Monday, November 26, 2012

Defining the Lanes

There is a lot of confusion surrounding lane terminology. Here are my interpretations.

Basic Terminology

There are 3 lanes:

  1. Mid Lane - everyone knows this
  2. Hard Lane - Radiant Top / Dire Bottom, it's the lane that is riskier, you cannot pull creep camps as easily, and you're regularly far from your tower next to a jungle that is easy to be ganked from
  3. Easy/Safe Lane - Radiant Bottom / Dire Top - the lane that you're frequently near your tower, plenty of good gank spots from the jungle, etc.

Advanced Terminology

Now we get into trickier terms.


The offlane is a solo sidelane. This is typically used in a scenario where there is some form of a Trilane.

A special incarnation of the Offlane is the Suicide Lane. This is a 1v3 setup. The solo hero is there to survive and soak up XP for the most part. If they can manage to get some creep gold or even a kill, that's spectacular. There are some exceptions, like Lone Druid, where getting some creep kills is more expected because of the hero's innate abilities. (For Comparison, think of it like [Offlane - Suicide Lane] is similar to [Support - Babysitter]).


Simply put, a Trilane is when 3 heroes are in (NOTE: "in" is a loose term, because Jungle is frequently considered part of the Safe Lane) the same lane.

From here, you have a few types of Trilane that sprout:

  • Defensive Trilane - 3 heroes in the lane (no Jungle) attempting to get their carry safe farm while denying the enemy experience. Once the carry has been established (i.e. they have decent farm, on track with core items), one or both supports might start to roam.
  • Offensive/Aggressive Trilane - 3 heroes in the lane (no Jungle) attempting to get kills, while also denying creep gold/XP. The goal is to completely shut down the enemy carry. This is typically used in a Trilane vs. Trilane scenario.
  • Jungle Trilane - 2 heroes in the lane, and a Jungle hero. The Jungle frequently ganks the lane in some manner. The benefit here is to have additional farm and XP to go around because there are in effect 4 sources of XP and Gold with less heroes to split between.


A roamer is a hero that spends much of their time between lanes, setting up ganks and kills. Sometimes, this is done from the start (e.g. heroes like Earthshaker have good skills for doing this). Other times, a hero will break off of the Trilane to do this once the Trilane has"won" the lane (e.g. typically the #4/Second Support).

Long/Short Lane

Before talking much about this, note that these are bad terms because of how vague they are. Long and Short can be interpreted in many ways, and often are confused.

The actual definitions are:

  • Long Lane = lane it takes your creeps longest to reach the enemy tower = Radiant Bottom / Dire Top = Safe/Easy Lane
  • Short Lane = lane it takes your creeps the shortest to reach the enemy tower = Radiant Top / Dire Bottom = Hard Lane
By "Shortest/Longest" time to reach the tower, I mean where the creeps collide. In the "Long Lane", creeps collide close to your own tower and then they still have to walk around the turn and head to the enemy tower.

Again, this is a widely confused term. Some refer to it as the lane where your creeps fight farthest from your own tower. So you're a "longer" ways away from safety.

However, many sources will confirm what I have bullet pointed above:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Guide to the DotA Community

This is the list of sites, media, etc. I've encountered that all relate to the DotA 2 community.
I'll keep updating this as I find more stuff. I still have some work left to do on this.


Team Sites

Shows / Media



  • DotA Cinema
    • Fails of the Week
  • PyrionFlax


  • PurgeGamers
  • XVRogue
  • DotA Cinema

Videos on Demand (VODs)


Community / Forums




  • FFSplit
    • Streaming Suite
    • Free
  • XSplit
    • Streaming Suite
    • Free w/ Watermark
  • DXTory
  • Virtual Audio Cable (VAC)
    • Tool to virtually split your audio (good for separating music, voice, game, etc. so your in-game mic doesn't pick up everything)
    • Must Purchase

Amateur Tournaments, Leagues, Scrims, etc.

Tournaments / Events

In House Leagues

  • C9-DL
    • IRC Based


  • Dota Clan Wars (CW) --
    • IRC Base

Informational Resources

Game Information / Wikis

  • Liquidpedia
    • Hero information
    • Item Information
    • Tournaments / Teams / Players
  • DotA 2 Wiki
    • Hero Information
    • Item Information
    • Mechanics
  • Play DotA
    • Hero Information
    • Item Information
    • Mechanics


    • Personal Matchmaking Stats
    • Verified Player Stats (e.g. Pros, Casters)
    • Statistical Analysis (e.g. item success rates on heroes, hero win rates)
  • DotA Academy Stats
    • Stats from Professional games (e.g. ban/pick rates, win rates, positional information)


Team Recruitment



  • Dota Academy Fantasy League
    • Fantasy League play (e.g. draft Pro players for your team and get points based on how they do; play against friends)
  • Dota 2 Draft
    • Drafting simulator
    • Draft against a random person for practice


Item Trading

Resources for Getting to Pro Level

 Last Update: Nov. 21, 2012

This is a collection of web resources on getting better and breaking into the Pro scene. I'll update this as I find more stuff.

