Friday, June 6, 2014

Hero Abbreviations

Dota 2 Hero Abbreviations

Alch = Alchemist
AA = Ancient Apparition
AM = Anti-Mage
Bat = Batrider
BM = Beastmaster
BS = Bloodseeker
BH = Bounty Hunter
Brew = Brewmaster
Bristle or BB = Bristleback
Brood = Broodmother
Centaur = Centaur Warrunner
CK = Chaos Knight
Clock = Clockwerk
CM = Crystal Maiden
DS = Dark Seer
DP = Death Prophet
DK = Dragon Knight
Drow = Drow Ranger
ES = Earthshaker
Earth Spirit
ET or Elder = Elder Titan
EM or Ember = Ember Spirit
FV or Faceless or Void = Faceless Void
Gandalf = Keeper of the Light
Gyro = Gyrocopter
Io = Wisp
Jak = Jakiro
Jugg = Juggernaut
KotL or Keeper = Keeper of the Light
LC = Legion Commander
Lesh = Leshrac
Naix = Lifestealer
LD = Lone Druid
Syllabear = Lone Druid
Lyncan = Lyncanthrope
Mag = Magnus
Morph = Morphling
Naga = Naga Siren
NP = Nature's Prophet
Necro = Necrophos (formerly Necrolyte)
NS = Night Stalker
Nyx or NA = Nyx Assassin
OM or Ogre = Ogre Magi
Omni = Omniknight
OD = Outworld Devourer/Destroyer
PA = Phantom Assassin
PL = Phantom Lancer (also "Cancer Lancer")
QoP = Queen of Pain
SK = Sand King
SD = Shadow Demon
SF = Shadow Fiend
SS = Shadow Shaman (or Storm Spirit)
SM = Skywrath Mage
SB = Spirit Breaker
Storm or SS = Storm Spirit
TA = Templar Assassin
TB = Terrorblade
Tide = Tidehunter
Timber = Timbersaw
Treant = Treant Protector
Troll = Troll Warlord
VS or Venge = Vengeful Spirit
Veno = Venomancer
WR = Windranger (formerly Windrunner)
WD = Witch Doctor
WK = Wraith King (formerly Skeleton King, or Skellie)
Zeus (also known as Merlin)

Flowchart: Hero Selection

This needs to be put in a flowchart, but it's a work-in-progress for now.

Dota 2 Flow Chart for Hero Selection:
Choose your strat:
  1. Pushing (see pushing heroes to pick & anti-push heroes to ban)
    1. Choose pushing-supports as your first picks. Try to select heroes with good teamfight to obscure your choice of strategy, and to be able to win fights when you group up to push.
    2. Choose a semi-carry or early-effect carry who can push (Luna, CK, Gyro, Tiny, DK, Juggernaut, etc).
    3. Choose a mid with push (Tinker, QoP, Puck, Zeus, etc.)
    4. Know that you need to end the game early (before 30 mins if possible).
  2. Teamfight (choose most flexible heroes first, then mid, then carry last)
  3. Gank & Snowball
    1. No more than 1 invis hero (too easy to counter whole team if > 1)
    2. Mid should be ganker hero who can farm enemies at L6, and dominate mid.
    3. Consider aggressive tri-lane to shut down enemy carry
    4. Supports should have nukes/disables and some push to take towers after successful ganks.
    5. Good idea to ban the type of heroes that could counter-gank (Wisp, KotL, NP) or counter-push (KotL, Dazzle, Lina, Tinker)
  4. Split Push / Global Strat (see mobile heroes and split-push heroes – ban gankers & supports with teleports such as Wisp, KotL, etc). First-pick NP if possible.
If at least 1 true support on our team take Lion (Tranq boots, Wand, Soul Ring, Eul’s)
If no supports, or only semi-supports Lich (try for Force Staff) or Shadow Shaman (Regen, Eul’s)

If no carry -> melee carry -> Lifestealer, Chaos Knight, Sven, Dragon Knight, Alchemist
If need jungler -> Lifestealer or Ursa, Enigma, Legion Commander
If need ranged carry -> Drow Ranger, Luna, Shadowfiend, Viper, Gyro, Medusa
If need ganker -> Nyx Assassin, QoP, Slardar, Storm Spirit, etc.
If need support pusher -> Shadow Shaman, KotL, Leshrac, Lina, Veno
If need split pusher -> Nature’s Prophet, Tinker, Lycan
Paired with gank-style carry:  Shadow Shaman, Keeper, Lion, Leshrac, Shadow Demon, Veno
Paired with weak melee carry:  Lich, Crystal Maiden, Lion
Support - If lots of melee on team -> Vengeful spirit, Beastmaster, Dazzle
Lots of mana-dependent enemies, with big ultimates -> Silencer, Nyx
Need to counter a melee carry -> Lifestealer, Viper, Ursa, Razor
Need AOE damage -> Earthshaker, Sand King, Venomancer, Gyrocopter, Ancient Apparition, Obsidian Destroyer (Int based), Tidehunter, Warlock
Need AOE disable/positioning -> Naga, Enigma, Magnus, Dark Seer, Clockwerk (cogs),Wyvern, Earthshaker.

