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The heroes in Dota 2 are defined by the roles that they are suited to play as a combination of their attributes, abilities, and items, and the ways that these shape the game. Although the abilities of heroes may suit a variety of purposes and can be used in a variety of ways in different situations, roles nonetheless exist to define the playstyle a hero is expected to conform to, as well as the actions they are meant to perform within a game.

The attributes of heroes (their essential statistics and their basic combat ability) and the varying nature and effects of their abilities all serve to provide much distinction between heroes, giving them each tactical advantages and disadvantages at various locations, situations, and times within the game that have to be understood well for success. As strategic combat between two teams of five heroes with distinctly different abilities and strengths is the central conflict of Dota 2; players need to be well informed of their role within each team, as well as the roles of the enemy heroes. Even more importantly, players should keep in mind how their ability build and item build affects their heroes and fares against the ability and item builds of enemy heroes in the context of every single game so that they make sound decisions on the abilities and items that they choose to get.

Official Roles

Roles are dictated by many factors, including: the physical stats of the hero, what they bring to the table with their abilities as well as the nature of their abilities, where they should be laned (or jungled), and the amount of gold and items they need to perform well.

Although the official classifications are fairly rigid, the reality is that multiple roles can be filled by every hero depending on the choices they make, although some choices are wiser than others.

Carry Carry

See also: Carries

"Will become more useful later in the game if they gain a significant gold advantage."

Carries are the heroes that can obtain the greatest offensive power as the game progresses, the name so derived from the act being "carried" by a team into the late game; that is, to eventually bear the responsibility for ultimate victory. They tend to become extremely powerful later in the game relative to other heroes once they amass substantial levels and items. Once farmed, they are very good at killing opponents, though some carries such as Naga Siren tend to attain victory through their ability to destroy enemy structures rather than kill enemy heroes. Carries typically lack early game power, but must be powerful by the late game; thus, the items they carry are an essential part of their build. Most carries rely on right-clicking, using their inherent attack power (usually augmented by abilities) to overwhelm their enemies. Carries tend to have high base movement speed.

Although they are the powerhouses of the late game, they are relatively weak in the early game, as their abilities tend not to be very useful at low levels. Many "hard" carries, that is, carries that are extremely reliant on items to function (though benefit most from them) will need to farm almost incessantly prior to around 30-40 minutes into the game. They should not ever participate in early skirmishes unless they can assist without endangering themselves (for example, Spectre can use her Haunt ability to help her team's damage without ever actually being in danger). This can and often does mean that their team is forced to progress through much of the game without their help, during which time a team's semi-carry (usually the solo mid) will perform the role of carry, as the early to mid game is a semi-carries period of maximum relative power.

There are carries of all three primary attributes, although the hardest carries are almost entirely agility. Strength carries (such as Alchemist, Dragon Knight, Wraith King, and Lifestealer) typically rely on sustained damage and their own durability to carry, as well as some decent disables. Their weakness tends to be low armor (though there are some notable exceptions) and because they are almost invariably melee, they can often be kited easily (kiting being a process of staying too far away from an enemy for them to attack you; as if the enemy is being strung along like a kite). Agility carries (such as Luna, Faceless Void, and Phantom Assassin) tend to inflict substantial damage in rapid successions, and have very high limits where damage infliction is concerned. Agility carries tend to be ranged but many are melee. Their weakness tends to be an inability to do anything effectively except inflict damage - they generally have minimal utility and are quite fragile, though there are exceptions to both. Intelligence carries (such as Storm Spirit, Nature's Prophet, and Outworld Destroyer) usually rely on their abilities and active use of items to carry, but their physical damage is often respectable too. They are invariably ranged heroes owing to their frailty, but their powerful abilities mean that they are often difficult to kill. They tend to struggle against enemies with spell immunity.

Some carries with long-cooldown, team fight-oriented ultimates, such as Naga Siren, Luna, and Outworld Destroyer require constant team support all throughout the game, whereas other carries such as Phantom Assassin or Lifestealer are suited to tackling many enemies in succession and rely much less on their team (but suffer from a lack of AoE abilities). Essentially, while some carries are suited to solo encounters and ganks, others are most at home in a large clash.

