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This section is actually an offshoot of the Hero Analysis section, but because of its length and detail, it is appropriate to make this a section for itself.
DOTA contains over 60 different heroes, each with different abilities and difficulty levels. This guide will walk you through which heroes to use first, making your DOTA learning experienced well guided.
Please refer to Vocabulary
if you do not understand the terminology used here.
This guide is updated to include EVERY
Learning players have levels Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Expert.
Beginner Level (Intelligence)
The best type of hero to start out with are the intelligence heroes. Because most wield nukes, they are an easy way to deal direct damage, easy to handle and get kills. The very first hero I suggest you should use is:
Lina Inverse (Slayer)- She has three nukes and one attack speed booster. Extremely straightforward. She is definitely not weak, and can get decent kills with her
(Direct Damage Spells), Laguna Blade, which deals 450-600-950 damage. Any starting player will greatly enjoy using her, until she becomes boring.
The next few heroes are also intelligence heroes, like Lina, is straightforward and easy to
handle, and equipped with an array of nukes (Direct Damage Spells). These include:
Lion (Demon Witch): Lina’s Scourge counterpart, Lion has almost the exact same ultimate, just slightly less damage.
Lich: One of the easiest heroes to use, the only thing more challenging is being able to get successful double and triple kills with his Chain Frost ultimate, which requires good timing.
Krobelus: Also extremely straightforward, Krobelus is the master of non-stop nuking.
Ogre Magi- Ogre Magi went through many changes. When first created,
his multicast was 100%, now its 15%. The nerf is great but he is very
usable with Scepter, as this gives him a 30% multicast.
Slightly more Advanced heroes are Zeus (because of timing), Queen of Pain
(great hero to learn how to escape with Blink), Leshac, Tinker, Rylai
Crestfall, Necrolyte. Intelligence heroes introduce the art of spamming.
Intermediate Level (Ranged Agility)
The next step, after one has had basic experience with DOTA and have learned relatively well the intelligence heroes, is to train using Ranged Agility heroes. Like intelligence, handling a ranged hero is fairly straightforward; use the 600 ranged heroes first, then move on to the shorter ranged ones. Agility heroes lack the massive nukes that almost all intelligence heroes have, but instead, have attack enhancing moves, such as Frost Arrows, Endurance Aura, or Trueshot Aura. Suggested starting Ranged Agility heroes are:
Drow Ranger: she is very straightforward with Frost Arrows and Trueshot aura, along with Marksmanship for easy farming
Medusa- with Mana Shield she is quite difficult to kill, so it is perfect for conservative beginning players
Troll Warlord- Not counting his melee transform, which almost no one uses anyway, and although he has 500 range, troll is one of the most straightforward heroes in the game. Turn on frenzy, Point, Aim, and Shoot.
Rifleman, Kardel Sharpeye (Sniper)- He’s actually very powerful, but because of his low HP he’s always the target of harassment and
backdooring. People often find themselves getting all deaths in the beginning then coming back in the end.
Bone Clinks (Bone Fletcher)- Extremely noob friendly, this hero can
rack easy kills, and has windwalk as an escape mechanism. However, the
downside to him is that he is considered a "cheap" hero, and a
record worse than even is considered inadept.
Slightly more advanced heroes are: Viper, Razor, Shendelshaze (Vengeful
Spirit), Luna Moonfang, Venomancer
Advanced Level (Melee Strength)
Once one has gotten used to the basic ranged heroes, it is time to finally try out the Melee heroes. Melee heroes are much harder to manage, as making the decision to farm, harass, healing due to heavy harassment, staying back conservatively to leech experience, may be tough for the player at first. With experience, however, players will know by second nature what to do with a certain health bar or mana pool. Typically melee heroes get regeneration items since they are prune to heavy harassment. The easiest melee heroes to start with are:
King Leoric (Skeleton King)- Called by some as the “noob” character, this is, almost by far, the easiest melee hero to use. Two passive moves and a stun nuke with reincarnation to give a new player two chances to survive, this is definitely the first melee hero any beginner should try.
