Li Li Hero Guide by JAM Hwhisky
Ready For Adventure!
A guide to Li Li by JAM hwhisky
In this current meta of burst assassins, supports like Uther, LT. Morales, Rehgar and Tassadar are seeing a lot of gameplay. This is due to their basic kits alone offering some sort of denial to the instant death that burst Assassins in particular bring to the table. In General the bread and butter of supporting is to keep as many as your allies alive as possible! This is why anti-burst supports fit so well into this meta. Other supports of course all have forms of anti-burst; but since it is not offered in their basic kits, they are often forced to wait for power spikes and are usually lacking throughout certain stages of the game.
Li Li is one support that is often overlooked in this meta. This is due to her kit not offering a reliable source of immediate assistance against a high burst team and she is also lacking in CC. Li Li is certainly not a weak hero, in this guide we will be taking an indepth look at her talents as well as discussing several play styles for Li Li. I will also discuss situations and team compositions where Li Li will particularly thrive.
Passive: Fast Feet
No Cooldown, No Mana
Upon taking damage, gain 10% movement speed for 1 second.
Li Li’s passive ability Fast Feet gives her a nice level of safety against consistent enemy damage. Against heroes that deal continuous damage (such as Valla or Raynor) taking damage to activate Fast Feet often benefits yourself more than it benefits the other team, as it allows you to escape from very dangerous situations. Damage over time effects (such as Envenom) will continue to trigger Fast Feet. Fast Feet is Li Li’s only means of escaping so positioning is very important for Li Li.
Q: Healing Brew
Cooldown: 3 seconds, Mana: 30
Heal lowest health nearby ally (prioritizing heroes) for a moderate amount.
This strong single target heal is Li Li’s most reliable form of sustain for her team. It has an incredibly low cooldown as well as a low mana cost. Be sure to use this as often as possible throughout teamfights and skirmishes. Healing Brew can also be used to heal up mercenary camps to create greater pressure, don’t commit too much time to healing mercenaries though. The biggest weakness of this ability is that you cannot target it on the person who may need the most assistance - since the Brew travels to the lowest health ally, it will often heal your backline rather than your frontline (who is generally taking a lot of damage). It is also important to keep in mind the short range of Healing Brew, which can be used to your advantage if you are positioned correctly.
W: Cloud Serpent
Cooldown: 10 seconds, Mana: 30
Summon a Cloud Serpent on an allied Hero that attacks nearby enemies for 8 seconds.
Cloud Serpent gives Li Li a very reliable source of consistent damage throughout all stages of the game. Like most of Li Li’s kit the mana cost is very low and cooldown is practically ready by the time your previous Serpent has worn off. Although the single shots from the Cloud Serpent seem almost insignificant sometimes, the high attack speed of the Serpent will greatly improve your damage output. Be sure to throw this ability onto your frontline as they engage in battle, as the Serpent’s attack range is rather short. In particular builds Cloud Serpent becomes a key part of Li Li’s kit.
E: Blinding Wind
Cooldown: 10 seconds, Mana: 40
Throw a cloud of Blinding Wind at the nearest two enemies (prioritizing heroes), blinding them and causing low damage on impact. Affected targets miss all basic attacks for 2 seconds. Blinding Wind is the most important ability in Li Li’s kit and can single handedly win teamfights and even games. Against an enemy team that relies heavily on auto-attackers, Blinding Wind becomes their worst nightmare. It is important to consider who on the enemy team is closest to you when you cast this ability, as the Wind will go to them. This ability loses a lot of it’s effectiveness if used on targets that rely mostly on abilities (mages are a good example), although every hero in the game is hindered without being able to use auto-attacks. Due to the 10 second cooldown make sure you do not use this spell prematurely or you may not have it ready when you need it most. You may be thinking, “It only hits 2 targets and deals minor damage, surely it can’t have that big of an impact.” But through certain talent choices this ability hits up to 4 targets and gains a hefty slow, making it an impactful ability against all team compositions.
