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BLAOW's guide to Lane Control


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#1 BLAOW

BLAOW

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:09 AM

BLAOW's guide to Lane Control
Designed to be viewed in either skin but best viewed in at least 1280x1040 resolution

Preface:  This is a guide to early game lane dominance.  I assume the reader has a basic knowledge of DotA and can refer to other sources to look up heroes/items/abilities.  If I use an abbreviation or term you do not understand please refer to Malle's excellent DotA game commands and common abbreviations list.  I will be focusing on non em since lane control in em is less important, although I will try to point out some points for em as well.  If you disagree or have something to add please post and back up your points with a valid argument, I'll try to include other's view points with credit if they are good even if they disagree with me.  Sometimes there is more than one right way, or different things work in different situations.  Please post your comments, opinions, and disagreements, constructive criticism is welcome!  Anyway, on to the guide.

What will I learn from this guide?
This guide is an effort to comprehensively cover every aspect of lane control and early game strategies within reason.  If you are unfamiliar with the concept of lane control I suggest you read all of it.  However more advanced readers will certainly be familiar with some or many of the ideas covered so if you belong to that group feel free to skip sections.  If you wish to explore a certain aspect of lane control use the table of contents - hit ctrl-f and type in the section you wish to go to.


Brief Table of Contents
  1. What is Lane Control?
  2. Your Hero
  3. How to Build a Lane Controller
  4. Choosing your Lane Control Style
  5. Harassing
  6. Map Awareness and Ganks
  7. Creeps and Towers
  8. In-Depth Scenarios
  9. Secret Paths and Juking
  10. Replays and Other Reading Material

IPB ImageWhat is Lane Control?
I'll define lane control as keeping your opponent away from the creeps while you last hit and deny.  Please note that autoattacking is almost always a bad choice unless you need to push up quickly.  You should either focus on last hitting and denying or on keeping your opponent away from the creeps so they cannot last hit, deny, or gain xp.  If you farm up or hold your opponent down you will have a significant advantage throughout the game, especially in non em games.  For people who just autoattack, trust me, last hitting and denying is worth it.  You will farm much faster and stop your opponents.  For more info on last hitting and denying check out inDe_eD's Guide to Micromanagement

IPB ImageYour Hero
The key factor in how you lane control is what hero you have.  Ranged heroes with a good attack animation and some form of harassment (for example, Tinker or Viper) are usually the best at laning.  The worst are low hp melee heroes with no form of harassment (for example, Naix).  If you think early game lane control is worthless compared to a great late gamer you've never laned against someone who is good at lane control.  Here is a list of some pros and cons for lane control
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Pros (good for lane control)
  • Ranged
  • Fast Attack Animation
  • High Base Damage
  • An Autocast (orb) ability
  • Direct Damage Spells (from now on referred to as nukes)
  • Damage over Time spells (from now on referred to as DoT's) (note some are useless, do the math on how much damage they do)
  • Stuns/Disables
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Cons
  • Melee
  • Slow/Awkward Attack Animation (Lina, Razor, etc...)
  • No Escape Method (Blink, Waveform, some sort of disable)
  • Low HP
As you can see, fragile melee agi heroes struggle the most early game, especially those with no means to defend themselves or harass.  A lategame hero like Troll or Phantom Assassin can be outlaned so badly that it takes them the rest of the game to recover and catch up.  Generally, better lane controllers go mid because most pushes are focused mid.  Sometimes better laners will go to the side lanes so they can dominate a lane and farm up so be careful and always be ready to face against a strong laner.  If you find you can't handle your lane then ask for a gank or switch lanes.  If your teammates are smart they will help you, rather than letting you get destroyed while your opponent farms.  It is just important to LET THEM KNOW you are in trouble, rather than they get the fun surprise of a farmed out Juggernaut (or any other item dependent hero) at the 30 minute mark.

In any case, if you have a potential good lane controller then you should aim at controlling your lane, otherwise you want to survive until your hero becomes effective.  In EM you should lean more towards late game since early game is vanishingly short.

IPB ImageHow to Build a Lane Controller
Once you have your hero there are 2 important parts to creating your ultimate lane controller (or surviving to late game): Item Build and Skill Build.  Your goal here is to get harassing skills and hp so you can survive nukes/chain nukes so you can stay in your lane and continue to gain exp/gold.

IPB ImageItem Build
Someone on your team should buy a chicken, if no one else does you should get one.  The advantage of being able to stay in your lane while items and consumables are delivered to you is just to good to ignore.  In any case, there are 4 types of items which are commonly bought before going to a lane: items that boost strength (for hp), items that regenerate hp, items that boost int (for mana), and items that regenerate mana.

Note:  There are almost NO situations in which you should get boots as your first item.  Good job, you can run back to the fountain faster to miss out on exp.

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The prime choice for boosting str and int are bracers and nulls respectively.  Items which give lower stats are more efficient, that is, the more stats an item gives the more gold you pay per stat (ie gg branches are 57 gold per 3 stats while Ultimate Orbs are 2300 for 30 stats, or 230 per 3 stats, approximately 4 times as much).  Getting early items like bracers and nulls is cheap and effective, giving you an advantage from early to mid game over people who try to save straight up to high cost items.  This is definitely worth it, even if an extra bracer saves your life or helps you get a kill just once.  Consider that four bracers gives one less strength than a reaver, costs 2/3's as much and also gives +12 to int and agi.  Simply sell the bracers off as you run out of item slots for bigger cost items.

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Items for regeneration are a bit more complicated.  There are a couple of options here, ring of regen, tangos, or flasks, all of which have ups and downs.  A ring of regen gives constant regen but it is still risky to hang around one if you are in red.  Flasks on the other hand give you a big hp boost over a short period of time but can be canceled if you take damage.  Tangos provide a good intermediate without the risk of cancellation.

At this point, I pretty much use tangos on every hero.  Flasks require you to dip dangerously low in hp in order to get the full healing effect, and in the mean time you have to sit back out of combat or risk being canceled.  I would only recommend buying them in the case that you are low on hp, but you aren't in great danger, but you want to be full hp soon (then have your chicken bring one to you).  This situation is pretty rare though - you aren't in danger but need hp soon?

Ring of regen is only better than tangos if you are going to make something out of it, like a Headdress or a Hood of Defiance.  Otherwise the burst regen of tangos is more useful than the slow constant regen of the ring.

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For mana regen, things are pretty much the same with clarity potions and sobi masks.  The only difference is that sobi masks increase your mana regen by a percentage rather than a set value like ring of regen.  This means that if your hero has low int and thus crappy mana regen buying a sobi mask (or a void stone) is going to be less effective (increasing terrible mana regen by 50% is still pretty terrible mana regen (The exception to this is brilliance aura which increases mana regen by a set value)).   This is usually the case for caster str heroes (earthshaker, tiny, etc), who are better off with an arcane ring which will greatly boost their base mana, provide decent regen and help teammates.  A sobi mask will provide more mana regen than the RoB Brilliance Aura when you have at least 31 intelligence, so keep that in mind when you are buying your items.  When will you pass that mark?  In a few levels, or not for a while.


IPB ImageArcane Ring
It is viable to rush Arcane sometimes, but you will have to sacrifice things like bracers which can be tough.  A RoB can be disassembled in your Circle of Power (behind Taverns) so you can use the Ring to make Arcane Ring and have an extra Sobi.  Arcane Ring is a great team item, and its not just about the mana regen; the 300 extra mana can really help low mana pool heroes.

Arcane Ring is coming more and more into use on spammer heroes and strength casters.  It isn't to hard to farm up and provides enough mana to spam most "spammable" spells constantly, while also being useful for nearby ally heroes.  I would definitely recommend it on Zeus, Death Prophet, and other spammers who are only limited by mana.