Getting into the Competitive Scene

FLUFFNSTUFF's Blogs About Breaking into Competitive:

EternalEnVy's thoughts on breaking into competitive:

Strategy and Drafting

Wagamama's Guide to Better DotA:
Drafting in CM (Intermediate Level):
FLUFFNSTUFF's Blog About Team Composition:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lineups I Want to Try

 Using this as a note taking space of lineups I think might be effective.

Last Update: November 16, 2012

Aggressive Trilanes

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 1:

Safe Lane: Riki, KotL
Jungle: Axe
Mid: Any
Sidelane: Any

Strategy is that Axe uses Battle Hunger, KotL can restore his mana so he can spam it. If they try to last hit, KotL can Illuminate or Riki can Pounce + Smoke and KotL can follow with Mana Leak.

Essentially, you just can't get away from it.

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 2:

  • Trilane
    • Bane
    • Juggernaut
    • Pudge / Mirana
  • Mid
    • Any
  • Off-lane
    • Any
Idea is to have Bane use Nightmare so Pudge can hook. Then Juggernaut spins while Pudge rots.

Alternativley, Mirana can get 5 second arrows and Juggernaut gets easy kills.

In both scenarios, Bane plays a #5 (hard support) role. Pudge/Mirana would roam after the Carry is established.

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 3:

  • Trilane
    • Ancient Apparition
    • Juggernaut
    • Pugna
  • Mid
    • Any / Invoker
  • Off-Lane 
    • Any
Goal is to massively reduce magic resistance for easy kills with Juggernaut. AA's slow has a magic reduction and Pugna's Decrep will slow and reduce magic resistance. Juggernaut's spin would be extremely lethal.

Also, AA's Cold Feet would be pretty much guaranteed due to the slow effect of Decrep.

You'd want to ban out Dark Seer and Wind Runner most likely here. Both have skills that make them run too fast for your combo to work well. Also, Dark Seer is pretty annoying against melee carries that are trying to get last hits.

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 4:

  • Safe Lane
    • Slardar
    • Vengeful Spirit
    • Dazzle
  • Mid
    • Shadow Fiend / Templar Assassin
  • Off-Lane
    • Bounty Hunter / Beastmaster / Dark Seer
Massive armor reduction lineup here. Venge +  Slardar would make for easy stuns. Dazzle can slow. Dazzle's Shallow Grave would be excellent on Slardar if he's chasing or initiating.

Almost every hero here has some sort of armor reduction, so you become physical damage machines.

Darkseer could synergize with sitting up easy SF ults, mass stuns, or easy Dazzle ults.

Omniknight would be an absolute ban here because of his ult stopping physical damage.

[May 17, 2013] Pudge + KotL

  • Hard Lane
    • Support: KotL
    • 2nd Support: Pudge
    • Carry: Weaver/Juggernaut
  • Mid Lane
    • Probably Batrider
  • Safe Lane
    • Gyro / Lone Druid / Slark
The idea behind this draft is picking up Pudge early so they think he's your mid. Then they'll pick their mid, to which you respond with someone that outclasses them.

KotL + Pudge can hook heroes out of position. Weaver is good for finishing them off or against a hero like Lifestealer. Juggernaut would work too because of Healing Ward and Spin.

KotL + Pudge also work because you have the Rot + Mana Leak combo. KotL provides a lot of good anti-push or push as well.

Safe lane is basically your "real" carry. Lone Druid might be good because he looks like he'll be going offlane (same as picking up a Batrider in round 1). That will throw them off. However, Gyro and Slark would also work well as solo laners.

[June 17, 2013] Naga Support

  • Aggro
    • Juggernaut
    • Naga Siren
    • Crystal Maiden / KotL
  • Mid
    • OD / SF
  • Safe
    • Magnus / DS -- magnus is preferred
Start with the Magnus/DS and Naga picks. Ban out Rubick (no stealing song), and whoever else. Lifestealer isn't an issue against this lineup.

Jugg & CM/KotL need to come next if you have Magnus because they will think Mag is mid.

Otherwise CM/KotL & SF should be picked up. Just make sure to ban accordingly.

General combo is to have Jugg spin & Naga net. If they have Lifestealer, you have armor reduction. Use song to set up team fights, then have Magnus/DS do their thing. You cover both kinds of fighting - Jugg's ult means they don't want to get caught alone. The rest of the team makes it so they don't want to team fight.

 Defensive Trilanes

[Dec. 28, 2012] Lineup 1:

  • Safe Lane
    • Sniper
    • KotL (#4)
    • Ancient Apparition (#5)
  • Mid
    • Whatever is needed (probably something with a stun)
  • Off-Lane
    • Whatever is needed (probably something with a stun, maybe Beast Master)
Picking Order:
  • First Pick: KotL
  • Second Pick: Ancient Apparition
Reasoning: KotL is likely to get banned out or picked early on. AA will make them think he's going mid.