Carries typically are relegated to a side lane early on with one or more support heroes to babysit them until they collect the necessary items to farm independently, while a select few carry heroes, most notably Shadow Fiend, can easily undertake a solo midlane role throughout the majority of the game. There are some cases where carries ended up in solo safe lane (Radiant Bottom, Dire Top) if the team opted to run an aggressive tri-lane at the suicide lane (Radiant Top, Dire Bottom).

A rule of carries is that the more farm a carry requires to be effective, the more power they can attain relative to other carries. The term "out-carrying" refers to one hero's capability to carry harder than another - that is, to have more potential power to carry than another hero. Carries come in all shapes and sizes, and while some require little farm to begin carrying quite early in the game, they can (and usually will) be out-carried by a "harder" carry than themselves if that carry is given the chance to amass the gold and items they require.

Carry Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Axe icon
Axe
Bristleback icon
Bristleback
Chaos Knight icon
Chaos Knight
Dawnbreaker icon
Dawnbreaker
Doom icon
Doom
Dragon Knight icon
Dragon Knight
Legion Commander icon
Legion Commander
Lifestealer icon
Lifestealer
Mars icon
Mars
Slardar icon
Slardar
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Clinkz icon
Clinkz
Luna icon
Luna
Medusa icon
Medusa
Meepo icon
Meepo
Monkey King icon
Monkey King
Slark icon
Slark
Viper icon
Viper
Weaver icon
Weaver
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Leshrac icon
Leshrac
Outworld Destroyer icon
Outworld Destroyer
Storm Spirit icon
Storm Spirit
Zeus icon
Zeus
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Abaddon icon
Abaddon
Broodmother icon
Broodmother
Lycan icon
Lycan
Marci icon
Marci
Pangolier icon
Pangolier
Void Spirit icon
Void Spirit

Support Support

See also: Supports

"Can focus less on amassing gold and items, and more on using their abilities to gain an advantage for the team."

Supports are heroes whose purpose is to keep their allies alive and give them opportunities to earn more gold and experience. Supports usually come with helpful abilities for their team, such as healing spells or abilities that disable enemies; and generally are more centered around utility than damage (although they can often inflict huge amounts of damage in the right situation). Supports are not very dependent on items, and generally only purchase one or two items for their personal usage - the rest of their gold is to be spent on items for the benefit of the team such as Animal Courier, Observer Ward, Sentry Ward, and Smoke of Deceit.

Supports are typically paired with the team's carry at the start of a game. This is because the carry tends to be the weakest and most gold-hungry member of the team early on, whereas support heroes are at their strongest in the early game. Supports should always try to forfeit kills to any teammate who is more reliant on items than they are, only performing a kill if none of their allies is able to do it.

Support Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Earthshaker icon
Earthshaker
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Hoodwink icon
Hoodwink
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Ancient Apparition icon
Ancient Apparition
Crystal Maiden icon
Crystal Maiden
Disruptor icon
Disruptor
Jakiro icon
Jakiro
Keeper of the Light icon
Keeper of the Light
Leshrac icon
Leshrac
Lich icon
Lich
Oracle icon
Oracle
Shadow Shaman icon
Shadow Shaman
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Abaddon icon
Abaddon
Bane icon
Bane
Dazzle icon
Dazzle
Marci icon
Marci
Snapfire icon
Snapfire

Nuker Nuker

See also: Nukers

"Can quickly kill enemy heroes using high damage spells with low cooldowns."

Nukers are heroes with fast, strong, and/or sustainable spell or magical damage output, whether it be through single-target spells or area-of-effect ones. Because area of effect damage comes mainly from nukes, Nukers can provide a huge damage-per-second advantage in team fights when they can harm multiple enemy heroes all at once. Area of effect nukers also excel at pushing as they can dispatch enemy creeps efficiently. Burst damage nukers such as Lina can also be deadly, as one single fast combo of her spells can often kill or grievously wound an enemy hero immediately before any reaction, thereby making a team fight one-sided from the start. The mana cost and cooldowns of nukes often dictate how they will be used, as ones with low mana cost and/or cooldown can be spammed in lanes or in ganks, while ones with higher mana cost and cooldown are often best saved for large confrontations.