IPB ImageBottle
The bottle is a great item for ganker heroes.  The charges let you quickly replenish hp and mana to move onto the next gank without having to return to the fountain or wait for consumables that take longer.  Another great benefit is that you can store runes in it, and once you use the rune the bottle is refilled.  This means that when you switch lanes to gank, you can grab the rune, use it at your leisure, heal up with the bottle, and move to the next lane to gank.  A good idea on heroes like Bounty Hunter, Night Stalker, and Pudge, who need hp and mana to gank, frequently moving from lane to lane.  Runes spawn every 2 minutes starting at the 2 minute mark (unless there is already rune in existence).  The deal maker is that you can now buy a bottle in the new secret shops in the side lanes, meaning you can easily grab it at any time once you farm up the 700 for it.

IPB ImageHood of Defiance
It is generally not a good idea to rush Hood of Defiance on most heroes.  The regen is nice, and the spell resistance is also nice once you complete it.  However in the mean time you are vulnerable with lower hp compared to a bracer build.  Also bracers are more effective early/mid game for survivability, even against purely magic attacks.  Before you decide on a skill/item build on a hero with a magic resistance skill and Hood of Defiance you should check out gradenko_2000's Spell Resistance Stacking Guide.
IPB ImageHand of Midas
This helpful farming item can really help a late game hero jump start themselves.  However, to often I see people struggling in their lane just to farm it.  If you cannot get Midas in a decent amount of time the net payoff isn't worth it.  If you are getting destroyed in your lane then get items that will help you lane - bracers, etc.  It is of no use if you get a midas but it took you 25 minutes and you died 3 times, you are going to be behind.  You should consider midas if you are a late game hero but you are controlling your lane easily.  In this case you should be making plenty of money from last hitting so you can farm Midas quickly.  However this doesn't mean you should always get it.  If the enemy pushes down mid and ends the game before you've farmed anything there is no point.  The recent changes to the game have made it generally shorter (no tower regen, siege creeps, etc) so midas has become even less useful (shorter game means midas has less time to pay itself off and start making you money).  Basically, there are many factors in choosing when to buy Midas, but don't do it if you can't get it quickly and without sacrificing lane control.  You should aim for a midas in 10 minutes, 15 minutes at most.  After 15 minutes you should really just buy another item instead.
  

The items you buy should focus on helping you survive against your opponents and ganks.  If you need mana focus on nulls and mana regen.  Otherwise go for bracers and hp regen to survive burst damage.  Wraith bands are mostly useless early game despite the lower cost.  Consider for an agility hero, the difference between a wraith band and a bracer is the wraith gives 3 extra damage while the bracer gives 57 extra hp.  Lastly, do not be afraid to buy and use consumables.  You are not throwing money away just because you only use the item once.  If you eat a tango and it lets you get even one more last hit it has more than paid for itself in gold and exp.

IPB ImageSkill Build
Of course every hero has a different set of skills but there are some which are generally useful early game and some which are not.  Usually most skills which scale over time or are percentage based are useless early game while skills which do a set amount of damage (or boost stats by a set amount) are more useful early game (note that this means stats are more useful early!).  Stuns and disables are pretty useful all the time but are really great to get early game if they also do damage.  So while Vengeful Spirit's Magic Missile is great early for its damage and stun, Naga Siren's critical (or any other number of criticals) should be put off until later because stats or other skills are more useful.  Let me say this one more time in case I have not been clear enough, sometimes it IS better to take stats over skills early game.  The best skills for early game let you harass, or survive, or both (stats falls under "both" since it boosts your hp and mana), choose your skills carefully.  There is not much more for me to say about this because every hero has different skills.

Some examples of what skills to get and and which not:

IPB ImageLeoric the Skeleton King
  • Storm Bolt(Recommended) - Ranged stun with constant damage, great for early game harassment and disabling
  • Vampiric Aura(NOT Recommended) - Useless early game because your damage is low and you don't want to be autoattacking (which will make you push up, more on this later).
  • Critical Strike(NOT Recommended) - Useless for the same reasons as aura - low base damage makes for crappy crits and you shouldn't be attacking anyway.  If you get in a slug fest with another hero the bonuses from stats will help you more.
Recommended Build: Storm Bolt and stats

IPB ImageYurnero the Juggernaut
  • Bladefury(Recommended) - Great constant damage harassing tool.  Magic immunity is also nice for escaping.
  • Healing Ward(NOT Recommended) - A heal would be nice for staying in lane, but the fact that this is based on a percentage of your max hp (which will be very low early game, especially the fragile Juggernaut's) and has a large manacost makes it subpar
  • Blade Dance(NOT Recommended) - Another critical.  Low base damage and you shouldn't be hitting things.
Recommended Build: Bladefury and stats

IPB ImageShendelzare Silkwood the Vengeful Spirit
  • Magic Missile(Recommended) - Nice ranged stun with great damage and decent mana cost.  What more could you want for early game?
  • Terror(NOT Recommended) - Lowers enemy offense and defense by a percentage (armor adds a percentage amount of hp per point).  Useless again in that main source of damage early game is nukes.  
  • Command Aura(NOT Recommended) - On top of the fact that you shouldn't be hitting things, Vengeful Spirit's base damage is crappy anyway.  Raising a crappy amount by a crappy percent is still a crappy amount.
Recommended Build: Magic Missile and stats

IPB ImageChoosing your Lane Control Style
So now you are in your lane with some items and a plan for a skill build.  Your objective in your lane is to gather exp and gold while preventing the enemy from doing so.  This is your primary objective.  Getting kills is great, but that is secondary.  Do not go charging the enemy hero at level 1 unless you know what you are doing.  

There are two ways to play a lane, offensive and defensive (as far as pushing to the enemy tower goes).  Most of the time (and with most heroes) you should opt for a defensive style.  Do not autoattack, only go in for last hits and denies, keep your opponents away if you can, do not push up to the enemy tower.  This style is safe, effective and more common.  The other, more dangerous and reckless, style is offensive, where you try to push the enemy tower and take it down for that sweet, sweet bonus gold.  In either case you should harass the enemy if you can.  If not then stand back and try not to take to much damage...

IPB ImageDefensive
The preferred method of laning keeps you safe while allowing you to farm and harass.  The idea here is to not push up because pushing up puts you against the enemy tower, leaving you vulnerable to ganks from the river, no room to chase, no nearby safety, and making denying and last hitting difficult because of the enemy tower.  Harassing your opponents with nukes, orb walking, or just straight out hitting them to keep them hiding at their tower, unable to get exp or gold.

This means you should not get pushy skills or items (if you are choosing this style).  If you get a RoB, turn off the armor aura for the creeps (you and other heroes still get it) by clicking on the item.  Heroes with pusher auras (SK's Lifesteal, Troll's Fervor and such) should not get those skills unless you really need it.  And no, you don't really need lifesteal or ias early game - you shouldn't be autoattacking!  Also consider your skills.  For instance, with Lina dropping both your nukes is great for harassing but it also tends to clear the creep wave.  While I am all for harassing, just be aware of these factors.

