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Thread: Hero roles in DotA, guide by ^FEAR

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    Hero roles in DotA, guide by ^FEAR

    Hero roles in DotA, guide by ^FEAR


    1: Foreword

    We all know it's nice to see farmed carry hero making triple kill in every team battle. But most of the people try to make carry with every possible hero from Warlock to Ezalor. In this guide I will explain hero roles in team like support and tanks. This guide is mainly to help new comers improve but still, everyone might learn something new from it. I doubt much of them will read this but still...Good luck.

    2: Hero roles in DotA

    I will divide them in few categories which are :

    • Carry heroes
    • Support heroes
    • Gank heroes
    • Pushers/Anti pushers
    • Initators
    • Tank heroes
    • Jungle heroes


    NOTE: Some heroes belong in more groups since they can be played different way depending upon game situation.

    2.1 Support

    I will start with these guys since they are played 99% wrong in lower level games and want to be carries. Too often they are seen with Radiances/Burizas and such items. It's wrong way to play these heroes as I will explain.

    Support heroes are:

    • Omniknight
    • Crystal maiden
    • Witch doctor
    • Zeus
    • Vengeful spirit
    • Enigma
    • Ezalor
    • Ogre magi
    • Furion
    • Techies
    • Chen
    • Jakiro
    • Puck
    • Rhasta
    • Lesharc
    • Lich
    • Krobelus
    • Lion
    • Pugna
    • Atropos
    • Necrolyte
    • Abbadon
    • Warlock
    • Dazzle
    • Invoker


    These are mainly intelligence heroes who need minimal survival items to be effective. Primary role of support hero is teamplay. There are many ways supporters can contribute to team.

    Some have shiny auras, like Crystal maiden who has global mana regeneration aura, others have nice heal, like Warlock who has Shadow word. As said before, they don't need items to be effective, so they will spend most of their gold buying items team needs, such as wards/dust/gem and plant them. Their role is to buy chicken in most cases, as well. For more information about placing wards check guide to warding.

    Apart from buying items supporters are mainly used as baby sitters for carry heroes who won't be able to farm and carry without their help. Example of babysitter is Warlock who's heal allows carry to stay on lane without fear of being harassed. On lane supporters should only deny creeps and let creep and hero kills to carries.

    Supporters with disables, like Witch doctor, should start roaming after certain period and leave carry solo to get more experience/gold.

    Items that most supporters should buy are:

    • Observer and Sentry wards
    • Chicken and later Crow
    • Disable items like Guinsoo scythe of Vyse
    • Support items like Necronomicon
    • Mekansm


    Wards are bought and placed to secure your carry from ganks, since he is most probably farming in woods. Chicken allows your teammates to shop while not leaving lane and losing experience. Disables are gotten to stop enemy dangerous heroes from doing anything. Good option on most supporters is Necronomicon, known as Necro book. It gives nice attribute bonuses, improves team efficency due to auras and boosts your overall damage.

    There are also semi-supporter heroes who can play support depending on game situation. Good example of such hero is Pandaren brewmaster.

    2.2 Carry heroes

    What are carry heroes?

    They are mostly agility heroes which are very fragile during early periods of game and should always be laned with an baby sitter such as Warlock who will help you in growing powerful and winning late game. Carry's primary duty is to stay alive and farm as much as possible to get late game items which he, in most cases, needs.

    Best way to farm is to constantly TP/travel among lanes and woods (farming neutral creep camps there) so you avoid being ganked. Also, if you have hero that is good ganker, like Shadow fiend, you should pop out from woods when you wait for creep camps to respawn.

    Carry heroes should get damage items such as Buriza or Monkey king bar to boost their damage output and maximize carry potential. Most carry heroes can make good use of Radiance as primary item as it boosts their farming capability and allows them to farm rest of items pretty fast. You should aim for Radiance around 25 minutes in serious games and under 20 minutes in pubs.

    Carry heroes are:

    • Morphling
    • Sven
    • Naga siren
    • Stealh assasin
    • Juggernaut
    • Silencer
    • Tinker
    • Alchemist
    • Luna
    • Sniper
    • Troll warlord
    • Gondar
    • Anti-mage
    • Davion
    • Drow ranger
    • Terror blade
    • Visage
    • Nessaj
    • Broodmother
    • Phantom assasin
    • Medusa
    • Skeleton king
    • Bone fletcher
    • Faceless void
    • Razor
    • Lifestealer
    • Necrolyte
    • Nerubian Weaver
    • Ursa warrior
    • Shadow fiend
    • Blood seeker
    • Spectre
    • Obsidian destroyer
    • Geomancer
    • Lycan


    As said before, they are very fragile early game and need items to be effective later. For example, Shadow fiend has only 435 starting HP and is very easy to be killed early game but is force to be reckoned with later when he is farmed up.

