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    DOTA102 - Intermediate Guide

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    DOTA102 - Intermediate Guide

    Post by -cS^sWiTcHFooT on Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:39 pm

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    If you've ever gone to lane and felt outmatched and soon found
    yourself underleveled or undergeared, you've come to the right place.
    This guide contains a good deal of information for the laning of phase
    of the game, a very important phase which often dictates how the game
    progresses through mid-game (during the ganking phase).

    Goals of The Laning Phase

    Your goals in laning are not very deep: get money, get experience.
    Pretty simple ideas, right? That's why I do anything in real life and
    dota is no different. So lets get right to it.

    In order to gain experience, you must be within a certain range when a
    creep or hero dies (1000 range). If another allied hero is also in
    range, you split the experience equally (which is why a solo lane will
    typically be a higher level than dual lanes). As you gain experience,
    you will level up and your abilities will get much more powerful.

    Since your opponents are often trying to kill you (that is, deprive you
    of money and experience), it is often smarter to take charge and do
    that to them BEFORE they get the chance to do it to you, thus allowing
    you to gain experience and money without restriction.

    In order to get money (in addition to the gold accrued every second – a
    relatively slow source of income) you must get creep kills in lane.
    When you get the last hit on an enemy creep, you get an additional
    amount of gold that would otherwise have gone to another teammate (if
    they get the last hit) or to no one (if your allied creeps get the last
    hit or the enemy denies the creep).

    Both of these ideas goals
    are very straightforward. Accomplishing these goals, however, with your
    opponent trying to maximize his money and experience becomes a little
    bit more difficult. There are a lot of things that must be considered
    in order to widen the gap between your income/experience gain and your
    opponent's income/experience gain. First of all, I will address the
    universal ideas that hold for (pretty much) every hero.

    Golden Rule of Laning
    - If
    you manage to stay in your lane longer than your opponent, you will
    widen the EXP gap between the two of you and likely the money gap will
    follow suit.

    -- This is the central idea to all
    aspects of laning. If you maximize this gap during laning, you set
    yourself up for excellent chances of winning further along in the game.
    If you fall behind your opponent in these areas, prepare for an uphill
    climb. I will reference this point in most sections.

    Regeneration (both hit points and mana)

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    you manage to stay in your lane longer than your opponent, you will
    widen the EXP gap between the two of you and likely the money gap will
    follow suit.
    So how do you stay in the lane longer? Regeneration is the answer.

    When you head out to lane, in almost all situations you should have
    some regeneration items, mainly flasks or tangoes for HP and clarities
    for mana. Mana regeneration is nice but as some of you may notice, you
    can still survive without mana. This is NOT the case with HP – so bring
    adequate hp regen.

    Flasks or tangoes?
    The choice is really up to you and your preference but some situations
    lean towards tangoes and some towards flasks. If the enemy is more
    prone to physical harassing (through normal attacks or arrow skills –
    Clinkz' searing arrows, Viper's poison attack, Drow's frost arrows,
    etc.) it is often more worthwhile to take tangoes. They will often
    attack you and try to widdle your HP down (preventing you from gaining
    EXP) but do not have nukes to take off your HP in larger chunks. Also,
    since they will be attacking you often and aggressively, you are less
    likely to be able to recover healing from a flask as any attacks during
    the duration dispel the remainder of the heal.

    If the opposing
    lane is one with lots of burst damage (consisting of Sand King and
    Lina, for example) a flask is often a better choice. A burrowstrike
    followed by LSA and dragon slave with attacks in between takes off a
    LOT of hp, and healing back HP through tangoes (slowly) will often put
    you in harms way for another similar combo. A flask solves this problem
    faster and allows you to remain close and contend for last hits/denies
    as usual.

    Lets say now that you are the ones with a nuke
    combo. If they have a flask (which heals 400 hp) and you leave them
    with 200/700 HP after you use your nukes/disables, they will be able to
    reenter battle quickly. If they do not have a flask but only tangoes
    (or better NO regen) you can probably manage another attack resulting
    in their death once your spells are off of cooldown. Choosing a target
    in lane can often be based off of their regen (or lack thereof).

    Tying in the Golden Rule
    Another thing worthy of note: sometimes not getting a kill is just as
    good – if not better – than getting a kill. No, you do not get the
    experience from their death or gold from killing them. At very early
    levels, however, this gold and experience is negligible compared with
    what you can gain from freefarming. If you force someone to have to
    travel back to base in order to avoid death, you gain a LOT of valuable
    farming time.

    You free farm, they walk back to base; you gain experience and have freefarm. They waste time and lose out on money.

    Mana Regeneration
    Mana regeneration through clarities or another source (CM aura,
    basilius aura, obsidian aura) is also important for maintaining
    aggression on your opponents. After all, if you do not have any mana to
    cast your spells, how dangerous can you be to them? - It is this same
    logic that makes Nerubian Assassin and Keeper of the Light very
    frustrating to lane against as they will deprive you of your mana
    through skills.