R: Jug of 1,000 Cups
Cooldown: 70 Seconds, Mana: 100
Rapidly tosses brew out to the most injured nearby ally (prioritizing heroes). Last 6 seconds. Considered Li Li’s stronger ultimate ability choice in solo-support team compositions. She channels this ability for 6 seconds and cannot use her basic abilities for the duration, Fast Feet however can still be activated by taking damage. Li Li will throw out 24 ‘mini-brews’ gradually which effectively do the same thing as her Healing Brew but for a lower heal amount per brew. There is a delay before your first mini-brew reaches your ally, so try to use this ability preemptively if you can. The most important things to consider when using this ability is your positioning and your opponents team composition. The simplest way for an enemy team to deal with your Jug of 1,000 Cups is to quickly use a Stun or Silence effect on Li Li, for this reason you should always try and position yourself safely behind allied Heroes or Minions to avoid any sort of CC the enemy team has. One last thing to remember is you will not be able to use your basic abilities during Jug of 1,000 Cups and should therefore use them before popping this ability, make sure you check your mana though! I recommend choosing this Ultimate Ability in the majority of situations.
R: Water Dragon
Cooldown: 45 seconds, Mana 100
Summon a Water Dragon that after a delay hits the nearest enemy Hero and all enemies near them, dealing moderate damage and slowing all targets hit by 70% for 4 seconds. Water Dragon is a very powerful offensive tool. The slow is incredibly harsh and the size of area of effect is quite large. Unlike Jug of 1,000 Cups, Li Li still has full access to her basic abilities while summoning the Water Dragon. The low cooldown means that it will always be ready for team fights and you can use it recklessly without majorly hindering your team (no time spent waiting for cooldowns). If you decide to take Water Dragon, you will find that without a second support your team is lacking overall sustain - for this reason I do not suggest taking Water Dragon unless you already have a strong support on your team.
Li Li is a high utility support with strong kiting and decent healing output. Her low cooldowns and low mana costs make her kit forgiving for newer players. Her passive ability Fast Feet is often underestimated, allowing you to make some surprising escapes. None of her abilities require accuracy or skillshots so you can be sure that Blinding Wind is always going to connect. Access to Healing Ward and Shrink Ray talents as well as some unique talents I will discuss later in this guide.
Li Li’s biggest weakness is the lack of CC she can offer. Outside of the blind effect on her Blinding Wind her basic kit offers no form of crowd control. She has talent options for slows but in many cases a slow is not enough. This is purely the reason that she does not see much gameplay at a competitive level. Her healing can feel underwhelming in the early stages of the game. Another one of her biggest weaknesses is that her Healing Brew cannot be targeted and is often used on Heroes who are retreating from the fight rather than those in the fray. Li Li’s health pool is quite low making her an easy target for high burst assassins. She also does not have access to Cleanse, which is a very powerful support tool.
One of the most enjoyable things about playing Li Li is her variety of build options. She gets access to talents that no other hero in the game can choose and I wouldn’t consider any of her talents obsolete. In this section of the guide I will briefly be summarising Li Li’s talent options and then discussing different builds and the playstyles that accompany them. For a quick guide to Li Li simply skip this talent analysis and see Quick Builds later in the guide.
Gather regeneration globes to gain permanent mana regeneration. A solid talent choice for most Supports including Li Li.
Increases the range of Healing Brew by 30%. Not a bad talent as it allows you to position safer during team fights.
Increase the duration of Cloud Serpent by 50%. This talent is very powerful as it allows you to have multiple Cloud Serpents active at once. It also has great synergy with late game talents. If you feel you do not need Conjurer’s Pursuit I suggest this option.
Increase Blinding Wind damage by 50%. Synergises with other Blinding Wind talents but generally is not needed. Should be considered within double-support team compositions.
Places a healing ward that heals nearby allies for 2% of their health every second for 10 seconds. Surprisingly this talent can have a large impact when playing Li Li. Putting down the healing ward and then using Jug of 1,000 Cups is a very large amount of area of effect healing.
Cloud Serpent heals the friendly unit for 75% of damage it deals. A powerful tool to sustain your frontline. The healing out of this talent gives a nice amount of sustain to your friendly Cloud Serpent target. This talent is very strong if you are planning on taking other Cloud Serpent talents.
Increases the number of enemies hit by Blinding Wind from 2 to 4. This talent is incredibly powerful as it can blind almost a whole enemy team. I recommend this talent in many scenarios even if you are not playing Blinding Wind build.
Increases the duration of Blinding Wind by 50%. Not a bad talent but it is simply outshined by every other 4th level talent option. This can still be considered against an enemy team with a ‘Seasoned Marksman’, as the longer blind can shut down certain picks (Raynor mostly).
Shake It Off:
Reduce the duration of the next Stun or Slow effect against you by 75%. Can only trigger once every 15 seconds. This is a unique talent only available to Li Li. Shake it Off has a very low cooldown and makes Li Li much safer in general. I recommend this talent against teams with heavy CC.
