Dota 2 Characters
As a game in the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre, Dota 2 revolves primarily around unique characters, called “heroes”. Heroes serve as each player’s in-game avatar, and they all have their own set of powerful abilities. Each individual hero is designed to do well in certain ways, though they also have weaknesses to compensate. Moreover, some heroes do well against others, because of how their abilities counter certain heroes.
For the most part, heroes will have four abilities to use—three regular abilities and one “ultimate” ability which can have a huge immediate impact on the game. Proper use of these abilities will mean the difference between winning and losing in Dota 2, so it is vital for players to know what each hero’s abilities do.
Players can choose from a massive pool of different characters, but are limited to controlling just one for the entire duration of a Dota 2 game. With that in mind, it’s clear that choosing the right hero is an extremely important aspect of playing the game. For beginners, though, it’s more important to know a few heroes and the fundamentals of the game before attempting to learn every single character.
How many heroes in Dota 2?
As of June 11th, 2018, there are 115 unique heroes in Dota 2. Almost all of the heroes present in the game were ported from DotA Allstars, the WarCraft III-based predecessor to Dota 2. Only three heroes—namely Monkey King, Pangolier, and Dark Willow, are original Dota 2 creations.
All heroes are divided into three primary attributes: Strength, Agility, and Intelligence. Strength heroes are characterized by their hardy nature, possessing large health pools, strong defensive spells and passive traits, and their ability to stay alive in the heat of battle. Examples of Strength heroes are Sven, Tiny, Centaur Warrunner, and Tidehunter.
|Bristleback||Centaur Warrunner||Chaos Knight||Clockwerk||Doom|
|Dragon Knight||Earth Spirit||Earthshaker||Elder Titan||Huskar|
|Sand King||Slardar||Spirit Breaker||Sven||Tidehunter|
Agility heroes are known for their incredible damage output later in the game, but are weak early on due to their dependence on rather expensive items. These heroes are known as “hard carries”—and their main responsibility is to lift their team to victory through their late game prowess. The agility category includes heroes like Anti-Mage, Phantom Assassin, Sniper, and Morphling.
|Anti-Mage||Arc Warden||Bloodseeker||Bounty Hunter||Broodmother|
|Clinkz||Drow Ranger||Ember Spirit||Faceless Void||Gyrocopter|
|Mirana||Monkey King||Morphling||Naga Siren||Nyx Assassin|
|Pangolier||Phantom Assassin||Phantom Lancer||Razor||Riki|
|Shadow Fiend||Slark||Sniper||Spectre||Templar Assassin|
|Terrorblade||Troll Warlord||Ursa||Vengeful Spirit||Venomancer|
And finally, Intelligence heroes are usually known for being spell-based damage dealers, or for their strong utility and support capabilities. Intelligence heroes are often found staying behind tankier characters, dishing out the pain with their abilities from afar or keeping their teammates alive with healing spells. They are also typically capable of locking enemy heroes down, using stuns and disables. If you fancy being a magician in Dota 2, try out Crystal Maiden, Lion, Witch Doctor, and Lina.
|Ancient Apparition||Bane||Batrdier||Chen||Crystal Maiden|
|Dark Seer||Dark Willow||Dazzle||Death Prophet||Disruptor|
|Enchantress||Enigma||Invoker||Jakiro||Keeper of the Light|
|Necrophos||Ogre Magi||Oracle||Outworld Devourer||Puck|
|Pugna||Queen of Pain||Rubick||Shadow Demon||Shadow Shaman|
|Silencer||Skywrath Mage||Storm Spirit||Techies||Tinker|
|Visage||Warlock||Windranger||Winter Wyvern||Witch Doctor|
While certainly not the sole determinant of a hero’s typical play style, their main attribute does contribute to it quite a bit. Keep this in mind when you dive deeper into each category, and you’ll find commonalities between the heroes in those classifications. This can help influence your decision when it comes to finally picking your hero, so be sure to use the three attributes as a guide of sorts.
Best Dota 2 Hero
Of course, there is no one hero that can truly be called the “best” in Dota 2, due to its ever-evolving metagame and frequent balance patches. There are, however, heroes that are stable and reliable, even in the face of balance changes.
These heroes are built primarily to be “newbie proof”, in the sense that their abilities typically don’t require a lot of mechanical skill, prediction, or game sense in order to use. Heroes like Vengeful Spirit, whose Magic Missile ability is a straightforward, single target stun, come to mind in this regard.
Don’t let their simplicity fool you, though—they are still just as effective as abilities that would otherwise be more difficult to utilize. In fact, heroes with easy-to-use stuns and/or disable effects are frequently found in the metagame, both in public matchmaking and in the professional scene. Just because there isn’t much in the way of difficulty with these heroes doesn’t mean that they aren’t effective or powerful—so don’t overlook these picks, whether you’re a beginner or a hardened veteran.
Beginners, though, should look into learning these heroes first and foremost, since they are the most simple to pick up and play. Heroes like these help ease new players into the game and its many, many mechanics, and avoid inundating novices with too much to think about all at once. Instead, players who pick up these heroes can focus on learning the general ins and outs of Dota 2, such as proper positioning, map control, vision, taking objectives, etc.
In short, don’t worry about which heroes are the “best” or “strongest”. Instead, look at which heroes are solid and dependable despite the prevailing winds in the metagame.
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