Legion Commander

Alt text Valve has been extremely generous in the past few months.

First, there was the 6.79 patch that has introduced a lot of changes into the metagame for both casual and competitive play.

It was followed by the "Three Spirits" update, which finally reunited the family of elemental brothers.

And as a cherry on top, we were given an amazing "Wraith Night" mode with Legion Commander Legion Commander leading the battle against the undead king.

Today we would like to see how big was the impact of Legion Commander on public matchmaking and discuss her strengths and weaknesses.

Popularity and Win rate

Legion Commander, or LC, has promptly reached the the 2nd place in Popularity and it seems she has no intention of leaving the spotlight. Being a ganker/semi-carry/carry with the ability to jungle, she appeals to a large portion of the playerbase. Moreover, the skill required to pilot her efficiently is significantly lower, compared to Ember Spirit Ember Spirit and Earth Spirit Earth Spirit.

Win rate on this hero has flatlined at 48%, qualifying for a Tier 4 in our Pub Tier-List. However, compared to the previous additions of Ember and Earth Spirit, with corresponding WinRates of 42% and 45%, she seems rather powerful.

No Luck - Just Skills

Her skills are both straightforward and versatile. And they all come with some form of a twist.

Overwhelming Odds Overwhelming Odds [Q]: An AoE Nuke that deals more damage the more targets there are within its radius. Not exactly Earthshaker's Echo Slam, but with 200 initial damage and +20 per unit it can considerably harm a poorly positioned enemy team.

It also deals an extra 25% Max HP damage to illusions, countering typical Illusion-based heroes. While it will not necessarily insta-kill Phantom Lancer Phantom Lancer's army, it will surely help identifying the main target, and will allow your team to focus it down.

As if it wasn't enough, "Overwhelming Odds" also provides movement speed. Considering Legion Commander Legion Commander is one of the fastest hero in game with a starting 320 MS, it is really hard to run away from her.

Press The Attack Press The Attack [W]: Another multi-purpose tool at LC's disposal. It can be utilized as a heal, as a DPS buff and as a debuff removal - all at the same time!

Dota 2 has a huge variety of hexes, stuns and other forms of disable. Before LC only Abaddon Abaddon was capable of removing all of them - an advantage that can't be overestimated in casual and competitive play alike.

The fact, that Press the Attack also increases the attack speed of the target for a whopping 120 AS makes it an excellent late-game save for your carry!

Moment of Courage Moment of Courage [E]: The skill that allows LC to jungle and carry. Note, however, that while the increase in lifesteal from extra skillpoint spent is very significant (20%), the chance for the ability to proc is increased only by 2% per level and to maximize DPS at the early levels it might be more rational to max out 2nd and 1st skills first, with only one point in [E].

Duel Duel [R]: Disable? Check! Lifetime Damage Increase? Check! A huge "Winner" banner over your head? Check! This skill makes her the second manliest hero in the world of Dota 2 after Axe Axe. And if the game takes long enough, it can transform LC into the one-shotting, rage-inducing carry we all know.

What a lot of people do not realise, is that this ability also disables most passives including Evasion, Critical Strike and some forms of Bash. In a sense it works very much alike to the [missing hero: doom-bringer]'s ultimate.

A Fitting Armor

Strangely enough, Legion Commander is probably the only hero that actually benefits more from Power Treads Power Treads than Phase Boots Phase Boots - the win rate on these items is 48.17% and 47.57% correspondingly. Another weird thing is that both of these figures are lower than the overall 48.27% win rate on this hero, while Boots of Travel Boots of Travel have a win rate of 85.03%.

It does not mean that going for DPS boots is a bad idea, however. But it surely shows how much extra global presence can help the chances of winning - Dota 2 was and will always be a team game.

Another "dishonourable" mention is Hand of Midas Hand of Midas. Simply put - just don't. Legion Commander does not require extra XP that much - she can gain her levels with heavy ganking - something she excels at. And 2k gold being roughly 80% of the cost for Armlet of Mordiggian Armlet of Mordiggian, makes Hand of Midas a very bad pickup on LC... or any hero for that matter...