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IPB ImageOffensive
This method should only be attempted if you can easily push up and take down the enemy tower while dealing with the enemy heroes.  It leaves you exposed to ganks and lets the enemy hide under the protection of their tower if you can not take it down quickly.  The point is to get the bonus gold from destroying the tower (about 500ish gold for the person that gets the last hit, and 200 for everyone else on the team).  Only a few heroes have the power to do this consistently, here is a brief list
  • Keeper of the Light
  • Leshrac
  • Syllabear
  • Alchemist (questionable after nerf)
  • Techies
  • Broodmother (not recommended)


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IPB ImageJungling
There is actually a 3rd way to play a lane - by not laning at all!  The term "jungling" has recently been coined  to mean primarily neutraling (in the "jungle") rather than laning.  Only a few heroes have the skills needed to jungle well.  Generally a hero should be able to clear creeps quickly, mitigate damage (through summons or some other means), or both in order to jungle effectively.  Furion and Undying are prime examples of summoning junglers while Axe and Dark Seer can clear creeps quickly with Counter Helix and Ion Shell respectively.   The great thing about jungling is it gives your team two solos while allowing a hero with crappy lane control to still farm and level.  Junglers can also easily gank nearby lanes.  I highly recommend any jungler that is going to be taking hits (besides leviathan) buy a stout shield!  Anyway, here is a guide to jungling by DarkMilkShake.  While I don't agree with everything he says you can get a good idea of jungling from it.  Also, here is a link to the MYM replay in which they have 2 junglers, pretty amazing.

So I'll assume you are going to go defensive since offensive is highly situational and doesn't require a great deal of lane control anyway.  From here on I'll go over some laning advice.


IPB ImageIf you are melee...
Melee heroes definitely have a disadvantage to ranged heroes in lane control.  Almost all of the best lane controllers are ranged.  In order to balance this a bit, the amount of experience you get when the enemy denies you is different depending on if you are melee or ranged (basically, melee get double what ranged get).  For more info check out Nova's Guide to Experience.

Now you have to understand that as a melee hero laning against a ranged hero you are at a disadvantage.  It is just much easier to last hit, deny, and harass with a ranged attack...especially because you have to be up in the fray to last hit and deny.  If you have no means of harassing and your opponent is skilled at lane control you probably want to hang back or you are just going to be sent back to the fountain.  In order to get  close you are going to want to let them push up then come at them from the woods so you are on top of them before they know you are there, removing the ranged advantage.

Laning against another melee is a bit more interesting.  You have to be very alert here as well because you are both in the fray so it only takes the opponent a step or two to hit you with a stun or slow and start whacking you.  Of course you also have the same advantage - use it!

IPB ImageIf you are ranged...
It is always nice to be ranged for lane control (unless your hero has an awful attack animation).  Standing back with your ranged creep, easily picking off last hits for gold.  Against another ranged hero things are usually pretty tame.  You both stand back, exchange nukes once in a while, focus on last hitting and denying.  Just be ready for when they make their move (or for when you should make yours).

Ranged vs melee is pretty easy.  All of their dives are telegraphed to you by them having to run across the creep wave to you.  If you can, hit them whenever they step in to last hit or deny, or give them a good nuke.  If you let them know that they are going to be punished every time you will train them to stay back.  Be wary if they disappear though - they are possibly trying to gank you from the woods.

IPB ImageCooperating with a Partner
When you are paired with someone in a lane you need to coordinate.  Find out how much damage your combined nukes do (remember magic resistance!) and see if you can get an opponent to within that range then dive them and finish them off in a flurry of chain nukes.  Also make sure your style is the same, if your ally is autoattacking and trying to push and take down their tower while you are playing defensive you are going to be at odds.  There's not much you can do about a nooby partner, you don't want to leave them with solo but nor do you want to lane with them.  In any case a good synergy and communication between lane partners is key and definitely makes a huge difference.  If you are laning 2v1 you are against the other team's solo (assuming its 5v5) and it is vital that you prevent the solo from farming.

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IPB ImageSolo against 2 opponents
When you are solo you are going to be (at least, should be) the team's strongest member for mid game.  It is important for you to grow strong so you can dominate and carry the team.  However against 2 opponents it is much more difficult.  A good chain nuking can take you down quickly, and killing one of them without the other one taking you down afterwards is difficult.  Be more cautious but also don't allow them to control the lane and deny you exp and gold.

Edited by Blaow, 09 January 2008 - 02:27 PM.


#2 BLAOW

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:10 AM

IPB ImageHarassing
Harassing is the art of weakening your opponent.  There are many ways of doing so - denying creeps to hurt their exp gain, keeping them away from your creeps period, or just sending them back to their fountain.  Although many players focus on making themselves stronger, it is just as effective if not more so to weaken your enemies (or do both if you can!).  The most basic method of harassing is hitting an enemy with a nuke until you reach the point where they have to go back to their tower.  Here are some more advanced methods for harassing (or avoiding being harassed):

IPB ImageChoosing a Target
If you are laning against two people then choose which one you will focus on wisely.  Preferably you want to be able to keep down the more dangerous opponent but that isn't always possible or the best choice.  Easier targets tend to have little or no regen, lower hps, and no method of escaping.  There is no use on blowing all your mana at level 1 on 75 damage nukes if they just regen it back using a tango or 2.

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IPB ImageIntimidation
Once you have established lane dominance by sending your opponent back to the fountain or by harassing him severely use this to your advantage - you have the upper hand!  If you are clearly controlling the lane and your opponent stand on his side of the creeps, this is very intimidating and he will stand far back, missing out on gold and xp while you last hit freely.  Be assertive, let them know you are in control and intimidate them, this will give you the mental edge and your opponent will hesitate to challenge you.

IPB ImageOverly Aggressive Enemies
So, the enemy is out playing you by being aggressive.  Possibly using the intimidation method outlined above.  If you can't directly challenge them (they have a superior hero, better lag, or gained the upper hand somehow) then play on their confidence.  Fall back, make yourself seem harmless.  When they get over confident take the kill or call in a gank.  This should put you ahead, or at least on even footing.  At worst they will be less aggressive...if not just repeat.

IPB ImageIf you are in trouble
So you are getting destroyed in your lane...for some reason you can't get a lane switch or you are just to far behind in your new lane.  How do you recover?  The key here is to focus on getting through NOW, don't try to save up for a late game item or even a mid game item.  Focus on very small items at a time.  Stack bracers until you can survive and hold your own.  If you fill up on bracers try to upgrade to a mid game item, selling a bracer when you need the slot.

IPB ImageOrb Walking
I've mentioned Orb Walking a few times so far.  The key here is that when you attack an enemy hero their nearby creeps will automatically target you making it difficult to harass this way.  However if you cast a spell on an enemy hero this won't happen.  So if your hero has an autocast ability (Drow's frost arrows, Silencer's glaives, etc) you can manually cast it as a spell without drawing creep aggro.  On top of this you can cancel the casting animation of the attack and start walking almost immediately.  Done right this allows you to walk and attack almost simultaneously (hence orb walking) without drawing creep aggro.  This skill is great for lane domination because enemy heroes are forced to run back to their tower taking a ton of damage every time they run in.

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IPB ImageStutter Hitting
Stutter Hitting is similar to orb walking in principle - you are canceling the animation of your attack.  However, the idea here is to cancel the animation right before you deal damage in order to confuse your enemy.  You start your swing and they think you are going to hit, so they base their actions on that idea but you cancel the animation and follow through with your real intentions (or stutter hit again!) even if it is just to hit the same creep.  This is a great way to keep your enemies on their toes and second guessing you.  It isn't very useful in low level play because your opponents probably won't even be able to read your actions and it isn't as useful on ranged heroes because you have to cancel before the projectile even comes out.

IPB ImageDenying Towers and Heroes
Not only can you deny creeps, you can deny your towers (awesome) and allied heroes (hilarious).  If you can possibly deny one of your towers you definitely should, in a 5v5 match denying a tower prevents the enemy from gaining at least 1,000 (5x200) gold.  Even if you are struggling to hold your lane, a tower in red (you can only deny a tower that is below 10% of its max hp) isn't going to provide much resistance especially with the recent update adding siege units and removing tower regen.  It is much better to cut the enemy off from 1000+ gold rather than slow their push for a few seconds.  

