Loki is a trickster mage, which relies on deception rather than brute force, unlike his brother Thor. He isn’t an exceptional damage dealer as some of the other mages, but he is very good at controlling his opponents. Overall, Loki is a very interesting, extremely fun, and not overly difficult character to use.
- Master trickster, very good at surprise attacks/ambush
- Solid damage output
- Very good control (everything except S1 has some control)
- Powerful Ultimate can often catch multiple opponents in the AoE. Great for team fights
- Decent Survivability. Loki can feint death, and resurrect himself shortly after falling down
- Mediocre damage output in the very early game, but solid at skirmishing (poking)
- Weak against heroes with high mobility, since they can quickly close the distance and can get out of the Ulti’s AoE
- No mobility skills
Loki Item Build
|Wand of Watoomb|
Loki early game (lvl 8)
We already mentioned Loki’s passive ability that enables him to get up after being knocked out, so let’s take a quick look at the rest of his package.
Illusions (S1) I probably the Loki’s most unique ability, as it enables him to turn into a minion, creep, or a friendly hero that is alive at the moment of activating the spell. Now, I will try to explain this ability as best as I can, because some players might be a bit confused by the in-game description. If you fully understand how this works, feel free to skip this paragraph. The Illusions will be broken on three conditions: after 30 seconds have passed, if Loki takes damage, or if he uses an ability. From my experience with him, I would say that the third condition is by far the most common. When the Illusion ends, Loki will become invisible for the next 3 seconds while creating his own Phantom (illusion) that will charge towards the nearest enemy hero, exploding upon reaching him, or dying if it can’t reach enemy heroes within 6 seconds. The illusion is great for setting up ambushes, and the Phantom can be used in one very nice combo, but more on that later. The Phantom is also a useful distraction as newer players will sometimes make a mistake, in the heat of the battle, and target him instead of Loki.
Frosty Lineage is an extremely useful spell that enables Loki to freeze his enemies and hold them in place (and also deals with some damage to everyone around the frozen target). There are two important things about this spell. Firstly, the freezing effect isn’t instant and will activate after one or two seconds, which isn’t great. On the plus side, S2 can be used while moving (without stopping), making it very useful when retreating (especially because Loki doesn’t have any mobility skills). Simply, cast S2 between yourself and pursuing enemy/enemies, forcing him/them to either go around, or risk being frozen – but don’t stop moving. Either way, this little trick helped me to get away from some hairy situations more than once.
Concussive Beam (S3) is Loki’s most often used skill, since it deals solid damage, slows down the opponent, and has a very short cooldown.
A quick word about upgrading skills. I would suggest unlocking all three, then upgrading S3 as much as possible, followed by S2, and finally S1. Ulti should be taken whenever it’s available, that’s a no brainer.
During the early game, Loki should keep back and poke, since he just can’t deal a huge amount of damage without the Ultimate. However, he is quite good at poking and can do well with a simple S3 (to slow down), followed by the S2 combo. The reasoning is simple, it will be more difficult for a slower opponent to get out of the S2 area (which can be somewhat easy to avoid normally), so you’re more likely to freeze him.
More ‘advanced’ combo that takes full advantage of Loki’s skills would look more like this. Use S1 to disguise yourself into a minion, and join the group – more experienced players will realize there should be only three minions in the group, but it might take them a second or two to process this information which is usually enough. After that, S2 should be used to freeze your foe, as soon as you get in the range – this will trigger the invisibility and the phantom, and if you surprise the opposing player, he might not react fast enough to get out of the S2 area in time. Follow it up with the S3, so both you and the phantom shoot at the frozen opponent (which is a sitting duck, and impossible to miss). Note that individual S3 beams will be weaker when shot by you and the phantom, but two weaker beams are still significantly more powerful than a single S3 beam.
Another variation of this combo would be to hide in the bush while S1 disguise is active and do everything as above from that position. This way you might be able to completely confuse the enemies (especially newer players), causing them to target the phantom (that is running towards them and shooting Concussive Beam) instead of yourself.
TIP: One very dirty way to get kills with Loki in the early game is to disguise yourself with the S1, sneak up on the enemy that is attacking the friendly tower, and freeze him with the S2.