Nuker Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Bristleback icon
Bristleback
Centaur Warrunner icon
Centaur Warrunner
Doom icon
Doom
Dragon Knight icon
Dragon Knight
Earthshaker icon
Earthshaker
Elder Titan icon
Elder Titan
Legion Commander icon
Legion Commander
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Hoodwink icon
Hoodwink
Luna icon
Luna
Meepo icon
Meepo
Slark icon
Slark
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Ancient Apparition icon
Ancient Apparition
Crystal Maiden icon
Crystal Maiden
Disruptor icon
Disruptor
Jakiro icon
Jakiro
Keeper of the Light icon
Keeper of the Light
Leshrac icon
Leshrac
Lich icon
Lich
Oracle icon
Oracle
Outworld Destroyer icon
Outworld Destroyer
Puck icon
Puck
Shadow Shaman icon
Shadow Shaman
Storm Spirit icon
Storm Spirit
Zeus icon
Zeus
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Bane icon
Bane
Broodmother icon
Broodmother
Dazzle icon
Dazzle
Pangolier icon
Pangolier
Snapfire icon
Snapfire
Timbersaw icon
Timbersaw
Void Spirit icon
Void Spirit

Disabler Disabler

See also: Disablers

"Has a guaranteed disable for one or more of their spells."

Heroes tagged as Disabler generally have abilities which are more focused to reliable crowd control, whether by single target or by area. Generally, supportive heroes (because their abilities are not improved by items) often lane with carry heroes to malign attempts on their life. Carry heroes generally have weak disabling power, although some, such as Faceless Void are exceptional. Heroes with powerful disables tend to have low base movement speed, giving enemies a chance to react, but this can be bypassed with mobility items.

Disabler Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Axe icon
Axe
Centaur Warrunner icon
Centaur Warrunner
Chaos Knight icon
Chaos Knight
Doom icon
Doom
Dragon Knight icon
Dragon Knight
Earthshaker icon
Earthshaker
Elder Titan icon
Elder Titan
Legion Commander icon
Legion Commander
Lifestealer icon
Lifestealer
Mars icon
Mars
Primal Beast icon
Primal Beast
Slardar icon
Slardar
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Hoodwink icon
Hoodwink
Medusa icon
Medusa
Meepo icon
Meepo
Monkey King icon
Monkey King
Slark icon
Slark
Viper icon
Viper
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Ancient Apparition icon
Ancient Apparition
Crystal Maiden icon
Crystal Maiden
Disruptor icon
Disruptor
Jakiro icon
Jakiro
Keeper of the Light icon
Keeper of the Light
Leshrac icon
Leshrac
Oracle icon
Oracle
Outworld Destroyer icon
Outworld Destroyer
Puck icon
Puck
Shadow Shaman icon
Shadow Shaman
Storm Spirit icon
Storm Spirit
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Bane icon
Bane
Dark Seer icon
Dark Seer
Dazzle icon
Dazzle
Enigma icon
Enigma
Marci icon
Marci
Pangolier icon
Pangolier
Snapfire icon
Snapfire
Void Spirit icon
Void Spirit

Durable Durable

See also: Durable

"Has the ability to last longer in team fights."

Durable heroes (or "tanks") are heroes who have the potential to sustain large amount of incoming damage from the enemy. They tend to have large amounts of health, health regeneration, armor, or magic resistance. They often have abilities to mitigate damage, avoid damage completely, or disable assailants. Strength heroes almost invariably conform to this standard because their primary attribute, strength, also grants health, although heroes of any attribute can meet the requirements. These heroes usually have one or more abilities which are improved by being difficult to kill.