As for denying your allies, you can only do so if they are poisoned or doomed.  This is a hard choice, if your ally is going to make it and you kill him or her, they are going to be pissed.  Even if they aren't going to make it they probably aren't going to be to happy if you take the finishing blow.  Still, it is definitely worth it to deny the enemies the exp.  If you are out of range of enemies (your poisoned ally ran but is still going to deny) its still nice to deny the enemy the gold, but your ally is probably going to have a word with you if they thought they were going to make it...

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IPB ImageWhen to push
You may notice that once an enemy pushes up to your tower, your creep wave builds up and pushes towards their tower (if they are playing defensive and not autoattacking), creating a ping pong effect (bouncing back and forth).  This eventually leads to a situation where you will be at the enemy tower, unable to deny or harass for a period of time.  There is a way to circumvent this though.  Before your creeps push you to the enemy tower, harass them enough to make them return to the fountain then push as hard as you can.  Once the enemy tower repels your attack (assuming you don't manage to push it down) resume your defensive style.  This way the enemy is away when it is difficult to harass/deny (and it also makes it harder for them to deny their tower).

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IPB ImageMap Awareness and Ganks
Map Awareness is a critical component of DotA which beginners often lack or ignore entirely.  Being able to tell when an enemy is coming to kill you, or when they are open to an easy gank is key.  If you perfectly harass your opponent for the first 5 levels but then you get ganked twice because you weren't paying attention to the minimap, all of your harassing has gone to waste.  Map Awareness is a team effort - don't be afraid to communicate with your allies, send a helpful ping, or buy a set of wards.

IPB ImageCalling Missing
It is generally accepted that if an enemy hero is missing from your lane you should call it - that is, tell your teammates.  I usually go with a brief "bot mia" (meaning bottom is missing in action).  Some people hold that a good player should be watching all the lanes to know if someone is missing instead of relying on their teammates.  To me, that is nonsense; Dota is a team game, use team work, call missing.  Try to give some detail too.  For instance, if you harass your enemy down to 50 hp and they barely get away tell your team they are healing.  Don't be slow in calling missing either, if the creep wave breaks and you back off but your opponent isn't there immediately next creep wave...call missing!  The sooner you call missing the more time your allies have to prepare.  Also consider how dangerous the enemy hero is when calling.  For instance, I might be a bit slow to call a level 3 Naix missing, but if a level 6 Pudge goes missing I'm going to notify my team immediately (even if he is only gone for a second) so they can move to places that are hard to hook.  Nothing is more frustrating then getting hooked out of no where by an uncalled Pudge.

IPB ImageDiving
Diving in the DotA lingo means run past the creep waves and attempt to take out the enemy hero.  For instance, if an ally is coming to gank from another lane and he says "Dive tinker" he wants you to nuke and attack Tinker while he comes from behind.  Tower diving is when you dive the enemy when he is at his tower, very risky.  A well planned dive will net you a kill, or at least send the enemy back to his fountain.

IPB ImageGanking
There may come a time when your ally's ask for a gank, or your hero is an early game ganker and you feel ready to run around killing heroes.  The first step in a successful gank is often overlooked - disappearing.  You don't want to start walking towards another lane in plain enemy sight, this is easy to call and obvious on the minimap.  Wait till the creep wave breaks, when you are out of sight of the opponent for a few seconds, then move back a bit and go to the other lane out of sight.  Your opponent will be slow to call you missing because you normally lose sight of each other for a bit when the waves break.

While you walk to the lane you are ganking coordinate with your allies there.  Don't just run in, blow all your mana, then watch the enemy hero walk away while your ally creeps, not noticing you ganked at all.  Time your disables and let your ally know - say "I'll stun first", or whatever order is preferable.  A successful gank with nice team work is a great help for you and your ally, while it is demoralizing to the enemy, and can cause bickering if you managed to slip away without being called missing.

IPB ImageWards
It is helpful to buy Observer Wards (no true sight - get Sentry wards if you need true sight for some reason) to protect yourself from ganks, see rune spawns and the river in general, as well as keep an eye on enemies who are neutral creeping.  Again, the 300 gold cost is usually well worth the advantages you get just as with other consumables.  If a set of wards saves your life or gets you a gank (or a rune that leads to a gank) just once it has paid for itself, not to mention the benefit to your allies.  If you are interested read madee[neRv]'s Mini Guide To Using Wards.

IPB Image

IPB ImageEscaping a Gank
Suddenly you are ganked.  Your teammates didn't call missing or you just weren't paying attention and you find yourself being hunted by enemy heroes around your tower.  If you survive the initial nukes then you have to make a choice - fight or flight.  If you are fairly sure you can win or if there is no chance of escape then try to make a stand at your tower.  If you know you can't win and you can't get away then try and juke your chasers in the woods.  On the top and bottom lanes, just above and below the first scourge and sentinel towers respectively there is a small path in the woods around the tower.  By running through this you can sometimes lose the opposition or at least let your tower get a few more hits in on them.  There is a similar path to the right of the scourge tower mid where you can slip by the tower.  Once you get out of sight of the enemy you can usually lose them with a bit of luck.  Remember that running back to base taking the most obvious routes can make it easy for another enemy hero to set up an ambush.

IPB Image

IPB ImageDying to Neutral Creeps
In the case that you can't escape the gank and there is no way you are going to win there is one option left.  If you can, run into the forest and into a neutral creep spot.  Try to get killed by the neutral creeps.  This is, in effect, denying your self - enemy gets no exp or gold because Scourge didn't get the kill.  A last ditch effort, but it can pay off.

IPB ImageCreeps and Towers
Towers and Creeps (yours, the enemy's, as well as neutrals) are also an important part of lane control.  This section will cover some of the basics involving these computer controlled elements and how to deal with them.

IPB ImageTower Hugging and Neutral Creeping
If you are getting completely dominated and there is nothing you can do, you are hopelessly outmatched, you still have a few options.  Hug your tower - don't leave its safety.  Only deny and attack your own creeps so they stay at your tower.  If the enemy decides to dive you at your tower juke them in the woods (there is a juke spot by every tower, refer to juke map below).  If the creep wave keeps moving away from your tower (the opponent is denying and playing defensive to pull the line back to their tower) then pick up a stout shield and some tangos and neutral creep.  With 1 stout you will greatly reduce the damage creeps do and be able to creep semi decently.  At least this way you are getting some xp and money instead of getting denied or just flat out feeding.  For more info on neutral creeps read the Neutral Creep Guide by MrX.

IPB ImageCreep Blocking and Creep Pulling
The idea with Creep Blocking is to try to slow down your first creep wave so that the first line of battle ends up closer (or at) your tower.  This is done by moving in their path of travel, then weaving back and forth while walking ahead of them so they get confused and slow down.  The advantage here is that it fits in perfectly with the defensive style.  Also, consider that your opponent may be creep blocking and you will end up fighting far further up than you planned.   Remember, completely blocking creeps to disrupt the game is against the rules so don't do anything that bad.  A nice creep blocker is Earthshaker with his fissure - 8 second delay if done right.   Be aware that in some leagues there are rules against this.  Know the rules of the game you are playing in!

It is important to consider what lane you are in and how much blocking you want to do when creep blocking.  If you block to much then your tower could take unnecessary hits and clear the enemy wave quickly, actually pushing you up on the second wave.  However, if your opponent creep blocks and you don't then you could end up equally pushed up or worse.  Remember that Sentinel will end up fighting near their tower bottom lane and Scourge will be the same for top lane.  I think it is always better to take the risk of putting enemy creeps in tower range rather than potentially not creep block when your opponent does, but it is pretty much a guessing game without a huge impact.

Creep Pulling, on the other hand, involves fighting neutral creeps near your lane so your creeps attack the neutrals to defend you, in effect denying your enemy the wave.  This can be difficult to pull off and costs you some hp even if you fail.  If you are skilled at it though pulling a whole wave of xp out of your enemy's reach is great.  For more info on the specifics check out ThisisBob's guide to creep pulling.  It's a little out dated but you'll get the idea.