Regardless of the outcome of these combos, you should always keep your distance and wait for the Loki’s skills to get off the CD. Keep in mind that Loki’s strengths are trickery and deception rather than brute force, and he really lacks in the damage department without the Ultimate. In short, Loki is more of a hit and run character, with very good control abilities, and should really avoid prolonged battles.
Asgardian Magic (Ultimate) will finally enable Loki to dish out some serious punishment, instead of just poking. With this spell, Loki creates three phantoms, that cover a very large (triangular) area. All enemies caught inside it will get huge speed debuff, suffer some damage over time, and will be hit by a huge blast of energy if they stay inside it for two seconds… Well, luckily, Loki has the means to keep them in there, as we are about to see.
At this point in time, the Loki can finally put his ambushing skills, which he practiced for the first few levels, to good use. Use any method of camouflage that you think will work best (S1 into a minion wave or bush) and try to catch the enemies off guard with the S2 and freeze them. So, everything is the same as before, except now we will immediately follow up with the Ultimate. One point though, use the Asgardian Magic before your targets become frozen, because it takes approximately one second for this to happen, and if you time this right they will have a very small chance to escape from the Ultimate. This combo can be followed up by the S3 (Loki + Phantom beam). In short, the point of the combo is to time the S2, freeze one or more enemies and keep them inside the AoE of the Ultimate, so they receive the full damage from this powerful spell. Well, if you manage to ambush a squishier character with this combo, you’re very likely to get your very first kill playing Loki… Congratulations! Now let’s move to the late game.
TIP: Quickly switching lanes while disguised is a good way to get a jump on enemy heroes. Trying to catch off guard player that is in your own lane can be very difficult if he’s familiar with Loki’s abilities.
Loki mid-late game
After feeling underpowered in the early game, Loki finally becomes a force to be reckoned with in the mid and late game. Now, he’s ultimate has a much shorter cooldown, due to the higher ability level and items, and has the potential to dish out enormous amounts of damage in team fights.
The Loki has good synergy with two types of characters. The first are heroes that can stun/immobilize multiple enemies, decreasing their chance to escape from the Asgardian magic. I had some very good games while I played Loki with the Cloak and Dagger and Iceman on my team (not in the same game), but there are really many other heroes that would work well, the only prerequisite is good coordination.
In the other group are the characters that deal damage over time in a large area, just like Loki. Remember that Asgardian magic also significantly slows down all enemies within it. I personally had one very good game in which I used Loki’s Ulti to slow down enemies while allied Thor was using his own Ulti to smite them… This combination was able to instantly destroy almost all opponents caught inside the AoE, except for tanks of course. This is only one example, there are other heroes that would work well here, like Doctor Strange, Star-Lord, Corvus Glaive, War Machine, etc.
Well, during the team fights try to coordinate with your allies, especially with the heroes that have from the second group that have a good synergy with Loki. If you manage two catch, multiple enemies, inside the AoE, you have a very high chance to win a team fight and are one step closer to victory.
Whatever you do, just keep in mind that Loki just can’t do much without his ultimate, so try to save it up and have it ready during the next big battle. On the other hand, avoid using it too conservatively, since it’s CD will go down in the late game, and some opportunities are just too good to pass by.
Another way for Loki to contribute to his team (yeah it’s the Ulti again) is to use his Ultimate as an area denial spell. This can be extremely beneficial if your team is trying to push the last tower, but there are enemies defending it. Loki can force them to move out of the area, probably buying enough time for the team to destroy it.
Similarly, it can be also used defensively, but only if delaying the enemy for two seconds is worth using the Ulti and not the waste. On the other hand, if the enemy team gets too aggressive and attacks your ally under the friendly tower… Ahem, well let’s just say that being caught in Loki’s Asgardian Magic under the hostile tower tends to be a very unpleasant experience.
On the final note, try not to die deep inside the enemy territory while playing Loki even if your resurrection isn’t on cooldown. You shouldn’t be charging ahead of your team in the first place. Secondly, the enemies will gather up and just hammer you back into the ground if your allies aren’t close by to help, rendering this very good passive ability useless.