    In all cases dealing with regen, a chicken is EXTREMELY useful. If your
    lane opponents are particularly aggressive and you run out of your
    starting regen, have the chicken/crow send you some more. If you aren't
    in the habit of buying a chicken, either start buying one or get a
    friend to buy one Very Happy. (or join a game until you find someone named

    Harassing – weakening your opponent without the immediate intent to kill

    How To
    Harassing is a pretty important topic in lane control. Some heroes,
    however, won't be able to harass as effectively as others. Melee heroes
    have an obvious disadvantage when you consider “creep agro.” Creep agro
    is the aggression of creeps (to attack your hero) based on your actions
    or position. The creep has AI designed such that if you issue an attack
    command on an enemy hero (either by a left-clicking or right-clicking
    by itself) the creeps will attack you. The serves as a form of
    anti-harassment, so to speak, and you can lose a lot of health if you
    are not careful. There are some ways to get around this.

    you position yourself far from the creeps before attacking the enemy
    hero, the creeps will have to walk further to get to you and you can
    retreat before they are able to damage you much. This is ranged heroes
    often have an easier time in lane. They do not have to be right next to
    the opponent (and creeps) in order to attack unlike their melee

    Another more unique form of harassing is using
    arrow skills, such as those on Drow, Viper or Clinkz. The creeps react
    to these skills like they do normal spells, that is they do not draw
    aggression (must be manually cast, however). This is a nice way to get
    in extra attacks without causing yourself to lose health from creep

    When should you harass? Not all the time. Some times you must play a
    bit more passively and simply stay for experience. If, however, you are
    laned with a melee hero that is relatively item dependent, it is often
    a good idea to harass so that person will be able to contend for last
    hits. If you don't make this effort, the other team will be able to
    harass your heroes and force you to lose some last hits and possibly

    What about in a solo lane against another solo?
    Harassing here is a bit safer since they will often lack the power to
    kill you by themselves (unlike dual stun lanes, for example). In this
    case, however, you are not contending with a teammate (or trying to
    support one) for last hits. This means that if there is a last hit
    available and you elect to harass the opponent, the money from that
    last hit does not go to your team. Wasted money is no good.

    If you are in a solo lane vs two opponents, it is much more dangerous
    to harass (depending on the opposing lane, of course, as some are much
    more dangerous than others). Many times in this situation being content
    with some last hits and gaining EXP is best. Some heroes can “harass”
    in these more difficult lanes through use of certain spells and also
    get last hits. Some examples include Death Prophet's Carrion Swarm
    (timing the cast to hit heroes and get a last hit or two), Zeus's Arc
    lightning and Leshrac's Lightning storm.

    Tying in the Golden Rule
    The more you harass, the more the enemy will have to retreat to regen
    or otherwise play "passively" allowing you to farm more freely.

    Here is a screenshot of myself and a friend playing a pretty formidable
    lane (NA/Lina) against the not-so-strong lane of ES/PL.
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    The important thing to notice is the enemy's distance from the creep
    wave. There is almost no chance of them getting any last hits without
    risking their lives (or using their long range spells). My ally was
    harassing quite a bit and we still had plenty of mana to kill them
    should they step close.

    Note about aggression
    If you have the ability to be aggressive, by all means take it. Seizing
    the initiative is very important when talking about lane control. An
    enemy that is afraid of you will be much less likely to engage you and
    will probably make poor decisions in an effort to return the balance.
    You WILL (or should) be the target of ganks in this scenario, so make
    certain you are prepared (with observer wards, mostly, or adequate
    "mia" calls from your teammates).

    Hero Choice

    With regards to early game laning, not all heroes were created equal.
    So what hero should you choose? It's not always an easy question to
    answer. A lot of this depends on your opponents hero choice (and skill
    level!) in addition to many other factors. Also, playing heroes you
    aren't comfortable or familiar with is often pretty difficult, so
    before choosing a “top laning” hero be sure to know what skill builds
    and item builds you would go under which circumstances.

    Stunners/Combo Nukers

    Heroes with stuns work particularly well in laning – after all when a
    hero is stunned he cannot deal damage (excepting skills like pudge's
    rot or clockwork's battery for example) and certainly cannot cast
    anything against you during this time. Also, you are free to get in a
    number of attacks while they cannot retreat.

    combinations that work well are those which include two stuns – at
    least 1 of which being targetable (f/ex storm bolt). When multiple
    stuns are landed in conjunction with normal attacks, the enemy will
    lose a lot of health, if not all of it. With that being said, the enemy
    will be much more apprehensive when approaching creeps to last hit.

    * This is what you want the enemy to be scared of - they will be less
    able to get creep kills and likely be more passive allowing you to last
    hit more freely - bringing forth yet again the golden rule.

    Some ideas to keep in mind possibilities for offensive lanes

    • At least one hero should have a targetable stun or slow. This
      serves two important purposes: 1) damages the enemy hero; and 2)
      inhibits movement. Unlike strictly AoE spells, these do not miss and
      allow for nice combos with other spells.

    • At least 1 ranged hero. Two melee hero lanes does not allow for
      much last hitting (or any offensive tactics while the spells are on
      cooldown or you have insufficient mana) and are generally forced to be
      passive due to the harassing edge the enemy will have.

    • Cooperative teammates. This is perhaps the most important one of
      all. If you and your lanemate are not on the same page regarding
      aggression, there is no way you can expect to dominate a lane. If he is
      passive, how well are you going to fare when you jump into the fray as
      he calmly last hits creeps? Probably not very well. "Why didn't you go
      on that guy?" Communicate beforehand to avoid any problems.


    Heroes that have a healing spell can do well in lane since they will
    have to purchase less on HP regen and can spend their money in other
    ways. Such examples include Warlock (Shadow Word), Dazzle (Healing
    Wave), Omniknight (purification), Bane Elemental (Brain Sap), Necrolyte
    (Death Pulse), Enchantress (Nature's Attendants), Bloodseeker (Blood
    Bath) and to a lesser degree Lord of Avernus (Death Coil heals a
    teammate, but damages you). Many of these heroes have an easier time in
    lane since they can replenish health in more ways than other heroes.
    Many of these heals are also instant so they can be used for quickly
    gaining the upperhand in a fight.


    These are the heroes that are item independent that can support a
    teammate in lane. Some of the healers as mentioned above make good lane
    partners as they can aid their teammate when necessary. There are also
    some offensive babysitters that make an easier time for their teammate
    not because of defensive or healing capabilities but rather due to the
    threat of killing the opponents.

