply means "leading" your target by using your Ability in such a way that they will run into its area of effect. Alternatively, capitalising on crowd control makes the projectile speed a non-issue.
Second, as with so many skillshot abilities, Arcane Orb can be wasted against undesirable targets such as Minions, Summons or Tanks. This issue can be alleviated by flanking or looking for fragile isolated targets.
Third, Arcane Orb deals significantly more damage when it is allowed to travel. Although it is unnecessary to look for perfect maximum range hits, one should avoid using Arcane Orb from melee or near-melee range, even if this means not using the Ability on Cooldown. Arcane Orb's long range allows you to fire over terrain, not only making the Ability less predictable and therefore more difficult to avoid or block, but also allowing you to reliably benefit from the bonus damage clause.
Although Arcane Orb is an area of effect Ability, it is better to try and use the Ability to burst down a single target as opposed to try and maximise its area of effect damage so as to be able to benefit from Critical Mass.
- Mana: 30
- Cooldown: 5 seconds
Teleport a short distance instantly.
Teleport is the quintessential gap-closer. Although it is extremely short-ranged, it has the shortest Cooldown of all gap-closers in the game, which is only accentuated by the properties of Critical Mass. Due to this fact, Teleport's instantaneity, and Li-Ming's obvious fragility, it is advisable to vigorously use the Ability to avoid dangerous skillshots and create space between yourself and melee attackers whenever possible. Very small walls and terrain barriers can also be passed through with Teleport.
Offensively, Teleport can be used to quickly allow yourself to come in range of a Hero that is otherwise too far away to hit. Critical Mass is particularly useful then as the Cooldown refreshment clause allows you to Teleport right back to safety afterwards.
From Hero level 7 and on, Teleport becomes tied with one of Li-Ming's most important Talents: Calamity. This Talent turns Teleport into an Ability that should be used aggressively to burst down opponents.
- Mana: 80
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
Channel a powerful beam, dealing 440 (+5% per level) damage over 2.6 seconds to enemies while they are in it. The direction of the beam changes with your mouse cursor position.
Disintegrate has a distinctly short Cooldown. Unlike many Heroic Abilities, Disintegrate becomes part of Li-Ming's casual Ability chain as soon as it is acquired. Its instant effect and very long range make it an extremely reliable way of attempting to finsh off fleeing opponents. This reliabiity is offset by relatively low damage — Magic Missiles and Arcane Orb both deal more damage — and the detrimental self-immobilization associated with channeled abilities.
Outsite of team fights, Disintegrate is an excellent waveclearing tool, especially against lined-up Minions that have yet to engage your own team's Minions. In a pinch, it is also useful for revealing nearby Stealthed Heroes by rapidly spinning in a 360 degree motion.
6. Wave of Force
- Mana: 80
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Knock away all enemies from an area and deal 160 (+5% per level) damage.
Whereas Disintegrate is used for its raw damage, Wave Of Force's power lies in its versatility. The Ability's first and foremost purpose is to provide Li-Ming with a form of crowd control, for she otherwise has no such tools as part of her Basic Abilities and Talents.
Wave Of Force is excellent for peeling for oneself or for allies, as the knockback effect instantly creates distance between your target and whomever you may be trying to protect. Wave Of Force also has a very respectable cast range and area of effect, making it a prime means of unconditionally interrupting important channeled abilities such as Kael'thas' Pyroblast or Li Li's Jug of 1,000 Cups.
Due to its near-instantaneous effect, Wave of Force can be used to finish opponents off in a pinch to secure a reset, though it should be noted it still only deals about one third of Desintegrate's total damage.
7. Critical Mass
Getting a Takedown will refresh the cooldown on all of Li-Ming's Abilities.
Critical Mass defines Li-Ming's playstyle. The raw power of this particular Trait means that for any given engagement, your primary goal is to cause at least one enemy Hero to die so that you may exploit consecutive volleys of Abilities. Although focusing on damaging as many opponents as possible may seem like the natural thing to do for a typical Assassin, it is particularly important for Li-Ming players to avoid trying to play the "value game"; focus on taking down one specific target as opposed to trying to maximise the number of targets hit by your area of effect Abilities. Should you succeed, you will end up dealing more incidental damage by throwing out second and third rounds of your Abilities, and will even increase your own survivAbility.
It should be emphasized that without the "resets" provided by Critical Mass (commonly known by players as "snowballing"), Li-Ming is an underwhelming Hero that provides little more than damage. It is absolutely capital to be able to reliably secure kills by improving your skillshot accuracy, offensive decision making, and general APM.
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