When going for the initiation item, you should firstly consider who you are playing against and whether they are going to place [missing item: sentry-wards] or buy Gem of True Sight Gem of True Sight. If you are sure the enemy team is disorganized and there are no other invisibility heroes in your team, extra damage and AS from Shadow Blade Shadow Blade can prove very useful.

In all other cases Blink Dagger Blink Dagger is a safer and more reliable option. The former has a 53.40% win rate, while the latter 57.29% - showing that after almost 9 years the Dota community has finally started to realize that Sentries counter invisibility...

Despite looking great on paper, the Blade Mail Blade Mail actually has a low win rate of 47.71%. That mostly comes from the fact that initially you want to target supports, rather than carries with your Duel Duel. Not only because it will be faster and easier to kill them, but also because they are usually the ones to have disables and debuffs that will make you rethink your decision to challenge the carry. And since supports have a very low auto-attack damage, the usefulness of blademail will be relatively low.

Closing Comments

Even though Legion Commander has not managed to De-Throne the King and Jester of Pubs - Pudge, she is still a very interesting and effective hero to play. And she posses the true spirit of Dota - "easy to learn, hard to master". Hopefully, you have found some of my insights on this hero useful and it will help you grow as a player!

Thank you for reading!

More from The Dotabuff Blog

    I disagree with leaving out Moment of Courage. The heal is the vital part in being able to jungling, not the extra attack. Also, the winrates for the items are likely misleading. The reason that Boots of Travel has such a high winrate is only because if you have the need to get Boots of Travel, you probably have a lot of free money and that means you had a good early game. I am fairly confident that if you were to rush Boots of Travel it wouldn't nearly be as effective as the supposed high winrate. The same reasoning goes for Hand of Midas. It's an early game item, and late game people would sell it anyway. Like bottle, this means it would have a low winrate as dotabuff only checks the ending inventory of players. Yet bottle is still a vital item in mids, it's just that it is often sold later into the game if the team is winning and the player is accumulating farm such that there is a lack of inventory space.

    Otherwise, well formatted and informative.


      KawaiiSocks you only played lc once. and u lost that game.


        I have played Dota 1 for almost 4 years, before switching to Heroes of Newerth, and then coming back to Dota 2)
        I have a rather big experience with the hero)


          It's quite good actually. I've seen too many midases and blademails on failed LCs...

          In most cases tp scrolls do same thing as Boots of travel. You should change your boots with travel only after you have a few big items.


            holy crap. did u notice that shadow blade has been nerfed few month ago? of course not, the pub player are just aware of sentries hahaha...


              Why do people keep on discussing my personality, rather that the content I have written. I find it mildly amusing, to be honest.)

              Also - shadowblade nerf was before the release of the Legion Commander. In no way could it have an impact on the WinRate for this particular hero)

              Stone Cold Steve Austin


                Her passive should grant one extra attack, that is ONE ATTACK with 80% lifesteal. But regardless, if she gets the buff, her NORMAL ATTACKS BENEFIT FROM THE LIFESTEAL AS WELL for a duration.
                That means usually about 3 attacks with 80% lifesteal. Is this instended? I don't think so, as Legion Commander couldn't do this in Dota 1 iirc.


                  way to judge ppl by their profile... Cant get any more stupid than that... Some of us played dota 1 you know...so that makes us (dota 1 players) more experienced than 70% of the ppl that play dota 2. Too bad it doesnt show on the dota 2 account.... God i hate ppl who look at your games played and say you are noob because you dont have 6k games played... And the article is pretty good anyway... Altho i disagree with some points it is well written.


                    It is very accurate, but I agree with the guy that says that BoT is only bought when you have lots of item already. Just stick with your boots of preference (Phase IMO [hasted after using overwhelming odds]) and change to travel later.