    Last Hitting/Denying

    Base damage and attack animation are the two biggest concerns here. If
    you have higher base damage than the opponent, you will be able to kill
    the creep at a slightly earlier time than your opponent. You can
    increase your base damage by purchasing stat items (which you should
    probably be doing anyways) of your hero's class. These are often the
    best choice for starting items as they help your last hitting and can
    be built into useful items later. No, boots do NOT boost your starting

    Attack animation

    Again in this category not all heroes are created equal. Have you tried
    laning as Crystal Maiden against a competent Sniper? Getting last hits
    and denies is pretty difficult. This is due to the attack animations of
    the characters and each hero has a unique one. This is something that
    you simply must play with and get used to as some people have an easier
    time than others with certain heroes. Generally, faster projectiles
    (Sniper and Troll Warlord for examples) are easier to last hit with
    than slower ones (Crystal Maiden, Lina).

    To solo or not to solo - that is the question

    Advantages - The Golden Rule strikes again

    • No competition for gold amongst lane partners (not a problem with
      disciplined babysitters but those people probably won't be reading

      If you have a lane to yourself, you do not have to compete
      with an ally for last hits. This is mostly a good thing as every creep
      can only be killed once yielding one bounty. It is for this same reason
      that putting two item dependent heroes in the same lane is a bad idea,
      as they compete for farm.
    • Jump in experience

      If you are laning by yourself, you do
      not share the experience with another hero leaving you with all of the
      experience to advance in levels. This can be useful for a carry hero or
      a ganker. With a ganker, it is a strong advantage to have high level
      nukes so that your ganks in other lanes are successful (for example, a
      level 8/9 Tinker does 561 or so damage with laser/rocket to one hero
      and 241 to another - if the lane you are ganking is level 5/6 the 561
      is probably a LARGE chunk of their HP)

    * Do not take these 2 reasons and immediately call a
    solo lane. It is important you have a hero suited for the lane to be
    able to take advantage of these perks. Imagine you call solo with
    slardar and run to lane faced against Bane/Potm. Good luck living for
    long and good luck with last hitting.

    ** Think about
    your team and not only who benefits most as a hero but also as a
    player. Sometimes the less powerful hero might benefit more from the
    solo lane due to the actual player. Remember that you can not all solo.


    • You become only target of enemy (for spells and harassing)

      Yeah, you might have been the target of attacks before but now
      you have no one at your side to back you up. The enemy has a much
      clearer target and due to being safer during the attack, will probably
      be more aggressive.
    • You carry a bigger load for your team.

      This can be seen as
      a good and a bad thing, but I will put it under bad. If you fail in
      your solo lane, the gold and experience advantage that you SHOULD have
      had is squandered. That gold and experience will not come back and is
      simply lost.

      Example: you have called solo and proceed to middle.
      You aren't last hitting well and find yourself against some tough dual
      lane. Your team's other lanes are doing alright but are sharing the
      experience of dual lanes (and thus the money). You die multiple times.
      That farm/exp is lost. Your team's levels are 6/6/7/7/7 (you are one of
      the 7s) creating a total of 33. The other team has been doing well in
      all lanes (including the solo) and are levels 7/7/8/8/10 for a total of
      40. This is a level gap of 7 across the whole team and lets you know
      where you stand with the golden rule. (Note: this
      example depends on heroes and a lot of other things as to whether or
      not the farm/exp means a lot; it is just meant as a general case)
    • You will (likely) have a more difficult time harassing and killing the opponents

      This ties into the first point but deserves its own as this is focused on offense and depriving the enemy. Going back to the golden rule,
      you are trying to create a gap between yourself and the opponent
      money/exp-wise. If you are unable to force them to retreat or kill
      them, their exp will not suffer.

    Blocking/Creep Line Dynamic

    The creep line is the location where the creeps are fighting. This
    doesn't matter at all, right? Wrong. If you here reading this guide,
    you probably have some interest in improving your lane control and this
    is one of those topics that you need to know.

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    Notice here the location of the creep line (far left of the screen).

    My buddy and I have done pretty well in lane and the opponents are
    quite far away (even missing EXP). If the creep line were any closer to
    their tower, they would have protection from the tower and we would not
    be able to maintain our aggressive post on "their" side of the wave.

    Blocking the incoming creep wave (by dancing in front of the creeps to
    impede their progress) can move the location of the creep line back
    towards your tower. Conversely, aoe spells that damage all creeps are
    likely to move the creep line forward towards their tower. Ideally, you
    want your tower nearby for protection but not so close as to take your
    last hits! (This will also push the lane out).

    The creep
    line's location has a big part in the success of ganks in that lane and
    many other things. Note in the screenshot above even though our
    opponents are far from the wave, my teammate and I are much more
    vulnerable to ganks since we are so far from our tower but very close
    to theirs.

    "Pulling" is when you tick off a neutral camp and get it to follow you
    to your creeps who then fight with you to kill the neutral camp. Basically allows you to deprive the enemy of some experience (since
    your creeps are not near them) and also gives you a chance at farm that
    you otherwise would not have had.

    Importance of Ganks
    Ganking is one of the best means of hurting the enemy team and it is
    very important to organize ganks to kill the enemy carry. At this stage
    of the game (lanes have maybe broken down a bit, some towers have
    fallen, etc.) you need to find the enemy carry and kill him. The golden rule
    still applies but now there are other considerations - namely the
    farm/exp for a team's carry has a lot more value than the farm/exp of a
    support hero. If you must sacrifice some farm for your team's support
    heroes while limiting the enemy carry, this is a fine outcome. At the
    same time, your carry is of great importance (and target of enemy

    Importance of TP Scrolls
    Teleport scrolls are extremely important in saving teammates and towers
    (namely ganks/counterganks and teamfights at towers) since they allow
    you to be there almost instantly.