Play Style:
  • AA will get 1 point in each skill, then max out Chilling Touch
  • Sniper will get 1 point in each skill, then max out his Range
  • KotL will get 1 point in each skill, then level Chakra Magic + Illuminate
  • Combos
    • Chilling Touch + Sniper's range = long ranged magic damage nukes
    • AA + KotL = lose mana (mana leak) or get stunned (cold feet)
    • AA + KotL = mana to spam Chilling Touch (mana intensive)
  • Items
    • Sniper
      • Early Hand of Midas for farm + attack speed (Chilling Touch slows attack speed)
      • Power Treads (attack speed + survivability)
      • BKB
      • Manta Style (not sure if Chilling Touch works on Illusions) or Butterfly
      • Potentially Mjollnir or whatever is needed really
    • AA
      • Arcane Boots (need lots of mana for this playstyle)
      • Rod of Atos (survival + combos better than Eul's with Cold Feet)
    • KotL 
      • Mekansm (all very squishy)
      • Most of the Wards and stuff (he should farm jungle stacks to make fast money)
      • Force Staff
      • Veil of Discord
Extra Thought: Could be interesting to replace Sniper with Pugna (even more magic damage? not sure if you can target a decrepified unit, even with Chilling Touch), then grab TA for mid and Lone Druid for offlane (to make up for lack of physical damage, although Pugna can output a shitload with his massive INT gain).

[May 5, 2013] Riki + Lifestealer:

  • Safe Lane:
    • Carry: Riki
    • Support: Keeper of the Light
    • Second Support: Lifestealer
  • Mid
    • Magnus would be good, Storm could work, or even Nature's Prophet
  • Off-Lane
    • Pretty much anyone, Clockwerk might be a good choice
The idea is that Lifestealer might be able to be support because he does % based damage already. His slow + Riki's Cloud would kill many solo laners easily. You also have KotL to supply them with mana.

If Riki is fine solo, then Lifestealer + KotL can go jungle and give Riki the solo XP he needs.

When Riki & Lifestealer hit lvl 6, they make a formidable ganking duo.

Ganking Lineups

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 1:

  • Safe Lane
    • Wisp
    • Stunner Support - Leshrac, Vengeful Spirit, Jakiro, etc.
    • Stunner Carry - Sven, Tiny, Chaos Knight
  • Mid
    • Global Presence: Invoker, Nature's Prophet, (Tinker) OR Bloodseeker
  • Off-Lane
    • Ganker: Bounty Hunter, Nature's Prophet

Goal is to  use Wisp + Stun Carry to gank a lot. Followups from Invoker/NP. Alternatively, have Bloodseeker mid to gain vision of low HP heroes.

Offlane joins in when ganking (BH can use Track, NP can come gank anywhere).

The nice thing about picking Leshrac up would be that Wisp + Leshrac could port to quickly push down towers if needed, then have a free ride back home.

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 2:

  • Safe Lane
    • Tiny / Sven
    • Wisp
    • Ogre Magi
  • Mid
    • Invoker
  • Off-Lane
    • Beastmaster
Goal is to make Tiny/Sven into a DPS monster. Wisp's Tether & Overcharge, Ogre's Bloodlust, Invoker's Alcatricity, and Beastmaster's aura would make Tiny/Sven unstoppable in battles. Wisp could be used to gank with the stunning carry.

Dual Roaming

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 1:

  • Safe Lane
    • Ranged Carry: Drow Ranger, Sniper, Luna
  • Roaming
    • Venomancer
    • Treant
  • Mid Lane
    • Broodmother
  • Off Lane
    • Lone Druid
LD and Brood are great solos. A ranged carry should be able to survive in the safe lane and get decent farm.

The good thing is when drafting, it's very hard to predict how you'll run this lineup.

Veno and Tree can use tree's invis to sneak around. Gale + Leech Seed is extremely powerful early game. Mostly wander between safe and mid lane to dominate them. Three carries/semi-carries getting a lot of XP will be brutal as long as their carry is kept in check.

Big Teamfight

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 1:

  • Safe Lane
    • Witch Doctor (primary farmer)
    • Venomancer
    • Tidehunter / Omniknight / Vengeful Spirit / Sven
  • Mid
    •  Warlock
  • Offlane
    • Dark Seer
This is a fairly all in strategy, but the teamfight is phenomenal. Definitely want to ban out Omni if yuo're not using him and Rubick. Both can totally mess up team fights. Naga is also a good ban.

Main synergy is going to be using Dark Seer to vacuum, then Witch Doctor's Maledict. Follow that up with Fatal Bonds and Warlock Ult. This is almost a guaranteed wipe. Venomancer's ult is extra security, same with Tidehunter.

Sven could be used to stun after Dark Seer Vacuums. Alternatively, Omni could be used for magic immunity while Witch Doctor ults. Sven and Venge both have semi-carry capability, which would make them useful.

In lane, Venomancer would basically guarantee Witch Doctor lands Maledicts.

