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Thread: [^RawR^]'s guide to solo mid

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    [^RawR^]'s guide to solo mid

    [^RawR^]'s guide to solo mid


    1. Introduction


    Player that solos mid is usually one of the best if not the best player in the team. There's a big difference between a good solo player and bad solo player, and it can easily be noticed - good player is the one that comes to your lane with his level 8 nevermore with farmed blink and makes a double kill while you're still wondering what happened and why is your team's tinker still level 5 and last hitting on mid. Bad players are easily recognized - Zeus sitting on mid last hitting, he's level 10, he's got 1 kill (from his ult), and now it's minute 20 and that unganked slardar from enemy team starts winning the game. If you want to play magnus/nevermore with minute 8 blink and 3-0-4 stats in 10 minutes, take a look at the following guide.

    2. Important things to have when you're soloing mid


    Let's list what 95% of solo mid heroes absolutely need in order to dominate their lane -

    Flying Courier: Just to make it clear, solo mid shouldn't be buying chicken and upgrading it. One of your support heroes must upgrade chicken to crow with his first money in order for all players to dominate their lane, especially the solo hero. Just an ordinary chicken is too bad and too slow, because that panda needs a salve to stay on his lane, you need to get your bottle ASAP, and your warlock needs his set of wards delivered to him, while enigma in jungle wants his 2 clarities right now. It takes like 3 minutes for it to deliver, while for 200 gold more you all get your pretty much needed item to function 10 times faster. Without a courier you have to get back to get your bottle and boots, giving enemy solo farm and levels. Not good at all.

    Empty bottle: Pretty much core for so much solo heroes. This is what you spend your first 600 gold on, and by that time in organized games you probably got a crow to bring it to you in 5 seconds. You do not start laning with this item ever, you buy it later and bring it by crow. (I've had so much situations when i harass my enemy on lvl 1/2 with some strong solo so he spends all of his bottle charges, and then i get his runes so his empty bottle is like empty inventory, it's a big mistake to buy bottle first)

    - Using bottle:Runes spawn at 2 minute marks (0:00, 2:00, 4:00, 6:00...), and that's when you try to push your lane with your nukes, and snatch a rune (Why to push a lane - your creep wave gets destroyed at enemy tower, and since they die so fast they don't get to kill any enemy creeps - you don't lose any exp or gold looking for runes, and when you come back, the wave is on your side because of their tower. Perfect.) Then you can chose to dominate your enemy through nuking him and using rune, so you can send him to base or kill him having some easy farm, or you can go gank a side lane. Heroes that can't gank good before level 6, and for example got a rune on lvl 4 shouldn't be wasting their time, and should be focusing on mid lane enemy and farming instead.

    Boots of speed
    : This is what you will spend your next 500 gold after the bottle in most cases. Since you are the only hero in your lane, your gold income should be the best so you get your boots before everyone else. Now it's so much easier to gank with boots and a rune, any possible lane, and dominate your enemy mid if he hasn't got his yet. Also you can outrun him to the runes and chase better for a kill. Early mobility is what you need the most, and it cuts time going to base and back or to runespot and back by a decent margin. And if you're playing orbwalkers I'd recommend getting them even before bottle in some cases. Also, if you're playing a hero that doesn't depend so much on runes, but you mustn't allow enemy hero to get them, get boots before bottle, always. Examples - Sniper vs Tinker( If he gets his runes, 2 lasers and you're out of lane), Visage vs SF (he gets regen/invis/haste/dd and you're either 100% dead, or going back to base) etc...

    Scroll of town portal
    : Obviously to assist other lanes if they get ganked at their tower. Level 6 zeus/tinker/puck teleporting will in most cases turn the tide of the battle and come out with 2 or more kills. And for running, if you're laning against some heroes that it's impossible to run from at lvl 6 or sooner (Viper, Bloodseeker, Balanar, Enchantress, QoP, Dark seer come to mind), you will need your scroll to survive them slowing you/doing big damage over short time. Notice that they have zero or almost zero disables so it's easy to TP from them, but not easy to run from them.

    Magic wand/stick: Basically you should get this item because it's very good in any game and it can save your life pretty often, but for middle it's optional. You can start with it,or rush it with first 200/500 gold if you're laning against heroes like Batrider, Bristleback, Zeus, Kunkka, Potm, Ezalor, Doom, Roof and so on... Basically it counters their spamming, and makes you able to spam them to death sometimes if they use their spells not thinking about your wand (mainly bat, roof and doom because their spells don't damage your), or it serves as an warning tool to warn you, so it's pretty much impossible to get hit with arrow, torrent or illuminate if you got your stick and basic awareness.