    • Ganks: teleport into an opposing lane (preferably when the enemy
      cannot see you TPing in) and gank the enemy team with a certain hero
    • Counterganks: come quickly to help your teammates when the enemy
      starts to get close to your tower. You will often be able to use the
      enemy's aggression against them and get a kill for your team instead.
    • Teamfights at towers: if you have something to contribute to a
      teamfight, you had better be there for your team if it will make a
      difference in the outcome of the fight.

    Knowing your opponents and their tendencies and abilities
    This develops over time and is not as useful if you are not playing
    against the same people all the time, but it helps to know how
    aggressive your opponent is. Are they content to sit back and farm or
    will they consistently tower dive if there is even a chance of killing
    you? These sort of traits about the opponent dictate how you should
    lane. Try to piece together everything you know about your opponent
    (the hero AND the player) so that you are prepared for whatever they
    decide to do.

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    Few things are more important in DotA than having vision of your
    opponents. At its core, DotA is a strategy game and in order to make
    the best strategic decisions, it is key to have as much information as
    possible. While your team often has vision of the lanes due to the
    presence of creeps and towers, the lanes make up a relatively small
    portion of the map. Warding the other areas on the map gives your team
    a huge tactical advantage, but your stock of Wards is quite limited and
    refills very slowly. Therefore it is important to place each ward in a
    place that gives you the maximum sight radius. This guide is certainly
    not a comprehensive list of warding locations in DotA, but it covers
    all of the fundamental ones. Feel free to experiment and find your own
    useful locations!

    Rune Spots
    The two most important warding locations on the map are the cliffs
    that overlook the top and bottom rune spawns. Not only do these wards
    show your team what rune has spawned and where it has spawned, but they
    also will spot most enemies traveling from lane to lane for ganking.
    They boost your offense by giving your team rune control and boost your
    defense by spotting ganks, it doesn't get much better than that. These
    spots are very important to have covered early and midgame, but become
    far less important later on because the lategame tends to involve more
    5 on 5 team battles than ganks.

    Wards can be placed in the enemy forest for two reasons: preventing
    neutral creep spawns and spotting heroes to pick off. Early in the game
    it can be very beneficial to block a creep spawn, shutting off the
    enemy's ability to creep pull their lane. Jungling heroes are also very
    easy to pick off in the earlygame, so if you can spot them with a ward,
    it's not hard to go take them out and stunt their farming. Late in the
    game, the forest is generally considered to be one of the safest places
    to farm, so having a ward there will often give your team opportunities
    to pick people off and then take a tower while you have an advantage.

    Near the Enemy Base
    Wards near the opposing base are nearly useless for the majority of
    the game, but when you are trying to push for victory, they suddenly be
    coming very important. It's often quite hazardous to push a base,
    you're fighting uphill against a tower and your opponents have plenty
    of room to come at you from all directions. A well-placed ward will let
    you know how your enemies plan to defend and prevent your team from
    getting caught off-guard. Picking off the guy that was meant to ambush
    you from behind, because your team spotted him with a ward can be the
    play that wins the game for your team. Always try to have ward cover
    when you attempt a push!

    Last edited by -cS^sWiTcHFooT on Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

    The Person Who Says IT Cannot BE Done Should Not Interrupt The Person Doing IT .....

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    DOTA102 - Intermediate Guide

    Post by -cS^sWiTcHFooT on Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:55 pm

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    5 heroes, 3 lanes ( 1 jungle )

    • Strong solo

      • Heroes that CAN solo
      • Heroes that SHOULD solo

    • Duallane

      • Babysitting
      • Comboing
      • What you shouldn't do (2 melee on one lane, 2 ranged on the other etc)
      • Reference to pulling guide

    • Jungle

      • Reference to jungling guide
      • How does it influence your laneup (is this an ok wordplay..?) (2 sololanes)

    This guide needs to work hand in hand with other guides
    (jungling guide, pulling guide, lane control guide, roaming guide (when
    is it time to leave the lanes etc))

    lanes, that is the way of splitting up the five heroes on your team
    onto the three lanes on the map. Right after hero picking and buying your starting items this
    is the very first strategical step in DotA and one which has a huge
    impact on the game. Now let's have a look at the possible combinations
    locations you can go to after picking your hero.

    Middle lane

    Usually your solo hero goes here. The middle lane offers a lot
    of safety thanks to the hill and your tower being very close to you.
    The middle lane also has easy access to both runespots and is able to
    gank both sidelanes. It is also very hard to get a combo going against
    you because there is very little room to do so.

    Examples for solo heroes
    A good solo hero is able to farm in the middle (preferably preventing
    your enemy from frarming too) thus ranged and capable of ganking both
    sidelanes. It is also a hero which benefits a lot from the additional
    experience (mid-lategame heroes). Good examples would be PotM, Shadow
    Fiend, Lich or Tinker. Bad examples would be Stealth Assassin, Centaur,
    Spectre or Crystal Maiden.

    Short lane (Top for Sentinel / Bottom for Scourge)

    The short lane is the lane where the creeps clash far away from
    your own tower. It's the most dangerous lane for your team because if
    you have a combo laned against you, it's a long way to safety, also an
    enemy hero which comes to gank you will be able to approach you from
    behind, cutting off your escape route. Usually you should put your own
    combo on this lane, preferably two stunners and at least one ranged. Do
    not put a solo hero on this lane.

    Examples for short lane heroes
    Anything that could combo and/or has an escape mechanism. There should
    also be means to prevent the enemy from farming too much. Worst case
    scenario is that the enemy carry hero is farming like crazy and you
    cannot stop it. Do not put dual melee lanes or carry heroes top. Good
    examples would be SK/Lina, Sven/Lesh or Venge/Lion. Bad examples would
    be Bristleback/SK (dual melee), Spectre/Invoker (carry) or any solo

    Long lane (Bottom for Sentinel / Top for Scourge)

    The long lane is the
    safe, relaxing lane. The creeps are usually close to your own tower,
    you have plenty of room to combo/gank your enemies and you can
    pull the neutral creeps. The long lane is the lane where you can place your farmer hero to creep safely.
    In case there is a jungle hero, this is the lane where the second solo
    hero should be, because the jungle hero can assist the solo hero and
    because you absolutely do not want to have your second solo on the
    short lane.