[Nov. 16, 2012] Lineup 2:

  • Safe Lane
    • Magnus (primary farmer, Undying could work too if Darkseer is picked up)
    • Disruptor
    • Venomancer / Venge
  •  Mid Lane
    • Batrider
  • Off-Lane
    • Dark Seer / Beastmaster
Utilize Magus' ult to collect everyone. Disruptor uses his Kinetic Field + Ult. Venomancer Ults or Venge uses Wave.

Batrider can stack Napalm and use Firefly to increase damage.

Darkseer's ult would synergize well. Beastmaster could be picked up for his Aura (same with Venge).

[Jan. 18, 2012] Lineup 3:

  • Safe Lane
    • Warlock
    • Any Carry w/ Cleave or usually gets a Battlefury (e.g. Sven, Medusa, Luna, Anti-Mage)
    • Dazzle/Witch Doctor/Venomancer/Sand King/Tidehunter/KotL/Undying/etc.
  • Mid
    • Magnus
  • Off-Lane 
    • Darkseer/Lich

Get a good Warlock Ult, followup with a Magnus Ult, then Warlock starts channeling his slow. Carry should be able to cleave the entire team down while other AoE spells are cast.


[Jan. 4, 2013] Lineup 1:

Pick 5 heroes that can be run in a variety of lanes. Once the other team has selected, you can place your heroes in the most ideal configuration.

  • Batrider - can be mid, can be solo hard lane, can jungle
  • Mirana - can solo hard lane (not super great due to turn speed), can mid, can roam
  • Windrunner - can solo mid, can solo hard lane
  • Beastmaster - can solo mid, can solo hard lane, and I think I've even seen him in trilanes
  • Nature's Prophet - can solo mid, can solo hard lane, can Jungle
From there, you can kind of do whatever you want. None of those heroes absolutely need farm, but all of them can benefit from it. You won't win against a team late game, but you can make their lanes crap.

Let's say they defensive trilane because they see your Beastmaster pick. You can send something like Batrider + Mirana + Windrunner against that to play aggressively. Stacks of Napalm should make it easier to land Arrows and Shackles. Beastmaster can play mid (and who knows, maybe they picked something they thought would be against Batrider), and NP can safe lane (plus farm jungle with his creeps).

Alternatively, maybe it would work out running a 2-1-2 since all these heroes can solo well. There is a lot of harass between Windrunner and Beastmaster (and BM can stack ancients while WR gets solo XP). Mirana can solo safe lane while NP jungles. When he drops Sprout, Mirana can easily land Arrows. And Batrider is a dominant mid.

Could end up being that specialized lineups work better, but I wonder how a highly versatile lineup would work. Any of these heroes can snowball into a carry. Pretty much all of them can buy support items if needed. They all have skills that are decent throughout the game.

Might be interesting to try out and mess around with.


[March 26, 2013] Lineup 1:

  • Dual Mid
    • Bloodseeker
    • Disruptor
  • Solo Safelane Carry
    • Gyrocoptor
  • Solo Hardlaner w/ Teamfight (or goes Force Staff)
    • Windrunner
  • Jungle Ganker
    • Nature's Prophet
  • Glimpse + Rupture timed well might be able to kill a hero
  • Bloodrage + Flak Cannon = massive damage output boost (must time it right so that you activate Flak before getting silenced)
  • Windrunner's Force Staff will help Bloodseeker with Rupture damage
  • Kinetic Field + Call Down + Static Storm = amazing combo
  • Nature's Prophet = global ganking

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Item Guide: Invisibility Detection

Detection items are rarely seen in pub games. Even when you do see it, most people have no idea what item to get for their situation.

Here's the breakdown.

  • Sentry Wards
  • Dust
  • Gem
  • Spells
    • Long Term
      • Bounty Hunter's Track
      • Slardar's Amplify Damage
    • Short Term / Conditional
      • Zeus' Lightning Bolt & Ult
      • Bloodseeker's Thirst
Countering Detection:

  •  Diffusal Blade
  • Manta Style
  • BKB
Lastly, we'll work through some scenarios to see how/when you might use these items.

Detection Items

 Sentry Wards

  • Counter-Intelligence (i.e. destroying Observer Wards)
    • Blinding an enemy makes then very vulnerable to ganks
    • Gives you more map control
    • Observer Wards are on a cooldown, Sentries are not
  • Pushing
    •  If they have an invisible hero and you're trying to push a tower, plop down a Sentry to make it safe for the next 2 minutes
  • Defending
    • If you are defending a tower or your base, put one down to gain additional invisibility detection
    • If you're afraid of being back doored, put one down at a vulnerable entrance to your base
  • Roshan
    • If the other team has a hero like Ursa (who regularly Smokes into Rosh), it's good to have a Sentry up  on Rosh around the time Ursa hits level 7 (typical time Ursa will rosh)
    • If the other team has a hero like Riki and you're all Roshing, put one down so there is no chance he will steal the Aegis

  • They only last 2 minutes (versus Observer Wards which last 6)