    3. Common solo heroes and their counters

    - I'm not going to list all solo heroes because there are too much of them right now, and there's an image limit to the post, but I'm going to mention some of the most used ones, as well as their counters and the heroes they counter. I think that it's quite easy to determine the counters and the heroes they counter for the rest of the heroes i don't list because these examples will be pretty much generalized.

    - Very strong solo hero, impossible to kill if he's smart. Because of 4 sec sleep you won't get any chance of killing him solo, or getting first to the runes. Also 150/225 hp stolen in early phases makes pretty much all harass on him go to waste. He counters low hp soloers who rely on nukes and harassing (Tinker, Zeus, Rhasta, Puck) because he can last hit, rune whore and harass much better, and he can kill them on lvl 6, solo. He also counters orb-walkers (Viper, Huskar, Drow, Enchantress) because he can sleep them and they got no chance to kill. On the other side, his mana pool is awfully low, so he's countered by all sorts of mana burn (Nerub, Lion, Silencer, Obsidian Destroyer, Pugna), and by high hp heroes that he can't kill because after his combo of Grip + Sap he can't do anything (Roof, Doom, Warlock, Alchemist)

    - Melee heroes with usually less nukes/stuns that their opponent, but much higher survivability. These heroes focus on last-hitting and getting lvl 6 as soon as possible, if they're against a dangerous aggressive laner they mustn't let him get runes, but if they're against another melee passive laner as themselves, they can focus on farming and not on runes(except magnus, 1 rune = 5-6 shockwaves). They are hard to dislodge from lane, and they counter low physical dmg soloers with bad animations (Puck, Sniper, Rhasta, Necro) because they got much more base dmg + quelling usually, so they can get like 90% of the creeps, while having some regen and natural high hp making them immune to harass. They are vulnerable against orbwalkers (Viper, Huskar, Drow, Ench) because they can be orbwalked from lvl 1 and easily dominated.

    - Fragile ranged agility solos. They have good last hitting ability, mainly good spells for early game and they heavily depend on runes. They must get their bottle and each rune because they benefit so much from it and they are easy to dominate with if your enemy isn't getting runes. Their nukes and abilities generally got low mana costs so with one rune they can harass very, very much. They counter melee heroes and fragile ranged ones. They are on par with heavy nukers (Tinker, Lich, Zeus), and it all comes down to rune war, who gets 2 runes in a row wins. They are countered by disabler because usually 1 disable is enough to kill them because of their low hp and they can even get solo killed by them (Atro, Rhasta, Lion, WD)

    - Heavy nukers. They are easy to dominate with, and they start getting scary after only a couple of levels. A good rune on lvl 5 and enemy on 70% hp is a sure kill, also they like to nuke, hit a couple of times then go along with enemy waiting for their nuke's cd to finish (and it's short one), so they need quick boots. They gank side lanes very good and levels 6-7 are their peak points in the game. Good player with one of these heroes in mid lane can decide a game with some effort. They counter melee farmers, and can win against ranged agility heroes if they get the runes. They are one of the best heroes to solo with. However, they got counters too - heals or large hp pool (Warlock, Atropos, Bloodseeker, Pudge), but players still must be cautious against them.

    - Special mention for bloodseeker, since he's a specific hero for mid, and a very good one. With quelling blade introduced into game he started to be a powerful mid solo that is impossible to move from lane with a wrong hero. When he gets lvl 6 he ganks whenever his rupture is on CD (70 sec only) and he can farm very good. If he pulls off 2-3 successful ganks early and has no problems in lane, it's very hard to stop him mid game. He counters majority of the nukers (Zeus, Lich, Leshrac, Lion), melee farmers because of his superb animation and almost anyone I've listed so far. Nuke him to 200 hp with zeus, he will silence you and kill 3 creeps - he's on 450 hp again. He's got low hp though so heroes that can kill him in 1 spell combo basically counter him, and also those who don't let him approach creeps (Huskar, Viper, Tinker, Atropos, Rhasta). It's hard to kill him with 6 sec silence, but a good player can manage it when it's on cooldown.

    - Yeah, your favorite solo mid, I know. Excellent ganker and rune-whore he starts getting scary from lvl 5 onwards. Against cocky and low hp enemies he's an overpowered hero it seems. He counters heroes with low hp and no escape mechanism (Tinker, SF, Luna, Leshrac, Zeus), but he is countered by heroes that can harass him and they've got an escape mech (Potm, Morphling, QoP, Atropos, Viper) If you can't hook good, and can't rune-whore well, don't pick him because you don't even counter those without escape mech when they aren't close to you. Another example of hero that is dependent too much on runes.