    Examples for long lane heroes
    A babysit-lane (a carry and a hero to secure his farm by either
    harassing the enemies or preventing him from being harassed), a combo
    lane, your second solo lane.. pretty much anything can be put on the
    long lane. Good examples would be Warlock/Spectre, Panda/Venge,
    Meepo/Jakiro or a solo hero. Bad examples are hard to tell because if
    you have a garbage lane (remember all 5 heroes have to lane
    somewhere..) that lane should be bottom.

    The Jungle
    Remember when jungling that this means you have two solo heroes. If you
    just don't have two solo heroes, don't jungle. This could be a bit less
    benefical for you, however it will be a lot better for the hero who
    else would be forced to jungle and ultimately your entire team.

    A very unique and sometimes risky way of playing.

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    Neutral creeping in general refers to fighting one of the neutral camps at any point in the

    game, but for this article I will talk about neuting from level 1.

    This strategy is quite powerful if you know what you are doing, so some practice is in order.

    General Information

    - The first wave of neutral creeps spawn at 0:30

    - After this, neutrals will spawn at each camp on every minute (x:00)

    - Creeps will not spawn if a unit is within a certain rectangular area of the given creep camp at the next minute mark
    - This includes your hero, any creeps (neutral or otherwise), wards and
    DEAD creeps (that leave a corpse - a creep takes between 15 and 20
    seconds to disappear, so if you kill a camp at x:55 leaving a corpse in
    the area, the next wave will not spawn)

    - All neutral creeps have some AI (some are "smarter" than others)
    - higher level creeps (level 5/6) will attack a low hp hero rather than creeps
    - predictability of neutral creep AI will allow you to jungle effectively

    - High level Centaurs/Furbolgs will use their stomps when 3 units are at melee range
    - High level Satyrs will send out a shockwave when 2 units are in range of the wave (careful of chicken!)

    - Neutrals can be "kited" by ranged heroes due to their predictable aggression patterns

    - Since neutrals will not respawn at the designated time if units are
    in the area, you can pull the neutral creeps out of this area and make
    an additional camp (creep stacking) by engaging the creeps and then
    running out of the area
    Advantages of Jungling

    • Gives your team an additional solo lane (increased EXP, money for you AND the team as a whole)
    • You do not have to compete for last hits against allies/enemies
    • Easier time ganking (since you are always "mia" and can pop out at the best time)
    • If pulling, you can decrease the enemy's experience/money gain
    • Some heroes perform better in jungle (can farm better unhindered by enemy)
    • An entertaining change of pace from conventional laning

    Other notes

    - lots of starting builds are acceptable but in general, HP/mana regen (depending on hero) is essential
    - practice is required in pretty much EVERY case (except maybe Enigma ^.^) in order to get good experience/farm

    So - Who makes a good jungler?

    Enchantress, Syllabear, Enigma, Furion, Chen, Lycanthrope, Broodmother

    AoE spells/abilities
    Juggernaut, Beastmaster, Bristleback, Pandaren Brewmaster, Leviathan (Anchor Smash), Axe, Dark Seer, Centaur Warchief (Return)

    Troll Warlord (Blind, kiting), Bloodseeker (Blood bath), Naix (Feast), Terrorblade (Images/meta/pulling), Ursa (Fury Swipes)

    Note (Tree Destroyers)
    Both BMs, Furion - expand upon this

    In actuality, many
    heroes can jungle - even more than the ones I listed. In terms of
    difficulty, however, these ones are generally a bit easier than others,
    so try these to start. Also, just because you CAN jungle doesn't mean
    that you should given the hero lineups.

    Summon Strategy

    Summoners have a wonderful aspect to their neutralling - they have a
    built in tank! The most important thing to keep in mind here is to make
    the most out of that tank.

    • Many summons cost significant mana: prioritize mana regen over HP regen in these cases (clarities or perhaps a RoB/Sobi)
    • Have you and your summon(s) attack the same creep (fewer creeps = less damage)
    • Once your summon is low in HP, move the summon back so that another
      summon or a hero can tank for a bit allowing the hurt summon to attack
      (particularly important with Enigma)
    • If the summon is about to expire to time, it should tank as much as possible (even dying)
    • you can also send the summon to scout (rune location, perhaps)
    • Remember that your summons (as well as hero) will block the next spawn if they are within the designated area
    • Do not forget about your other abilities and forgo ganking if there
      is a good opportunity (especially in the case of Enchantress/Chen who
      can use their neutral creeps)

    AoE spells/abilities

    • Take into account the nature of your jungler: if the hero is mana
      independent for jungling, spend more on HP regen items/HP boosting
      items or a stout shield
    • Axe, Centaur, etc.
    • Use creep stacking to maximize the value of your spells (Axe w/
      Counter Helix; Dark Seer with Ion Shell; Leviathan with Anchor Smash)
    • Use creep pulling have your creeps tank a bit of damage for you
    • If mana dependent, consider a bottle (HP/Mana Regen + Rune capturing) or clarities
    • If possible, try to kite the creep camps to minimize damage (though this takes more time)

    Specific Camps and how to tackle the jungle

    Here is an overview map of the Jungle.
    [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

    These rectangular areas are the ones I was referring to earlier
    regarding "CREEP RESPAWN." You do not have to memorize them but be
    familiar with the general area so you can position yourself far enough
    away come the next minute.

