Dota 2 Drafting Guide
Drafting in Dota 2: What is it?
Drafting in Dota 2 means to pick 5 heroes that fit well together. At every start of a Dota 2 match, the drafting phase starts in which players can pick a hero.
It is a big challenge to create a great team that is able to counter the enemy team. If you play captains mode, one selected player makes the hero picks for all players to bundle the complex task onto one experienced leader. As you may know, Dota 2 is a team game, where everyone has to play specific roles according to every situation. In this Dota 2 Picking Guide, I will show you that picking good heroes for every role is essential to guarantee a victory.
Imagine your team has already picked 3 cores and then the 2 remaining guys decide to pick another core and a jungle Legion Commander (OMG!). In most cases, this will be a total disaster and a loss. So, I am sure you’re a good guy that doesn’t pick the Jungle Legion Commander, RIGHT? If you’re not, you might be wondering, “but why I cannot pick another core into my 4 core team?.”
The answer is pretty simple: because you need synergy and balance in terms of heroes, to win and this is what we call “Good Drafting”.
Having a good draft involves picking a good combo of supports, a great Offlaner that can create space for the Hard Carry, a Midlaner that can deal a lot of damage in the early game and also counters an enemy core, and so forth.
This whole process involves a lot of thinking, but I am pretty sure you’re a smart cookie. So, do not worry, you’ll learn pretty fast with the help of this Dota 2 Picking Guide. 😉
How Big is the Impact of
Having Good Picks in Dota 2?
If you pick your hero wisely, it’s definitely gonna be really good for your team, especially when you have the last pick. You can counter an enemy core or just have an easy game because the pick might be perfect against your opponents in general.
Example 1: Let’s imagine you know there is an enemy Bloodseeker and you love playing offlane Pangolier. You decide to pick him because you love that hero and you might have fun with him, but… Did you know Bloodseeker is a counter? He will rupture you while you’re rolling, you will end up being dead, and you will feel really uncomfortable when it comes to using your ultimate.
Example 2: Or if you pick Outworld Devourer (OD) into an enemy mid Pugna, then you gonna struggle a lot in the laning phase. OD is a really strong hero, but just against heroes with a low amount of intelligence. If you know this, then you will not pick OD against a Pugna, because you know that his Nether Ward won’t let you hit in a team fight. Keeping this in mind, you will be able to pick a better mid lane hero for this situation to increase your rank in Dota 2.
Have you noticed how picking the right hero can make you win a game?
I know that you have a hero pool you love to play, but remember that they are not usually good for every single situation. 😉
Understanding the Dota 2 Roles to Make Good Picks:
Dota 2 is more than just getting kills and dying a hundred times. There are roles in this game that players should respect and understand completely.
Being aware of all this will help you make much more complex drafts and suggest better heroes to your teammates in case you’re playing a ranked game. If you don’t know much yet about Dota 2 MMR and the ranks, I recommend this guide on understanding the Dota 2 MMR.
Basics about the Dota 2 Hero Roles:
In Dota 2 every hero has different roles, which can be interpreted by 0-3 points as you can see on the image. Heroes can have up to three points in the roles: carry, support, nuker, disabler, jungler, durable, escape, pusher and as an initiator. If you combine 5 heroes you will get a result that displays the main strength of the team. It is deadly important to know this strength, imagine if you have an extremely effective pusher lineup and your team is not pushing. This would be a thrown away opportunity! 😉
The Dota 2 Roles:
Hard Carry or Safelane (Position 1):
Here, your job is to go to the safe lane and farm as much as you can to prepare for a possible Late Game. Some possible heroes might be Anti-mage, Juggernaut, Slark, etc.
Midlane (Position 2):
You will have to go to the mid lane and give your 100% if you wanna win the lane because you will be on your own! You can contribute to early team fights and help your team with ganks. Some possible heroes might be Invoker, Lina, Storm Spirit, etc.
