Dota 2: Phases of Game


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Dota 2: Phases of Game by Purge
Phases of Game - Laning

As was said before, you want levels and you want gold. Because of item, level, and skill limitations early game, heroes generally stay in very close proximity to the other team in their lanes. This is mostly because their skills lack enough killing and chasing power. Lv. 1 spells do low damage, and their slow and stun durations are usually low, etc.

The purpose of laning is to get experience from enemy creeps dying, and gold from getting creep last hits. With the experience you gain levels and with the gold you gain better items. Generally if all things are equal(picks, skill, etc.), whichever team has a level and gold advantage will win the game if they continue the trend. If you play right(perfect teamwork) against another perfect teamwork team, the little things matter.

To improve your experience and gold advantage over your opponent, your best option is to KILL THEM. When you KILL THEM you gain about 250 gold and usually about a level’s worth of experience. Anyone who supported you in that kill also gets some support gold even though they didn’t land the final blow.

Your second best option is to ALMOST KILL THEM and make them go back to base to heal. If they go back to heal, they spend 20-40 seconds walking slowly all the way back to base. This is .5-1 levels worth of experience they are missing out on, and they also miss all chances of last hits and denies.

To reduce the effect of ALMOST BEING KILLED you should purchase a tp scroll from base and make the trip back shorter. Yes, it is worth the 135 gold. This is hard for noobs to get over, but that is simply 3 last hits and you are even again. That’s 3 last hits and a lot of creep exp that you would spend time walking back and forth. Simply put, ALWAYS BUY A TP SCROLL AND USE IT WHEN GOING SOMEWHERE LONG RANGE. The noobs that are ALWAYS under leveled spend a lot of time walking back and forth to base to heal. I don’t care if you are only 250 gold from getting boots. Buy a tp scroll. Also, ALWAYS CARRY A TP SCROLL AT ALL TIMES IN CASE YOU NEED TO GET SOMEWHERE NOW.

The final most important thing you can learn about laning, is PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT AUTOATTACK THE CREEPS. There is a place where the creeps meet and beat on each other until they die. This is called the creep line. The creeps do a very exact amount of damage. Generally, if two waves of creeps fight endlessly on flat ground, THE CREEP LINE WILL NOT MOVE. If you start auto attacking or nuking the creeps, the creep line will be pushed closer to the enemy’s tower. When they enemy is closer to their tower, they are closer to being safe. It is so much more difficult to gank heroes when you can’t sneak behind them before initiating the gank. For this reason, DON’T AUTOATTACK THE CREEPS. Instead of auto attacking, right click all over the ground, run in circles until you are ready to last hit, spam the S key(stop) to animation cancel your hero(BEFORE he throws his attack). Just don’t auto attack.

Dota Phases of Game Image
Who Goes Where?

Because of the mechanic of experience being generally split between close by heroes, you do not want to put 5 heroes in the same lane. You will all be lv. 1 for a looonnnngg time.

For basic skill level games or non-tryhard games, there will then be 2 heroes top, 1 hero in the middle lane, and 2 heroes in the bottom lane. Occaisionally throw in a jungler as a possibility, then you have 2 solos, 1 jungle, and a dual lane.

In high level skill games or tryhard games, there can also be a 3 hero(trilane), with 2 solo lanes. I would recommend to not attempt a trilane unless you are SURE your heroes are appropriate for a trilane, which is unlikely at low skill levels.


Reasons for Who Goes Where?

You want to solo a hero that gets very powerful with levels who can do so safely, and possibly own the other solo. You can also solo heroes that get very powerful with items and not necessarily levels. Since you are in a lane by yourself, you get all of the experience and gold(that your opponent does NOT deny). Once you get to the 6-9 levels, your mid is usually going to want to gank a top or bottom lane, to establish some LANE CONTROL. Lane Control is either when you KILL THEM or ALMOST KILL THEM. Their team will lose exp and gold, your team will then have an advantage.

Mid is also the easiest lane to defend yourself in. It is short in length between each tower so you will be generally safe by hiding next to your tower. There are also ledges, and you will miss(25%) trying to ranged attack up a hill, so you will have some more survivability as a result.


These are the two reasons to consider when you pick a solo mid.

Are you a ganking hero that can take advantage of level gaps?

Is your hero going to greatly benefit from a level advantage AND a farm advantage from sitting in a lane generally undisturbed for 6-12 minutes(we are talking about noobs right?)?

You will learn which heroes are better for the solo mid(usually int caster heroes or semi-carries are the best), but for now respect someone’s wishes when they call a solo mid lane. Later on you can call them a horrible noob for soloing mid as Crystal Maiden, but today is not that day.

The final, most important part of laning is DON’T FEED. Feeding is the quickest way to tell if someone is bad at dota. This means you will do completely stupid things in lane for the first 5-10 minutes which will get your enemies kills, and if you give your enemies kills and they are good at Dota, they will push that advantage the whole game and THE GAME WILL BE OVER BECAUSE YOU FED THEM.