  • Ganking an Invis hero
    • You need to know where they are so you can Dust
    • Prevents them from using Invis to escape
  • Team Fights
    • Use it during a teamfight so the enemy invisible hero is revealed the entire time
  • Counter-Ganking / Baiting
    • In some cases, Dust can be used once an invis hero has initiated, then your team will ideally come to your aid and get an easy kill (NOTE: This is risky because some heroes can be 1-3 shot by a fed invis hero)
  •  Can be Purged
    • Diffusal Blade (while offensively it slows and removes buffs), can be used defensively to get rid of debuffs on yourself/allies (i.e. things like Dust)
    • Manta Style removes debuffs when used
    • BKB gets rid of most debuffs
    • Many heroes have spells that get rid of debuffs like Dust too 
  • Long Cooldown
  • Does not Stack



  • Preventing a gank from happening
    • Gem is great for stopping a gank from happening
    • A lot of invis heroes will sit on top of you until allies come to assist them
  • Counter-Intelligence
    • Works the same way as a Sentry Ward, but it's mobile
    • Get rid of all their vision
  • Turning a Slight Advantage into a Huge One
    • You've made one hero's spell useless (maybe more if they have multiple invis heroes or Shadow Blade users)
  • True Sight works on illusions
    • Gem is similar to an aura, and auras work on Illusions
    • You and your illusions reveal (great for scouting out areas, split pushing, etc) 

  • Dropped on Death
    • If you have invis heroes, this can now be used against you
  • Costs 700g
  • Long cooldown on the item in the shop


Long Term

Track and Amplify Damage work similarly to Dust. They DO NOT counter invisible heroes. You have to have vision of them before these spells work. They are great once you get the spell on them (though they can be purged).

If picking up Slardar or BH will ruin your lineup, DO NOT get them. There are items that replace their ults' functionality.

Short Term / Conditional

A lot of people forget heroes like Zeus and Bloodseeker can reveal invisible heroes. It's not necessarily a reason to pick either hero up, but it is something to keep in mind.

Zeus' Lightning Bolt reveals for 3 seconds after it has struck. Same goes for his Ult.

Countering Detection

The big three are:

  • Diffusal Blade
    • You can activate it on yourself or allies for a positive effect of removing debuffs with no other side effects
  • Manta Style
    • Splitting into illusions will remove most negative debuffs like Dust
  • BKB 
    • Should remove most negative debuffs


Scenario 1


 Enemy team has Riki who has been initiating every team fight with a Smoke. The vision he grants his team allows for other heroes like Enigma to get very clean initiations.


Get a Gem. You will see Riki sneaking in and getting in position to use Smoke. Now you'll be able to kill him before he gets the chance

Scenario 2


You're defending your Barracks (Rax) but your tower is down. Enemy team has a Bounty Hunter that is very fed. Your team is pretty much broke.


Buy Sentry Wards and place them around where your tower once stood. Sentry Wards don't give a lot of sight radius, but they give a huge amount of Invis Detection radius.

Because you're stationary (sitting there defending instead of moving around the map), this functions like a Gem. You can see Bounty Hunter sneaking up to pick off a support and jump him before he knows what happened.

Scenario 3


You're trying to gank a free farming Clinkz. Your Mirana ults to give you all temporary invisibility to sneak up on Clinkz as he split pushes. Your team has only a bit of money.


Buy Dust. You know where he is and will be able to use the Dust so you can keep on him. If your team had more money, a Gem would work too, but it might not be worth the risk of losing it. Sentry Wards would not work here because Clinkz has a high move speed and would easily be able to move out of its detection range before you could do much.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Item Guide: Orchid Malevolence

If you're a #2, 3 or 4 (5's too, but you'd have to be pretty far ahead) farm priority and can benefit in any way from the Int, Mana Regen, or DPS Orchid Malevolence is generally a great pick up.

NOTE: if you don't know, generally 1 = carry, 2 = solo, 3 = offlane, 4 = 2nd support, 5 = support (see this post)

Almost every game has an opponent that is worth silencing.

Good Against

This is exceptionally powerful against heroes like Anti-Mage and Storm Spirit who rely on their escapes. If you can Orchid Anti-Mage and focus him a bit, the 30% amplified damage should finish the job.

Likewise, it's good against heroes that rely on spamming/spells to be useful like Leshrac, Invoker (well, Exort can DPS decently), or Zeus.

Not Particularly Useful Against

One-hit Wonder heroes like Tidehunter, Sand King, or Venomancer. If you can silence them and kill them before they use their ult, that's great. But most of the time that's not the case. You'd probably be better off getting a Pipe (or BKB).

Queen of Pain is an interesting case. It's good to lock her down and kill her (i.e. preventing her blink), but you're probably not going to stop her from blowing her ult.

Synergizes Well With


  • He loves the Mana Regen
  • He loves the attack speed
  • Silence + Amplified Damage means that he can gank without worry of being stunned or having his victim blink away


It was always a pretty decent pickup on him. However, with his new changes to Last Word, you can basically guarantee a disarm by using Last Word, then Silencing before they can cast (both Orchid and Last Word last 5 seconds).