Banehallow (Lycanthrope)- Not as easy as Leoric, Banehallow’s moves are still pretty straightforward. His transform allows for quick easy kills, especially because of his ridiculously high move speed, making him the best hero to chase past towers. Banehallow is a great hero for beginners to finally begin playing aggressive.
Bradwarden (Centaur Warchief)- Relatively simple- he has an
AOE (Area of Effect) stun, and his ultimate is simply… adding strength (more HP, Regen, Damage). The main drawback is that he is a large character, making him an easy target, and making sure his War Stomp does not miss is important. More expert players choose to wield him a Blink Dagger.|
Leviathan- One of the best strength heroes, he has a very strong
nuke and the strongest, largest AOE stun in the game. He excels in both
farming and hero killing.
More advanced heroes are Slardar, Chaos Knight, Spiritbreaker, Panda,
Night Stalker, Tauren, Sven, Dragon Knight, Axe
Expert Level (Melee Agility)
The final level that opens the gate to almost every hero is the Melee Agility heroes. These are melee heroes, but unlike the Strength counterpart, they lack the “tanking” ability so they are often easier to kill. However, this is compensated by the use of tricky and stealth tactics, namely invisibility and illusions. The best and simplest heroes to start out with are:
Phantom Lancer- Because he can create many illusions while farming, he is very unlikely a target for opponents, since they will be too lazy to try to determine who is the real lancer; they would rather go for someone else on your team. In addition, he as a Dopplewalk invisibility escape move that makes it very annoying for opponents. He is great to start off with because he is almost never a target for ganks, and he has both a “windwalk” type move AND illusions, making him a great hero to learn.
Stealth Assassin- What makes him easier than other melee agility heroes is that his invisibility is permanent until he attacks. This is great for beginners because they don’t have to time when to use an activated invisibility move such as windwalk.
More advanced heroes are:
Terrorblade (Soul Keeper)- A more difficult hero to use, he is one of the illusion heroes. In early game he can survive by using soul steal. The key to using him well is the usage of his ultimate, Sunder, which switches life totals with your opponent. There are many ways to use him—be creative.
Phantom Assassin- She's very difficult because her invisibility is
only icon invisibility, not true invisibility. Players can still see her
on the minimap, and target her with attacks. However, when used properly,
she is extremely powerful.
Other advanced heroes are: Faceless Void, Bounty
Hunter, Nerubian Assassin, Juggernaut
Experienced players use the most
difficult heroes. The two heroes above can also be considered heroes for
The last batch of heroes are divided into the following categories:
Difficult heroes, “Crappy” heroes, Strange heroes, and Strange uses of heroes.
Difficult heroes are those that are hard to handle and survive with; they usually are extremely weak early game but shine late game. Typically, in public games, difficult heroes yield bad records, but always do well in the hands of an expert. Examples are:
Magina (Anti-Mage)- This hero can be extremely powerful, but is not
very beginner friendly as his array of moves require much experience. He
has the fastest base attack speed in the game which makes him Cranium
Naga Siren- One of the most difficult because of her weakness in early game, she can easily do well in late game. She has ensnare and is an illusion user.
Furion (Prophet)- Although he is intelligence, his versatility and variation of uses makes him difficult to handle. It takes experience to use him correctly as a pusher, and takes skill to backdoor and kill opponents via Battle Furion. Most games, people earn an ugly record with Furion, yet he is one of the most powerful heroes if used correctly.
Visage- Visage requires intense micro since his success depends on correct usage of his revenants. Also, this is an intelligence hero that wields agility hero moves. The type mismatch makes him more difficult to play. Expert players find him very powerful though.
Nevermore- This hero has a nuke that is extremely hard to aim. He
also has no stun so all kills must be based on pure damage.
Nerubian Weaver- The weaver has the worst stats (other than Tiny, but Tiny
is compensated with his ultimate), and dies extremely fast if windwalk
isn't utilized properly. However, he has great potential late game, as he
is very item dependent.