This is by far THE most discouraging thing about DotA(aside from players who bad mouth or act cocky). I can promise that once you learn the heroes and you get some experience under your belt and actually become good at the game, that you will stop feeding. This is why you need to play AI games for a couple days(week or two really) so that you can understand the basics of how powerful heroes are, and be aware that no hero is overpowered(for 90-95% of all players). They all have strengths and weaknesses that when exploited, give you a favorable outcome.

IN SUMMARY: Get last hits to gain gold, deny creeps to deny your lane enemies their gold, KILL THEM or ALMOST KILL THEM and DON’T FEED.

Phases of Game - Ganking

The ganking phase is ongoing through the course of the whole game. You can do ganks before the first round of creeps spawn, and a successful gank can win the game(during the later stages of the game).

Properly ganking is 50-100% player skill(depending on if allies are involved) and 50-0% teamwork. Communication in Dota is huge, so please learn to do it. If you want to gank a hero, ping on the minimap(Alt+left click on map) and type something. Ex: “Ganking Rhasta in 15 seconds, I stun first”. Typing that into chat window is going to clear up ALL confusion with your gank. Communication mistakes are even made in high level of play, so good communication at low levels is going to give you a huge advantage. ALWAYS give a time estimate if possible, which hero you want to target, and who stuns first. Stacking your stuns makes the difference in whether your gank is successful.

DO NOT blame your teammate for not knowing EXACTLY what you were planning to do at the noob level. They are probably focusing on getting last hits, and making sure no one has to say DON’T FEED YOU NOOB. Blaming other people for failing during bad communication is a very common mistake people make.

STUN STACKING- If you have a 1.5 second stun and your ally has a 1.5 second stun, always start the first stun that is most reliable (single target easy to click on a hero). Wait 1.5 seconds in your head, then land your stun. This results in a whole 3 seconds of stun. If you both stun at the same time, 1.5 seconds of stun is WASTED. Stun Staggering is going to pretty much guarantee that you get a kill early in the game during ganks(if you are animation cancelling and attack moving or orb walking).

The most important advice I can give you about ganking is DON’T GET BALSY. If you start tower diving(going close to a tower to kill a hero when you have zero creeps around) then you had better be able to kill that hero in less than 5 seconds, without dying, or you shouldn’t be there. Any time you get balsy and DIE as a result means you lost some advantage(if any) that you just had. All because you were greedy and balsy. DO NOT GET BALSY.

When you are ganking late in the game, always bring other people with you(ESPECIALLY late game). Ganking solo is a wonderful way to FEED THE ENEMY EXP AND GOLD. Do not gank solo. Just don’t do it. Bring 1 person, bring 2 people, bring your whole team. This all but guarantees a kill or great outcome if you have a gold advantage.

Here is a more detailed video guide to ganking and roaming if you want more information:

Phases of Game - Pushing

A push is a very important part of the DotA game. In pub games(public player games) it is almost always very hard to organize your team to do a push or to defend a push. Most people want to go into the jungle and farm neutral creeps the entire game until they have full items. This is not how you play DotA well.

Generally, when your heroes are powerful enough to do so, you want to organize into a 5 man pushing team, and you want to destroy enemy towers. This gives you map control, and this gives your team 1000-1300 gold. If you destroy 3 enemy towers and they have 0 of your towers, your team has a 3000-3900 gold advantage. This is a huge advantage.

If any enemy tries to 5 man push your tower, you probably need to get there and 5 man defend your tower. You will always have an advantage when fighting by a tower(damage, see invis, etc.) so defending a tower is almost always beneficial.

The most important advice I can give you about pushing that doesn’t get too complex is DON’T GET BALSY. You are pushing to destroy towers or Rax(barracks). Once you destroy all the towers in a lane, you can destroy the Rax. When you destroy both sets of rax, both your melee creeps in lane and your ranged creeps in lane get more hp and more damage. This results in the Creep line being constantly pushed against your enemy, which creates pressure on them to defend, which means they spend less time pushing and farming.

Raxing your opponents is the single most important way to put the game in your favor.

When you are raxing a lane, DO NOT GET BALSY. If you chase them to their fountain and kill one more hero, that’s 10-20 seconds you could have been ATTACKING THE RAX. Which could make the difference between your push being successful. DO NOT CHASE HEROES BACK TO THE FOUNTAIN. DESTROY THE RAX.

PLEASE communicate to your allies when you want to start pushing. Often times players naturally group up in a lane and pushing seems to be the obvious thing, but ONLY to the 4 players who are grouped up. Make sure to at least ASK the carry jungling to come meet you guys, don't just assume he's paying attention to your push. Ask him to show up, and he probably will. If you don't say anything, don't get mad afterwards because he wasn't there.

Pushing wins the game. If you mess around with your push or you are off farming when your team pushes, you are potentially throwing the game away. I’ve thrown the game away like this, and I have had teammates throw the game away like this. Don’t throw the game away. It is the worst feeling to lose a game that was a sure win. Other than losing because of feeders or leavers. Stop feeding.

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