Ultimate Dota 2
Offlane Role Guide
Introduction: What is an Offlaner in Dota 2?
Welcome to Dota2freaks and this offlane role guide for Dota 2! 🙂
Did you know that in almost every MOBA there is a tanky boy that has to take all the damage coming from the enemies? Well, most of the time, that’s the offlaner in Dota 2.
In this offlane guide, you’ll learn what this role is all about, how to master it and win your lane with some easy tricks for the quickstart.
In a nutshell, an offlaner is the one in charge of creating space, building aura items (most of the time), looking for team fights and being the tank of the team (situational). To play this role, you’ll need some special skills like creativity and patience. You’ll need to find new ways of farming and getting XP, especially when you’re against a tri lane or you’re countered!
The Challenging Laning Phase for Offlaners:
For some people, playing offlane is really hard and it can be frustrating. This role is for smart people that can deal with stressful situations, there are no doubts that this is the hardest role in Dota 2, the name of the offlane is also hardlane for reasons. 😉
For new players I recommend the Dota 2 beginner guide to have a great start.
You’ll have to cope with different types of lanes. One of the hardest tasks is to play alone vs a trilane:
A tri lane is this tedious lane where 2 support heroes are trying to kill you. You’ll have to be creative enough to steal the creep wave, pull, get last hits and XP.
Another type of lane is the dual lane, where you’ll have your Support (Position 4) to help you and you’ll have to deny as many creeps as you can, and also get kills. In this matchup, you have to split the XP and come up with ideas on how to generate the highest impact and biggest disruptive factor for the enemy carry.
What are the Main Goals for an Offlaner in Dota 2?
The role Offlaner is also called position 3, I recommend to read the Dota 2 Positioning Guide to get a complete understanding of the distribution.
First of all, let’s hve a quick view on to the main duties as the position 3 before jumping into the game mechanic techniques:
- You’ll have to learn to play the right heroes for specific situations. For example, initiators, tankers and pushers.
- You’ll have to analyze the synergy with your Supports.
- You’ll probably have to buy auras for your team (situational).
- You’ll have to learn how to cut waves and pull.
- You’ll have to know where is the right time to start looking for team fights with the help of your ultimate.
10 Offlaner Mechanics
You Need to Learn:
As the Offlaner you have a big weight on your shoulders since you’re responsible for creating space and making the big plays at some points of the game. This involves a lot of analytical thinking as well as having hard skills like fast reactions.
1. Understand your Potential and Think Positive:
First of all it’s smart to see things positive: You have an incredible amount of possibilities to sky-rocket your impact onto every single game.
If you can dominate the offlane, you are just one step away of winning the complete match! 😉
And this is where the psychology hits in, if your opponent’s position 1 is struggling go get enough creep kills, because you are denying so many, or if the supports can’t get you down, the morale will drop for them. You create dominance and this will highly impact the overall morality of both teams.
2. Deny as Many Creeps as Possible:
Your job is to be the most annoying hero in the game. So, deny as much creeps as you can! You’ll notice the enemy crry will start getting frustrated, which is really good for you. If you keep denying creeps, your opponent will never have his items! Don’t forget to get the last hits as well.
But, don’t get too close to denying a creep if it’s roo risky. You don’t want to die as an offlaner. You’re supposed to kill, deny creeps and harass the enemy, you’re not the one dying. The last thing you want to do is giving an advantage to your opponents.
3. Picking a Great Hero for the Offlane:
One of the most important things to have any chances on the offlane is to choose the right hero. You’re probably gonna be countered, so you have to play with this in mind. In some games, however, you’ll be dominating the lane thanks to the synergy with your support.
But the question is: what to pick then? Firstly, I suggest picking current meta heroes like Slardar, Centaur, Mars, Pangolier and Axe in the current meta, but always recheck the actual meta heroes through dota 2 tools like Dotabuff or OpenDota.
Checkout this Dota 2 Hero Meta page by Dotabuff, if you have a plus account, you could even seperate by role to get only offlane heroes.
My recommendation is that you master 2 or 3 offlane heroes of the meta and pick them in almost every match. You’ll notice your skills with these heroes are gonna improve a lot. As an offlaner, you’ll need to learn to last hit perfectly and this involves knowing your hero’s damage.
I don’t want to limit the hero pool of this role. For that reason, we also suggest picking Nature’s Prophet, Beastmaster, Brewmaster, Legion Commander or even Puck! It will all depend on your current team draft.
If you feel like you need an initiator more than a tank, then go for Legion Commander.
If you feel like you need a good pusher to generate impact in the early game, then go for Beastmaster.
Just choose wisely… 😉
4. When is the Right Time to Pick the Offlaner in the Drafting Phase?
Some people tend to pick first just because they don’t want their hero to be stolen by the enemy team. But, you don’t want to be countered…
If you pick a Timbersaw too early, then the enemy HC would probably pick Ursa or Monkey King. You’ll end up being just another creep to your team and doing nothing. 🙁
So, let the 2 supports of your team pick first. You’ll be the 3rd to pick! Don’t pick first under any circumstance.
To get advanced skills in drafting checkout this extensive guide:
View Drafting Guide
5. Best Way to Ward the Offlane:
This is really essential if you want to win a difficult lane! Placing a ward in this lane can help you see the enemy’s support rotations if they’re going to gank you, or see if they’re pulling. Besides, you can have sight of couriers and probably kill them if you position yourself correctly. Here in this Dota 2 offlane guide, I gonna show you a cool ward for both sides, Radiant and Dire:
This ward is perfect to see some enemy couriers coming up! Don’t lose your chance to kill the courier if you can. 😉
You can also block the small neutral camp with your ward, in order to prevent the support from pulling. The only problem is that it’s highly likely it will get dewarded if you are not playing against total noobs on the MMR ranks ladder (See all Dota 2 ranks here).