    There are also semi-carry's who usually dominate early and middle game and get big and fat so they dominate late game as well. Some examples of semi-carries are:

    • Dragon knight
    • Tiny
    • Tinker
    • Visage
    • Sven
    • Necrolyte
    • Mirana
    • Huskar
    • Lanaya
    • Admiral
    • Balanar
    • Slardar
    • Queen of Pain
    • Viper
    • Spirit breaker
    • Dark seer


    As said above, most of them have some ability which allows them to net kills early game or be effective late game. Examples are Necrolyte's Reaper's scythe and Sven's God strength. Depending on game situation these heroes can fill some other role as well, for example Necrolyte can be used as supporter as well (in most cases he will, that was just an example).

    2.3 Gank heroes

    What is ganking and how to do it?

    Ganking is very important aspect of game. If some hero is shut down form very start he won't most likely be able to fulfill his role in game. Carry heroes should be ganked mostly in early periods to prevent them from becoming strong later. Anyway, basically ganking is to carry out a sudden attack on an outnumbered enemy force for the purpose of killing one or more heroes for many posible reasons:

    • Ganking in order to slow down farming heroes, whether it is a tier for damage item on a carry, a Dagger on an initiator, or any other important item. This ganks are usually small skirmishes done early-mid game.
    • Getting gold and experience from the kills.
    • Ganking a lone hero, or a small group, to gain a pushing advantage if the game gets stalled. Killing an anti-pusher hero before attempting to multi-push all 3 lanes, for example.


    Good gankers are heroes who can deal a lot of damage in a short time (burst damage), have a great mobility, can isolate enemy heroes, have some sort of disable (either a stun or a slow), or more likely a combination of those. Here are most popular ones, burst damagers:

    • Lina inverse
    • Balanar
    • Nerubian assasin
    • Tinker
    • Lich


    Heroes with some form of blink have element of suprise when ganking since they come out all of sudden. Examples are:

    • Akasha, Queen of pain
    • Puck, Fearie dragon
    • Mirana
    • Morphling
    • Sand king
    • Clockwerk goblin
    • Furion


    Disablers are also very powerful gankers. In most cases they can disable multi units allowing your allies to devastate them. Some examples are:

    • Lion
    • Bane elemental
    • Rhasta
    • Jakiro


    There are also heroes who have slow attack or skill making enemy escape almost impossible. Those are:

    • Viper
    • Drow ranger
    • Bristle back
    • Pugna
    • Dazzle


    Special mention in ganking goes to Pudge since he can isolate single hero and kill him in very short time then escape. Always watch woods when you play against this guy.

    There are also roamers which are a specific kind of gankers who will spend most of the early-mid game ganking, leaving their lane very early in the game (usually around lvl 3 or 5). Roamer heroes usually have a very poor late game, and need very little items to contribute to their team. Some heroes capable of roaming are: Venomancer, Vengeful Spirit, Sven, Slayer and Crystal Maiden.

    2.4 Push/Anti-push heroes

    What are pushers and anti-pushers?

    These are heroes who can clear creep waves alone or very fast and take down towers easily. Their role is to put pressure on enemy lanes and they should be able to push more lanes at once. Best example of pusher hero is by far, Tinker. He can push 3 lanes at once without problem.

    Typical build for pusher hero are Boots of Travel along with aura items who buff creeps thus giving them advantage over enemy creep wave.

    Anti-pushers are basically same heroes in other role, defending base.

    Examples of pushing abilities are:

    • Illuminate
    • Shockwave
    • Counter helix
    • Great cleave
    • Rain of fire


    While some of pusher/anti pusher heroes are:

    • Ezalor
    • Tinker
    • Shadow fiend
    • Invoker
    • Pit lord
    • Earthshaker
    • Pugna
    • Axe
    • Tiny
    • Rexxar
    • Lina inverse


    Basically heroes who can clear huge ammounts of creeps fast with AoE spells or skills. I would put "summoners" in category as well since they can spawn creatures that push pretty fast. Some most notable would be:

    • Broodmother
    • Syllabear
    • Invoker
    • Mirror-image heroes (example Naga siren)


    Certainly best way to counter push is using AoE spells.


    2.5 Tank heroes

    What is tank?

    Tank is a hero (mainly Strength one), whose primary role is to absorb large amounts of damage from enemies and draw attention away from his allies, for example by buying Radiance. To achieve this, they generally have several defensive abilities that grant armor, regeneration, or bonus damage (e.g. Davion's Dragon's Blood, Centaur's Great Fortitude, Bristleback's Bristleback, Tidehunter's Kraken Shell), as well as a high Strength gain. Hero doesn't always need to be Strength based to be a tank. Agility example is Medusa, who is great tank due to Mana shield.

