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Thread: Lane control guide by ^FEAR

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    Lane control guide by ^FEAR

    Lane control guide by ^FEAR


    1: Foreword

    Since I am stuck here without possibility of playing DotA, for quite some time, and bored of writing hero guides at the moment, I decided to write guide about lane control which is one of most important aspects of DotA and, at same time, what much people fail at. This guide is meant mainly to help newcomers to learn something new and 1337 pub beyond godlike's to improve. Still, it may teach anyone something new.

    Before reading I warn you it's picture-less wall of text and I am sure many people won't even read it but those who read, I hope you will learn something new and enjoy. Good luck.

    2: Lane control

    Lane control is art of managing your lane. Here are aspects I will explain:

    • Last hitting creeps
    • Denying creeps
    • Harassing & Orb walking
    • Creep pulling & blocking
    • Map awareness


    2.1 Last hitting

    What is last hit? Basically, it's doing the killing blow to enemy creep and therefore getting bounty (gold) from it. It's basic thing for any DotA player who calls himself good or decent. Much people fail when they think last hitting is done after laning part of game and later just keep auto-attacking. You need to last hit all game in order to get both, early and late game, items. It also should be done throughout game for practice and improvement.

    When last hitting there are two things you should take note of:

    • When last hitting in order to do it well you should always hold ALT or enable "show healthbars" option in Menu, in order to see creeps HP when dealing final blow.
    • You should take note of your hero's base damage so you know approximately how low the creep's health is before you last hit it. Obviously, higher damage means you can last hit creeps when they have higher health


    So, why to do last hitting and how to do it best?

    By last hitting you, obviously, get gold. More gold you get means getting more items. More items means more ownage, especially if you left your opponent under-farmed and item-less.

    You should always deal only final blow to enemy creep, as word says last hit. Creep waves from both sides are perfectly balanced and receive same upgrades every 7.5 minutes, unless barracks are destroyed. So by attacking creep more then once you ruin balance of waves and push more towards enemy tower. By doing this you move from safety of your tower area and leave yourself exposed to enemy ganks. fighting under enemy tower you will have hard time denying creeps but more about that later.

    Best place for creeps to meet is closest to your tower without it attacking enemy creeps (because it pushes backs towards enemy tower) because if you fight close to your tower you may lose creeps to tower hits which has big damage. By fighting under enemy tower you will have hard time denying creeps but more about that in appropriate section.

    This is easy to accomplish if you keep to constant last hit and deny creeps. If enemy is auto attacker however, don't worry since you will always fight under safety of your tower and he'll get ganked most of the time.

    Last hitting can also be done by spells, but it's not good in all situations.

    Some AoE spells like Shockwave or Waveform can net you few creep kills per wave if timed good. When you spell farm you should be aware that it, same as auto attacking, pushes creep wave forward. Spell farming should be used when you plan going to check runes or gank other lane and when you intend to take down enemy tower so you want to clear creeps fast.

    Last thing you should know is that last hit style is not same for ranged and melee heroes;

    • With a melee hero you must stand a little ways away from the creeps and hold, only going up to last hit. You must also know the melee hero's Attack Animation. Since different heroes have different attack animation times, it is important to get familiar with them. Almost all melee heroes have easy attack animation and it's generally easier to last hit with melee then range hero.
    • With a ranged hero, you must move your hero around, and hitting the creep for the last hit from time to time. One important thing to take note about a range hero is the projectile speed. Since projectile speeds are different for different heroes, you must familiarise yourself with them. Ranged heroes also have Attack Animation times. For example you should that Razor and Crystal Maiden have delay when doing attack animation and you should time attack little before so it hits on time.


    2.2 Denying

    What is denying? Basically, it's killing low HP allied creep in order to prevent enemy from getting gold and reducing his experience gain.

    Why to deny and how to do it? As said above, by denying creep you prevent enemy from getting gold and reduce his experience gain from denied creep. By getting less gold enemy will have less good items and therefore beeing less able to own you.

    A denied creep gives 36/n experience to melee heroes and 18/n experience to ranged heroes, where n is the number of heroes within 1000 AoE (Area of Effect). Creep must have below 50% life to be deniable.

    Same as with last hitting by denying you ensure that creep wave stays close to your tower and doesn't push to far opening you to ganks. When you deny creep little "!" sign will come out showing you denied it successfully. If you typed -di or -showdeny, that is.