    - ''I came to attempt farming'' heroes. Each one of them got specific way to control a lane, and because of those specific ways they can either destroy mid if the hero they brutally counter is sent there, or they can get destroyed as well. They're generally not bottle users(razor is an exception), and they've got weak escape mechanisms, or none at all. Player who decides to take a hero like this and solo mid has to possess excellent last hitting abilities to be able to farm mobility/hp items in short time, very good map awareness (both for side lane gankers and dangerous mid opponent who can get a deadly rune) and decent juking skills. If you possess this and manage to stay alive early - great, go and carry your team to victory, if you manage to go 0-4 in 15 minutes, well... switch to other hero types. They do not specifically counter anything, and they aren't countered by anyone. Dangerous heroes against them are nukers and disablers (Tinker, Zeus, Atropos, Rhasta), but they can manage surviving vs them if they're good enough.

    4. Dual lanes mid

    - It's not unusual for your opponent to send you dual lane mid and send their solo to another lane if it can't cope with yours or your solo hero is dangerous and needs to get shut down early. Majority of the solos would get shut down with zero farm and maybe even die a couple of times if opposing lane is too strong. However, there are some heroes that can handle dual middle:

    - Sleep and brain sap are both great survival abilities. You can shrug off enemy harass and negate any killing attempts they may have. On level 6 you can even solo kill a fragile hero there, but basically you should have no problem against dual lanes with atro.

    - Good starting hp, and a heal that can be used to harass along with good attack damage. From level 3 onwards you can use your Soul Rip to harass/heal and go in for some last hits as well. Even maybe get aggressive if there's a low hp hero that can be kiled in 2 consecutive rips - keeping enemy's hp low will make them not be so sure in harassing you anymore and win you the lane. From lvl 4 onwards, when you start leveling your tombstone it will get really hard for them to kill you. From level 6 onwards, you turn every gank into massacre, so just survive and get some farm with some basic hp items and it should be alright.

    - 600 range is good, but leap is even better. Any lanes that rely on slow to kill shouldn't be able to hurt you for more than half hp(Veno+Tide, Lich+Jugg, Viper+Bat etc...), and even double stun lanes have a hard time because you can dodge stuns with ease or escape immediately after. A good arrow maybe even results in a humiliating first blood, possibilities in winning 2v1 with potm are endless.

    - Now with new AOE cots silencer can make enemy mana pool 0 from level 3 already. Also glaives are good for last hitting and harassing, along with cots you should be farming fine with both enemy heroes being on 50% hp with 0 mana. You must be extra cautious when ganks behind trees and with runes come into play, because surprised silencer = dead silencer.

    - Good animation, long range and shrapnel. With 650 range on level 4 you will pretty much always be sitting at your tower last hitting, and if they get too cocky and try to tower dive you, blast them with shrapnel and run, in these kinds of tower dives you can get out with 100 hp and a dead enemy because slow is powerful and with boots and rushed hp items you're not so paper to be taken down in 2 stuns at your tower. And shrapnel keeps them away from creeps when you want to farm or damages heavily if they choose to stay in. Anyway you benefit from it.

    - There are some more heroes like Weaver and QoP, but they are pretty obvious to notice due to their super strong escape mechanisms. If you got a hero that cannot survive dual mid, have that option in mind since the beginning of the game, and tell people from top/bottom lane to be ready to buy tp and swap lanes. If you swap lane, you will get at least 2 creep waves of advantage before dual lane comes after you, if they do. And you can just swap again leaving them underfarmed/underleveled, or try to get an early gank on them going.

    5. Conclusion

    - Well played solo hero will and can make a difference in your game. By properly rune-whoring/backstabbing/farming/teleporting you help your team establish lane and map dominance and make enemies play how you dictate. Also when you're soloing mid, be extra careful in those first 30 seconds if your team didn't take the first rune, because those double damage vengeful spirits like ruining your sf's laning from the whole beginning. Well I hope the guide's been helpful, if there's anything more you want to know, feel free to PM me or post here. Thanks for reading.
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    inactive :( MiZiGe's Avatar
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    thanks for the mentions of silencer, sniper.
    I think you still omitted quite a few heroes with at least decent mid potential, but thinking about it, those are not being picked to often, since ppl cannot play them

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    lich sux at mid, because as you said, you send the hero who can solo win a game, or gang the **** of the side heroes. Lich is a good ganger indeed, but all he gotta do in battle is frostarmor his carry and cast a proper ulti, who cares if he has aga or vyse, he's useless.

    and bottle is great item for sniper, since if you dont take sharpnel, you should NOT play sniper and it cost a lot of mana.