Match an enemy hard carry -> Faceless Void, Phantom Assassin, Alchemist, Anti-mage, Sven

If your Hard Carry = Chaos Knight, Skeleton King or Tiny, then good pick = Wisp, Shadow Shaman, Lich, Dazzle

How to Choose Supports

Dota 2:  How to Choose Supports:

This article is from another place on the web, which I copied, corrected for spelling/grammar, and pasted here for my own use.  I have since lost the original link, but until I find that again, know that it's not my work.

When to Choose Supports:

Supports can be categorized by their purpose and function:

Setup stun/slow/disable supports:
Force enemy to stay aware all the time and one second outposition is a kill. Also good roamers.
Shadow shaman, Shadow Demon, Venomancer, Rubick, Ogre magi, Lion, Lina, Bane, Sandking, even Sven (or Wraith King).

Good lane presence:
Stays in lane and protect carries by harassing and distracting opponents. Also very good duos with first group of heroes.
Windranger (WR), Lion, Lina, Shadow Demon(SD), Ancient Apparition(AA), Leshrac, Dazzle, Witch Doctor(WD), Jakiro, Crystal Maiden (CM)

Utility supports:
Generally picked for ultimates, team fight presence and mid-late game potential. Most of the time weak lane support.
Nyx, Io (Wisp), Tidehunter, Keeper of the Light (KotL), Distruptor, Sand King

Also you can pick by supports for specific purposes, such as stopping a late game monster (i.e. drafting Bane or Shadow Demon to counter Lifestealer (Naix)) or drafting a dual-roaming pair to pressure your opponents early on and/or to push (Leshrac and Venge, for example).

Highlights of Support Heroes
Disruptor: when the other team really wants to team fight
Jakiro: when my team needs a lot of early pressure and I can leave my carry alone bottom for a while
KotL: when I want the game to go as long as possible and keep lanes pushed
Rubick: lots of stealable spells and again I want that early pressure(his tele is amazing for early ganks with 3 heros)
Warlock: when my carry needs a bit of babysitting and I really want to drive the opposing heros out of the lane
Shadow Demon:Incredible setup for a carry who is decent in the early game and you want to give him some kills
Undying: when the other team is really going to try to pressure my carry with lots of heros (tombstone is the best!)
Bat Rider:Underrated support because people always think you have to have blink and force on him, but he is really fantastic even before he hits 6 by slowing heros and being able to jungle crazy fast

Silencer is a great support too. Best choice against void/magnus/enigma/sandking (large ultimates that are usually combo'ed with other big abilities, a.k.a. the "wombo combo")

Team Idea: Drafting Around Faceless Void

This team idea focuses on choosing Faceless Void as your carry, and maximizes the damage that can be inflicted inside of Chronosphere.

Faceless-centric line-ups:

Dual Lanes:
Veno+Drow, Face+Venge, Lesh mid (or Drow mid)
Tri-Lane Team:
Face+Veng+Lesh trilane
Veno solo offlane
Drow mid

Tri-Lane team #2:

DarkSeer offlane, 
Shadow Fiend mid, 
Face+Lesh+Veng trilane 
Combo:  Vacuum into Chrono/Lesh/SF ults, with Venge armor reduction for Face


+ Can get kills in trilane (Missle+Split+autoattacks w/Venge armor reduction)
+ Venge can go gank mid to get advantage
+ SF strong mid in pubs if not denied heavily
+ DS very safe offlane w/ion shell spam (get Clarities)
+ Lots of push

Faceless Void trilane with 2 supports from this list:

WITCH DOCTOR (position 4 or 5)
CRYSTAL MAIDEN (4, pulls, phase boots + shadowblade),  
LICH (5, stays lane, Mek),
SHADOW SHAMAN (position 4)
SKYWRATH MAGE (position 4 or 5)

OfflaneJakiro (Position 3, Arcane Boots, Force Staff, Veil/Pipe)
MidMagnus (Position 2, Boots, Wand, Upgraded Boots, Blink Dagger, Drums, BKB)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Big List of Team Themes

Dota 2 Team Themes

Here's some ideas for "theme teams"; fun groupings of heroes for your amusement:

  • Dragon Knight 
  • Jakiro  
  • Clinkz  
  • Batrider  
  • Lina
  • Clockwerk 
  • Tinker  
  • Timbersaw  
  • Gyro  
  • Goblin
  • Techies
  • Ancient Apparition
  • Drow  
  • Crystal Maiden
  • Jakiro
  • Lich  
  • Tusk
  • Winter Wyvern
  • Doom  
  • Shadow Fiend  
  • Shadow Demon  
  • Warlock?
  • Lion  
  • Clinkz
Dead things!
  • Necrolyte
  • Undying  
  • Lifestealer  
  • Bane  
  • Death Prophet  
  • Wraith King  (Skeleton King)
  • Visage
  •  Clinkz
  • Pudge
Spiders, Crabs and Snakes
  • Broodmother
  • Nyx
  •  Sand King  
  • Venomancer
  • Weaver
  • Viper 
Mages, Priests and Shaman
  • Keeper  
  • Dazzle  
  • Shadow Shaman
  • Warlock?  
  • Lich 
  • Invoker
  • Pugna
  • Witch Doctor 
  • Enchantress
  •   Crystal Maiden 
  •  Silencer  
  • Skywrath 
  •  Pugna 
  •  Rubick 
  •  Ogre Magi  
  • Meepo
Rangers and Woodsy People:
  • Drow  
  • Windrunner
  •  Enchantress
  •  Beastmaster
  •  Bristleback
  • Tusk  
  • Tidehunter  
  • Viper
  •  Brewmaster  
  • Magnus  
  • Centaur  
  • Ursa  
  • Slark
  • Slardar
  • Medusa  
  • Ogre magi  
  • Outworld  
  • Tiny  
  • Tide  
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Troll Warlord
  • Slardar
Rocks and Forest!
  • Tiny
  • Treant  
  • Sand King  
  • Nature's Prophet
  • Slark  
  • Puck  
  • Leshrac  
  • Dark Seer
  • Earthshaker

Storms and Lightning
  • Storm Spirit
  • Zeus
  • Tidehunter  
  • Razor  
  • Disruptor  

  • Kunkka  
  • Morph  
  • Tide  
  • Slardar
  • Slark
  • Spiritbreaker  
  • Storm Spirit  
  • Vengeful Spirit  
  • Wisp / Io
  • Spectre
  • Earth Spirit
  • Ember Spirit 

Knights & Warriors
  • Omni  
  • Chaos Knight  
  • Troll Warlord  
  • Centaur  
  • Chen  
  • Axe
  • Sven
  • Huskar
Riki QoP Bounty Hunter Night Stalker PA Sniper TA
No Faces:
Void Enigma Morph Spectre Wisp
Must fly (or float):
Lina OD Visage Batrider Bane Jakiro Lich Gyro Razor Death Prophet Skywrath Viper Wisp
Must have wings:
OD Visage Batrider Jakiro Night Stalker QoP? Doom Skywrath Viper
Must Ride:
Batrider Chaos Knight Chen Alchemist Disruptor Keeper Mirana Luna
Must be COLOR:
Purple Red Green Brown Blue, Must contain white
Humans Only!
PA TA Windrunner Warlock Silencer Skywrath QoP Lone Druid? Mirana Invoker Keeper Kunkka Axe? Chen Crystal Lina Beastmaster
Must have a Charge / Leap Ability (could combine with or exclude Blink)
Magnus Centaur Morph Mirana Spirit Breaker Storm Spirit Tusk? Sand King Faceless Void Juggernaut (ult?)
Must have a speed ability:
Ogre Magi (Bloodlust?) Slardar Weaver Windrunner Sven Dark Seer Clinkz Nyx Nightstalker? Bounty Hunter (vs. Tracked Targets)
Must have Blink:
QoP PA Antimage Puck
Must throw a weapon as an ability (not base attack)
PA Pudge QoP Troll warlord Timbersaw Silencer Beastmaster (Axes) Batrider Bounty Hunter Enchantress? Huskar? Drow?
Must throw an AOE weapon:
Beastmaster Alchemist Brewmaster? Tiny?
Must have Illusions:
Chaos Knight PL Spectre Stormspirit? Shadow Demon Brewmaster?
Must summon Minions:
Enigma, NP Veno Meepo Broodmother, Chen Enchantress Beastmaster Lone Druid Lyncan SS Undying Visage Warlock Weaver/Tinker? 

Must Control or Eat Creeps: 
Chen, Enchantress Lich Doom Clinkz Broodmother Enigma
Must consume creeps:
Doom Clinkz Broodmother Enigma
Must shoot a gun or rocket or explosive:
Sniper Tinker Gyro Batrider Techies? Clockwerk
Must have a hard stun
Must have a disable (not stun, or including stun)
Must have a debuff
Must have a buff
Must have slowing

Level 1 Roshan Line-Ups

Dota 2 - Early Roshan

This team liquid link to early Roshan is a great guide for non-obvious early Roshan drafting.