It also gives him Int and Regen which benefit his Glaives, as well as attack speed which he desperately lacks.

Generally Recommended For:

Heroes that have a slow, but nothing to prevent their target from blinking away, stunning, etc. Or just generally need mana regen and DPS.

For instance:

  • Broodmother - can be great if you're not the primary carry. She can slow heroes, but has nothing that will prevent them from just stunning her
  • Venomancer - tons of slows, but no actual CC. The attack speed is somewhat useful, but the bonus INT and Regen are huge on Veno who is largely mana dependent.
  • Enchantress - she can slow, but again, nothing to stop her target from using spells. She also can spam her ult for tons of damage.
  • Nature's Prophet - he can surround someone with trees, but that won't stop them from jumping/blinking out or going invis until the trees go away
  • Storm Spirit - he has Vortex, but that has a 20 second cooldown. If you want to ensure you kill your target, Orchid is a nice addition; He also benefits from the regen
  • Wind Runner - she has a lot of spammable spells, the extra CC adds to her very versatile kit, and she can benefit from some DPS
  • There are plenty of others too, these are just some examples

Miscellaneous Notes

  • This will not stop Skeleton King from Resurrecting. He will still Rez even if he's silenced. Only burning his mana below 140 will stop his ult.
  • The 30% amplified damage is dealt as a lump sum at the end of the 5 second duration
  • The build up is pretty great
  • This is more of an offensive item than defensive
  • Heroes that have toggle abilities will continue casting because silence disables the ability to toggle the spell (e.g. Pudge's Rot, Leshrac's Ult)

Item Guide: Bloodstone

Great item on Mana Heavy heroes that can also benefit from some tankiness. However, it is mostly useful for the mana regen as the mana regen is the part that scales (along with reduced gold lost from death, death timer reduction, and the heal nearby allies get when you die).

If you look at the item's design, it screams "ganking". Regen helps you stay in the field longer. All the other benefits come from ganking. If you get a kill, you get a charge. If you die, it's not so bad when you have charges.

When to Get It


  • On #1/2 farm priority heroes (i.e. carry and solo lane) - "Bloodstone Carries/Semi-Carries"
  • When you're doing extremely well - it costs a shitload and you need to be getting/involved in a lot of kills for its passive to be most effective
  • You're a Ganker or heavily involved in Team fights -- gotta get your charges
  • You're Regen dependent

In Short: heroes that need mana regen, will not die often, benefit from flat HP, and are heavily involved in skirmishes/team fights.

When to Give Up

Remember, sometimes it's best to give up on a big item like this. If it's 30 minutes in and you've got boots, Magic Wand, and perseverance, just fuck it. Get something useful (i.e. a utility item like Drum of Endurance or Pipe - which you can break Perseverance apart for). It will help the team more than watching you struggle to complete the rest of your Bloodstone.

Also, if the enemy carry has their BKB before your Bloodstone is done, it may or may not be worth the investment.

Heroes You See This On

  • Storm Spirit - dude can use regen. More Ults, more jukes. His spells are all pretty spammable. Also, he's incredibly hard to kill, leading to massive amounts of charges on his stone.
  • Semi Carry Leshrac - his spells are spammable, and the better his regen, the longer he can ult. The longer he can ult, the more damage he does in a team fight and it makes it easier to push. NOTE: This is for SEMI-CARRY Leshrac (i.e. not #4/5 support Leshrac - I've made this mistake before, I'm sure others have too)
  • Death Prophet - she can spam spells and the added HP helps her take damage while ulting. She can get pretty ballsy for a woman because her ult heals her at the end.
  • Necrolyte - at a certain point, he becomes nearly invincible because he can keep spamming his heals. This makes his entire team hard to kill as well. However, Necro really needs some snowball for this to happen.

Heroes it can be situationally good on:

  • Zeus - he can spam like a mother fucker, the HP helps him survive. However, it can often be more beneficial to get other items like Aghs, Refresher, etc.
  • Enchantress - helps her spam impetus, the extra tankiness makes her more obnoxious due to her Untouchable spell. However, most Enchantress' are played as #4, so it's not really on your itinerary to get a big semi-carry item like this
  • Ogre Magi - more spam, more tank. Again, like Enchantress, he's usually not going to have the farm to get a big item like this
  • Witch Doctor - justification is basically being a walking Healing Well. However, WD is mostly a support hero at Pro Level.
  • Puck - helps with survivability and he's usually a big piece in team fights. Phase Shift helps him survive (i.e. keep charges). He doesn't have the spam to make max use of the regen. Generally seems better to get yourself a Blink Dagger and some utility/initiation items
  • Queen of Pain - able to spam to an extent and she has high survivability. A lot of players will opt for more utility or carry items though like Sheep Stick or sometimes a Desolator.
  • Semi Carry Lina - again, spammy spells, improves her tankiness, and she also has Fiery Soul, which means the more you spam, the faster you auto attack, giving her that carry potential

Things New Players Generally Overlook

  • Bloodstone > Aegis :P
  • You keep getting XP in a 1000 radius after death (makes a suicide initiation less sad)
  • You gain a massive 1800/1800 vision of the area around your death

Passively, Each Charge:

  • +1 Mana Regen/sec (but not HP)

On Death, Each Charge:

  • Reduces Gold Lost by 25
  • Reduces Respawn Time by 4 Seconds
  • Resores 30 HP to allies within 1675 range (in addition to the flat 400 HP) - it's like a Super Mek or Chen Ult


  • It's not necessary on anyone, but it's super nice to have
  • You can get early Mana Boots, break them apart and have a piece of your Bloodstone ready to go

Item Guide: Boots

There are many different options for boots. Each has its own set of scenarios where they are most applicable. Here, I'm going to walk through my understanding of when to get each.