                      This hero was so Over Powered in dota, and she got nerfed from those days. But still hero is OP.

                      Post-Prime Ryugo

                        Nice text, I just disagree about two things.

                        First - Not leveling Moment of Courage is no good for jungling build. I believe LC is obliged to jungle whenever she can.

                        Second - Boots of Travel being at +80% does not mean that the item is the best choice. Players most likely started with Treads/Phase and then bought Travel at the end of the game because of the mobility. The item is useful, but not as useful as the other boots during early/mid game.


                          LC is one of the best carry in this game period.


                            Yeah, I might have not made myself clear - I really think that DPS boots are a way to go for LC (though, for some reasons Tranquils actually have a higher winrate). BoT's should be built after 3-4 slots, or even later, depending on whether you are facing "Rat" dota heroes like Furion and AM, and you know you will have to TP a lot.

                            Thanks a lot for feedback)


                              Also, now that I think of it a bit more.

                              Legion Commander is not necessarily a hard carry, unless you get to the very late stages of the game and have +a lot of extra damage. Hence, if she does not get to a point when she is supposed to have BoT (pretty much a must on most heroes in the late game), she is likely to lose - she did not get to the critical mass of being a hard carry.

                              I am not saying that you should turtle a lot with LC - after all I still strongly believe that she is more of a semi/ganker/initiator, rather than a hardcarry, but I guess it kind of explains why with BoT she almost doubles her chances to win. The game went long enough for her to get pumped in duel. And an occasional "gifted" damage spread throughout several enemy heroes is not as powerful as a focused one on a single hero - same reasoning as to why only one hero farming in a lane makes for the most optimal outcome.

                              Stone Cold Steve Austin

                                I'd really like if someone addressed the point I brought up though.
                                That being Moment of Courage not only giving an extra attack with 80% lifesteal, but carrying the lifesteal over to several her normal attacks too.
                                As I've said, I don't believe the same happened in DotA 1, at least I don't remember. Is this intentional, or just left unissued?


                                  Moment of Courage is given as a buff for a short period of time when you proc it, causing your auto attacks to give lifesteal, so it is intentional.


                                    This is a pretty good post and very explanatory even though I believe even with wards and such shadow blade is still a very viable option seeing as the 22 damage and 30 attack speed are very useful for the relatively low cost of 3000 gold and the 150 break damage is pretty devastating earlier in the game and the bonus move speed is still very useful. Also, the 3 second disable on blink dagger can mean the difference in dying or not especially if you are running away from a single person and they have used their only disable (if they even have one) so the bonus move speed would help regardless where as the blink is disabled for 3 seconds per hit landed by your attacker.

                                    To address the comment where LC should be obliged to jungle. That is totally false. LC is a hard carry if she gets the farm she needs early game and if your in-lane support is good at harassing and denying then you would get 2x the farm you would in jungle. Also, lane legion is a lot more efficient than jungle LC regardless of the situation seeing as its better and faster farm and if needed you can always switch to jungle if its REALLY necessary.

                                    Stone Cold Steve Austin
                                      This comment was deleted
                                      Stone Cold Steve Austin

                                        Scratch that, it is the same in DotA1 alright.
                                        Then intentional, it is. Though I think updating the tooltip is in order, since that's the strongest point of the skill.

                                        Miku Plays

                                          What a lot of people do not realise, is that this ability also disables most passives including Evasion, Critical Strike and some forms of Bash.

                                          Burn PA Burn :)

                                          Dead Inside

                                            имба ебаная


                                              The boots of travel percentage is scewed by the fact most people only buy it when they are well and truely on top

                                              Stone Cold Steve Austin

                                                By "this" ability, you mean the duel I assume, my VOCALOID princess.
                                                And yes, I've just recently realized that.

                                                Dark Masky

                                                  Nerf that free rapier hero. Total broken. This report ir so not true.