List of Level 1 Roshan Heroes:

NP (Treants)
Enigma (Plague wards or Treants into Eidolons?)
Beastmaster (attack speed aura)
Luna (fixed damage aura)
Wraith King (lifesteal aura)
Naga (Riptide armor reduction)
Venge (Wave armor reduction)
Alchemist (Acid spray armor reduction)
Lich (Frost Armor)
Centaur (return, tanky)
Ogre Magi (tanky, high armor, can remove Roshan Linkens)
Spiritbreaker (tanky, high hp & armor)
Nightstalker (tanky, high armor and base dmg)
Enchantress (Untouchable for tanking, Spirits for healing)
Viper (Tank w/Corrosive skin, or use Nethertoxin for extra dmg)
Treant (high base dmg, Living Armor)
Veno (plague wards)
Dark Seer (ion shell, tanky)
Leshrac (edict does extremely high amount of physical dmg level 1)
Templar Assassin (Refraction bonus dmg or tank 3 “free” hits)
Lifestealer (Feast does not work on Rosh)

Sample Teams:

#1: Luna (aura), Lich (ice armor), Ogre/NStalker (tank), DS (ion), Venge (wave)
Laned as: NStalker / Ogre mid, Luna+venge+lich Safelane, DS solo offlane
#2:  Axe (swipe), Fiend (aura), Beastmaster (aura), Enigma (Eidolons from treants), NP (treants)
Laned as:  Fiend Mid, Beastmaster / Axe / Enigma offlane (take tower), NP solo safe lane.
#3: Ursa + Lich + Skellie (vamp?) + Centaur (tank, return + ice armor) +
#4: Huskar (tank to low hp, then dps), Ogre (lust, tank), Leshrac (edict), Shadow Demon (dmg boost – make sure someone else hits him with a spell first!), Razor (ranged dps only)
Laned as: Razor mid, Huskar/Ogre/Lesh safe lane, SD offlane OR Huskar+Ogre & Lesh+SD offlane, Razor mid.
#5: Enigma, Veno, Luna, Centaur, Nightstalker


  • You want heroes that will take their “typical” laning abilities (i.e. failed Rosh won’t screw your laning).  For example, while SFiend with armor reduction aura sounds good, you NEED Necromastery for laning.  Failed Roshan = failed lane.
  • You want 2 heroes who will tank – both will take Stout/Ring of Protection and 2xPotions each
  • If you want to debuff Rosh, you need someone else to purge his Linken’s first with an active ability
  • Armor reduction really, really helps (Venge / Naga / Alch )
  • You want only 2 melee heroes, otherwise Roshan will use his AOE stomp, inflicting more damage, and stunning melee. 
  • Ideally one hero should buy a Basilius for the armor aura.

Some other links:

DotaFire Guide to Early Roshan

List of Physical Damage Spells & Heroes

List of Physical Damage Spells by Hero

The following heroes have abilities ("spells") that do physical damage, instead of the normally-expected magic damage:

Dazzle:  Poison/Wave do physical dmg; Weave ult for armor reduction
Alchemist – Concoction = physical, Acid Spray = armor reduction
Witch Doctor Death Ward = physical
Slardar – Bash & Crush are both physical
Death Prophet – Exorcism ultimate
Juggernaut – Omni slash ultimate (auto-attack slashes are physical)
Axe - Counter Helix
Bristleback - Quill Spray
Elder Titan - Echo Stomp (self only, Spirit damage is magical),
Elder Titan - Earthsplitter (half physical)
Gyrocopter - Flak Cannon (in effect, AOE physical damage)
Medusa - Split Shot (in effect, AOE physical damage)
Luna - Glaives (in effect, AOE physical damage)
Leshrac - Edict (now does Physical damage)
Beastmaster - Wild Axes (now do Physical damage)

Summoned Units

Undying - Tombstone (Zombies)
Shadow Shaman - Serpent Wards
Venomancer - Plague Wards
Enigma - Eidolons
Nature's Prophet - Treants
Beastmaster - Boar
Lycan - Wolves
Chen - dominated creeps mostly do physical damage + abilities

Composite Damage (has been removed as of patch 6.82)

Leshrac Edict - was composite damage (now physical)
Beastmaster Axes - was composite damage (now physical)

Physical Damage Boosters:

Beastmaster - Inner Beast:  aura boosts attack speed
Doom - with Alpha Wolf Devoured
Drow - Precision aura (active & passive) boosts physical damage
Elder Titan - aura decreases base armor
Lycan Howl - adds fixed attack damageLuna aura - adds fixed attack damage
Magnus - Empower buff adds % base damage
Medusa Stone Gaze (ult) - boosts physical damage taken
Ogre Magi - Bloodlust boosts attack speed
Shadow Fiend - aura decreases armor
Troll Warlord Ultimate - high attack speed increase
Vengeful Spirit aura – boosts physical base dmg by %
(Item) Desolator - decreases armor on hit(Item) Medallion - active decreases armor of target and caster
(Item) Drums - increases attack speed

Physical Damage Team Example:

Alchemist (AC) + Venge (w/Medallion)
Jugg/Slardar (Vlad’s) + Dazzle (Drums)
Death Prophet (mid, get Mek, Bloodstone, Pipe?)
Items should include:  Medallion, Vlad’s, AC, Drums, Desolator
Important to ban:  Omniknight (his ult will make your team useless)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Effective Support Items

Effective Support Items

Cheap items:
  • Medallion
  • Urn
  • Aquila
  • Soul Ring
  • Wand

Most efficient/effective for cost, easiest to build:

  • Rod of Atos
  • Veil of Discord
  • Force Staff
  • Phase Boots
  • Mekanism
  • Eul’s
  • Soul Booster
Int Hero:  Phase Boots (instead of Force Staff), Atos, Eul’s, TP scroll + wards/dust/smoke
Agility Support:  Arcane Boots*, Aquila, Wand, TP, 2 of Wards/Smoke/Dust
Strength Support:  Arcane Boots*, Urn/Basilius, Sange into Heaven’s Halberd, TP, 2 of Wards/Smoke/Dust
*for boosting mana pool
Underused Items:  Necrobook, Diffusal, Atos

Good Luxury Items for Anyone:

Most beneficial to whole team:
-        Arcane Boots
-        Vlad’s
-        Urn
-        Mek
-        Drums

Most defensive:
-        Glimmer Cape
-        Force Staff
-        Mek
-        Pipe

-        Eul’s
-        Atos
-        Scythe
-        Orchid

Most offensive:
-        Aether Lens
-        Veil
-        Necrobook
-        Dagon

Best early lane support items:
-        Any regen item (Tangos, Salve, Clarity, Mango, etc)
-        Headdress (3 hp regen aura)

-        Basilius (2 armor aura)

Late-game supports

The following supports can still be useful late game, especially with some farm:

Supports that are good late-game (with some farm):
  • Alchemist
  • Sven
  • Venomancer (Agility semi-carry)
  • Vengeful Spirit (good stat gain)
  • Ogre Magi (falls off sharply ultra-late game)
  • Silencer
  • Gyrocopter (yes, he can be played as a greedy support)
  • Naga Siren
  • Windranger
  • Warlock
  • Necrolyte
  • Abaddon
  • Wraith King

Playing the Odds: 4 Strength & 1 Int hero = Win

Based on some number crunching at one time, and for Dota2 pub games, it seemed that teams with 4 Strength Heroes and 1 Intelligence hero did surprisingly well.

There's also a reddit post discussing the findings.

Note that ranged heroes are generally preferred to melee heroes, so it stands to reason that ranged strength heroes would also be quite strong, but there's aren't very many of them:
  • Phoenix
  • Io
  • Huskar
  • Dragonknight (Dragon Form only)

Here are some team suggestions for "4 Strength, 1 Int" Teams.

4 Str and 1 Int Hero:  Play the Odds
#1: Offlane Beastmaster, Lifestealer jungle, Huskar mid, Tiny + Lion safelane
#2: Dazzle + Centaur, Ursa jungle, Tidehunter solo, Necrolyte mid
#3:  Tidehunter offlane, Dragon Knight mid, Sand King + Chaos Knight + Dazzle
#4:  Dark Seer offlane (int), Nightstalker mid, Wisp (yes, Str-based!) + CK + Sand King
#5:  Magnus mid, Beastmaster offlane,  Undying + Dazzle + Slardar safe lane
#6:  Clockwerk offlane, DK mid,  Lion (int) + Sven + Treant
#7:  Timbersaw offlane, CK + Wisp mid, ???
#8:  Sand King mid, Magnus offlane, Earthshaker + Sven + Rubick (ES pulls).
#9:  Spirit Breaker + Abaddon + Lich, DK mid, Beastmaster offlane

4 Strength and an Int:
#1:  Beastmaster, Abaddon, Magnus, Huskar, CM
#2:  Wisp, CK, DK, Necrolyte, Axe
#3:  Sand King, Timbersaw, Nightstalker, Sven, Lion
#4:  Phoenix, Earth Spirit, Pudge/Spiritbreaker, Brewmaster, Dazzle
#5:  Warlock, Tidehunter, Sand King,

Team Ideas: Lots of Escapes

The idea behind these teams are to deny your opponents kills that would otherwise be much easier, while still creating realistic teams.

Team Full of Escapes:
Windrunner + Weaver + Treant tri-lane
QoP mid
Puck solo lane (safe or offlane)

Bounty Hunter offlane
Anti-mage + Windrunner + Sand King/Nyx
QoP mid

Team Ideas: Global Presence

A sample of some teams with global presence or abilities.