Goblin Techies- A strange hero that differs from other heroes. The
strategies associated are different, which gives him this classification.
Omniknight- as he is heavily relied on for support. Knowing when to
repel, guardian angel, and heal allies can determine the outcome of the
Bloodseeker- requires experience, as his moves are unique but
Rhasta- an intelligence hero that requires more skill than most
Syllabear (Lone Druid) - The micro required for two characters is
not beginner friendly.
Naix- Has extreme potential, but extremely not beginner friendly as
he can get killed extremely fast early game.
Ursa Warrior- Requires much experience, but powerful in the hands
of an expert.
Chen- First a player needs to know to convert strong creep such as the
Centaur and Ursa Champion. Then the player needs to know how to micro the
Visage- Like Chen and Syllabear, Visage conjures up an army and is
powerful only in the hands of an expert.
Broodmother- Broodmother has been buffed over recent versions, but
she is still difficult to use, as her cloak depends on the skill of the
player using the web effectively. The flavor does capture the way a spider
kills its prey, and a player must learn to mimic this strategy.
Pudge- He is mainly listed here because his most powerful move,
Meat Hook, requires much skill and experiences because it does not auto
Sand King- A strong hero but his ultimate, Epicenter is an AOE
damage move that requires experience.
Enigma, Treant Protector, Morphling, Tiny, Rigwarl, Avatar of Vengeance,
Crappy Heroes are those that are deemed by the public as … crappy. These heroes may have potential, but people almost always “suck” with them. These heroes are the ones that get repacked in –ar (-allrandom).
Magnataur- Probably the best out of the crappy heroes, this hero is best used in heavy teamwork. In theory, he is extremely powerful, a great farmer and team player, but people can never use him correctly. He is on the borderline between “difficult hero” and “crappy hero”.
Pugna (Oblivion)- The worst hero for some time, although recently
people have gotten the hang of him. The problem with him is, when he first was created, he did not shine too well. For some reason the developers nerfed an already bad hero. His life drain did 100-200-300 and now it is just above half that amount. Getting even a
Godly record is an accomplishment and is something people flaunt about in the forums. He has
among the lowest HP in the game and his moves are below average. Nether Ward
has conditional uses. Pugna has been buffed several times over the past
few versions and is usuable, but incredibly not user friendly.
Witch Doctor- He yields an array of useless moves. Hopefully he
will be buffed in the future.
Keeper of the Light- This hero is extremely powerful early game,
but is utterly hopeless late game.
Lord of Avernus- He is tied with Pugna as the worst hero, as LoA
does not have any moves that really aid in the killing of opponents.
However, he is very defensive, but pales in comparison to the Omniknight.
Strange Heroes include heroes such as Techies, Invoker, and maybe
Strange Uses of Heroes
This is where people get creative. This is basically not using the mainstream items intended for the hero, yet still making great results. Basically you can think of this as gaining “style points”. Some examples include:
-“The gay terrorblade”- gets nothing except a maxed dagon. Sunder, Dagon, GG.
-Using Shendelshaze (Vengeful Spirit) along with a partner with Blink to get enemies stuck in trees.
(No longer works in 6.27b)
-Getting physical damage items for Techies
-Blink Dagger- although this isn’t always strange, using a blink dagger for appropriate heroes (or even any hero) is suggested for experienced players. Blink Dagger has now become a staple item for heroes like Centuar, Luna Moonfang, and sometimes seen on Sand King, Leshac, and any hero with an AOE damage effect that lasts a given period of time.
-More coming soon-
These players typically are in a prestigious DOTA clan, such as TDA, and participate in tournaments. Almost always do they earn “Godly” records. Sometimes they like to challenge public people; you would occasionally see a game name: “Dota 6.12b 3v5 undefeated!” They also spend much of their time devoted to DOTA; not recommended for most people especially if they have school or work…
*Coming Soon*- DOTA Tactics
Ibaam Right Nav
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