Improve your Dota Skills by Having these 5 Quick Things

Have you ever wondered what are the edges of top players over you?  It's not experience and hardwork alone. You can play for 10 years and not be as good as them if you're not focusing on the right skills to develop.  In this post, you're going to learn what are the things you should be considering to play like Pros.
#5  Quick Calculations

This skill is very important in 3 things:

1.  Mana cost
2.  Estimating damage output
3.  Estimating cool downs

Being quick in calculations give you a lot of advantage and safety.  Knowing if your mana pool will be enough to execute your combo won't get you in trouble and shout "F*ck! I ran out of Mana!" * then die.  Be sure to be quick in calculations because one split unguarded moment can cause you to lose the battle.  Damage output should also be considered to know how quick you can kill a hero or if it possible to kill certain heroes with your number.  You shouldn't just go into battle without having the clash play in your mind.  Cool downs are also important specially if your opponents have deadly ultimate skills.   Use the long cool down of opponent's skills to your advantage.  You can either initiate a clash or push if their skills aren't available.  Doing more calculations than your opponents will give you huge advantages.

#4  Quick Hands

This skill is important in 3 things:

1.  Animation Cancelling
2.  Doing Combos and Micros
3.  Clicking heroes that are hard to click

Animation cancelling is important in playing Dota.  There are a lot of heroes that have spells that have prolonged animations.  You should cancel them to not waste time.  Animation cancelling is also important in harassing heroes.  You can move either forward or backward instead of waiting for the attack animation to stop.  In this way you can harass more or be evade more damage.  Combos require timing and shouldn't be interrupted by just having slow hands.  Micro-ing is the term used to describe controlling more units which also requires quick hands.  Heroes that are hard to click, like Venomancer, is also countered by having quick hands.  You can search for the small icon of the hero in shorter period to be able to hit him thus not letting him escape just because he cannot be clicked.

#3  Quick Plans

"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory.  Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat'."  -Sun Tzu

Planning is essential in Dota as it is in warfares.  As soon as the drafting starts until the game ends, several plans should be made.  The team who came out to have great plans quicker would surely win.  

Plan 4 steps ahead:

1st step:  What you're going to do
2nd step: How your opponents will react
3rd step: What will be your response to their actions
4th step: Know who will have the advantage after

#2  Quick Eyes

This skill is very important in 5 things:

1.  Map awareness
2.  Finding target
3.  Distance from team mates
4.  Number of opponents
5.  Spells used

Map awareness is very important.  You shouldn't be prone to gank, you should know if your team mates need you, you should know where opponents are to kill or to be avoided, etc.  Finding target in a clash is important.  You shouldn't just cast all your spells on a hero you see.  Pro players expect the back up.  Reserve your spells for better uses.  Distance from team mates should be considered.

#1  Quick Reaction

This skill is important in 5 things:

1.  Dodging skills
2.  Knowing escape Routes
3.  Picking targets
4.  Knowing when to fight and when not to fight
5.  Countering attacks

Dota is a read and react game.  You see the situation, then you give your reaction.  Winning or losing depends greatly on how many good or bad calls you've made and these are called your reactions.  Knowing at once what are the best decisions in almost every situation and executing them perfectly will surely make you are skilled and fearsome player.  You just have to watch carefully, analyze critically and practice seriously.

Dota vs Basketball

In the philippines, the most played games are Dota Allstars and Basketball.  Have you ever been torn between these 2 games?  I have.  These are my 2 favorite games in general and I want to compare them accordingly. I focused more in Dota maybe because I have more friends who are into this game.  But, did I make the right decision?  Let's discuss...

Level of Fun

Starting with Dota, how can this game not be fun?  You are able to feel like a real warrior while playing this game.  The strategic nature of this game really adds to the fun specially if you are a person who loves using your mind.  The visual and sound effects also contribute to the level of fun of this game.  Other than these facts, it is playing as a team with your friends that makes this game really addicting.

Basketball is quite similar with Dota in terms of the level of fun.  Basketball is also a strategic game, you can feel like a hero every time you win the game for the team and you have the chance to execute team work.  Both Basketball and Dota also requires skills.  In basketball, the skills you should practice and acquire are shooting, dribbling, passing, etc.  In Dota, there are farming, ganking, supporting, mastering heroes' skills etc.  Being a more skilled player allows you to have more fun since you can win most games.  Not being skilled also makes you more into the game because you have a goal, to become skilled.

In terms of the level of fun, Dota beats Basketball a bit, so I'm giving a score of 60-40 in favor of Dota.