Power Treads:




  • Versatility: you can switch the main stat depending on the situation (e.g. switch to Int so you can cast 1 more spell, switch to Str to tank that last hit)
  • Generally good if you need survivability, or you don't need move speed
  • Also can be good on illusion heroes because stats transfer to them
  • Gives raw attack speed as well
  • Only breaks invis if you switch stats


Example Heroes That Might Get These:

  • Fast & Squishy: Anti-Mage, Luna
  • Illusion Heroes: Phantom Lancer, Chaos Knight
  • Heroes That Need to Extra Str: Batrider, Enigma
  • Invisible heroes: you can't use other boots while invis, plus this gives you stats (most invis heroes are squishy), examples are Riki, Broodmother, Clinkz
  • Nature's Prophet - when you're not playing some sort of support, this gives him what he needs. He can TP around with his skills, so the MS isn't a problem, he can lock people in trees, so no chasing. Basically, he just needs attack speed and some stats
  • Morphling - this gives him more stats to morph between
  • Faceless Void - when you have people Chrono'd, the stats & attack speed work wonders (Phase could also be decent though)


Tranquil Boots:




  • High Movespeed (unless you get hit by enemies) - decent for ganking
  • Able to heal yourself - sometimes good for taking harass or jungle
  • Diassemble-able - has many of the components needed for Vlads or Mek
  • Very cheap - easy to make for broke ass supports, especially if you have crap for HP regen


Example Heroes That Might Get These:

  • Pudge - rotting can be used to harass/farm, gives him movespeed to gank, easy recovery from ganking w/ rot
  • Wisp - good for abusing tether
  • Some Junglers - Ursa (can be used until you want to finish Vlads), Axe (heal between clearing camps)
  • Solo Hard Laners - some players get it on solo hard laners to keep up with harass in lane
  • Supports that are broke/have no regen - Crystal Maiden (who also like the MS), Lich
  • Roamers - helps to get between lanes and heal between ganks


Phase Boots




  • No Collision - great for chasing through crowds of creeps or juking through them
  • Speed burst - again, good for chasing or escaping, also for getting between creep camps quickly in the jungle
  • Helps with positioning - use for a quick speed burst to help position that shackle shot
  • Raw Damage - gives +24 damage, which is the highest any boot can give you. Some heroes don't need anything more than just raw damage
  • Better able to stay on a target - if you have a DoT that is centered on your hero, this can help
  • Roaming - like Tranquil boots, Phase boots help with roaming as well. Both gives good move speed, but Phase are more dependable in a fight


Example Heroes That Might Get These:

  • Heroes that need positioning: Wind Runner, Invoker, Pudge, Leshrac (non-support version), Witch Doctor (if not hard support), Kunkka, Templar Assassin
  • Heroes that need to stay on their target: Pudge, Leshrac, Clockwerk, Juggernaut, Razor, Ursa
  • Heroes that benefit from the raw damage: Bounty Hunter, Kunkka, Phantom Assassin
  • Roamers: Pudge, Tiny, Vengeful Spirit (I like it on her at least)

Special Note: Juggernaut can start spinning and then use Phase Boots to get the Phase Bonus while spinning (the other way around cancels Phase Boots)


Arcane Boots




  • Benefits the whole team (or at least whoever is around you)
  • Improved Mana Pool
  • Disassemble-able
  • Gives enough mana to cast most spells


Example Heroes That Might Get These:

  • Mana Dependent Heroes: Sand King, Bane, Tiny, Zeus, Omniknight
  • Support Heroes: Rubick (when not mid), Jakiro, Dazzle
  • Wisp: can be abused the same way as Tranquil boots using tether (they get 2x the mana), however, Soul Ring can also provide the same benefit


Boots of Travel




  • Don't have to carry a TP Scroll
  • Best base movespeed bonus
  • Can TP to creeps (instead of just buildings)


Example Heroes That Might Get These:

  • Tinker - his ult resets the cooldown on these boots
  • KotL - his ult allows him to teleport a friend to his location (effectively getting a free BoT for the other player)
  • Pushers - easily port to a lane creep to help push, e.g. Pugna, Leshrac, Tinker, KotL
  • Beastmaster - he can port to his minions (i.e. Hawk/Boar)
  • Anyone during late game - if you're all maxed out and want to free up your TP scroll slot, get these. You probably have the stats to make any other boot negligible