Ofllaner (Position 3):
You will have to play in the most aggressive style possible with the help of your Pos 4 Support, in order to kill the enemy Hard-Carry. You will be the tanky boy, who creates space and gets involves a lot in team fights. Some heroes: Slardar, Centaur, Mars, etc.
Support (Position 4):
This is the kind of support who has more items and it’s, most of the time, roaming and getting a lot of ganks and kills in early and mid game. Some heroes: Tuskar, Earth Spirit, Void Spirit, etc.
Hard Support (Position 5):
You will be a poor guy with probably just brown boots and a magic wand, but with plenty of wards, sentries and detection. You will sacrifice your life for your cores’ safety. It’s a noble role! Some heroes: Lich, Jakiro, Bane, Crystal Maiden, etc.
Advanced Guide for the Dota 2 Roles:
These 5 positions or roles build the foundation of every Dota 2 matchup to allow good communication and a commitment of something people can rely on.
If you want to get more details about the positions in Dota 2 to learn the essentials of skillful and tactical gameplay, I recommend this guide. 🙂
Now that you have a better understanding of what are all these roles about, you can start drafting and picking better heroes. The key here is to complement each other and create good synergy among the roles. 😉
Is it a good Idea to always Pick my Favorite Hero?
We all have a hero that we love because we play him so many times that now we have mastered him. We want to play with this particular hero in all our ranked games, but is this a good idea?
If you are playing a ranked game, the first thing you should do is to respect your role. If you’re playing support, then you should pick first and if you’re mid or HC, then you should probably pick last to have better opportunities to counter-pick the enemy.
In some situations, you will need to pick what the team needs. If you don’t like playing viper but there’s an enemy Axe, then you have to go for the pick because it’s the best for the team! 😉
To learn more heroes and shift them over to your favorite and strongest weapons, try our high MMR Dota 2 hero guides.
Which heroes should
you Ban in Dota 2?
In Dota 2 the most important modes are All Pick (ap) and Captains Mode (cm). Having a good knowledge in these when it comes to picking and drafting is essential to become a good player.
What to Ban in All-Pick Mode?
In this mode, you and your teammates will have 15 seconds to vote for a hero to get banned. Then randomly, half the heroes you all selected will get banned. But now, what heroes should you ban?
The answer depends on different circumstances. For example, if you have played with some of your opponents before in other ranked games, then you probably know which role they play their best heroes, so you can ban them in the current game. On the other hand, if you don’t have this information, then I recommend banning meta heroes that can be really annoying. To find out the top meta heroes, use Dota 2 statistic tools.
What to Ban in Captains Mode?
This mode is a little bit more complex because each team has 35 seconds to ban, 35 seconds to pick and captains have 130 extra seconds that can be used to discuss with the team. Usually, this mode is played in tournaments and big events, but you can also queue for it with your friends if you want to start becoming seriously involved and improve your drafting skills! 😉
Pick Helper: I would like to share this website with you. It’s called Dota Edge. You can pick your 5 heroes and it will show you their possible counter picks. It’s really useful: dota-edge.com
Synergy Basics for Dota 2
that help in Drafting:
I am sure you’ve heard the term before: Dota 2 is all about combining hero abilities and spells in order to win a lane, a team fight or even an entire game!
In other words: SYNERGY. Having good synergy among your heroes might make a difference throughout the whole match.
Example 1: If you have a good support like Shadow Shaman, then it might be a good idea to pick an Ursa or Juggernaut because they both have good synergy with this support.
Just picture it: Shadow shaman shackles the offlaner, then Jugg comes and starts hitting. When the offlaner is no longer stunned, Jugg can now spin and follow him until he’s dead! And you can kill and dominate the lane really EZ. Thanks, synergy!
Example 2: Picking a hero with a good ultimate might help you too. Imagine you have a disruptor (pos 5), you’re a pos 4 Earth Shaker, your HC is probably a Faceless Void and your opponents have no way to silence you or they lack lockdowns, it’s gonna be a disaster for them because your team has a lot of synergies and also have no problems positioning themselves to throw some wombo combo!