After casting Healing Brew, it’s cost is reduced by 10 mana. Not a bad talent within certain builds. If you have taken Conjurer’s Pursuit at 1st level you shouldn’t need to consider this talent.
The Good Stuff:
Healing Brew also heals a small amount over time (roughly 30% of initial heal). The Good Stuff is a very nice extra little heal on top of your Healing Brew. I would consider this to be the strongest talent on this line, rivaled only by Shake It Off.
Cloud Serpents attacks also bounce to 3 additional targets dealing 50% of initial damage. This talent is pretty strong if you are building a damage orientated Li Li. In most cases this talent should be ignored.
When Fast Feet is triggered, gain 2 charges of Block. Can only occur once every 10 seconds. Although this is a very powerful talent, it is often outshined by other talent options on this line. However this talent can still be considered against auto-attack based enemies, particularly Melee assassins.
Blinding Wind also slows enemy movement speed by 25% for 2 seconds. This talent by itself might not seem that impactful, but when taken with other talents such as Mass Vortex and Gale Force this talent becomes incredibly powerful. This talent also gives Li Li’s basic kit much more utility and safety.
Blinding Wind increases ability power by 5% for each enemy hero hit. Lasts for 8 seconds and stacks up to 4 times. While this talent does seem nice on paper, it’s impact does not seem large enough to justify taking this option over other 13th level talents. It can however slightly increase your overall damage and healing output. I recommend avoiding this talent unless you are very comfortable with Li Li.
Activate to reduce an enemy hero’s attack and movement speed by 50% for 4 seconds. 60 second cooldown. Generally the best option to take on this line. Even if the enemy does not have an auto-attack orientated pick, the movement speed slow itself is powerful enough to justify taking this talent. However if you find that you do not utilize actives well I would recommend straying from this talent, as other options at 13th level are also strong.
Doubles the movement speed granted from Fast Feet when below 50% health. Generally a weak talent. It does however synergise well within a certain build and this talent can also be considered against heroes with strong chase potential.
Two For One:
Healing Brew now heals an additional target but has a longer cooldown. This talent is a double-edged blade. While the healing potential of Li Li’s Healing Brew goes up by exactly 50%, the longer cooldown can also become a detriment. Only take this talent if you will be taking Kung Fu Hustle at 20th level.
Healing Brew now removes CC effects from the target and increases movement speed of the target by 20% for 3 seconds. This talent should always be taken against CC heavy teams for very obvious reasons. A personal favorite of mine, as I feel this talent makes up for the lack of Cleanse.
You also gain a Cloud Serpent whenever you cast it on another ally. This talent adds a potent amount of both damage and sustain to your team when picked within certain builds. If you are taking other Cloud Serpent talents then i suggest taking Serpent Sidekick.
Jug of 1,000,000 Cups:
Jug of 1,000 Cups hits 2 targets at a time. This talent literally doubles the healing output of Jug of 1,000 Cups. Although this might seem like an unrivalled option, since Jug of 1,000 Cups can be so easily interrupted I do not recommend this talent for a player new to Li Li. Other talents at 20th level will have a larger impact generally speaking.
After hitting a target with Water Dragon, another Water Dragon is summoned at the point of impact. This talent is a lot of fun to use. If you are playing a damage style of Li Li I would definitely suggest taking this talent. Being able to Double Dragon every 45 seconds can have a major impact on the game. This also gives your team an incredible amount of chase or dive potential.
Kung Fu Hustle:
Ability cooldowns refresh 150% quicker while Fast Feet is active. Kung Fu Hustle is an incredibly powerful ability that is only available to Li Li. This option lets her pump out abilities from her basic kit almost non-stop. I recommend this talent to get maximum value from both Blinding Wind and Healing Brew.
Activate to give all nearby allied heroes a shield for 20% of their maximum health, last 3 seconds. 45 second cooldown. Storm Shield is always a talent that can be considered regardless of the support you are playing. It has a very low cooldown and is the best counter to area of effect damage.
Bolt of The Storm:
Activate to teleport a short distance. 70 Second cooldown. While Bolt of The Storm is a powerful talent, it seems slightly out of place on Li Li. Taking this talent will have a very low impact in terms of improving your utility. While the idea of a full evasive build on Li Li sounds fun, it is simply not effective.