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    Great guide, just you've forgot narubian.

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    inactive :( MiZiGe's Avatar
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    what about alleria? DK? I am asking, becaue I cannot personally decide on these two /not that I would see pro playzors midding them all the time/, but if they are not great on mid, then why?

    I am a hard lich fan, and I still do not agree that you are supposed to make him a walking corpse towards/after lvl16 (do armor, nova, chain, die), because it is just wasting. Am not saying you should play him like 3-4 years go with dagger and stats, but still...

    and one more thing I wanted to ask - why is Gorgon omited in every dota related guide? People scared of mystical snake?

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    Because gordon is one of the heroes for example void who needs 50 min of solo farm to be effective.

    Making items lich is a waste, tell me what are his carry/disable abilities?

    On the other hand, in pub games you can play ANY hero at solo mid, range heroes are easier to play because you can't match some huskar on line that will harras you to death.. windrunner is not so often picked in serious games because his skills are not defined. As medusa, he needs 5 hardcore items to become a carry, that stunning arrow works on some pretty strange way, sometimes it stun on 700 range tree/unit and sometimes it doesn't stun on 100 range unit/tree, so you can't really gang with it, because there is always a possibility to fail.

    dk can go mid too, but as any other melee hero he is vulnerable to harrasing/nuking, so he can't stand for example huskar, viper, traxex, nortom and half of other heroes, but if he gets some easy hero at mid ( for example potm, who can't do any dmg at him )and he have a solo farm, he wins a solo game.
    Last edited by Tito; 9th October 2009 at 03:04 AM.

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    Safelist Member [^RawR^]'s Avatar
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    I put lich there because lich with mekansm and lvl 11 in mid game while everyone is lvl 8-9 is pretty much scary im teamfights and cannot be ignored, it's just that no one sends him mid now as there are much better heroes, but he's still possible mid soloer.

    Nerubian goes in heavy nukers category, it's just that image limit isn't allowing me to put all heroes, and there's no need either - there are 5 examples for every group so you can get a pretty good general idea and put any hero in one of these groups.

    Gorgon needs like 50 minutes of farm to do some damage so she's not really even used that's why I didn't put her, also this:

    I'm not going to list all solo heroes because there are too much of them right now
    And game ends usually before medusa can get useful.

    Alleria can solo mid but I don't like her because she's got like stormbolt split into 2 spells of which one needs a 1 sec channel and other one is very specific. Her ult is weak and when I see lvl 5, lvl 6, lvl 12 alleria i don't get scared at all. But if i see lvl 12 nevermore, tinker, viper - i do. She's just not for mid, she doesn't need levels quickly and she isn't carrying late either
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    30/30-150 Mladenus's Avatar
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    I'd mention Aba for solo lane, if you know what you're doing. And DK is ok too.

    I'm melee hero solo mid fan.

    Nice guide anyway.

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    Well, you can send necro to mid and make meka ( lich cast only ulti,nova and meka, as I said, thats all he can do, and every hero can go meka, for example I've seen a brood going solo mid, he went meka, pipe,phase first items and was impossible to kill with +20 armor ( few versions ago, when phase was +armor same as pipe ) ), he will do the same thing as lich in teamfights and I dont want even to say who's more effective with items : )

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    Safelist Member Mr.7error's Avatar
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    Actually lich is one of the strongest solo mids there are, he can be effective mid if you don't need him to babysit a lane and you need the enemy solo mid-er to have a really hard time.

  11. #11
    Go mention DK. I was actually shocked how well he can performs on mid.
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    Registered User Focused's Avatar
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    EZALOR will own MID easy eluminate ... a LOT of dmg ... just have to be smart from where to start casting .. and with the new improvement ... no matter how long u cast the "ball/beam/whatever it is " goes the furthest

    edit : no matter what hero u play mid , be best with it and pwn the other one ... maybe get lucky somethimes .... xD

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    Ye, ezalor is powerful solo mid too, right terror? He goes in teambattles, teleports one of his ally, cast illuminate that deals 500 dmg, blind, cast meka!!!

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    30/30-150 Mladenus's Avatar
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    Eza is good solo mid, but nearly useless in mid or late game... I say, pick Eza if you think to win on early game.

    Mid: Eza + ES = tower boom in 5. minute.

    Free roaming and pushing after that.

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    It was a joke.

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