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Ganking is the act of actively moving around the map in order to kill an enemy hero.

The advantages of ganking[]

Ganking is used to gain an overall experience and gold advantage. Successful ganks can significantly slow down an enemy carry's farm, help a teammate recover a difficult lane, and provide a time window to push down a tower or to kill Roshan. To gain an early advantage, active ganking and pushing are essentially mandatory. Additionally, ganking is often the easiest way to kill heroes when the other team has a large advantage in the late game.

Ganking also serves as a counter to enemies trying to push because they must move deep into your territory, where they are often isolated and have little vision. After the enemy pushers are ganked, your team can execute a counterpush to negate the advantage the other team was trying to gain.

Means of ganking[]

Heroes[]

Most ganking heroes have the ability to either slow or stun their enemies, making it easy to set up kills for their allies. There are two distinguishable roles who gank frequently:

Gankers[]

Gankers, as their title suggests, are heroes that are extremely efficient in ganking, often destroying their opponents in one-on-one combat using the element of surprise. Some gankers depend mostly on ganking for their farm, and must get kills in other lanes to buy their items. Most gankers require quick experience, scaling best with early levels. They are also great rune carriers, especially with a Bottle, because their movement around the map while ganking gives them a chance to use the offensive runes.

[[|40px|link=Alchemist]] Alchemist [[|40px|link=Batrider]] Batrider [[|40px|link=Beastmaster]] Beastmaster [[|40px|link=Bloodseeker]] Bloodseeker
[[|40px|link=Bounty Hunter]] Bounty Hunter [[|40px|link=Clockwerk]] Clockwerk Chaos Knight icon Chaos Knight Clinkz icon Clinkz
Doom icon Doom [[|40px|link=Ember Spirit]] Ember Spirit [[|40px|link=Enchantress]] Enchantress [[|40px|link=Invoker]] Invoker
[[|40px|link=Kunkka]] Kunkka [[|40px|link=Mirana]] Mirana [[|40px|link=Nature's Prophet]] Nature's Prophet [[|40px|link=Necrophos]] Necrophos
[[|40px|link=Night Stalker]] Night Stalker [[|40px|link=Nyx Assassin]] Nyx Assassin [[|40px|link=Pudge]] Pudge [[|40px|link=Queen of Pain]] Queen of Pain
[[|40px|link=Shadow Demon]] Shadow Demon Slark icon Slark [[|40px|link=Spirit Breaker]] Spirit Breaker Storm Spirit icon Storm Spirit
[[|40px|link=Techies]] Techies [[|40px|link=Tinker]] Tinker Timbersaw icon Timbersaw

Roamers[]

Roamers are heroes that are focused on warding and map control early game, often scouting territory and spending little time in lanes. Since these heroes do not need to stay in a lane, they often aid in ganking, especially if they are equipped with a powerful disable. Most roamers are capable of ganking even before they reach level 6, possibly excepting Bane minimap icon Bane, Jakiro minimap icon Jakiro, and some others. Some roamers, such as Zeus minimap icon Zeus, Lina minimap icon Lina, Leshrac minimap icon Leshrac, Spirit Breaker minimap icon Spirit Breaker, and Lion minimap icon Lion, are powerful gankers and may make it their primary role.

Ancient Apparition icon Ancient Apparition Bane icon Bane [[|40px|link=Clockwerk]] Clockwerk Crystal Maiden icon Crystal Maiden
Dark Seer icon Dark Seer Disruptor icon Disruptor Earthshaker icon Earthshaker Jakiro icon Jakiro
Leshrac icon Leshrac Lich icon Lich [[|40px|link=Lina]] Lina [[|40px|link=Lion]] Lion
Puck icon Puck [[|40px|link=Sand King]] Sand King Shadow Shaman icon Shadow Shaman Slardar icon Slardar
[[|40px|link=Sven]] Sven [[|40px|link=Tidehunter]] Tidehunter [[|40px|link=Vengeful Spirit]] Vengeful Spirit [[|40px|link=Venomancer]] Venomancer
[[|40px|link=Windranger]] Windranger [[|40px|link=Witch Doctor]] Witch Doctor Zeus icon Zeus

Items[]

Smoke of Deceit icon

Smoke of Deceit is a useful ganking tool.