    Small Camps (one of these sets of neutrals will spawn in the small locations)

    • 2 Fel Boars/1 Ghost
    • 3 Gnoll Assassins
    • 1 Kobold Taskmaster/2 Troll Beserkers
    • 1 Troll High Priest/2 Troll Beserkers
    • like 200 little Kobold dudes

    This is often the best camp to try to fight as it is very easy
    to take in the early levels (in fact, often it will be the only one you
    can take without requiring a full HP heal). This should be where you
    start your journey (unless you are Chen/Enchantress and can dominate a

    Medium Camps

    • 2 Normal Wolves/1 Alpha Wolf (command aura)
    • 1 Centaur Khan (stomp)/1 Centaur Runner
    • 2 lvl4 Satyrs (mana burn)/2 Satyr Tricksters (purge)
    • 1 Ogre Magi (frost armor)/2 Ogres
    • 2 Mud golems (magic immune)

    The medium camps are important ones since the topmost (scourge)
    and lowermost (sentinel) are the ones that you use for creep pulling.
    The mud golems are generally the worst to fight as they deal a lot of
    damage and are immune to many spells (enchant/persuasion, conversion,
    ion shell, etc.).

    - High level Centaur Khans will use their
    stomps when 3 units are at melee range: keep this in mind when pulling
    or using summons. Try to bait the Centaur into using his stomp by
    getting in range and then quickly leaving range.

    Large Camps

    • 1 Centaur Khan (stomp)/1 Centaur Runner (same as medium level)
    • 2 Furbolgs (white one has a stomp, red one doesn't)
    • 1 Satyr Hellcaller (shockwave), 1 lvl4 satyr (mana burn), 1 Satyr trickster (purge)
    • 2 Little Blue Trolls/1 Dark Troll Warlord (with net/summon skeletons)
    • 1 Enraged Wildkin (tornado)/2 Baby Wildkins

    These camps are the most difficult to kill. It is not a good
    idea to take these early but with summons and good micro, this can be
    done (better to take other camps first, however, to level up until
    these are easy).

    I will not mention the ancients much since
    that takes a lot of gear in most cases as well as a lot of time. Lycan,
    however, (as one example) can take ancient camps at hero lvl7 (lvl4
    wolves) with a vladmirs offering.

    Creep Pulling

    This term refers to pulling a neutral creep wave out of their camp's
    location for some other purpose. Most of the time, the purpose is to
    have allied creeps aid you in fighting the neutral camp, an EXTREMELY
    useful tactic to employ.

    • Allows you to avoid taking damage since your creeps fight for you
    • Denies some enemy experience since your creeps may die to neutrals
    • Useful while your summons are on CD or you do not have sufficient mana
    • Greatly disturbs the creep wave line (first, brings the "wave" way
      back under your tower and after the creeps have finished engaging,
      there will be a push back in the other direction towards the enemy
      tower as your wave will contain more creeps)
    • Can be done by any hero, not just those with good jungling abilities
    • Pulls on the two primary camps should be done at approximately
      x:15/x:45 but can be a bit varied (easy to do with a few times of
    • Makes it difficult for enemy team to lane as they will have to
      proceed far past tower to stay in exp range (or go to the neutral area
      where you have creeps and they do not)

    *Since these spawns are blockable by use of wards, teams in
    higher level play will often place a ward in the spawning rectangle in
    order to prevent the neutrals from spawning. This makes the lane easier
    for them.

    The two primary camps that are used for pulling are
    the topmost medium camp on scourge (near top 1st tower) and the
    bottommost medium camp on sentinel (near bottom 1st tower.

    If the camp you are pulling contains a Centaur Khan (lvl5 with stomp),
    he will stomp you/allied creeps if 3 units are in range of the stomp.
    Your creeps will lose their agro towards the camp if this happens and
    they are out of acquisition range (make sure to keep vision of these
    creeps when pulling on sentinel side so allied creeps will know where
    to go).

    Creep Stacking

    This term refers to a special technique of pulling the neutral creeps
    away from the rectangular area just as the next minute occurs (thus
    allowing another set of creeps to spawn as no units are in the

    Here is a video of me doing this with sniper:

    This is particularly valuable for heroes with AoE abilities or anyone
    that can take the extra damage. I would advise this with Axe as often
    as you can, Centaur, Dark Seer, plenty of summoners and maybe Leviathan
    (but not early).

    Using this technique allows you more
    experience and gold than you would have gained by killing the creep
    camp in the x:40 - x:59 window in the rectangular area. The exact time
    varies from camp to camp but it is generally x:52 - x:55. Note that if
    you are trying to stack a camp with a satyr trickster in it as a melee
    hero, he will purge you slowing your movement (and the neutral's
    movement) so you may need to start earlier in this case.

    Last edited by -cS^sWiTcHFooT on Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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    DOTA102 - Intermediate Guide

    Post by -cS^sWiTcHFooT on Wed Dec 23, 2009 2:03 pm

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    Basic Information

    • Runes are powerups that spawn on every even minute (0:00, 2:00, 4:00, etc.)
    • There are 5 types of runes: illusion, regeneration, double damage, haste and invisibilty
    • The rune will spawn randomly at one of two designated locations in the river (top or “bot” rune)
    • If there is a rune that still remains at its starting location
      (that is, it has not been bottled, used or destroyed, another will NOT
      spawn at the next 2 minute mark)
    • Runes can be captured and used later through use of a bottle (also refilling your bottle's 3 charges)

    Useful tips

    • Shift-clicking on the rune will allow you to pick it up without
      stopping and might make the difference between you surviving and dying.
    • If you coordinate with your teammate to check one rune and you
      check the other, you are much more likely to get the rune for your
      team. Talk with your teammates about this!

    Importance of Wards and Rune Control

    If you have not read a guide for warding and do not have much experience in warding. I will not go deep into warding but will mention the importance of warding rune locations.