IPB ImageEnemy Creep and Tower AI
The enemy creeps and towers have some AI to determine their targets.  This is very important to factor in when and how to harass or dive (see below) your opponent.  The basic premise here is directly attacking (right clicking) on an enemy hero near creeps will cause them to attack you.  However, manually casting spells (or manually casting autocast spells - see orb walking below) will not cause them to attack you.  Most of the time you do not want enemy creeps attacking you (unless you are say...Axe).  So the key here is to harass your enemy without taking damage from his creeps.  It's usually best to attack when the creep wave breaks or is about to break (all the creeps on one side die).  This means there are few creeps around to get in the way.  Of course its not a good idea to attack when the enemy creep wave kills all of your creeps and there are still a bunch of enemy creeps left around.

Towers have their own set of target priorities as well.  Attacking an enemy hero at a tower is probably going to make the tower target you.  Attacking the tower or having low hp will also make you a more likely target.  A nifty trick if a tower is attacking you is to force attack (hit 'A' then left click on) one of your own creeps.  This will make the tower recheck target priority (its possible you could be targeted again).  For more info read Y0UR's All about Towers.



Edited by Blaow, 28 June 2007 - 01:15 PM.


#3 BLAOW

BLAOW

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:10 AM

IPB ImageIn-Depth Scenarios
This section will cover some special cases where I figured some more detail would be helpful.  I'm going to try to avoid covering every possible match up because there are literally thousands of combinations (In fact over 6400 possible 1v1 match ups alone).


IPB ImageInvisible Foes
Dealing with opponents you can't see is always unsettling - who knows what they are up to.  What you have to realize is most heroes with an invisibility skill are fragile assassin types.  They rely on intimidation and fear to make you run then kill you with high burst damage type skills.  If you actually stand your ground and fight you can often take them down in with a nuke and a few hits.  Of course this doesn't always apply - trying to fight Stealth Assassin head on in his cloud is ridiculous.  With that in mind there are several methods to dealing with invisible enemies and I will go into each.

IPB ImageSentry Wards
Sentry wards were the tried and true way to deal with invis, until the recent nerf that is.  Now with a much shorter duration and higher cost (gold per second of duration) it is much less effective to keep an area permanently warded.  Instead, you should carry them in your inventory and drop one if needed - hopefully to get a kill.  When you first start using them you should always get a kill with the element of surprise.  Coordinate with someone else to gank the invis foe, drop the ward, disable the enemy and destroy them.  After that you will have mentally intimidated them, reversing the situation so the assassin fears you instead of the other way around.  Carrying wards in your inventory is also a great deterrent - the enemy will see them and know that if they attack you they are committed and won't be able to invis away.

IPB ImageGem of True Sight
Gem is still a great way to deal with invis enemies especially now that wards are less useful.  The thing about buying a gem is...don't buy it if the enemy can easily kill you because you will die and you will drop it upon death.  At best you have wasted 750 gold, at worst you have given the enemy a free gem they can use against your invisible allies.  Some bracers or an Aegis from Roshan will go a long way towards helping you hang on to a gem.

A gem is great because you can always see invis, you don't have to worry about dropping wards in the right spot or anything.  This is also a nice deterrent, invisible foes know they can't sneak up on you, period.  Of course it can also turn out the other way - they see you have a gem and you become the number 1 target.  If you are fragile try buying a gem for a tanky team mate and sticking with them.

IPB ImageNecronomicon (Level 3)
This is a rarely used, but great counter for invisible enemies.  The downsides are it is expensive and not meant for every hero.  However if it is good for your hero you definitely want to consider getting this powerful item to counter invis.  The level 3 summons have a nice solid set of abilities (including true sight and mana burn and a great ms+ aura) that are useful against any enemy hero, and the book itself has a nice strength and int boost which will help you survive.  Assassin types will definitely think twice about going after you with this item - you shut down their invis, then take their mana leaving them helpless, and you and the summons are fast so it will be difficult to run...   Another great point about this item is the fact that you can use it to scout for invisible enemies by sending the summons ahead and if you find one burn their mana.  All around, I recommend this item as a solid counter to invis enemies on any hero that can possibly use it (most int heroes at least definitely...)

IPB ImageToughing it out
This isn't so much of a counter as just ignoring the invis enemy.  If you dominated the lane in the first few levels and your enemy is way behind and can't even harm you then you have the option of ignoring them.  Continue to last hit and deny (deny even if you can't see them - let them know that they are helpless even though they are invis) and harass when the opponent shows themselves.  Be sure to call missing though because they will likely leave your lane to try and gank easier prey.  If your opponent is easy to defeat you may want to consider dropping some cash for a set of wards for an easy kill.


IPB ImageOrb Walkers
A good orb walker is a dangerous foe and very difficult to beat.  They can harass you without fear of your creeps hitting them and they can practically move and attack simultaneously.  The first step in dealing with an orb walker is gaining the upper hand before they can orb walk effectively.  That is, before their autocast arrow skill becomes high enough level to have 0 cooldown.  Any good orb walker is going to be focusing on getting to that point first.  Here is a brief list of when orb walkers hit 0 cooldown.
  • Viper's Poison Attack has 0 cooldown at level 3 (level 5 hero)
  • Enchantress' Impetus has 0 cooldown at level 4 (level 7 hero)
  • Drow's Frost Arrow has 0 cooldown at level 1 (level 1 hero)
  • Clinkz's Searing Arrow has 0 cooldown at level 3 (level 5 hero)
  • Visage's Soul Assumption has 0 cooldown at level 2 (level 3 hero)
  • Silencer's Glaives of Wisdom have 0 cooldown at level 4 (level 7 hero)
  • Harbinger's Arcane Orb has 0 cooldown at level 4 (level 7 hero)
  • Huskar's Burning Spear has 0 cooldown at level 1 (level 1 hero)
Note: level refers to the level of the skill, not the level of the hero.  A level 3 hero can get a level 2 skill, a level 5 hero can get a level 3 skill, etc.

Generally more dangerous orbs don't become "walkable" until higher levels.  If you can establish lane dominance before that level then you should be ok.  If not, your lane is going to be an intense struggle for control.  The most effective way of dealing with orb walkers (besides being an orb walker yourself) are heavy nukes (preferably with a stun, ie Vengeful Spirit's Magic Missile).  Whenever the orb walker steps in to harass you nail them with a nuke and stand your ground and fight, running just means they are going to get a few shots on you by orb walking.  Fighting back removes the advantage of orb walking and you are ahead because you hit them with a nuke.   This isn't always a good idea because when you attack back you attract the attention of the enemy creeps.  Standing your ground taking the hits of all the enemy creeps and enemy hero is not a good idea.

If you have no means of harassing back, no nukes, no stuns, then a good orb walker is going to walk all over you (get it? haha...... >_<).  The best heroes to deal with orb walkers are ones with heavy nukes or multiple nukes like Tinker.  No one wants to walk in for a laser to the face and possibly a missile.

IPB ImageSpammers
Spammers are heroes that can continuously unload nukes on you.  Some examples are Lich, Death Prophet, Zeus and Tinker.  What you have to realize against these foes is that each time you step in to harass (or last hit) you are going to take a nuke (or two...or more).  It is very important to keep your health above the point where you can be killed by the enemy's nuke(s) and a few hits.  You are going to want to keep a constant stream of healing items coming with your chicken (preferably tangos but if you need it get a flask).  The best way to send these guys back to base is to do it all at once.  Trading nukes every wave is going to end up with you losing unless you can out spam them.  If you have an orb walker, make sure if you step in to orb walk you get a few hits off - moving up to hit Tinker with 1 frost arrow isn't worth a Laser and a Missile to the face.