Game's Balance

Dota allows anyone to be the best player no matter what height or athletic ability you possess.  In basketball, you need to develop some physical advantages to be more effective.  Tall players have more advantage in rebounding, he just have to develop more awareness.  Short players should increase their vertical leap to beat these players but it still requires perfect timing and prediction.  Basketball is a physical game.  Stronger players can back down weak ones easily.  Another physical advantage is arm length.  Players with long arms are harder to defend and they are better defenders because they can reach farther.

In terms of Balance, Dota beats basketball 80-20.


Do we still need to discuss this?  Playing Basketball can be considered an exercise while playing Dota can make you fat and forces you to inhale people's illnesses if you'd play at the computer shop where breaths are shared.  Some players in computer shop would smoke after 2-3 games making it more unhealthy.  At home you're safer but still, sitting for a long time on your computer chair is unhealthy.  The only advantage of Dota in terms of health is being injury-free.

In terms of health, Basketball beats Dota 90-10.


You can play Dota as long as there is a computer with internet.  Whether you don't have a group of 5 or 10, you can play it anytime.  You cannot play basketball alone.  You need a group, a ball, and a court.  However, you can go to public courts to play with other players but mostly they are full.  You would need to set a schedule with other players to play this game.

In terms of availability Dota beats basketball 70-30.


If you're a great Dota player, you are appreciated by people who plays the game as well.  However if you let your parents or girlfriend come to see you play in the tournament, what will happen is that they wouldn't understand most things in the game.  They'll get bored all through out the game.  After the game, you'd just tell them whether you won or lose and that's when they cheer.  That's why, mostly, you won't see family members supporting Dota players nor girlfriends(that don't know the game).  Whether you became godlike or you amazingly dodged everything, they would hardly know it.

In basketball, family members and girlfriends don't need to know the entire rules to enjoy watching and supporting you.  So the fame extends not only to other Basketball players but to other people who are merely fans.  As long as you or your team scores, these fans would be in the game too.  When you do something heroic they'll knew it.

In terms of Fame Basketball beats Dota 75-25.

Opposite Sex Attraction
Playing Basketball is more attracting to females based from a little survey i made and a bit of common sense.  It is also proven with these pictures.

You made a jumpshot (Basketball)

You made an amazing kill! (Dota)

You dunked! (Basketball)

You are godlike! (Dota)

You made an impossible shot. (Basketball)

You got a rampage! (Dota)

You won (Basketball)

You won (Dota)
In terms of sex appeal, Basketball beats Dota 90-10.

It's now all up to your preferences to choose.  If you're after the fun, thrill, balance and availability, Dota is the best for you.  If you want to be have a cardio exercise while having fun, concern with fame and sex appeal, pick Basketball.  It's not right to generalize what beats what.  It all depends on your preferences.  This post is just to give you a guide on what to choose based from your desires.

Concluding my question if did I make the right decision focusing on Dota?  Yes.  My preferences before were fun, balance, and availability.  I go to gym and occasionally play basketball for health care and fitness.

Registered Teams for IGL

Rush Zone

Francis Castillo - Captain
David Bichara
Dennis Nieva
Koji Yoshida
Mel Dotozan

RSK Gaming

Bhadz Badiola - Captain
Ojhay Binata
Pete Cledera
Fred Javier
Seth Dela Cruz
Kevin Chavez


Rainman - Captain


Bird Barde - Captain
Nikko Barde
Karlo Dollano
Jess Pardiñas
Kevin Pasiona
Ska Abiera


Dale - Captain

Kalye 13

Mark Rivera - Captian
Jerson Urbano
Donix Lustre
Dan Bautista
Jay San Andres
Roy Reyta

Hemp Tribe Gaming

Henrison Sy - Captain
Raphael Sy
Rommel Copingco
Jomark Guinoo
Jorryl Juacian


Art Ablay - Captain
Nico Julia
Pyong Julia
Francis Layung
Kevin Deviña


John Ramos - Captain
Jimaro Mariano
Jose Espayos
Joseph Ozaeta
Chris Balmaceda
John Romero


Tan Abante - Captain
Jun Portem
Daniel Gagalac
L.A. Encinida
Vince Civico

Expected teams to come: JFC, Mafia team 2, iyf, Skem, Team Shawn, Wetchekel Gaming, Team Sipocot

For rules and other info. visit Itsme Gaming League 2011

How to be Prepared for a DotA Tournament

Dota Tournaments are thrilling because the game itself is quite balanced specially now that Ice Frog has made several modifications.  This is a battle of decision making and skills.  These 2 important things as well as the following are the things you should improve to win most of your Dota games and tournaments.