Despite the fact that most durable heroes in Dota 2 (besides Axe and Legion Commander) cannot literally force enemies to attack them, they can effectively play the role of absorbing most enemy damage output in a team fight. Some tactics for accomplishing this are:

  1. Outputting an AoE effect which severely maligns the enemy, so that the enemy practically must kill the durable first; for example Undying's Flesh Golem which deals damage over time to hostile units in its radius.
  2. Being the first one to engage the enemy in a team fight. The enemy will respond by unloading abilities and items on the durable because a) the enemy cannot see the durable's allies and is tricked to believe the durable is alone for easy kill b) the enemy cannot reach the durable's allies because they are too far away c) the enemy is inexperienced and prematurely attacks the first hostile target in sight. The result is that the durable will probably survive because of his high durability; when the allies charge in, most of the enemy's abilities are on cooldown and the battle becomes much more favorable. This tactic will not always work against seasoned opponents, however.
  3. Using an ability to force enemies to attack the durable rather than their allies. The only examples of this currently in-game are Axe and Legion Commander, although Winter Wyvern also possesses a similar ability.
  4. Being the only target that can be readily attacked; a strategy that works best when the durable's allies are ranged heroes.

In summary, a durable role in Dota 2 is a durable hero with high survivability who often initiates a team battle and ideally is able to manipulate the enemy's damage output.

Durable Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Axe icon
Axe
Bristleback icon
Bristleback
Centaur Warrunner icon
Centaur Warrunner
Chaos Knight icon
Chaos Knight
Dawnbreaker icon
Dawnbreaker
Doom icon
Doom
Dragon Knight icon
Dragon Knight
Elder Titan icon
Elder Titan
Legion Commander icon
Legion Commander
Lifestealer icon
Lifestealer
Mars icon
Mars
Primal Beast icon
Primal Beast
Slardar icon
Slardar
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Medusa icon
Medusa
Viper icon
Viper
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
None
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Abaddon icon
Abaddon
Bane icon
Bane
Lycan icon
Lycan
Pangolier icon
Pangolier
Timbersaw icon
Timbersaw

Escape Escape

See also: Escape

"Has the ability to quickly avoid death."

Escape heroes are heroes equipped with one or more escape mechanisms which allow them (or sometimes their allies) to avoid damage and abilities while retreating or repositioning themselves during a team fight or gank. Escape heroes are particularly suited to soloing the "suicide lane" or short lane, as they can turn situations where death is inevitable into a temporary delay in farm. Escape mechanisms include movement speed buffs, invisibility, teleportation (such as Blinking), and evasion. Many carry heroes also have escape mechanisms to give them the survivability they need to continue farming and killing.

Escape Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Centaur Warrunner icon
Centaur Warrunner
Lifestealer icon
Lifestealer
Slardar icon
Slardar
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Clinkz icon
Clinkz
Hoodwink icon
Hoodwink
Meepo icon
Meepo
Monkey King icon
Monkey King
Slark icon
Slark
Weaver icon
Weaver
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Oracle icon
Oracle
Puck icon
Puck
Storm Spirit icon
Storm Spirit
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Broodmother icon
Broodmother
Dark Seer icon
Dark Seer
Lycan icon
Lycan
Marci icon
Marci
Pangolier icon
Pangolier
Snapfire icon
Snapfire
Timbersaw icon
Timbersaw
Void Spirit icon
Void Spirit

Pusher Pusher

See also: Pushers

"Can quickly siege and destroy towers and barracks at all points of the game."

Pushers are heroes who focus on bringing down towers quickly, thereby acquiring map control. If they succeed, they often shut down the enemy carry by forcing them away from farming areas. They typically have abilities that fortify allied creep waves, harm multiple enemy creeps and/or heroes at once, summon minions, or deal massive amounts of damage to enemy towers.

Pusher Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Chaos Knight icon
Chaos Knight
Dragon Knight icon
Dragon Knight
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Clinkz icon
Clinkz
Luna icon
Luna
Meepo icon
Meepo
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Jakiro icon
Jakiro
Leshrac icon
Leshrac
Shadow Shaman icon
Shadow Shaman
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Broodmother icon
Broodmother
Enigma icon
Enigma
Lycan icon
Lycan

Initiator Initiator

See also: Initiators

"Good at starting a team fight."

