Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The "Chinese Number System"

Last Updated: October 8, 2012

Due to big events like The International, some of the Chinese DotA scene has come to light. With that, so has the "Eastern Meta". One of the big pieces to this alternate meta is the number system. Essentially, it boils down to:

(Most Farm Priority)
  1. Hard Carry
  2. Solo Mid Lane (or Semi-Carry/Ganker)
  3. Solo Side Lane (or Ganker/Initiator)
  4. Ganker/Jungler (or Secondary Support/Utility)
  5. Pure Support
(Least Farm Priority)

Farm, in this context, refers to both Gold and Experience. As I understand it, if someone else with a higher number comes to your lane, you're supposed to yield to them. So, a #2 would find a lane other than where the #1 is to farm.

Also, from my understanding, a #5 will pretty much have jack all game because they're buying all the team items (wards, dust, smoke, etc.). Looking back on The International 2 games, it looked like most #5s had boots, Magic Wand, and sometimes Force Staff or Urn of Shadows.

Some popular hero choices in each role are (as of The International 2):
  • Position 1
    • Anti-Mage
    • Morphling
    • Faceless Void
    • Naga Siren
    • Lycan
    • Juggernaut (usually as a special case/counter)
  • Position 2
    • Queen of Pain
    • Rubick
    • Invoker
    • Tinker
    • Brewmaster
    • Night Stalker
    • Templar Assassin
    • Bat Rider (used to be more popular)
  • Position 3
    • Broodmother
    • Tidehunter (can also be Position 4)
    • Windrunner
    • Beastmaster
    • Dark Seer
    • Sand King (can also be Position 4)
    • Lone Druid
    • Bounty Hunter
  • Position 4
    • Leshrac
    • Enigma
    • Enchantress
    • Chen
    • Keeper of the Light
    • Nature's Prophet (can be other roles too - usually 2 or 3)
    • Chaos Knight (usually in Trilane)
  • Position 5
    • Venomancer (can also be Position 4)
    • Crystal Maiden
    • Shadow Shaman
    • Shadow Demon
    • Lion
    • Lich
    • Dazzle
    • Jakiro (can also be a #4
    • Lina (can also be Position 4)
Each of these roles also has a general game plan, which will change based on line up (e.g. a #4 will function differently in a trilane than in the jungle). Here are my generalizations:

  • Position 1
    • Often paired with #5 (and sometimes with #4 in addition when tri-laning)
    • Takes the last hits and kills in lane
    • Always in XP range for maximizing level advantage
    • In a pro game, GPM will be around 500 if they won, around 300-400 if they lose (given about equal skill teams)
  • Position 2
    • Often takes solo mid
    • Even in a bad situation, should always have high amounts of denies
    • Often will Gank or Initiate, but sometimes can heavy Push
    • Generally build items to initiate and survive (e.g. Blink Dagger, sometimes BKB/Linken's, Shiva's, or Guinsoo/Sheep)
  • Position 3
    • Often takes solo hard lane (and occasionally jungle)
    • Avoid death, get some farm (safely)
    • Heroes like Beastmaster can stack ancients to catch up farm
    • Heroes like Broodmother will strategically push when it is safe
    • If it is a 1v1 scenario (e.g. Tidehunter vs. Broodmother), then the goal is to farm initiation items while harassing (and in the case of Broodmother, killing her Spiderites)
  • Position 4
    • Often a roaming ganker (or jungle ganker)
    • In a trilane, they help harass and deny, set up kills, and eventually gank other lanes
    • In jungle, they farm neutrals, then help gank the safe lane and push towers
    • Often, #4 will build team-oriented support items like
      • Drum of Endurance
      • Mekanism
      • Pipe
      • (Vladarmir's Offering - rarely)
      • Force Staff
      • Eul's Scepter
  • Position 5 
    • Hard support, usually found paired with the #1 role
    • Buys Courier/Wards, and team consumables (e.g. Dust, Smoke)
    • Stack and Pull creep camps for money
      • Important to stack before pulling so that an entire wave of creeps is denied to enemy (they lose all that potential gold and XP to a neutral camp)
      • Helps to control the lane (keep creeps where you want them)
      • This also will give the carry more XP (because you're out of lane creep XP range)
    • Harass enemies and deny creeps in lane
      • Be careful to avoid creep aggro and to use fog effectively so you don't take damage
      • In a tri-lane, denying creeps in huge. Against a solo, you want your carry to have 3+ levels on them
    • Set up kills
      • Most #5's have skillsets that include slows, stuns, or immobilizes
    • Help carry last hit under tower
      • With good communication and timing, you can hit the creep, then the carry so that the tower does not take the creep kill

Note: Team Liquid did a nice write up too on their Liquidpedia for DOTA2.

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