Find more Dota 2 combos for heroes and tactics for clanwars here.
Last pick Meepo or Broodmother: Don’t panic!
I’ve seen these kinds of last picks that takes the breath in so many ranked games! But, do not worry. Just remember Dota 2 is a strategy game, so if you coordinate with your team, you’ll be fine! 😉
When you know there’s a Broodmother in the enemy team, then you probably have to switch lanes. If you’re an Invoker laning against this scary spider, you won’t resist too much and she will just dive you and kill you a lot of times. Also, Broodmother has the ability to take towers really fast and your team cannot permit that. So, switch lanes with your offlaner. A centaur, Tidehunter or Bristleback can lane against this hero.
“What about Meepo? What should I do?” I know this hero is really annoying and farms extremely fast. When he gets his early blink dagger, he just starts ganking and killing everyone, especially when he doesn’t have many counters in a game. But, it’s fine. Just coordinate with both supports because they will need to gank Meepo a lot and also block some camps with sentries. If you keep killing this hero and taking his farm, it’s gonna be hard for him to recover…
How do I Pick Wisely in Ranked Dota 2 Matches?
In this Dota 2 Picking Guide, I will help you with being aware of what your team wants to pick and what you need to pick and ban in order to win your match! As you know, Dota 2 is a team game, so don’t be afraid to say or write what you’re thinking, and also understand everyone else’s suggestions.
The first thing I’d like to recommend is to pick current meta heroes that can be really annoying or if you hate playing against some of them, you can ban them in the first seconds of the drafting phase. Here are some examples of strong meta heroes of the 7.24b patch. You can choose one of them according to the role you play: 😉
- Hard Carry: Phantom Lancer, Phantom Assassin, Troll Warlord
- Midlaner: Void Spirit, Ember Spirit, Shadow Fiend
- Ofllaner: Slardar, Mars, Pangolier, Puck
- Support: Tuskar, Void Spirit, Snapfire
- Hard Support: Lich, Jakiro, Bane
Drafting Tips for the Captains Mode:
Ok, so now things are getting harder, right? In this mode, you’ll have to learn to pick and counter pick according to every pick that’s being shown during the drafting phase. You will have to trust your teammates and coordinate with them about their hero pool. You all have to choose heroes that you feel comfortable playing with and also are part of the current meta. Of course, you have to practice them a lot before playing this kind of matches.
Remember to leave your strongest pick or SURPRISE pick to the end. Usually, 2 supports are picked first, then the Offlaner and the Midlane or Hard Carry can be picked at the end according to the situation. Don’t forget to ban a huge counter if you want to pick a hero in particular.
Example: You can ban Silencer in the beginning if you think about playing with wombo combo makers, just don’t give too many clues to your enemy. 😉
Pro Drafting Tip: Bait your Picks:
Bait what? Yes, you’re not going crazy. This is what most professional teams tend to do when it comes to drafting in tournaments. They bait their picks and make their opponents wonder if a certain hero is gonna play as a support or even a mid laner.
Baiting Example: you can start by picking a support like Disruptor and then instantly pick a Monkey King The enemy team will be like, “what? Why would they pick a mid or safe Monkey King so early?” And they will probably counter your MK with some pick, but what they didn’t know is that your MK was not a core, but a Support 4 instead! Now, you can give a big surprise and pick your real HC or Midlaner and blow their minds!
Don’t be afraid to bait a pick or try to innovate with your drafting. Dota 2 is being updated periodically, so you’ll need to be thinking about new ways of drafting. And don’t forget to read the patch updates! That’s really important. Keep in mind that even a small rework on a hero can change everything! 😉
I hope this guide helped you improve your drafting knowledge. Don’t forget to share it with your friends, so they can be on the same page when it comes to drafting.
Checkout the Dota 2 guides overview for more content.