    In some extreme cases allied hero can be denied as well but only when under 25% of maximum health. To be deniable he must have one of following buffs on:

    • Shadow strike (Note that Viper's ultimate can't be denied)
    • Lucifer's Doom
    • Warlock's Shadow word
    • Silencer's Curse of the Silent


    By denying allied hero you also prevent enemy from getting gold and experience. But before you decide to do it be sure that ally will die because you might screw him over if you do it when he would survive. I don't advise doing this in pubs because you will be flamed as team killer.

    When heroes are denied passive skills such as, Sadist, Blood Bath and Flesh Heap, also will trigger.

    Several heroes have the ability to kill an allied creep via spell. Denying with such skills makes the creep give absolutely no experience to enemy heroes. These skills are:

    • Lich's Dark Ritual
    • Enigma's Conversion (Eidolons give EXP though)
    • Lifestealer's Infest
    • Bone fletcher's Death pact


    Expection is Tiny's Toss. By tossing unit and killing it you do normal deny.

    2.3 Harassing & Orb walking

    What is harassing? Basically it's reducing opponent's hero health via spell or normal attack.

    Many people think kills is main thing to focus on in early game. Kill is always nice and puts you ahead ~250 gold but during early stages it's actually far more important to force enemy hero going back to fountain and leaving you free lane. 250 gold is aprox 6-7 creeps and during that period you can surely last hit more then 6-7 if you have any skill. Most likely, enemy hero will also buy TP which will put him back 135 gold.

    Also most stupid way you can die is to actually chase those 10 HP-ers behind their towers on early levels. In most cases (read 95%) you will die and give level/gold/experience to your enemy as well as allowing him to free farm while you respawn. Let them flee and do as said above.

    Now, there are two types of harassing you should know about:

    • Normal attacking harass
    • Spell harass


    Harassing with normal attack, by right clicking on enemy hero, isn't as easy as it sounds because by doing so you draw creep aggro (enemy creeps will ignore your own creepwave and proceed towards attacking you untill you fall back.

    Creep aggro can often turn the tide of 1v1 battles during early period since during that stage 3 creeps damage output is equal to heroes one. So when attacking and trying to kill enemy which is below half HP and seems like an easy target take creeps into consideration. Creep aggro can be avoided by manually casting orb effect but only heroes which have such spell can do so.

    Harassing with single target spells, like Lightning bolt, is much easier because nor it draws aggro nor pushes creep wave. By doing this you force enemy to retreat and heal, eventually leaving you to free farm. Try to keep enemy at low health constantly and get kill if possible, if not just keep farming kills will come with time.

    By using AoE spells like Chain lightning or Fire breath you will harass enemy but also push and that's thing you should avoid. You should use this when few creeps are low HP so you last hit them as well as hurting enemy. But don't spam it too often or you'll end fighting near enemy tower.

    Now let's proceed to orb walking. Orb walking is manually casting of such ability and is best way of harassment since it's using normal attack but not drawing creep aggro. Only few heroes are blessed with this ability and they are mainly some of best lane controlers in game. Those are:

    • Silencer (Glaives of Wisdom)
    • Drow ranger (Frost arrows)
    • Viper (Poison attack)
    • Bone fletcher (Searing arrows)
    • Obsidian destroyer (Arcane orb)
    • Huskar (Burning spear)
    • Enchantress (Impetus)


    When laning against those it will be painfull trying to last hit.

    2.4 Creep pulling & blocking

    Those are advanced techniques used for denying enemy experience and pushing battle back to your tower.

    Creep pulling is making creeps come and meet your creep wave outside forest. By doing this you will sometimes deny (since creeps will die to neutrals) creeps and push battle back under safety of your tower. This is best done at Scourge top and Sentinel bottom lane by engaging neutral creep camps and making them follow you to encounter your creep wave at minute marks of xx:15 and xx:45 (where xx is minute).

    Creep blocking is, obviously, blocking your creep wave's route. This is done when they push too far. For some unknown reason much people do it on first waves, like Sentinel bottom, because they saw it in replays. Sentinel bottom is useless to block at first wave because tower will devastate enemy creeps and thus push forward leaving you open to ganks. Do it when you see you need to, not when you like to.

    2.5 Map awareness

    Often happens that newer players who recently started to last hit and deny pay too much attention to it and forget to check mini map every now and then. This leads to flaming and shouting at team mates complaining about miss (which was told anyway). After each creepwave you should check all other lanes and see if there are heroes missing then decide should you either, fall back to tower and wait 'till they show up again or you think you are out of danger and farm as normal.