    Tanks are mainly initiators as well and their best tool is Kelen's dagger of escape also known as blink dagger. What they do is blink in and try to catch as much enemies as possible as possible with their initiator spell (Reverse polarity for example) so your team can rush in and clear them. Initiators should try to catch enemy off guard for full effect.

    Tanks are:

    • Tidehunter
    • Centaur
    • Bristle back
    • Sven
    • Dragon knight
    • Medusa
    • Syllabear
    • Treant protector
    • Undying
    • Alchemist


    2.6 Initiator heroes

    Who are initiators?

    As word says they initiate battle which means they rush in first and do their AoE skill to damage or disable as much of enemy team as possible. Initiators mostly make use of Kelen's dagger of Escape known as blink dagger.

    Some initiator heroes are:

    • Tidehunter
    • Enigma
    • Treant protector
    • Axe
    • Magnus
    • Puck
    • Shadow fiend
    • Pandaren brewmaster
    • Lesharc
    • Admiral
    • Tiny
    • Slardar


    Their primary role is to blink in, catch enemy off guard and devastate them with their skills (Reverse polarity, for example). Then their team will have advantage winning team battle.

    2.7 Jungling heroes

    What is jungling?

    Basically it's "laning" in woods so your team can have two solo lanes and therefore level up much faster. It's done by heroes who have some survival ability that will help them to survive while creeping. Example is Lifestealer's Feast.

    Junglers should creep pull from time to time so allied lane isn't pushed too far and always open from gank. They should pop out to gank from time to time while waiting creeps to respawn.

    As enemy team will notice you have jungler they will come to gank you every now and then. So if you are jungling Observer wards are must if you wish to stay alive.

    Examples of jungling heroes are:

    • N'aix
    • Terrorblade
    • Axe
    • Broodmother
    • Centaur
    • Lycan
    • Syllabear
    • Tidehunter
    • Pit lord
    • Ursa warrior
    • Pandaren brewmaster
    • Chen
    • Dark seer


    As you see all of heroes above have some form of skill that helps them creep. Chen can dominate creeps, Terrorblade can tank with images and so on. That's it for now.

    I would like to thank few people:

    • As always, Ice Frog, for DotA
    • Myself, for taking effort to write this
    • Femisa for buying Radiance on every support hero and inspiring me to prove people that strategy sucks
    • Mezmerize & [gdl]Shadow for helping to finish guide (Initiator and jungle sections), Fika[F] for some pointers
    • ProtosS, for constant spam
    • Perito, <3 noob
    • You, for reading this guide


    Changelog:

    Hidden Text click here to show


    I may be wrong at some part of guide and if you think something is wrong feel free to comment it. All kinds of constructive criticsm appreciated and will be taken into consideration. Thanks for reading my guide.
    Last edited by ^FEAR; 14th February 2009 at 03:43 PM. Reason: Adding sections/finishing guide.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

  2. #2
    Safelist Member sasha's Avatar
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    You should definetly add pit lord as one of most effective antipusher/pusher.
    Also, imo, you should split intiators from tanks. Just a few tanks can initate as well, it's not like tanks are mostly initators .. From my point of view.

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    You're right, I'll do that today when I catch time.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    Registered User [gdl]shadow's Avatar
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    add junglers,cause some heroes are must woods example chen,also ench cent axe enigma(with new eildons)naix etc,these heroes ofc depends on the situation its better to jungle then to be on lane.
    p.s:wl best carry wtf?!

    Break From My Love Dota

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    Will add junglers too, thanks .

    WL best carry?

    EDIT: Done, thanks for help both.
    Last edited by ^FEAR; 14th February 2009 at 12:29 PM.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    Safelist Member Fika[F]'s Avatar
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    You stated that shadow fiend is carry and davion semy carry, in my opinion its the other way around... if you think about it sf isn't much of a carry, only carry spell he got is +60 dmg, and he's fragile too... while having gr8 spells, he usually pwns with his spells early-mid game, so I'd put him in semy carry.
    And for davion, well he is semy-carry-carry idk xD ofc he isn't a pure carry like void, but I'd put him carry anyway cuz he actually is one of the main carry heros in dota. For skeleton... man he is pure carry, 3 carry spells and 1 stun. About sven... well he is actually underastemated and too rearly picked imo... since a good sven can pwn mid game like a semmy carry, and latte game like a pure carry... but not tank imo... well he is carry-tank like davion, but when you write examples write clear ones, axe, cent, bb, pudge(imo he rly is... roting enemy, ulty enemy... all while taking firepower, and while your team kills), cuz when you think about tanks, thinks about what items does that hero get, all 4 I stated go -hood - vanguard - hot- depending on situation while sven goes bkb mom buriza xD notice the diference...
    Anyway the finest examples of a semy carry hero I can think of are mirana and sf.