IPB ImageAgainst a Tri-Lane
Usually a tri-lane means that your opponents are newbies and easily dealt with, however a tri-lane is actually sometimes used in high level games because it gives the team two solos.  The other lane has heroes picked for it that work well together to completely shutdown that lane, making it very difficult to lane against.

The heroes picked for a tri-lane will generally have at least two stuns and multiple nukes between them.  This means that once they start their combo you probably aren't going to get out alive if you get to act at all.    They will also be able to easily deny you because, again, there are three of them.  Expect them to initiate attacks and dive you frequently, even suicidally, because they don't really care if they lose a bit - they are already going to be weak from being in a tri-lane, their only goal is taking you down.  You must be careful and ready for dives, even at your own tower.

The way to counter this is to focus on your own growth.  Don't worry about holding them down because being in a tri-lane has already done that to them for you.  All you have to do is make sure they don't hold you down in exchange.  If you can just hold on and survive to mid game then they will be naturally weak.  Of course your teammates still have to play well against their two solos...

IPB ImageTechies
Techies is pretty different from most other heroes, with no direct combat skills and crappy stats.  Laning against him can be easy or a pain depending on how you handle it.  The first thing you have to watch out for is suicide, which can easily land Techies a first blood or even a double kill.  Check if Techies has boots first, a decent indicator as to whether he is going suicide first (not 100% though).  Be wary if he suddenly runs at you and always keep your distance.  Also make sure you know if his lane partner (solo techies is really dumb) has a disable to hold you still while techies blows you up.  Keep track of the runes if you can in case he gets a haste or invis.

The other annoying part of dealing with Techies is the mines.  This used to be easily countered with wards but now that they are nerfed wards aren't really a good solution.  Keep track of techies and note if hes been missing for a while.  Be careful before crossing common areas like your secret shop, the runes, and ramps.  Remember flying heroes (Visage, THD, Viper, Harbinger) won't set off land mines but they will take damage if other units set them off.  A gem or a Necronomicon are both great counters to Techies, rendering him pretty useless if you are there.  Necronomicon and other summons, as well as illusions can also scout lanes or areas ahead of you to check for mines.

A pusher techies will go for your tower with land mines, which will take it down pretty easily.  In order to do this he is going to have to run into the fray and plant a mine next to your tower.  When he is running in nail him with a stun if you can and pound on him, this will give him second thoughts about trying it again.

IPB ImageMana Burners
The two main mana burners are Nerubian Assassin (mana burn as a spell) and Antimage (mana break as an orb).  A few other heroes have ways to reduce your mana but none as threatening as these two.  Both turn your mana against you, making it difficult to stay in lane, much less harass back.

There are two ways to deal with it - one focuses on survival, the other on harassing back.  If your hero is not a strong lane controller you probably will have to use the survival method.  If you can pull it off harassing back is optimal.

Anyway, on to the survival method.  The idea here is to keep your mana as low as possible and play defensive.  With no mana it is harder for mana burners to hurt you (Antimage has pitiful base damage and NA is left with Impale which costs much more mana than Mana Burn).  Avoid unnecessary mana regen and blow your mana on spells as soon as you can.  Of course this makes it difficult to harass or get kills...and it can become an issue once Antimage gets his ultimate.

The other method is simple.  Blow all of your mana immediately on the mana burner.  Let them know that they whacked a hornet's nest.  If you are successful you will intimidate the mana burner and he or she will keep their distance...if not keep at it, but switch to the survival method if you are putting yourself at risk.

IPB ImageSilencer with Curse of the Silent
This little combination is very annoying for the first few levels.  What you have to realize here is Silencer is passing up on something in order to get Curse, stats and Last Word (or Glaive I guess, which would just be flat out hilarious).  This means Silencer is slow, has low hp, and only a DoT for defense which you dispel by harassing him.  What you need to do is either harass/kill him immediately so he is out of the picture for a bit (similar to strategy for mana burners above) or conserve your casts for when he casts it on you.  When you are forced to cast always hit Silencer, make sure he knows every time he curses you he is going to get a nuke to the face so he stops doing it.

Try to conserve mana and have enough ready in case he curses you, or at least have a tango ready.  Don't worry after a few levels Curse won't be nearly as dangerous and Silencer will have traded a lot of mid game usefulness for early game control.

IPB ImageAxe
Axe can be a real pain for melee heroes.  Battle Hunger is very annoying at lower levels of play, while Helix (and Call) based builds are effective at higher levels.  To deal with hunger all you need to do is perfect your last hitting and denying and its really quite laughable.  Usually Axe will drop a hunger on you between creep waves then charge you the next wave to keep you off the creeps.  Battle hunger doesn't really do that much damage unless you take it for the whole duration, so stay calm and focus on last hitting, don't try to engage axe but don't run away either, pop a tango if you have to.  Remember the cut off point for Culling Blade, if you fall below that you need to hide from Axe or go heal.

Now, the real threat is a non battlehunger axe.  He is going to charge you at the creep wave and get off a lot of counter helix's from all of your creeps attacking him.  If you attack him back you are going to be taking an obnoxious amount of damage, back off and harass with nukes or switch lanes with a ranged hero with better lane control, ranged nukers destroy Axe.  Remember, Axe wants you to attack him, a smart Axe will be setup to take hits and Call makes him pretty invulnerable with the armor boost.  Once you get in Culling range he will finish you.

IPB ImagePudge
Pudge can be pretty scary to lane against if you know what he can do.  Generally he isn't to bad if you always keep in mind that he is around.  Watch his position carefully and always keep a creep or two between you and him.  If you can't see him then call missing and assume he is trying to hook you.  Keep a creep between yourself and likely hooking spots (the woods, or across the river, or up ledges).  If you are caught and he is running along with you rotting, juke him, once you get out of rot's slow its not to hard to get away.  Just remember, don't run in a straight line because this makes you easy to hook.

If you can hold Pudge down early and keep him from farming it is difficult for him to make a come back.  Always remember to call him missing if he leaves your lane - theres nothing your ally can do if he doesn't know Pudge is coming and is hooked and dismembered before he can take action.

IPB ImageLord of Avernus
Described by some as "the best melee lane controller" a good Avernus can be a real pain even for orb walkers.  His shield gives him a nice set of options for harassing and protecting himself or allies.  As usual, its nice if you can get ahead of him in the early levels while his shield is still weak.  It is imperative that you manage to get ahead before level 6 because once he gets his ult you are going to have a very difficult time finishing him.  

Avernus will probably shield himself then charge you, in this case you should retreat to your tower.  If he chases you into tower range you should try to slow or disable him, or just fight.  At this point you are going to take damage when the tower blows the shield so you might as well get in as many hits as possible while you have the tower helping you.  If you can take off a good chunk of Avernus' hp he hasn't really accomplished anything, which is good.  This strategy starts to fall apart once Avernus hits level 6 because he will use his ult to shield himself while running back from the tower.

If Avernus is having trouble with charging you he might start to shield creeps who are taking lots of hits to try to catch you in the explosion before you can back off.  This is usually a sign that he feels threatened, just back out of shield range when one of your creeps is taking all of the hits and be especially careful at your tower.  If you can keep up with him and avoid enough shield explosions you can hold the upper hand, making him not so threatening, just difficult to kill.  If you find yourself unable to run from him just get a scroll of tp, he has no stuns.

IPB ImageKeeper of the Light
Keeper of the Light is known for the havoc he wreaks on a lane during the early game.  The key to laning against him is avoiding Illuminate and not being intimidated by him.  Illuminate delivers a powerful blast in the direction he is facing, but it has a long charge time and leaves his back and sides completely open.  KotL is very fragile, you can send him packing with only a little bit of harassing.  It is important to send him back as soon as you can because the Illuminates are not going to stop - with Chakra his mana is virtually unlimited.  Remember, if you stun KotL or interrupt his channeling in anyway the Illuminate will immediately go off (albeit weaker), instead of being canceled so be cautious.