Remember to place the ward when they don’t have sight of you. If the enemy saw you trying to ward around the offlane area, just keep the ward with you until you find the right time to place it. To get more knowledge about this, read the detailled Dota 2 warding guide with more ward spot examples.
6. Fight for each Bounty on the Offlane:
Bounty Runes in Dota 2 are really important. Having some extra gold is cool, isn’t it? Now, imagine it’s for your entire team.
That’s why bounties are so relevant. Grabbing both bounties on your side is crucial. You can even fight bounties and get kills. If you kill the support + core and get the bounty, you’re gonna dominate the lane.
Bounty runes spawn every 5 minutes. So, some seconds before, you’ll have to start moving to where these runes spawn and fight with your life! Don’t miss them, they’re too valuable. 😉
7. Preventing the Enemy Pulls:
Most Offlane Guides don’t put emphasis on this: If the enemy support managed to pull, then you have to go and try to get those creeps from the wave and also the neutral creeps. I know this is probably gonna be really hard because the support might try to deny those creeps.
Try to tell your Support 4 to keep an eye on the enemy’s support movements. You don’t want an enemy pull to happen!
8. Pulling Creeps Yourself and Cutting Waves as the Offlaner:
Pulling creeps as the offlaner is a complex duty. If you’re playing along with your Support 4, then you’ll have to communicate with him and let it know you’re about to pull some creeps or cut a wave. Remember, Dota 2 is a team game of communication.
When the wave is too far ahead, you can pull the big camp you have near your tower and get all the exp and farm from this wave. Your support 4 can also do this to save you time. This will help you deny your creep wave, which means no exp of the enemy. If you know you’re countered and the lane is gonna be hard, then cutting the wave might be a good idea.
Tip: The only thing you have to do is wait for the second wave of creeps and go near to the Tier 3 tower and start holding the creeps, so you can gather 2 full waves of creeps. If the enemy support starts harassing you, it’s totally fine. Just keep walking with the creeps until you reach a safer place behind your tower. There, you can completely farm all this wave and get a level!
9. Creating Space for your Team:
Once you have your ultimate, you need to start moving. The worst and offlaner can do is have this awesome ability and just keep staying in lane doing nothing, we all know these guys, right?
Try to force a team fight with the help of your supports! The offlaner and both supports need to move together and try to eliminate an important core. This will mean valuable space for you HC. 😉
Split pushing is also a way to create space: You have to keep the perfect balance between farming and fighting. So, every time you consider it necessary, remember you can split push and force some tps back to defend a tower.
10. Building the Right Items for your Offlane Hero:
If you know the enemy team has a lot of magical damage, then building an early Pipe of Insight is gonna help a lot. If you’re playing Mars, sacrificing your Blink Dagger for this aura item is gonna make more impact for the game, for example. There are some situations when you’ll have to build full aura items like Vladimirs, Pipe of Insight, Crimson Guard, and other situations when you’ll build dagger and some damage items.
The item choice will all depend on your draft and what enemies you’re facing. If you have a Drow Ranger in your team, who deals full damage from behind, then you’ll need to be as tanky as possible to be in front and resist as much as possible while Drow is dealing all the damage. If you’re playing against a Snapfire, then you’ll probably need a faster dagger to reach her and cancel her ultimate. Everything is situational!
Tip: A really cool item that is really useful for offlaners is Lotus Orb. If there are a lot of stuns, this item is gonna help reflect them to the enemy. It can also remove debuffs. You can put it to a core or to yourself and you’ll be untouchable for a couple of seconds.
Accept Your Mistakes to Improve your Offlane Skills:
This tip is the most important one of all. 😉 I know it doesn’t seem like it, but being aware of what you’re doing right and wrong is a step forward to improving!
To get good in Dota 2 as an offlaner, recognize what you did wrong in every phase of the game and improve it to the next match.
Analyzing and criticizing yourself is better than looking at your team’s mistakes.
Plan Ahead and Identify Game Winning Objectives:
As an offlaner, you have to be planning your next movement actively. Do it for yourself or even communicate it:
Example how to Actively Make Decisions:
- “Ok, I have my ultimate ready, I can go for kills with the help of my supports”.
- “I need a BKB in this game to have more impact in team fights”.
- “We need to get top tower and keep pushing”.
- “We’ve just killed 2 cores. It’s Roshan time!” If you start thinking like that, you’re gonna be a valuable asset to your team.
Win the Offlane in Dota 2 no Matter How:
If you win 2 lanes out of 3, then you’ll have a full advantage during the game. You can almost predict which team will win just by looking at the lanes. In the current patch, offlanes are really aggressive because now you have help from your support.
So, keep in mind to pick heroes with good synergy in this lane and try to be as annoying as you can. If you feel like you don’t have the advantage in this lane, remember you can always start cutting waves and stacking them. Be creative! There are no limits when it comes to playing as an offlaner.
Also consider using mind games in Dota 2 to trick your enemies and win also mentally. 😉
I hope this Dota 2 Offlane Guide was useful to you. Don’t be afraid of trying this fearsome role, but remember: It’s made just for tough guys. 😉