Build Boots for the Situation:

  • Get Arcane in a Support/Utility Role (e.g. don't get them on Carry Tiny)
  • If you're dying a lot, you might consider Power Treads or Tranquil Boots. Both are affordable and help you deal with harass (though, don't get Tranquil if you're chased down a lot)
  • Don't get Boots of Travel early if you're not going to use them (i.e. pushing/ganking super hard)
  • Don't get Boots of Travel just because you can 
    • a) afford them
    • b) they're recommended (e.g. if you're Pugna and dying a lot, get something like Treads instead of wasting time saving your Boots of Travel)

Basically, make sure you're getting your boots for the circumstances, not because it's a recommended item. Situation is based on a lot of things:

  • What is your role in this game? (many heroes can be played in multiple ways. You're not always going to be Carry Nature's Prophet or Solo Mid Pugna)
  • How is your farm?
  • Are you dying a lot?
  • Are you able to use the active to max potential? (e.g. you're not ganking/chasing enough for Phase to be useful, but you could use the Stats & Attack Speed in team fights from Power Treads)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hero Classification

Heroes are hard to classify because there are no set positions. Each game is different and that's part of what makes it fun. Heroes can be played in multiple ways, each has different properties associated with them, etc.

The way I view this is that each hero has a Role and Properties. A role determines how you function on this particular team during team fights, the laning phase, etc. Properties I see as something being a side benefit to picking that hero.


Farm Priority

Farm Priority is a major deciding factor in a hero's role. Generally, it is broken down into a 1-5 system, with 1 being the highest priority for farm.

Some heroes can be played in multiple ways. This is a major deciding factor as to what way they will be played.


I break classes into 3 broad categories with sub-divisions. These decide how a hero will function on a team, especially during team fights. These have a fairly strong link to farm priority as well.

  • Carry
    • Farm Priority = 1
    • General Description = heroes that are effective in providing consistent damage output, or DPS.
    • Types
      • Hard Carry = excellent skills for being effective in the late game. Need immense amounts of farm for maximum effectiveness.
        • Examples: Faceless Void, Anti-Mage, Morphling
      • Semi-Carry = able to carry under the right circumstances, decent carrying ability, but definitely not as effective as a Hard Carry with the same farm
        • Bloodstone Carry = heroes that need the regen in order to carry. Typically have a lot of spammable spells that can output a ton of damage.
          • Examples: Death Prophet, Leshrac, Storm Spirit
        • Snowball Carry (A.K.A. Mid-Game Carry) = heroes that can carry, but need to get a lot of kills in the early-mid game, or need to not die much early on.
          • Examples: Night Stalker, Juggernaut, Chaos Knight
  • Utility
    • Farm Priority = 2, 3, (4)
    • General Description = heroes that are versatile and aid in progressing the game through ganking, pushing, and starting fights
    • Types
      • Hunter = heroes that are good at finding singled out heroes and getting an easy 1v1 kill
        • Examples: Bounty Hunter, Bloodseeker, Clinkz
      • Roamer = heroes that are most effective bouncing between lanes
        • Examples: Vengeful Spirit, Enchantress,
      • Initiator = heroes that have a skillset that works well for starting a team fight
        • Examples: Tidehunter, Sand King, Enigma
      • Opportunist = heroes that are good at ganking and pushing if an opportunity arises such as a lucky Rune, bad positioning on the other team's behalf, etc.
        • Examples: Invoker, Templar Assassin, Broodmother
  • Support
    • Farm Priority = (4), 5
    • General Description = heroes that are effective with little farm and are therefore able to purchase team items like Wards, Dust, Smoke, etc.
    • Types
      • Second Support = heroes that have support as a secondary task. They typically set up kills, stack the jungle, pull creeps, etc.
        • Examples: Leshrac, Enchantress, Rubick
      • Hard Support = heroes that excel with little farm, have good early game abilities, and are therefore able to buy almost all the team support items (e.g. Wards, Dust)
        • Examples:  Crystal Maiden, Venomancer, Jakiro


Heroes have properties. These are things that are characteristic of them, and not necessarily their role on a team.
  • Survivalist
    • Heroes that have an escape mechanism like Invisibility or Blink
    • Examples: Windrunner, Bounty Hunter, Queen of Pain
  • Tanky
    • Heroes that are naturally able to take more damage via Strength Growth, an ability, etc.
    • Examples: Axe, Centaur Warrunner, Lifestealer 
  • Pusher
    • Heroes that have a skill that aids in taking towers down quickly
    • Examples: Pugna, Leshrac, Chen
  • Disabler / Crowd Control
    • Heroes that are able to help control a fight through stuns, silences, etc.
    • Examples: Shadow Shaman, Lion, Bane
  • Lane Control & Counter-Pusher
    • Heroes that help control the creeps in the lane and their positioning
    • Examples: Lich, Tinker, Undying
  • Healer
    • Heroes that have a healing spell
    • Examples: Dazzle, Omniknight, Witch Doctor