Global gank strats:
#1: Global Mobility
NP (solo offlane?)
Wisp/(KotL/Chen) + Spiritbreaker + Lifestealer (bomb, Lifestealer jungles?)
Tinker (mids/supports/semi-carries)

#2: Global effect
Jungle: NProphet
Safe Lane: AA, Gyro (get Aghs)
Solo Offlane: Treant, Tinker, KotL, Centaur?
Mid: Zeus/Spiritbreaker/Silencer/Invoker

#3:  Naix bombs
Solo Offlane:  Clockwerk (or Beastmaster for Hawk)
Safelane:  Lifestealer, Nyx, Io
Mid:  Puck or Storm Spirit

Global Presence (long range)
Mid semi-carry:  Gyro (Agh's) or Silencer (Agh’s), or Invoker (Exhort)
Supports:  AA + Zeus
Offlane:  Clockwerk (Flare)
Carry:  Spectre (Haunt)

Global Presence (teleport)
Mid:  Tinker (Dagon?) or Nyx (Dagon)
Jungle:  NP (Desolator for tower pushing)
Offlane:  KotL  (just suck up levels, clear waves w/ illuminate, build early Mek/Pipe, soften up enemy heroes for Tiny/Wisp gank, get BoT to be extremely annoying with split push)
Safe Lane:  DK / Tiny (carry) + Wisp (warding, position 5)
Ban:  Disruptor, Silencer, Chen

Team (Global Presence)
Tinker mid
Nature’s Prophet solo safe lane
Spiritbreaker  + Chaos Knight + Wisp

Tiny + Wisp + AA aggressive tri-lane
Pudge mid (throws well with Tiny!)
Tinker / NP solo safelane

Invoker mid (Exhort)
NP jungle
CK + Wisp safelane
Bounty Hunter solo offlane (or Dark Seer / Enigma / Lich / Tide for more teamfight)

#4 (versus Global strat)
Disruptor + Gyro safe lane
Lifestealer Jungle
Dazzle or Treant solo offlane
Spirit Breaker (or Tinker/AA/Invoker/Zeus) mid

Team:  Global Ults & Abilities
Troll mid
Spectre + CM
Centaur + AA

Team: Physical Global Presence:
Spectre solo safe lane (needs extra regen + shield)
NP jungle / safe lane
Wisp +1 offlane (CK, Tiny, Slardar, DK, Lifestealer, Wraith King)
Mid:  Storm Spirit or Spirit Breaker

Global Dmg Heroes:

  • Clockwerk (Flare)
  • Ancient Apparition (Ice Blast)
  • Gyro w/Agh (Call Down is global)
  • Zeus (ult)
  • Invoker (Exhort = Sunstrike)
Global Positioning Heroes:
  • Nature's Prophet (teleport + ult)
  • Spectre (Haunt)
  • Wisp (teleport)

Teamfight Heroes

Big teamfight heroes: 
Damage:  Earthshaker, Leshrac, Sand King, Outworld Destroyer, Anti-Mage, Veno, Sfiend, QoP, Lich, Keeper, Crystal Maiden, Gyro, Shadow Shaman, Jakiro, Zeus, Tinker, Warlock, Witch Doctor, Death Prophet, Disruptor

Disable:  Magnus, Enigma, Sven, Centaur, Slardar, Faceless, Silencer, AA?, Puck, Jakiro, Brewmaster, Kunkka, Beastmaster, Tide, Treant

Positioning:  Dark Seer, Clockwerk

Buff/Debuff:  Dazzle, Venge, Necro, Shadow Demon, Invoker, Pugna, Undying, Chen, Drow, Beastmaster, Luna, Troll, KotL

"Broken" (OP) Ultimates:
Troll (+Spectre!)
Ancient Apparition
Death Prophet
Lich (less so in higher-skill games)
Faceless Void
Naga Siren

Heroes by Role & Position

Some thoughts on various roles and uses of various Dota2 heroes.  Instead of defining heroes as "support, mid, or carry", I'm getting a bit more specific.  This is not by any means a complete list.

Pick for:

Reliable Stun:  Venge, Crystal Maiden (CM), Shadow Demon, Lion, Nyx, Sand King, Rubick, Sven, Alchemist
Lockdown: Bane, SS, Lion
Slow:  Venomancer, Dazzle, Lich, Skywrath, Jakiro
Followup-Stun:  Jakiro, Windranger, Lina, Disruptor, Leshrac, Lina
Zoning Heroes:  Clockwerk, Disruptor
AOE Damage:  Lich, Warlock, WindRanger, Skywrath, Jakiro, Veno, Sand King, CM
AOE Stun: Warlock, Tide, Enigma
Utility / Setup: Shadow Demon, Bane, Disruptor, Crystal Maiden
Lane Support / Harass:  Lion, Dazzle, Bane, Veno, Skywrath, Lich
Nuker:  Lina, Lion, Bane, WR, Rubick
Push:  Veno, Lina, Rubick, KotL, Lycan,
Tower Push:  Veno, SS, Warlock, Leshrac, Pugna, Lycan, Lone Druid, Troll Warlord
Counterpush:  KotL, Veno, Lina, Shadow Demon, Jakiro, WindRanger, SS

Hard Supports:
Crystal Maiden
Shadow Demon

Harder to Learn:

Non-Traditional Supports (Roamers):
Alchemist/Sven as support? (No Greevil’s, Acid+Concoction)
Viper as support?