    This doesn't mean miss shouldn't be told just that you should make full use of mini-map and not blame teammates for your lack of perception.

    There are few color modes on mini map and it's up to you which one to use. Personally I use one where all heroes have their color so I know who's missing from where. But as said, it's up to you.

    Anyway we have come to the end of this guide and if you actually have read all of this you are not normal but OK. Few people I would like to thank;

    • As always, Ice Frog, for DotA
    • Femisa, for failing utterly on lane each time
    • Quellilo, because I <3 him
    • Myself, for taking time to write this
    • You, for actually reading this wall of text


    Thanks for reading and good luck improving your lane control.

    NOTE: I may be wrong at some things so if you think I should change something or some part should be rewritten please say so. Any constructive comments are appreciated.
    Last edited by ^FEAR; 13th February 2009 at 06:31 PM.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

  2. #2
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    This isn't really a hero guide, so should be rather @ main strategy subforum, therefore il move it there in next few minutes.

  3. #3
    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    As you wish.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    Done, and stickyed for the time being.

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    Safelist Member [^RawR^]'s Avatar
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    Good guide, but there's one point i disagree with.

    I thought too that not blocking sent bottom and scourge top will be better because of creeps not fighting at your tower, but take into account that your enemy will block creeps too. So if you don't block, your creeps will end somewhere in the line with the goblin secret shop, and maybe even closer to their tower if they blocked well. Now if you block, there IS a chance that tower destroys them, but there's also a chance enemy creeps will be outside the tower range. And even if tower pushes them, they'll get point when they're parallel with goblin shop anyway, so besides having them there at first wave, at worst case u wil have them at 2nd. So it still pays out imo
    KASSEL: urke looks like harry potter and frodo in 1 person: frodo potter

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    Registered User Shadowbuq's Avatar
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    Good guide i saw another guide like that one in a forum but with SS's anyway Good Job but if u add some SS it will be easy to understand
    Got it!!

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    @Guard

    That's logical, of course. But that's why creep pulling is there . You can creep pull from your position and they can't from theirs so in reality creeps will always be battling under your tower as long as you do all said above.

    @Shadowbug

    Pictures can't do much here and I don't see point in putting them when all is explained in text itself.

    Thanks for comments .
    Last edited by ^FEAR; 13th February 2009 at 06:28 PM.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    I'm most complete fighter in the world [YuMa]EMPEROR's Avatar
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    You don't <3 me

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    I do, of course. <3
    But if I put all friends in Credits it'll be too long.

    So I put only my imba chief Quellilo.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    Registered User PROTOZZ's Avatar
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    Next guide is reserved for me...
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    Registered User BG_J0RJ's Avatar
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    nice work ,i hope nabs are gona read it cuz they REALLY nead it ;p

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by [^RawR^] View Post
    Good guide, but there's one point i disagree with.

    I thought too that not blocking sent bottom and scourge top will be better because of creeps not fighting at your tower, but take into account that your enemy will block creeps too. So if you don't block, your creeps will end somewhere in the line with the goblin secret shop, and maybe even closer to their tower if they blocked well. Now if you block, there IS a chance that tower destroys them, but there's also a chance enemy creeps will be outside the tower range. And even if tower pushes them, they'll get point when they're parallel with goblin shop anyway, so besides having them there at first wave, at worst case u wil have them at 2nd. So it still pays out imo
    blocking creeps is a good thing on all lanes :


    mid lane : if you block correctly you end up on the hill and the enemy down the hill that equals he can miss and you can harass easy-er.
    top sentinel lane for example : if you don't block and let creeps fight where they normally meet you can get gang-ed easy since you're on the long lane.
    down sentinel lane : if you block you end up fighting in you're tower , that means the oponent can't come really closer and deny and you can harass easy and gank since the enemy is on his long line far away from tower.

  13. #13
    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    No, you don't block at down Sentinel's lane.

    If you block, tower will own enemy creep wave and push forward.
    If you don't and they don't - creeps meet on place good for you.
    If you don't and they do - you can creep pull easily next wave.

    So, blocking down lane sucks.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    Registered User [4h]4Pa1n's Avatar
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    ncie thing...

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    New User sharkm's Avatar
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    good guide for noobs :P

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