A skilled Keeper of the Light won't be hitting you head on, he will be hiding in the forest and blasting you with Illuminates that you can't even see coming. So if you notice he is missing, be wary and stay away from the creeps and any forest area where he might be hiding.  The hit range for Illuminate is actually much wider than the animation so make sure you are well clear.

It isn't too dangerous if this guy farms up (it is difficult to stop) unless he stacks another teammate (against the rules in many circles).  The main issue here is if he totally shuts down your farming and leveling, then you will have a problem.


IPB ImageSecret Paths and Juking
IPB Image
NOTE: THIS IMAGE IS WATERMARKED.  DO NOT TAKE WITHOUT PERMISSION.
Key
  • Cyan Line: One of the three major lanes; top, middle, or bottom
  • White Line: A main path on the Dota Map besides the three lanes
  • Red Line: A secret path through the forest, or a juke point, or both
  • Yellow Line: For clarity's sake when Secret Paths are far from the Main Roads

So as you can see the map contains a huge number of secret paths and juke points.  With knowledge of their locations you can move through enemy territory like a ghost, disappearing at a moments notice.  You can evade chasers with ease, leaving them grumbling about hax on the way back to their fountain.  You can lay in wait and come from literally out of the trees, shocking your opponents.  Mastering juke points and secret paths will bring your game play to the next level.

Of course, memorizing them all would be quite difficult so I'll point out some important ones you should familiarize yourself with.  The most important types are those near towers and those with two or more exits (usually secret paths near towers have two exits anyway).  These let you escape danger and utterly vanish, confusing your opponent.  The important juke points are those just around corners.  Your opponent loses sight of you for a second and you slip into a small forest niche.  The enemy comes around the corner and you are completely gone.  Some more specific vital paths include the one leading from the Scourge Secret Shop to the Scourge Bottom Lane, as well as the path in the Scourge base which starts between the two inactive towers.  This last hiding place is especially great for Sentinel heroes that are cut off deep in enemy territory because you can buy a Scroll of Town Portal from the Scourge Shop!

A few more comments about some of the juke points.  The very small ones (characterized by a short red line) may not completely hide you and will often leave you visible from one or more directions.  Also, be wary of juke points beneath cliffs - you are still visible from above!  If you are trying to find a juke point without this map handy, many of them have markers, especially in the top and bottom lanes.  Look for a lamp post on the Sentinel side or a pile of bones on the Scourge side - there are other markers as well.

The best way to juke is to hide when the enemy loses sight of you through fog of war.  The most common way for this to happen is for you to turn a corner and hide before they come around it, or for you to go up a hill then hide before they come up it.  This can leave your opponent completely confused and usually they will just keep running off into the distance, allowing you to make a quick escape.

An example juke
IPB Image

I recommend printing out this map and keeping it on hand while you play - it might seem nerdy but it makes for a great reference and you will become familiar with the juke points and secret paths much more quickly.

IPB ImageReplays and Other Reading Material

Replays (using the new beta replay center!)
Rhasta controls mid
Avernus shuts down Stealth Assassin
TDA with some interesting Lane Control
Melee Lane Control vs Axe
Solo mid with Silencer (em)

MYM 2 Junglers Replay

Other reading material and guides I linked too
Genosis's Guide to Lane Control
inDe_eD's Guide to Micromanagement
madee[neRv]'s Mini Guide To Using Wards
Neutral Creep Guide by MrX.
DotA game commands and common abbreviations
Spell Resistance Stacking Guide
Guide to Experience
All about Towers
Neutral Creep Guide by MrX
ThisisBob's guide to creep pulling
DarkMilkShake's guide to jungling

Thank yous:
Splish for his help with image editing
Nova for teaching me some of this stuff
Alice for the suggestion of making the lanes a different color on the map
Brood_Star and Nothill for ideas on bottle strategies
disrup3 for an array of suggestions and fixes
That's all for now - please post your comments, opinions, disagreements, or support, whether you liked it or not!
Version History
  • 1.0 (Wed Feb 14, 2007) Posted the basic guide
  • 1.1 (Thu Feb 15, 2007) Added sections on escaping ganks and denying towers
  • 1.2 (Mon, Mar 26, 2007) Added some sections and updated something for the new version
  • 1.3 (Thu, Mar 29, 2007) Added some pictures - more to come!
  • 1.4 (Mon, April 2, 2007) Began work on  "In-Depth Scenarios" section
  • 1.5 (Sat, April 7, 2007) Added Juking Map
  • 1.6 (Mon, April 9, 2007) Added Replays and other Reading Material as well as minor other updates
  • 2.0 (Fri, April 13, 2007) Reposted guide, cropped some pictures so it would fit on some lower resolution screens
  • 2.1 (Sun, April 15, 2007) Added a few sections at heffalump75's suggestion
  • 2.2 (Mon, April 16, 2007) Added a few more sections and a few other bits and pieces
  • 2.3 (Fri, April 27, 2007) Updated the following (thanks to everyone for their suggestions!) : denying towers, techies counters (illusions), silencer CotS, arcane ring, creep blocking (added creep pulling to this section).  Added the following sections: bottle and tri-lanes.  Also added an example juke pic and updated my rune ward pic and moved the "Hand of Midas" section in with Arcane Ring, Bottle, and Hood of Defiance.  Fixed error about Gem's cost (thanks nejineverdies)
  • 3.0 (Mon, April 30, 2007) Various formatting changes; divided the "What to do once you are in your lane" section into several sections, grouping like topics together
  • 3.1 (Tue, May 22, 2007) Rewrote/Added some sections based on the judge's feedback (HP regen, mana regen, hand of midas, Bottle (runes), defensive style, CotS silencer, and Axe)
  • 3.11 (Tue, May 29, 2007) Added a small section on stutter hitting
  • 3.12 (Thu, June 28, 2007) Added a section on jungling and included Huskar in orb walkers

Edited by Blaow, 29 January 2008 - 06:00 PM.


#4 BLAOW

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:13 AM

Notes about reposting:
This guide has been reposted due to formatting issues.  To view the old comments/replies/feedback go here.


I've taken steps to relieve the stretching caused by the images

Tell me if you still have to scroll horizontally.

If so please include the following:
Your resolution.
Your browser (internet explorer, firefox).
Your skin (arobase or Dota Allstars).

My main worry here is if you have to scroll horizontally to read the text.  Scrolling to see the whole map is kind of unavoidable at lower resolutions sad.gif.

Edited by Blaow, 21 April 2007 - 05:07 PM.


#5 tinyturtlesoup

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:28 AM

woot first comment!

well written guide
holy shit that juking map is intense.  i'll need to print that out and keep it on my wall while i play dota so i can look at it if i ever need to juke someone real fast

and yes i do have to scroll to the right ;(

#6 BLAOW

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:31 AM

QUOTE(tinyturtlesoup @ Apr 13 2007, 06:28 AM) View Post

woot first comment!

well written guide
holy shit that juking map is intense.  i'll need to print that out and keep it on my wall while i play dota so i can look at it if i ever need to juke someone real fast

and yes i do have to scroll to the right ;(


Thanks smile.gif

Sorry to hear there are still scrolling issues - what resolution are you at, and what browser are you using?

We were discussing this issue in the original thread (before I reposted to this one) and the consensus was that I should leave the map as big as it is because its easier to see despite the stretching.

#7 tinyturtlesoup

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 03:07 AM

using mozilla firefox at 1280x1024.
i guess at higher resolutions it's better.

i think it's fine the way it is now.  though i have to scroll to the right initially, i can still read the entire text without having to scroll again.  at worst, it's a minor annoyance

#8 sleeping phoenix

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 08:10 AM

Awesome. It's help a lot. The juking map is very useful.  And it's easy to read. The pictures really help to understand what are you saying. I'm getting tired to see wall of text from another guide. GJ

#9 Valyim

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 09:35 AM

<3 Guide.