    If you place an observer ward at the rune location, you will have
    knowledge of any activity in that location for 6 minutes. That is a lot
    of time in game. So why are the rune locations more important than
    other areas of the map? In games where ganking is prevalent, the river
    and rune locations are primary points of travel. Other than Furion and
    Boots of Travel wielders, an enemy will have to walk in order to gank
    you (how much is dependent on where they TP and where you are, of
    course). A lot of times they will walk over the rune areas as it
    provides an entrance into the neutral areas and subsequently top and
    bottom lanes. Having sight of this area means you can spot ganks before
    they occur and be ahead of the enemy. Also, should they grab a rune,
    you will know of this and be able to react accordingly.

    Try to
    coordinate with your teammates about checking both rune locations at
    the spawn times so your team is guaranteed to get the rune. Tell your
    bottom lane “I'm checking top rune” and ask them to check bottom (or
    other similar calls). Runes often set ganks in motion as they provide
    an undeniable advantage in many situations.

    Solo Mid Battles

    Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your standing with lady
    luck), a lane can be completely won or lost based on runes. I have been
    on both ends of this and suffice it to say that when all else is equal
    (approximate laning skills), the person who controls the runes will win
    the battle. It is VERY important that you try to make sure this is you,
    but remember that each time you leave the lane you are missing out on
    experience and potential gold. At the same point, you might lose MORE
    experience and gold if the enemy gets a rune that causes you to die.
    You also miss out on the opportunity to do this to your enemy so be
    mindful of runes and their power in winning a lane. Additionally,
    successful ganks that come with runes can also easily win another lane.

    Functions of Runes


    Grants the hero maximum movespeed (522 ms) for the entire 30 second duration of the rune.

    This is always an exciting rune to find for its utility in many different situations. Some of these situations include:

    • Positioning for hard to position (non-targetable) spells (Axe's Beserker's Call; Centaur's Stomp)

      The enemy has a much shorter window to react when you come at them at maximum speed.

    • Performing additional attacks when the enemy is retreating

      With haste, you can very quickly close the ground and get in additional
      attacks that you would not have had given your normal movespeed (See
      guide on animation cancelling for proper use of this).

    • Escaping precarious spots

      Just be certain when trying more risky maneuvers that the duration of haste will not expire mid-fight causing your death.

    • Traversing large distances

      Be mindful of the duration as you do not want it to expire leaving you with no escape plan.

    Bottle Usage

    If you pick up a haste
    rune in a bottle, it is often wise to save it for sticky situations
    that you otherwise might not be able to escape from. If you wait until
    you start to engage the enemy before activating, you will be able to
    use the entire 30 second duration during the fight. These seconds you
    might have wasted earlier in getting to the lane might mean the
    difference between your survival and death.

    Additional thoughts

    This rune is almost always a welcome pickup for a ganker and thus
    should often be reserved for those who can make particular good use out
    of it. If you simply plan on going back to your lane and farm with it,
    it saves you a bit of time, yes, but could perhaps have been better
    used by someone ganking. If none of your teammates are close enough to
    pick it up, you should grab it regardless of what you plan on doing
    with it. It is better for your team to have it than the opponent's team.


    The invisibility rune grants the user 45 seconds of invisibility
    (cannot be seen except with true sight) or until the user issues an
    attack command or casts a spell.

    • Positioning for hard to position spells (during ganking)

      Invisibility is in most cases better for this purpose than is a
      haste rune as the opponent has NO time to react (well, they actually
      have a very small window if there is a frontswing on the spell, but
      that is a different matter)

      *Caveat - make sure to communicate
      with your teammate when you are invisible. Often your teammate will
      simply look at the minimap and see your dot, not realizing you are
      invisible. Make certain that you are ready to engage AND your teammate
      is ready.

    • Scouting behind enemy lines

      If the enemy team has a number
      of members missing from the minimap, you can use the invis rune to
      safely investigate areas that you do not have sight of. Be careful not
      to go to close to towers as they have truesight and you will be spotted.

    • Escaping enemies

      If you are running along in the river
      being chased by enemies and find an invis rune, it will often save your
      life. You can also use this to juke any aoe spell that hits invis if
      you grab it in river by quickly changing directions upon picking it up
      (be careful, there is a short fade time of 2 seconds during which the
      enemy can see any direction you may go).

    Bottle Usage

    This is a great rune to have
    in bottle as unsuspecting enemies that do not think you have an escape
    mechanism (if you are a hero without blink/ww). If you do not have a
    difficult to position spell, consider saving this rune for use as an
    escape. If you have one of those tougher to land spells, using it to
    initiate is normally a better choice.

    Also, given the 2
    second fade time, you can still cast spells before you go invisible
    even after activating the rune. One frequent usage of this technique is
    clicking the bottle once immediately after using the invis rune thus
    giving yourself the rune charge you otherwise would not have had. If
    you try this after the fade time, you will break invisibility and not
    be able to get it back.

    Illusion Rune

    The illusion rune spawns 2 illusions that look exactly like your hero.
    These images take 400% damage and deal 50% damage and last for 75
    seconds or until they die. (verify numbers)

    • Scouting enemy territory

      Sending an illusion into enemy
      lines where you do not have vision is a safe way of gaining information
      about the enemy's whereabouts.

      Another important thing for
      certain heroes that falls under this category is scouting the map for
      blink/teleportation possibilities. If no character on your team has
      been to a particular location on the map (and thus it hasn't been
      revealed to anyone's minimap) you will be unable to blink or teleport
      to this area. In certain cases you may be trying to escape to one of
      these areas and find out too late that you are unable to blink there.
      Use one of your illusions early on to scout this area so that you will
      be able to blink/teleport there later. This only applies to Furion, QoP
      and Anti-mage (or those with blink daggers).

