As ubiquitous as they come, Power Treads is one of the most iconic starting items in Dota 2. Learn how to “tread switch” with our item guide.
Neat kicks with a purpose
Though there are several different choices when it comes to Boots of Speed upgrades in Dota 2, one of the best choices for beginners is still Power Treads. This is primarily because what it does is very simple, yet can teach new players a thing or two about why additional stats are important.
Power Treads are the only Boots of Speed upgrade that can be switched between three modes: Strength, Agility, and Intelligence. Whichever mode is active will determine the attribute that gets a +10 bonus, though they cannot all be active at the same time. Switching between modes costs absolutely no mana, which means that favoring one stat over another can be done on the fly at any time.
On paper, this doesn’t seem like a big deal—especially to newbies who may not be familiar yet with the intricacies of how attributes work in Dota 2. We can’t blade them for the lack of such knowledge, of course, but that’s why we’re here to show you just what tread switching can do for you in the heat of battle or during a daring escape.
Unconventional statistical mechanics
Unlike in most computer role-playing games or even shooters and action titles, the way that maximum health and mana work in Dota 2 is a little bit different. Let’s assume, for example, that your hero has 500 maximum health, and is currently sitting at 200 health. Then, your hero acquires a Vitality Booster, which adds 250 to their health pool. Normally, their current health would stay at 200, while their maximum health would go up to 750.
Instead, Dota 2 adds the 250 points to the hero’s current health as well. This is actually a mechanic carried over from WarCraft III: The Frozen Throne—which lead developer IceFrog decided to keep in the transition to the sequel. Some things will never change, we suppose. Of course, what this does mean is that it is much more efficient to use restorative items such as Healing Salves, Arcane Boots, and the like while your stats are low—as the stat mechanics will make it so that you end up with more health once you regain the stats that you lost.
Separating the champs from the chumps
This can actually mean the difference between life or death in a teamfight, or even success and failure in a gank attempt. For example, switching your Power Treads to Intelligence mode might give you just enough extra mana to get one more spell off, even if you aren’t at maximum. Maximizing your stat efficiency via tread switching can give you a tangible edge in combat, and we highly recommend getting into the habit—even when there isn’t a teamfight going on. Sometimes, tread switching even when you’re just passively farming neutral creeps can save your life, particularly if your hero is already mana-dependent to begin with.
If you need to use regeneration items, you should definitely switch to either strength or agility when restoring mana, and agility or intelligence when restoring health. You might be surprised at just how much more you can squeeze out of your stats.
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