                                                    She isn't hard carry. She's a ganker with a decent carry potential, but this potential is not that good when compared to that of a true hard carry like Medusa, Spectre or Void. Yes, LC actually can become ridiculously strong with a lot of won duels, but this won't happen in any normal game. You can also claim, that Silencer is one of the hardest carries because theoretically he can end up with 120+ stolen intelligence, leaving enemies crippled, but that's just wrong.


                                                      I like putting wards in enemy jungle to block camps and annoy Legion Commander.


                                                        "makes Hand of Midas a very bad pickup on LC... or any hero for that matte"

                                                        I lol'd

                                                        TunnelRAT - (inzu)

                                                          Actually, I find phase boots way more useful on this hero, than treads. Phase -> Duel. Win.
                                                          Armlet and Blade Mail are really situational.
                                                          Blink Dagger vs Shadow blade situational.
                                                          For the end game I have found my self with a lot of strange items from ranging Desolator to Scythe of Vise.
                                                          Mid lane and jungle works the best. Only once I have seen myself outplayed in mid and that's Lina. That can just deal massive damage on early levels. So nukers are the way to go to counter her in mid.
                                                          Lesbian Commander is one of the most versatile heroes in the pool atm.
                                                          And easy to counter with a lot of different methods.

                                                          TunnelRAT - (inzu)

                                                            Extra, She just laughs at pub Nature Prophets for easy duels.


                                                              As a comment regarding the choice of boots, the win rates for items is going to be misleading, and you seem to be assuming causality.

                                                              Take, for example, the divine rapier. On pretty much any hero, this item has a win rate upwards of 80%. Does this make the divine rapier a good choice? Of course not, it just means that the hero wins a large percentage of games that end with them having a divine rapier. The fact that they've been able to even build the item indicates that we're already looking at a subset of games in which that hero has a significant advantage.

                                                              The same holds true for boots of travel, which is a frequent 6th item that combines two item slots (movement speed and teleportation) into one. After getting travels, the hero can sell their old boots and buy a new 6th item, truly becoming 6-slotted. So most games that LC ends with BoTs aren't won ~because~ of the BoTs, but rather contain BoTs ~because~ the LC was fully-farmed and had effectively already won. Thus the win rate of BoTs will be upwardly skewed.

                                                              The opposite is true for small but crucial items or transient items (bottle, iron brach, midas, etc). Hand of midas can win games, but if the midas-carrier does well then they'll sell the midas and become 6-slotted. Thus the win-rate of the midas is based ~only~ on games where the carrier has not done well enough to sell the midas, skewing the midas' win rate downwards.

                                                              Dwayne Vrock Johnson

                                                                I was gonna post Bear's post, but he already did. Read that instead.


                                                                  Definitely! agreed with bear


                                                                    why do u put ) after every sentence


                                                                      Требую это на русском С:



                                                                        будет в ближайшее время) Будем стараться и переводить все вовремя.


                                                                        Yeah, I completely agree with you. I have made myself a bit more clear in both the blog post and in the comment section - pretty much explaining what you have said, without going to deep into the statistics side.

                                                                        To be clear once more - I think that the DPS boots (Treads and Phase boots) are a way to go. Just explaining that having boots of travel at the later stages of the game (not necesarily the 6th slot, could be 5th or even 4th, if you are facing Furion or similar "rat" dota heroes) is a must.


                                                                          The extra attcks on MoC is not intentional, im almost positive that the delay in the patch the night of wraith night was due to them trying to fix it. many many comments on dev.dota about it not being right and needing a fix.

                                                                          Stone Cold Steve Austin

                                                                            So I wasn't COMPLETELY crazy with that, I see.
                                                                            Seriously, it gives MoC 3 or 4 times the strength the tooltip implies.


                                                                              LC is not a carry at all. She is support hero. I actually played few matches with her as a support and it works good. Buy courier, buy wards, max your first skill first, then max seconds skill and start working on third skill at level 10. And you still can win duels, even without any damage items, just catch some weak support hero out of position and let your teammates help you kill him.