Initiators are heroes who can safely and advantageously start a team fight. These heroes typically have strong area of effect damage or disable or some ability to affect the positioning of the enemy team. Many of these heroes rely completely on a positional item such as Blink Dagger or Force Staff to get the proper positioning to initiate a team fight, while a select few, such as Elder Titan and Silencer, do not require this asset. Although it is common for an Initiator to be a Durable hero, this is not always the case; fragile heroes such as Enigma and Vengeful Spirit are adept at initiation. Late in the game, this role becomes very crucial, as an effective initiation can win a team fight, and a poor one can lose it.

Initiator Heroes
Strength attribute symbol Strength
Axe icon
Axe
Bristleback icon
Bristleback
Centaur Warrunner icon
Centaur Warrunner
Chaos Knight icon
Chaos Knight
Doom icon
Doom
Dragon Knight icon
Dragon Knight
Earthshaker icon
Earthshaker
Elder Titan icon
Elder Titan
Legion Commander icon
Legion Commander
Mars icon
Mars
Primal Beast icon
Primal Beast
Slardar icon
Slardar
Agility attribute symbol Agility
Meepo icon
Meepo
Monkey King icon
Monkey King
Viper icon
Viper
Intelligence attribute symbol Intelligence
Disruptor icon
Disruptor
Puck icon
Puck
Shadow Shaman icon
Shadow Shaman
Storm Spirit icon
Storm Spirit
Universal attribute symbol Universal
Dark Seer icon
Dark Seer
Enigma icon
Enigma
Marci icon
Marci
Pangolier icon
Pangolier

Unofficial roles

Hard carry

The term "hard carry" refers to a type of carry hero who is especially reliant on the acquisition of items to function effectively, as opposed to "softer" carries that gain substantial damage from abilities and as such do not require gold to be dangerous. Hard carries are generally equipped with abilities which scale very closely with their items, meaning that when they do not have farm their abilities are weak. Hard carries cannot have farm early in the game, so they are generally paired in lanes with disabling support heroes, whose powerful early game abilities counterbalance the horribly weak hard carry's. As a hard carry attains gold and levels, they will progressively become more dangerous, and generally reach their period of maximum relative effectiveness later in the game than other heroes - meaning that the hard carry will have a huge advantage if the game goes for long enough. As a rule, the more reliant a carry is on items to function directly correlates with how effective they are once they have them - for instance, Anti-Mage with three carry items in his inventory will be stronger than a Medusa with the same amount, but when six items are in play, Medusa will make much better use of them than Anti-Mage - this means that she is a harder carry than he.

Semi-carry

Semi-carries are heroes that, like hard carries, are skilled at killing enemy heroes. Unlike hard carries, however, they do not require very much farm to do so, and are generally most dependent on levels, so they usually lane in the middle lane to amass them as rapidly as possible. They tend to be most dominant in the midgame, before either their own or the enemy's true carry has amassed enough farm to supersede them. A successful game for a semi-carry involves asserting map control and impeding the enemy carry's farm, which in turn allows for their own carry to safely amass items. The "semi-carry", although long acknowledged in the community, is not a role recognized by Valve, likely because of the high ambiguity in defining the role.

If they are doing well, a semi-carry may have respectable attack damage depending on the hero being played - and all semi-carries will scale at least moderately well with items. However, by the end of the middle game period, semi-carries typically transition into a more utility role. This is not to say that they play support; this is simply the point where their damage and capabilities are outstripped by "hard" carries. To amend their damage "falling off" (as it is called), they often build items such as Heaven's Halberd icon Heaven's Halberd, Assault Cuirass icon Assault Cuirass, and Scythe of Vyse icon Scythe of Vyse to provide utility instead of their ailing damage.

Ganker

See also: Ganking

Gankers are heroes with abilities that deliver long duration crowd control and/or immense damage in the early and midgame. They tend to have good mobility and rely on a mixture of physical and magical damage as well as disables to bring down their enemies. Their goal is to give the team an early game advantage during the laning phase by killing enemy heroes in their proper lanes. The ganker role is often synonymous with the semi-carry role, as most gankers become semi-carries if they are successful in their efforts, owing to a large gold and level advantage. However, because their abilities do not scale as well, they will usually suffer more in the late game (hence the need for a hard carry). Nevertheless, if a ganker performs extremely well, they might prove to be the overall bigger threat to the enemy team at the game's conclusion than an allied hard carry. The most important task for a Ganker is to restrict the farm and levels of the opposing carry.