Support – Utility mids:


Position 4:
Tidehunter (or 3)
Enigma (or 3)

Sand King
Shadow Shaman (SS)
Ogre Magi
Venomancer (or 3)
Skywrath Mage

Dota Heroes by Role

Team:  (Axe+DS, Lesh mid, Enigma + Naga):  Song, Vaccum, Black Hole, Lesh AOE, ion shell on Axe; creep-skip w Axe+DS.  Pull lane / Eidolon deny with Enigma to help Naga farm.

DS offlane, Enigma jungle, Lesh+Naga, QoP mid?
If DS banned:  Enigma offlane, Lesh+Naga, QoP/Magnus mid, or Magnus jungle?

Big teamfight heroes: 
Damage:  ES, Leshrac, Sand King, OD, AM, Veno, Sfiend, QoP, Lich, Skywrath?, Keeper, CM, Gyro, SS, Jakiro, Zeus, Tinker, Warlock, Witch Doctor, DP, Disruptor, Invoker, Rubick?
Disable:  Magnus, Enigma, Sven, Centaur, Slardar, Faceless, Silencer, AA?, Puck, Jakiro, Brewmaster, Kunkka, Beastmaster, Tide, Treant, Invoker
Positioning:  Dark Seer, Clockwerk, Venge, Disruptor
Buff/Debuff:  Dazzle, Venge, Necro, Shadow Demon, Invoker, Pugna, Undying, Chen, Drow, Beastmaster, Luna, Troll

Skirmish Heroes:
Lion, Venge, Visage, Slardar, Ogre Magi, Skywrath Mage, Nyx, Queen of Pain, Bloodseeker

Push Heroes:
Supports: Leshrac, Veno, Enigma, KotL, Venge, Lina, Undying, Sand King, Dazzle
Mids: Tinker, Shadowfiend, QoP, Magnus, Beastmaster, Razor, Sand King, Necrolyte, Death Prophet
Jungle: Nature’s Prophet, Chen / Enchantress, Enigma, Dark Seer
Carries: Gyro, Alchemist, Luna, Shadowfiend, DK, Juggernaut, Kunkka,

Anti-Melee Carry Heroes:
Venge (swap), Lifestealer, Clockwerk, Ursa?, Viper? Brewmaster, Disruptor

Team: Slowing for melee carries:
#1:  Sven/Skellie/Jugg, Dazzle/Veno/CM/Tide, Jungle: Ursa/Lifestealer, Mid:  , Offlane: BH

Article: Winning by Losing

“Learning to lose means learning to win”.
by:  Zrog

Inspired by several articles, including SlashStrike’s blog, Purge’s recent interview on teaming up with Zephyr, and FluffNStuff’s blog at Complexity (

Blame yourself, not others, for every loss.  There’s always something you could have done better, and done at the proper time, it may have tipped the game in your favour.  Even the sheer fact of doing better may inspire your teammates to make better plays and play more confidently.  In Dota, more last hits so you could start carrying earlier, more time in the jungle while you lane was pushed, grabbing a bit of farm as a support, smoke ganking as a support (early enough to make a difference) – these are all little things that can make a big difference.

Play games against those who are better than you, whenever possible.  This means that you WILL lose more than you win.  However, it will also force you to step up your game, and learn faster.  The faster you can learn, the more you will win, because you will always be doing better than your MMR.  The ideal is to always be better than your MMR.  That is, by the time you reach that MMR, you are already ready for it to be higher.  Thus, you should never whine that your MMR doesn’t reflect your “real skill level”, because it SHOULDN’T, if you’re improving.  If your MMR plateaus, ask yourself what YOU can be doing to improve your OWN game.

Watch pro games and see what CAN be done.  This will open your eyes to new techniques, strategies, and possibilities, by those who have dedicated large portions of their lives to the game, and to trying new things.  They’ve already spent the time discovering what works, so why not gain from that yourself?

Be willing to play position-5 support, and lose games.  Why?  Because warding wins games, once you know how to do it, and supports have a surprising influence on game flow, especially early game.  Learn how to impact the early game by being a clever support.  However, you will feed when you first start doing this, because you will have to take risks, and it will take a while before you recognize which risks pay off.  I first-picked Chaos Knight in one pub game and ended up being this support, because no one else would do it.  And yes, we won that game (with our mid and offlane carry…)

If you are okay with losing, that means less chance that you’ll lose your cool against teammates who make mistakes.  There’s no reason to do lash out if you want to win; it’s counterproductive.  People who are criticized during a game will freeze up at key moments, cease to listen to suggestions, and team cohesion will suffer (and everyone will go off and do their own thing, meaning you’ll hardly ever win a teamfight).  This does not mean you’re not allowed to be angry or frustrated!  These emotions will happen because you are a living, breathing human being!  All it means is that you should form the habit of venting your negative emotions privately, rather than lashing out – which makes you an easier person to associate with.

