Dota 2: Seven things you shouldn't be afraid to do in your Dota game
Thu 31st May 2012 - 9:02pm
Newer players to Dota 2 often form their habits around what they’ve experienced in the lower matchmaking brackets. The problem with this, however, is that many things that you should be doing are often considered taboo, simply because of the lack of experience from the players. It’s time to kick some of these habits out of your system now before they are able to do any more damage to you.
Learning to embrace these strategies, rather than being afraid of them, will allow you to grow as a Dota player as you learn to push your limits and push the boundaries of your play. Here I will show you the seven most common things that newer players tend to shy away from and why you should be doing these things instead of avoiding them.
1. Sit in a lane and farm
Too often do I see carries leave their lane early in the game to go help their team. As a carry, your job is to farm as much as you possibly can during the early game so that you can come out with a bunch of items and kill everybody during the mid and late game. By leaving your lane to go defend, you give up a lot of experience and gold, and for what? You defended your tower? You got a kill on an enemy? Big deal. The gold you get from doing those things could’ve easily been earned in about 30 seconds of staying in your lane.
Don’t forget the fact that you also lose a lot of experience by engaging in early team activities since all of the experience will get split between your entire team. So do yourself a favor and try not to engage in team fights across the map before the 20 minute mark. You will be a much higher level and way more farmed by doing so, allowing you to just walk up to your enemies and kill them with ease.
2. Use your skills
Don’t be afraid to use your mana! Your mana will come back over time, so don’t be afraid to use your skills. Don’t believe in the idea that you always have to save all of your skills and mana for when an engagement happens. Whether it be to harass an enemy hero or get a few extra creep kills, using spells on a more frequent basis will always be beneficial to you. The fact that you are using your spells much more liberally will show your enemy that you are an aggressive player, potentially scaring them off and giving you more space and farm than you should have. Use yours spells more liberally and watch your advantage grow.
3. Use big ultimates on a single target
Just because your ultimate is a big team fight ability does not mean that you can’t use it on a single target. Ultimates like Black Hole, Ravage, and Epicenter are worth popping off if they can guarantee you a kill on someone important, like their carry, or if the death of that hero will allow you to push in and take a tower. With a hero and tower dead, the enemy team will feel weaker while you gain confidence and map control.
Go back to farming your normal lanes and then come back to gank/push when that big ultimate is back up again. If you can catch another hero or two out of place then great! Use that big ultimate, snag the easy kills, push another tower, and then rinse and repeat. By using your big ultimates on one or two people, you can gain a huge advantage early on in the game so that you can very easily transition into a late game victory.
Totally worth it
Please note, however, that this only really applies to the early/mid game. Please save your big ultimates for the huge team clashes during the late game.
4. Give up towers
This is probably one of the biggest things that many players do not understand. Losing a tower is not the end of the world. There are times where you simply can’t defend a tower, such as when there is an Enchantress with two creep, a Leshrac, and a Lone Druid knocking on your front door. Since you can’t defend your tier 1 towers with this kind of push, you shouldn’t throw your lives away trying to do so.
The reason you begin to lose is because of the fact that you suicide into the opposing team trying to defend your tower, as opposed to losing the tower itself. Often times you will come out ahead if you stay in your lanes and keep on playing while they push one of your towers, as the cumulative xp and gold from last hitting you will get be greater than what they got out of pushing one of your towers.
The best thing to do when the other team is pushing down your towers is to look for the best possible trade. You can leave one or two people with some sort of long range aoe ability to defend the lane for as long as possible, while your other teammates should be pushing another lane and your carry should be having fun free farming their lane. What often happens is that the two people are able to destroy the creep wave before it does anything to their tower, thus stalling the push for another 30 seconds. Since the enemy team is so committed, they will usually try to just push forward anyway.
Only after about 2 minutes of this back and forth will most groups start to leave and tend to their other lanes. Within this two minutes, your other teammates could have easily gotten around 15-20 creep kill each and maybe even have taken a tower. Even if both lanes didn’t take a tower, the amount of damage they did to the towers as they tried to kill it will more than make up for what has happened in whatever lane was being heavily pushed.
5. Be aggressive
Capitalize the most out of your hero picks and your laning situation. Too many times have I seen a Venomancer/Riki lane lose to a solo Anti-Mage because they played way too passively. When it is a 2v1 situation, don’t be afraid to just run up to the guy and harass him to death. Even if you end up losing your life in order to get the guy killed, it will still be very much worth it because of the fact that your teammate will get a kill and about a minute of worry free farm. Just run up to them and punch them in the face!
If you want to see a more detailed guide on how to play a support in a 2v1 scenario, click on the video below.
The great part of playing really aggressively is the fact that your enemy will feel extremely scared and uneasy. With constant tower dives and an unnatural amount of spell spam and aggression, most players will not feel safe for the majority of the game. With this fear in place, you can now capitalize on it and make the most of it, whether it be enjoying the freedom to farm, take Roshan, or even take towers. Losing the life of just one teammate will cause them to feel immediately powerless, so use that to pick off their towers and keep total control of the map.
Whether you are an initiator like Enigma or Sand King, or just a strong, beefy character like Lycan, don’t be afraid to be the first to jump into the fight. Your team needs you to be the first one in so that they can follow up. Sitting in the back and waiting for “the perfect opportunity” will more often than not get your team wiped. Don't be afraid of messing up the initiation. Just stay confident and have your fingers ready. As soon as you see even the slightest chance of a good initiation, warn your team and then jump right in. Getting a Black Hole off on only one person is better than not getting the Black Hole off at all.
7. Force team fights
When your team has more levels, items, or even team fight abilities, forcing team fights is one of the best things you can do. Pushing towers or killing Roshan is one of the best ways to force team fights, as both are important things that the opposition will not want you to get. I know that it is against the normal thought process to push forward when you aren’t safe to do so, but forcing the team fight when you have the advantage will often lead to you wiping the other team, giving you an even bigger advantage!
Thanks for reading! I hope that you try these things out in your future matches and become a better player from doing so :) Feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any questions. Thanks again for reading and have a nice day!