Roamer

See also: Roamers

"Can focus on moving around the map instead of farming creeps early in the game."

Always support heroes, the main goal of roamers is to gain as much map control as possible early in the game by warding, ganking and studying the location of missing heroes. They are also responsible for creep pulling, creep stacking (for the purpose of helping a fellow Jungler or to be the source of farm) and most crucially shutting down enemy junglers. They often attempt to gank the enemy's mid hero, a difficult feat (albeit a very rewarding one) which usually requires a long-range disables and/or a Smoke of Deceit icon Smoke of Deceit.

Offlaner

Offlane heroes are those with abilities that allow them to solo the "suicide lane" (top lane for Radiant, bottom lane for Dire). Having an offlaner in a team's lineup allows the team to also have a Jungler or run a tri-lane with less risk of losing the suicide lane to the opposing lane. In many cases, the offlaner may have to forgo a great deal of farm in order to simply stay alive, and as such may be on the back foot much of the time. Heroes with the ability to escape from certain death are best suited to this role, as the offlaner's first priority should be to not die in lane. Against skilled opponents, the offlaner may be extremely under-leveled compared to other heroes on the field, and as such it is generally unwise to put a hard carry in the offlane because they may not get enough farm to obtain the items they need to snowball into the late-game.

Generally speaking, heroes that can excel in the offlane and still be effective throughout the game have at least one of these qualities:

  1. A skillset that allows them to escape from ganks safely. See Escape.
  2. They are able to secure a reasonable amount of farm despite the possibility of being forced out of lane.
  3. They have abilities that will keep them alive in the early-game as well as allowing them to be effective in the mid-game despite a lack of gold. Supports such as Tidehunter minimap icon Tidehunter and Windranger minimap icon Windranger are examples of this. This can include heroes whose abilities have a great deal of utility later on in the game. For instance, abilities like Mirana minimap icon Mirana's Moonlight Shadow icon Moonlight Shadow and Earth Spirit minimap icon Earth Spirit's Geomagnetic Grip icon Geomagnetic Grip can serve to benefit other teammates as well as the player in a variety of scenarios.
  4. They are able to disrupt the enemy carry's farm. Good use of summons like Lone Druid minimap icon Lone Druid's Lone Druid Spirit Bear icon Spirit Bear can position friendly creeps in a place where the carry may struggle to get last hits, such as under a friendly tower from where you can deny them safely.

Jobs in the game

Another way to consider the roles played by the heroes is the impact they have on the course of the game. This aspect is separate from the lanes that the hero begins in or amount of farm they get, as described in the previous section. A good team composition will have some ability to do all of these jobs, or at the very least, counter the enemy when they do these things.

Laning

Lane pushing

Heroes that push lanes are good at bursting down waves of creeps and moving quickly from lane to lane (or attack a lane from across the map) in order to put pressure on the enemy towers forcing enemies to respond, potentially setting up ganking situations and at the very least, forcing enemies to disengage their attack to respond to the waves. Lane pushers are countered by lane de-pushers or ganking, since strong lane pushing heroes are often found alone.

Lane de-pushing

Heroes that de-push lanes can safely eliminate waves of creeps defensively, even when the enemy team is present. For example, a Sniper's Shrapnel can wipe out creeps without putting Sniper in a dangerous position. Lane de-pushers are countered by heroes with strong initiation, such as gankers, or by tower hitting heroes that can damage objectives without the help of creep waves.

Fighting

Ganking

This job punishes enemies that get out of position by quickly picking them off. Ganking heroes often have abilities that allow them to go around the enemy team safely to get to their intended target as well as a nuke or burst damage to quickly finish them off. Gankers can be countered by strong team fighting that prevents gankers from getting to heroes most susceptible to ganks.