Basic Support/Utility build
Conjurer’s Pursuit -> Mass Vortex -> The Good Stuff -> Jug of 1,000 Cups -> Shrink Ray -> Two For One -> Kung Fu Hustle.
This Li Li build is for general use against most team compositions. Be sure to gather as many regeneration globes as you can throughout the game to get Conjurer’s Pursuit rolling. The combination of The Good Stuff, Two For One and Kung Fu Hustle gives you a very potent amount of healing. Mass Vortex is essential to deny the enemies as much damage as possible. As always Storm Shield should be considered against heavy AoE damage.
If the enemy team has a lot of Crowd Control effects, at 7th level take Shake It Off and at 16th level take Herbal Cleanse.
Cloud Serpent build
Timeless Creature -> Mending Serpent -> Pitch Perfect -> Jug of 1,000 Cups -> Shrink Ray -> Serpent Sidekick -> Kung Fu Hustle
This Li Li build will give you a nice amount of sustained damage while still having enough utility and support to solo support. Pitch Perfect is the preferred 7th level talent here, as you are ignoring Conjurer’s Pursuit at 1st level. Be sure you make use of your Serpent Sidekick talent before using Jug of 1,000 cups.
Maximum Healing Output
Conjurer’s Pursuit -> Healing Ward -> The Good Stuff -> Jug of 1,000 Cups -> Surging Winds -> Two for One -> Jug of 1,000,000 Cups
This Li Li build has incredibly potent area of effect healing. Surging Winds does provide a large enough impact to justify taking it, but like always Shrink Ray should be considered. Be sure to use your abilities in this order, Q > E > Healing Ward > Q > R. This combo will provide you with the maximum amount of AoE healing.
Water Dragon Li Li
Gale Force -> Mass Vortex -> Lightning Serpent -> Water Dragon -> Surging Winds -> Serpent Sidekick -> Double Dragon
If you have a second support on your team, this build will provide you with a nice amount of ranged damage while still offering the utility within Li Li’s basic kit. Lightning Serpent is generally a weak talent, but when Serpent Sidekick is taken with it the damage output is really nice. This build is surprisingly viable and I would recommend playing it if your team is lacking damage. Double Dragon may not be needed for your team, in this case I recommend Kung Fu Hustle or if the other support is not taking Storm Shield then you should.
Full Evasive build
Pro Toss -> Lingering Blind -> Shake It Off -> Jug of 1,000 Cups -> Elusive Feet -> Safety Spring -> Kung Fu Hustle
So this build certainly is not the most effective in terms of utility. Pro Toss let’s you sit even safer throughout the game, while the focus on Fast Feet talents make you very difficult to lock down and kill when they can eventually dive you. Technically Bolt of The Storm would make this build even more evasive, but please don’t choose Bolt of The Storm on Li Li.
Match-ups and Synergies
Li Li unfortunately has more bad match ups than good match ups. She is vulnerable to high burst and hard CC and it just so happens that those are the two things that the current meta consists of the most. She will struggle against any assassin that relies on dealing damage through abilities - this means that some of her best match ups (e.g. Valla, Tychus) can play around Li Li by changing their builds and straying away from auto-attack orientated talents.
She will however thrive against a lot of ranged heroes throughout the early phases of the game, before their burst gets too high for her to handle. A particularly good time to pick Li Li is if you find yourself against a Lunara. Lunara’s poison damage will continuously activate Fast Feet allowing Li Li to easily escape, not to mention Blinds and Shrink Ray are Lunara’s worst nightmare.
One last match up I feel I should mention is if you find yourself against a Jaina. Although Li Li would not generally be a recommended pick against Jaina, her 16th level talent Herbal Cleanse is a very hard counter.
Synergy between hero’s is generally the best reason to pick a hero in a team composition, however Li Li doesn’t seem to have any outstanding synergy with any other particular pick. If you play Water Dragon build you will have very nice synergy within a “wombo combo” style team composition, but Water Dragon is not a very common build. Instead she is solely a counter-pick to auto-attack orientated teams. In a situation where Burst Assassins have been banned out or picked by your own team, the other team will resort to Attack Damage style assassins (such as Valla and Lunara). In this situation Li Li fits perfectly into your team composition and she will thrive throughout that match. Many heroes that are not auto-attack based assassins still greatly benefit from their auto attacks (e.g. Arthas, Kharazim, Zagara) so Li Li is a pick that can be regularly considered, just remember, it’s all about those Blinding Winds.
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