    Anyway good guides, keep em coming

    edit: yea and you forgot to add ench to jungling heroes... like one of the best since she can controll 2 heroes from lvl 1, you might wana replace her with panda since I never saw a jungling panda... (no rly anyone saw : S ?)
    Last edited by Fika[F]; 14th February 2009 at 01:20 PM.

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    Registered User Shadowbuq's Avatar
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    I think ES can be a great anti-pusher u can add it.
    Got it!!

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    Registered User PROTOZZ's Avatar
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    I think the best carry is Geomancer,than Terrorblade.
    Why didnt u add Lycan as jungler hero and Axe.I would add Lycan,cause most of begginers dont know Lycan can go woods.
    And how Panda can jungling?
    „Сањао сам неке чудне Србе. Причају српски, а мисле турски.“

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    First of all there is one thing you guys didn't understand . I just put EXAMPLES of, let's say, jungle heroes. I didn't put all. But since you all continue not to understand that , I will add all when I catch time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fika[F] View Post
    You stated that shadow fiend is carry and davion semy carry, in my opinion its the other way around... if you think about it sf isn't much of a carry, only carry spell he got is +60 dmg, and he's fragile too... while having gr8 spells, he usually pwns with his spells early-mid game, so I'd put him in semy carry.
    And for davion, well he is semy-carry-carry idk xD ofc he isn't a pure carry like void, but I'd put him carry anyway cuz he actually is one of the main carry heros in dota. For skeleton... man he is pure carry, 3 carry spells and 1 stun. About sven... well he is actually underastemated and too rearly picked imo... since a good sven can pwn mid game like a semmy carry, and latte game like a pure carry... but not tank imo... well he is carry-tank like davion, but when you write examples write clear ones, axe, cent, bb, pudge(imo he rly is... roting enemy, ulty enemy... all while taking firepower, and while your team kills), cuz when you think about tanks, thinks about what items does that hero get, all 4 I stated go -hood - vanguard - hot- depending on situation while sven goes bkb mom buriza xD notice the diference...
    Anyway the finest examples of a semy carry hero I can think of are mirana and sf.

    Anyway good guides, keep em coming

    edit: yea and you forgot to add ench to jungling heroes... like one of the best since she can controll 2 heroes from lvl 1, you might wana replace her with panda since I never saw a jungling panda... (no rly anyone saw : S ?)
    I prefer to see SF played as carry but I guess I'll put him in semi-carry.

    I wouldn't rather put DK in carry because it depends on game situation and pick.

    Leoric will be changed. Sven semi-carry. Will add mirana to semi-carry section.

    Never saw Panda jungle? Merlini used it first , with stats + clap. I think I can find replay, it's pretty nice game to watch but a bit older map.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowbuq View Post
    I think ES can be a great anti-pusher u can add it.
    As I said I didn't name all heroes in some section. ES is indeed great anti-pusher. I will complete all sections soon and all will be added.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProtosS View Post
    I think the best carry is Geomancer,than Terrorblade.
    Why didnt u add Lycan as jungler hero and Axe.I would add Lycan,cause most of begginers dont know Lycan can go woods.
    And how Panda can jungling?
    Same as above.

    Yea, Panda is good jungler. Will add replay when I find it.

    Thanks for comments guys!
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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    Safelist Member Fika[F]'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProtosS View Post
    I think the best carry is Geomancer
    And how Panda can jungling?
    sooooo wrong lol, meepo pwns mid game when he gets meka vlads pt and has skills maxed... latte game he is far from best carry, killed easy rly...
    best carry in game is spectre you can be sure in that... folowed by void mortred naix tb etc...

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    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    Spectre is great . Meepo sucks later and too easily countered by any serious AoE.

    Anyway, editing guide now will add all stuff left.

    EDIT: Ok, done most. If I missed something or something's wrong please say. New Dirge is good tank, right? Didn't play that.

    Quote Originally Posted by perito View Post
    wow, very good guide
    Thanks.
    Last edited by ^FEAR; 14th February 2009 at 03:46 PM.
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

  12. #12
    Retired Super Moderator Perito's Avatar
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    wow, very good guide


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  13. #13
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    wow, very good guide
    This guide is not about W(orld)O(f)W(arcraft) perito...confused forums ? >.<

  14. #14
    Registered User PROTOZZ's Avatar
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    Dudes,have u ever watched Memmon playing geo?
    If geo gets BkB,other heroes are useless against him....
    „Сањао сам неке чудне Србе. Причају српски, а мисле турски.“

  15. #15
    Eurobattle.net Backer ^FEAR's Avatar
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    Excatly why he is banned by default in higher level games. [/sarcasm]
    "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse..."

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