#10 bluebottel

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:39 PM

Damn nice guide you have there, the formatting is top notch. I just wish that more people could realize that you dont need a million different colors to make it look good/readable

#11 Beast_Pete

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 01:23 PM

Added to the list of complete guides.

#12 Shiz_

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 12:57 AM

the juking map was really helpful, how did you make it?

#13 dalejn

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 10:09 AM

The vast amounts of effort put into this payed off. Amazing job.
The chart on Secret Paths and Juking is fantastic.

#14 heffalump75

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 05:35 PM

Very nice guide; especially loving the juke map. I'd consider adding in some tower-hugging strategies to help against powerful lane-control enemies, such as aggressive denying over lasthit denying as well as legal creep blocking.

#15 ThunderSquirrel

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Posted 14 April 2007 - 07:36 PM

IPB Image

And you said complete... do I win a prize?

JUST KIDDING good guide awesome map.  This isnt so much a juking spot (it can be if the line of sight is that crucial, also a good place to blink to) but you can also sneak in here during a team push and BD the tree quite easily.

#16 kisr10

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 04:51 AM

Great guide and map, how did you even get the juke spots and the map itelf? pretty sure it needed some hard work.

and yea I still have to scroll sad.gif

Browser: IE
Resolution: 800x600
Skin: DA Skin

#17 BLAOW

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 02:28 PM

QUOTE(heffalump75 @ Apr 14 2007, 08:35 PM) View Post

Very nice guide; especially loving the juke map. I'd consider adding in some tower-hugging strategies to help against powerful lane-control enemies, such as aggressive denying over lasthit denying as well as legal creep blocking.


Thanks smile.gif It wasn't easy to put together.  Anyway, as you suggested I added some brief stuff about tower hugging and other strategies against powerful enemies.

QUOTE(lynxv2k @ Apr 14 2007, 03:57 AM) View Post

the juking map was really helpful, how did you make it?


Thanks again...I actually took screenshots of everything in game and put them together with photoshop.  The real difficulty was the fisheye effect - perspectives that is.  things in the middle of the screen are big, while things on the edge are stretched out.  This means that if you put 2 screenshots next to eachother, nothing lines up and it looks all weird.  Took me a long time to work that out, if you look closely you might notice some places where stuff doesn't exactly line up in my map biggrin.gif.

QUOTE(peter_tobbermon @ Apr 14 2007, 10:36 PM) View Post

IPB Image

And you said complete... do I win a prize?

JUST KIDDING good guide awesome map.  This isnt so much a juking spot (it can be if the line of sight is that crucial, also a good place to blink to) but you can also sneak in here during a team push and BD the tree quite easily.


Heres a cookie biggrin.gif

Actually thats a useful one, my fault for missing it, I'll add it in later.

QUOTE(dalejn @ Apr 14 2007, 01:09 PM) View Post

The vast amounts of effort put into this payed off. Amazing job.
The chart on Secret Paths and Juking is fantastic.


Thanks again biggrin.gif.  Anyone want a bigger version?  I've been thinking of making one and just linking to it instead of making an image.

QUOTE(Beast_Pete @ Apr 13 2007, 04:23 PM) View Post


Thank you and sorry for the trouble of adding it again happy.gifb

QUOTE(bluebottel @ Apr 13 2007, 03:39 PM) View Post

Damn nice guide you have there, the formatting is top notch. I just wish that more people could realize that you dont need a million different colors to make it look good/readable


Yeah, I like to think I'm pretty good at presentation.  Don't need to give the readers a seizure.  A major problem with colors is that the board has 2 skins - 1 black and 1 white, so a color that stands out great on one will look terrible on the other.

QUOTE(kisr10 @ Apr 15 2007, 07:51 AM) View Post

Great guide and map, how did you even get the juke spots and the map itelf? pretty sure it needed some hard work.

and yea I still have to scroll sad.gif

Browser: IE
Resolution: 800x600
Skin: DA Skin


Err, not sure I can do anything for you at 800x600 sad.gif.  Most webpages aren't even designed for that low anymore... sorry :X.

#18 kisr10

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:59 PM

QUOTE(Blaow @ Apr 16 2007, 06:28 AM) View Post

Err, not sure I can do anything for you at 800x600 sad.gif.  Most webpages aren't even designed for that low anymore... sorry :X.

meh, it's okay, this is actually my mom's computer and since this is the only one with internet connection I have to live with it.

and don't worry my mouse has a feature(pressing the scroll wheel) and it works wonders. tongue.gif

#19 EAR

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 05:59 AM

great gudie! good tips for beginers and i really like the map!

but:

1. you said never buy boots as first item? what about:
     a.) techies and FB with suicide?
     b.) jugger and his bladefury to harras/get a kill
     c.) the omni/pudge combot with rot/repell to get lane controll/FB?
     d.) any other high damage dealer (e.g. ursa, veno) and a healer?

2. you said silencer gets weak later? he has one of the highest damage outputs in the game and later sure a disable (euls, gunisos) or a necronimicon and with his ulti he can help teammates to escape/kill without beeing even present!

3. you should also mention, if you have complete lane control (eg. 2v1 and one strong harasser) you can position yourself at the other side of the creeps (the enemy side) so the enemy does not get xp/gold at all. just kill your own creeps and do some last hitting so the wave wont push towards his tower!

4. in many leagues and so on it is forbidden to delay the first creep wave with spells (fissure, sprout etc.) u are only allowed to block them with your hero model.


ok after all this comments again: i think its a great gudie,  i just want you to think about this few points and maybe add them to your gudie!

ah, and the map is fine for me, i see everything without scrollig. i use IE 6 and 1680x1050  wink.gif


edit:

sry i read wrong you said almost no  situation to get boots

Edited by EAR, 16 April 2007 - 06:01 AM.


#20 BLAOW

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 08:17 AM

QUOTE(EAR @ Apr 16 2007, 08:59 AM) View Post

great gudie! good tips for beginers and i really like the map!

but:

1. you said never buy boots as first item? what about:
     a.) techies and FB with suicide?
     b.) jugger and his bladefury to harras/get a kill
     c.) the omni/pudge combot with rot/repell to get lane controll/FB?
     d.) any other high damage dealer (e.g. ursa, veno) and a healer?

2. you said silencer gets weak later? he has one of the highest damage outputs in the game and later sure a disable (euls, gunisos) or a necronimicon and with his ulti he can help teammates to escape/kill without beeing even present!

3. you should also mention, if you have complete lane control (eg. 2v1 and one strong harasser) you can position yourself at the other side of the creeps (the enemy side) so the enemy does not get xp/gold at all. just kill your own creeps and do some last hitting so the wave wont push towards his tower!

4. in many leagues and so on it is forbidden to delay the first creep wave with spells (fissure, sprout etc.) u are only allowed to block them with your hero model.
ok after all this comments again: i think its a great gudie,  i just want you to think about this few points and maybe add them to your gudie!

ah, and the map is fine for me, i see everything without scrollig. i use IE 6 and 1680x1050  wink.gif
edit:

sry i read wrong you said almost no  situation to get boots


thanks for the constructive criticism smile.gif

ok...let me point out some stuff though

2 - I meant silencer gets weak later in the case that he goes Curse of the Silent.  This means that his mid game is going to be relatively weak compared to a Silencer that did not go curse.

3 - I did mention this in the section called "Intimidation" biggrin.gif

4 - Ok, didn't know that, thanks

edit - updated guide with the bit about creep blocking, thanks again

Edited by Blaow, 16 April 2007 - 08:19 AM.





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