    • Baiting enemy spells

      When they see “you” approaching them,
      they might use one or more spells on you. Remember not to send both
      illusion runes or else they will know that you have an illusion rune
      (but you can send 1 in with you and go yourself causing them to think
      both are illusion runes and making them “relax” since illusion runes
      can't cast spells – did that Sand King illusion just burrowstrike me??)
      Be careful not to attack or take damage with these illusions, however,
      as both allow the enemy to make sense of the situation very quickly.

      Here I send in one of my illusions knowing that ES will likely use fissure.
      [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

      He took the bait and my allied Lina and I can go in for the kill as his only solid defense is currently cooling down.

      [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

      I will also include in this category the idea of placing your illusion
      in lane while you are off ganking. It serves a similar purpose
      (deceiving the opponent) as baiting enemy spells. When you are
      "casually farming" your lane, the enemy hero will not report you as
      missing to teammates.

    • Damage increase

      In some situations, you may want to simply
      take the illusions back with you to lane and help you last hit or
      harass the enemy. They will help you last hit and if you send to the
      enemy they will be forced to tank a bit of damage or retreat – both of
      which are good outcomes for you.

    • Creep pull/Creep manipulations

      If you have decent micro
      and timing, you can use the illusions to pull a neutral creep camp
      (either allowing a double spawn or so that allied creeps will come
      attack). The double camp may be worthwhile if you have an AoE spell
      which takes out multiple units.

      You can also use these to
      divert enemy creeps from the lane. The enemy creeps do not know that
      the illusion isn't real so they will pursue it as if it were actually
      you. Send it behind a tower (not through the tower's path or else it
      will die) and drag the creeps to a different location.

    • Camping certain locations (rune, woods) as “observer wards”

      Since runes are relatively important, you should try to control them if
      possible. One way of determining where a rune spawns is by sending an
      illusion to one of the rune locations shortly before the next even
      minute. In this way, they function as observer wards. Similarly, if you
      send an illusion to the nearby woods where you do not have vision, you
      will be alerted of any incoming ganks from that direction. This might
      give you enough time to retreat to the safety of a tower or TP away if
      you spot an incoming gank.

    Bottle Usage

    Storing this rune in a bottle
    doesn't provide the same benefits as with the other runes, but you
    still get to better control where and when the illusions are deployed
    (and you also get your charges refilled – always a good thing!)

    Additional Notes

    Illusions will carry certain effects from different heroes along with them.

    • Radiance
    • Axe's Counter Helix

    Double Damage

    Increases the hero's damage by 100% for 45 seconds. It does NOT take
    into account pure damage items (Divine Rapier, Buriza, etc.) but rather
    your base damage and stat increasing items (agi, str, int).

    This rune has some fun uses, all of which deal with beating the heck
    out of your opponents, creeps, towers, rosh, ancients, etc. I won't be
    as specific about uses since pretty much ANY situation is good for this

    I will mention, however, that during ganks this should
    be reserved for the hero best able to get in a lot of attacks. If you
    give this to a hero that won't attack at all (for example, a Rhasta
    channeling shackles) it is of little to no use. Also, in the very early
    going, it is probably better to give it to a ranged hero as they will
    likely be able to get in additional attacks (through animation
    cancelling and/or kiting).

    Double damage can be purged away,
    so if you are a melee hero fighting the satyr neutral camp, you might
    want to use the DD rune elsewhere while you have it.

    Bottle Usage

    This is a pretty good rune to have in a bottle since it can surprise
    your opponent and turn the fight in your favor. If they accurately
    assess a fight with you accounting for your normal attack damage (if
    you were to get in a number of hits) but do not know of your DD rune in
    bottle, they might engage in a losing fight with you. If you wait a bit
    to pop the rune while it is too late for them to run, you will nab
    yourself a kill.


    Heals your hero 100hp/second and 67 mana/second for 30 seconds or until you take damage.

    Like the haste and invisibility runes, this rune can quickly turn
    defense into offense. For the majority of the game, this rune refills
    all of your hp and mana - a very worthwhile rune indeed.

    • Using your mana while regen is on

      If you have a spell or
      two that is off cooldown (preferably a low cooldown spell – don't go
      blowing your ult just because you have regen) you should attempt to use
      it before you are hit – the regen will give the mana back to you very

    • Avoiding a fountain trip (by walking/TP)

      If you are very
      low in hp and would otherwise return to fountain, check the nearby rune
      to see if it is regen (assuming it is safe to do so). Allowing you to
      avoid the fountain trip is worth a lot of time. This could be refilling
      after a gank, after roshan, neutrals, escaping someone's clutches, etc.

    Bottle Usage

    Here is where regen
    really shines. Through use of a bottle you can trade blows (wasting HP
    and mana) with your opponent and quickly be back at full. Particularly
    wise usages include entering a fight with your opponent and then hiding
    under fog cover. The enemy will likely be more relaxed and perhaps will
    not even call “mia” since you are on your way back to heal. They might
    even elect to stay in lane at low HP knowing that you do not have
    sufficient mana or hp to fight with them. You then show up a few
    seconds later will full HP and mana ready to gank anyone or just to
    continue farming.

    It is important to use some of your mana
    before you pop the rune, as otherwise you are wasting some of the
    effectiveness – your spell could have damaged the enemy and caused them
    to retreat or use some form of regeneration and you will still have
    full mana shortly thereafter.

    Here is an example in which properly timed regen usage nets me a kill and I avoid death:

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    I am hiding from an enemy Ogre Magi while ignite's effects wear off (so I can use regen)

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    Allied Lich comes to my aid and distracts the Ogre Magi giving me time to get away.

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    My regen has filled me back up and I can rejoice as we skip off to ice cream.

    The Person Who Says IT Cannot BE Done Should Not Interrupt The Person Doing IT .....

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    Re: DOTA102 - Intermediate Guide

    Post by -cS^Wolverine on Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:33 am

    Most of the times I go for money

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    Re: DOTA102 - Intermediate Guide

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