There are some items that both item-dependent and item-independent gankers can use to ease their job. Items like Blink Dagger, Force Staff, Phase Boots, and to some extent, Tranquil Boots, Town Portal Scrolls, and even Boots of Travel helps players enter battle faster and allow gankers to surprise the opposing hero. Shadow Blade and Smoke of Deceit are also great items, providing invisibility. Smoke of Deceit is especially useful because it is cheap and increases movement speed tremendously. However, the base store's stock is limited to three. Successful gankers rarely return to base, so Arcane Boots, Bottles or Clarity Potions are needed to preserve health and mana. Items that provide hit point regeneration are also helpful, especially Urn of Shadows and Magic Wand. Though not necessary, items that provide additional disables, such as Eul's Scepter of Divinity and Rod of Atos are useful in the lategame.

Clarity (50) Clarity (50 Gold) Smoke of Deceit (50) Smoke of Deceit (50 Gold) Town Portal Scroll (100) Town Portal Scroll (100 Gold) Magic Wand (450) Magic Wand (450 Gold)
Ring of Basilius (425) Ring of Basilius (425 Gold) Bottle (675) Bottle (675 Gold) Soul Ring (805) Soul Ring (805 Gold) Urn of Shadows (880) Urn of Shadows (880 Gold)
Tranquil Boots (925) Tranquil Boots (925 Gold) Medallion of Courage (1025) Medallion of Courage (1025 Gold) Phase Boots (1500) Phase Boots (1500 Gold) Arcane Boots (1300) Arcane Boots (1300 Gold)
Blink Dagger (2250) Blink Dagger (2250 Gold) Force Staff (2200) Force Staff (2200 Gold) Boots of Travel (2500) Boots of Travel (2500 Gold) Eul's Scepter of Divinity (2625) Eul's Scepter of Divinity (2625 Gold)
Dagon (2850) Dagon (2850 Gold) Shadow Blade (3000) Shadow Blade (3000 Gold) Rod of Atos (2250) Rod of Atos (2250 Gold) Scythe of Vyse (5200) Scythe of Vyse (5200 Gold)

Preventing enemy ganks[]

Observer Ward icon

Observer Wards allow your team to see incoming ganks.

An efficient way to avoid a gank is turtling, the act of farming away from enemy territory by preventing creeps from pushing too far by last-hitting enemy creeps and denying. In the early game, it is difficult to perform a gank if a hero is beside their tower. Not only does the tower deal high damage, but other enemies can easily kill the ganker by using Town Portal Scrolls to reach the tower in time.

Items are useful in preventing the enemy team from ganking. A team should maintain vision of key areas of the map by placing Observer Wards and using Sentry Wards to reveal invisible heroes and enemy wards. Furthermore, Town Portal Scrolls can be used to assist allies who are ganked on the other side of the map. Carrying Town Portal Scrolls, maintaining vision, and watching the minimap can allow a team to quickly gain a numbers advantage over the gankers and kill them.

A common way to protect your team from ganks is telling your teammates when an enemy leaves a lane. In public games, this is done in team chat. For example, calling out "missing" lets teammates know that enemy hero(es) have left a lane and may be ganking.

Some abilities like Mirana minimap icon Mirana's Leap icon Leap are well-suited to escaping from incoming ganks. These abilities are often referred to as escape mechanisms. Heroes lacking an escape mechanism like Shadow Fiend minimap icon Shadow Fiend and Silencer minimap icon Silencer are susceptible to ganks and must be especially careful when enemy heroes are missing on the minimap. These heroes can purchase items like Force Staff to gain an escape mechanism.

Other heroes have abilities that help with map control through temporary vision, pseudo-wards, temporary summons, and illusions. Clockwerk minimap icon Clockwerk's Rocket Flare icon Rocket Flare, Vengeful Spirit minimap icon Vengeful Spirit's Wave of Terror icon Wave of Terror, and most of Zeus minimap icon Zeus' abilities are prime examples of abilities that reveal the map temporarily for an advantage. Venomancer minimap icon Venomancer's Plague Ward icon Plague Ward is also a great anti-gank tool because the wards provide vision and can be spammed. The minions summoned by Lycan minimap icon Lycan's Summon Wolves icon Summon Wolves, Enchantress minimap icon Enchantress' Enchant icon Enchant, and Nature's Prophet minimap icon Nature's Prophet's Nature's Call icon Nature's Call provide vision as well. Slardar minimap icon Slardar's Corrosive Haze icon Corrosive Haze, Bounty Hunter minimap icon Bounty Hunter's Track icon Track, and Necronomicon have some anti-gank utility.

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