Dota 2: A quick look at the laning phase



Thu 15th Mar 2012 - 9:40pm

The laning phase is one of the most important aspects in Dota 2, as a successful early game will usually translate into a win. Having a good lane presence can help your team gain a massive advantage, whether it is through gold, levels, kills, or towers. Here I will guide you in how to set your lanes, what the jobs are of the different roles, and the little things you can do to give your team a good advantage when transitioning over to the mid-game.

First, let’s explain how to set your lanes. The middle lane is generally left for heroes that are very level dependent and need a large amount of experience and farm early on. It is for this reason that you will generally see Ganker or Pusher heroes take this lane, as these hero types are very level dependent. You will usually see middle heroes purchase a bottle so that they can continuously capture runes and use them to gank.

The Radiant bottom lane and the Dire top lane are called short lanes because of the fact that their creep naturally fight closer to their tower, making it a safer lane to be in. This safety net is why you will normally see the Carry be thrown into the short lane of their respective side, as it allows them to more easily farm. Yet even though the short lanes are safer than the other lanes, it is still necessary to have a Support hero to babysit the carry and make sure that he will always be safe and allowed to farm.

The last lane we need to fill is the long lane, also known as the Radiant top lane and the Dire bottom lane. The long lane is generally the most dangerous lane, as you will be a lot farther from your tower and be open to a lot of ganks. For this lane you will generally want to send ranged heroes that have some sort of escape mechanism and the ability to farm/deny from afar. Another hero that could fit this lane would be a hero that can kill their own creeps so that the lane will be pushed back closer to their tower, such as Lich and Enigma.

There is also the option of having a hero level up in the jungle. Jungle heroes typically consist of those that can summon or control other units and can use them to help kill the neutral creep (Chen/Nature’s Prophet), or heroes that have massive amounts of lifesteal and can sustain themselves throughout the jungling process (Na’ix). When there is a jungle hero on your team, it is typical to have only one person on the long lane, as they have the ability to survive on their own while the Carry cannot.


Overview of Lane Setup

Overview of Lane Setup


Now that the lanes are set, we can get to work. Along with the normal last hitting and denying, heroes in the middle lane need to always keep a bottle with them so that they can keep rune control. With rune control they will be able to always keep their bottles full and stay in lane due to the large amount of hp and mana regeneration it provides. They will also be able to gank enemy heroes in the other lanes when they do this, which will buy your team a lot of kills and map control. Please note, however, that you should not expect your middle hero to gank if they are not capable of doing so. You should never expect the Pudge with half health and mana and an empty bottle or a solo middle Sniper to gank, as it will waste a lot of time and give the enemy team an advantage. The Carry in the short lane needs to last hit as much as he can, while the Support will need to aid him by harassing the enemy hero, denying, and pulling and stacking neutral camps. Lastly, the heroes in the long lane need to do all they can to prevent the enemy carry from farming while also preventing the enemy hero from pulling neutral creep, be it through warding or by force.


Double pulling is a good way of denying experience and gold.

Double pulling is a good  way of denying gold and experience.


Here are a few extra tips that will really make your lane excel.

- Middle Lane: Always make sure that you have wards watching at least one of the rune spots. Even if you have to buy them yourself, do it! They are worth the investment and will allow you to out farm and out level your mid lane opponent. Also, when you are going out to get the rune, make sure that your creeps are pushed out to the enemy tower so that you will have the freedom to walk and get the rune while he has to stay and defend.

- Short Lane Support (Radiant: Bottom Lane, Dire: Top lane): Make sure to bring a pair of sentry wards with you in order to kill off the enemy observer wards that will block off your pulling camp. Also have an observer ward handy at all times to provide vision so that you can avoid being ganked. You should also be stacking neutral camps whenever possible and pulling these stacked camps into your lane so that they can kill all off your creep, which will deny the enemy experience and gold while also pulling the creep wave closer to your tower.

- Short Lane Carry (Radiant: Bottom Lane, Dire: Top lane): Focus all of your energy on last hitting. Try your best to avoid any harassment and always keep a sharp eye on the minimap and your surroundings so that you will be able to avoid being ganked. Also remember to communicate with your teammates when you are in trouble so they can come to your aid.

- Long Lane (Radiant: Top Lane, Dire: Bottom Lane): Prevent the Carry from getting any sort of farm by continuously denying creep and harassing both heroes. Also, do NOT be afraid to use your mana! Your mana is there to use, so use it to pressure the enemy and make them feel a lot less comfortable when they go up to last hit a creep.

- Jungler: Don’t forget to pop out of the jungle every once in a while to go gank! Farming is good and all, but getting a few kills for your carry is way more important. Whenever you see enemy heroes close to your tower, tell your team that you are going to go gank and then get a few free kills!

That was your quick guide to the laning phase! Now get out there and play some Dota 2! If you have any questions, please leave comments down below and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading! :)