Team fighting

This term is often used to describe heroes that can have a major impact on a fight involving multiple heroes, such as those with large area of effect disables. Often these heroes will also be able to sustain or avoid massive amounts of damage while doing damage to the enemy carries. Team fighting compositions can be countered by having strong lane pushing abilities that force the team to split up or turn back to defend.

Objectives

Tower hitters

Heroes that can safely do damage to towers over time or that have burst physical or pure damage abilities are good at taking towers. Tower hitters are often countered by direct fighting, either with ganking or team fighting that prevents them from taking the objective, or by having enough lane push to ensure that creep waves are not present so that backdoor protection is active.

Roshan killers

Having a hero that is good at taking Roshan can give a major boost to your team's ability to win in fights and take objectives, or deny those capabilities from the enemy team. A Roshan killer will often have the ability to corrupt armor, regenerate health, or use a combination of lifesteal and immense physical damage to simply kill Roshan faster than Roshan can kill them.

1-5 Position System

Another way to assign roles to heroes is the position system, which determines the hero's contribution to the team and how the player will approach the game. Each hero is given a position number from Position 1 to Position 5 (or P1 to P5) based on their dependency on farm to become effective, with 1 having the highest priority for farming and 5 having the lowest.

  • Position 1 is filled by the Hard Carry, the member of the team that is weakest in the early game and is most reliant on farm to become powerful, but scales the best into the late game. The player in this position starts in the safe lane with one or two support heroes to protect them in the early game.
  • Position 2 is filled by the Midlaner. These heroes are also dependent on items and levels to be impactful, but are able to hold their own in the mid lane. They will often be the most powerful team member in the early- and mid-game due to the gold and experience available in the midlane, and can start pressuring opponents relatively early.
  • Position 3 is the Offlaner. They will attempt to survive in the offlane, collecting what experience they can while trying to deny farm to the enemy Hard Carry and building items that help in teamfights, such as Pipe of Insight icon Pipe of Insight and Blink Dagger icon Blink Dagger to help with initiation. Together, the Position 1 to 3 heroes form the team's core heroes, and will provide the majority of the team's damage in the late-game.
  • Position 4 is the Farmed Support/Farming Support. This member of the team tends toward relatively costlier supportive items such as Force Staff icon Force Staff, Pavise icon Pavise, and Glimmer Cape icon Glimmer Cape, though they will yield farm to the core heroes and Offlaner when possible. They are usually played in either the offlane to harass the enemy Hard Carry and rotate to participate in ganks, or in a trilane with the Hard Carry and Hard Support.
  • Position 5 is the Hard Support. This is the member of the team that sacrifices their own gold to buy support items like Sentry Ward icon Sentry Wards, Dust of Appearance icon Dust of Appearance, Smoke of Deceit icon Smoke of Deceit, and sometimes regen items for their allies, while almost completely forfeiting farm to the other members of the team. The Hard Support is usually paired with the Hard Carry in the safelane, allowing the Hard Carry to safely earn gold while harassing the enemy Offlaner and protecting the Hard Carry from harassment.


Note that the position system is primarily focused on the picking phase, and taking into account each hero's strengths and weaknesses relative to their teammates. Most heroes can be played in multiple positions as the team composition demands. Dazzle minimap icon Dazzle and Lina minimap icon Lina, for instance, can be played well in Position 2 due to being able to effectively fight in the laning phase while scaling well with farm, while also having enough early-game power to be potent Position 4 or 5 supports.

Trivia

Pip jungler Jungler

See also: Junglers

"Can farm effectively from neutral creeps inside the jungle early in the game."

Junglers are heroes that can efficiently jungle neutrals at the start of the game, rather than lane. This allows for there to be two solo lanes, which in turn allows two allies to benefit from solo farm instead of one. Junglers typically have abilities that allow them to convert neutral creeps, summon minions, or sustain themselves through moderate damage from jungle creeps. The ability to jungle is found in heroes of all attribute classes and roles.

Although having two solo lanes and a Jungler produces a significant gold and experience advantage, it increases exposure to enemy ganks and can make side lanes weaker.

This role was removed in January 10, 2023 Patch.


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