The fact of matchmaking is that you can’t win every game.  The system is designed, in fact, to ensure that you win only about 50% of your games.  If your rank is climbing and you are improving, you might get as high as 55-60%, but the system will auto-correct to bring you back to the 50% each time you hit a new skill plateau.

Your teammates will always make mistakes, and so will you.  Even the very top pros make “mistakes”.  Their mistakes seem smaller than ours, but the higher level you get, the smallest mistakes can still add up to a loss.  Getting bad mannered about mistakes hurts you and your team.  Recognizing and acknowledging your mistakes and keeping quiet about others’ mistakes (during the game) makes you a good teammate., gets you commended, and makes the game fun to play for others.

Games that stand the test of time, and are very popular, have steep learning curves.  It’s worth learning a “hard” game, because it will continually challenge you and stay interesting.  It will also continue to evolve.  The skills you learn in such a game, even if they are “soft” skills like cooperation and teamwork, will serve you elsewhere in your life, even if it’s only in future games.

Drafting Exercise: Building a Team around a Carry

The following teams are based around Sven.  This post illustrates a thought process where you figure out what a hero needs, and create a team around boosting that carry with appropriate picks.

Sven needs:
-        Attack speed:  Beastmaster, Troll, Ogre
-        Mana regen:  Crystal Maiden (CM), Keeper of the Light (KotL)
-        Slowing/lockdown:  Disruptor, Veno, Invoker, Magnus, Puck, Batrider
-        Lane Babysitter:  CM, Disruptor, AA, Warlock, Lion, Io

Don’t pick Sven against kiters:
-        Drow
-        Viper
-        Lycan
-        Weaver
-        Sniper

Pick Sven against: 
-        Illusion heroes (Naga, CK, PL, etc)

Sven Items:
Start (585):  Tango, Shield, Potion, Branch x 2
Early: Boots, Wand, Helm of Dominator (stacking)
Core:  Power Treads, BKB, TP
Late:  MoM/Satanic, S&Y, Deadalus, BoT
6 Slotted:  BoT, S&Y, BKB, Deadalus, Heart, MoM/Satanic

Sven-based teams:
Mid:  Kunkka or Luna
Offlane: Solo Darkseer or Centaur
Supports: Disruptor, CM
Safe Carry: Sven

Mid: Magnus
Offlane: Solo Beastmaster
Supports:  Ogre (Roaming / Pulling), CM (babysitter, early aura)
Carry: Sven

Mid: Exhort Invoker/AA
Offlane: Solo Timbersaw
Supports:  Shadow Demon/Bane, Sand King
Carry:  Sven

Mid: Puck (#2) or Storm Spirit
Offlane: Centaur/Magnus/Dark Seer (#3)
Supports:  Wraith King (#4), Disruptor/Warlock (#5)
Carry:  Sven (#1)

Mid:  Timbersaw/Slark/Puck (ganker)
Offlane:  Lich/Veno/BH/Magnus/Tide
Supports:  Venge (roamer), Disruptor (lane support)
Carry:  Sven

Illusion and Minion Teams

The following illustrates the idea of punishing an enemy team who typically runs a lineup with little AOE.  Chances are that you won't aim for this type of draft, since you can be hard-countered if the enemy picks up some strong anti-push or AOE, but you can drift this direction if you notice little AOE on the enemy team.

Illusion team
Mid:  Naga
Offlane: CK + Shadow Demon
Safe:  PL/Spectre + Warlock

Minion Heroes:
Beastmaster (Inner Beast)
Lycan (Howl)
Brood (no buff to others)
Chen (Heal)
Enchantress (no buff to others)
Enigma (Eidolons, no buff to others)
Invoker (Fire Spirits)
Nature’s Prophet

Ban:  KotL, Earthshaker

Minion Teams:
Mid: Invoker
Offlane:  CK + Visage
Safe Lane:  Lycan + Warlock

Mid: Beastmaster
Offlane:  NP
Safe:  Lycan + Veno
Jungle:  Chen

Team Idea (add some auras to minion team)
-        Shadow Fiend (mid)
-        Wraith King (pos 4)
-        Lycan (safe farmer)
-        Enigma (jungle)

-        Beastmaster (offlane)

Summoned unit synergy:
Offlane: Broodmother
Mid: Beastmaster
Safe: Lycan + Visage;
Jungle:  NP
Pick order:  NP, Visage, Beastmaster, Lycan, Broodmother (this way you can pick differently if enemy team adjusts)
Ban:  Earthshaker, KotL, Tinker, Leshrac, Shadow Fiend

LOL army team:
Chen jungle
NP offlane
Lyncan + Enigma
Beastmaster mid
(someone get a Necrobook!)