Learn your effective playstyle

In Dota Tournament games, you don't have time to be thinking of what playstyle you should have.  There's no time for trial and error.  You should know in your practices what works and what suits your team.  If you go out there and play differently from your practice games, the only chance of winning is luck.  You have to trust your practices and yourself.  Yes, you are facing a stronger opponents but don't be intimidated.  Stick to your developed game style and just perform with your A-game.

Lead if you are the leader; Trust if you are a member

Leaders have the greatest role in tournaments.  They are the one who would decide what will be the team's strategy and they are the one who would generate plans in most situations.  Members can suggest but leaders should be the one to decide whether to accept or reject given suggestions.  The main reason for this is to have a united attacks.  If members would decide what to do on their own, the team would fall against an opposing team who are fighting as a team.  In team games/sports, winning is decided by two things: better leader and better trust from members.

Prepare enough strategy

In most tournaments, your games can be watched by your next opponents.  Having only 1 strategy means you're already countered as soon as you played your first game.  Your opponents can wait for you in your favorite ganking areas, your opponents can simply ban your bread and butter heroes, and worst your opponents can even use your strategy against you.  If you're joining a DotA Tournament, it is a must to be unpredictable.  This adds to their fear against you.  How can they defend if they don't know how you will attack?

Be ready to counter as many DotA strategies as possible

Once you have a clue what your opponent's game plan will be, you should be wise enough to be prepared for that plan a week before and execute your counters.  Practice against better teams because it is through them that you're going to know what strategies will surprise and beat you.  Then formulate plans to win against those strategies and know which will work.  When tournament day comes, you're more confident because you learned a lot and you are ready to face a lot of strategies other teams may be planning.

Be comfortable in serious games

I had a problem back then.  When I'm playing games with money on the line, my game suddenly change from great to worse than noob.  I learned to be comfortable when one time, I was asked to play a game against an unknown team.  We defeated that team and after the game I found out that it was also a bet game, only this time I was unaware.  Then, I realized that if I treat serious games not too seriously, my game is way better.  It was the beginning of me winning bet games.  I don't know with you because factors may be different with you.  You might be more comfortable when you are serious but the idea here is find out how you'll become comfortable playing.

And, the last thing is Have Fun .

You may win or lose the tournament but if you had fun, you never lost at all.  So, Good luck and Have Fun! ^_^

Complete Dota Allstars v6.72 Changelogs

Ancient Apparition
- Armor reduced from 4 to 2

- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 1
- Battle Hunger rescaled from 15/17/25/33 to 15/21/27/33 damage per second

Bane Elemental
- Brain Sap cooldown decreased from 16 to 14
- Fiend's Grip now gives vision of the target
- Enfeeble now reduces attack damage by a constant amount

Old Enfeeble:
Reduces attack damage by 40/60/80/100% of base damage

Manacost: 125
Cooldown: 15

New Enfeeble:
Reduces attack damage by 25/50/75/100

Manacost: 125
Cooldown: 12

Note: Previous was base damage only (it did not reduce bonus damage from items), this reduces total damage by a constant amount.

- Armor reduced by 1

- Greater Hawk's invisibility fade time decreased from 8 to 5 seconds
- Wild Axes now move at similar speed to the max range (so it isn't as slow for short range targeting)
- Added Aghanim's Scepter upgrade

Increases cast range from 600 to 950
Decreases cooldown from 80/75/70 to 45

Primal Roar Aghanim Ability Code: A289

- Bloodbath assist AoE increased from 200 to 225

Bounty Hunter
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Jinada cooldown decreased from 15/12/9/6 to 12/10/8/6

- Warpath damage per stack increased from 4/8/12 to 10/15/20

Centaur Warchief
- Movement speed increased from 300 to 305
- Double Edge cooldown decreased from 12 to 10
- Hoof Stomp cooldown decreased from 15 to 13

Chaos Knight
- Base strength increased by 3
- Chaos Bolt damage improved from 1-200 to 1-200/50-225/75-250/100-275
- Chaos Bolt now has a floating text indicator for the damage done

- Test of Faith's secondary ability to teleport units is now a part of Holy Persuasion instead (377809)

Holy Persuasion: A28T

Clockwerk Goblin
- Armor reduced by 1

Crystal Maiden
- Freezing Field level 1 manacost decreased from 300 to 200

Dark Seer
- Wall of Replica illusion damage improved from 70% to 70/80/90%
- Added an Aghanim's Scepter upgrade (and visual effect) (339914)

Creates illusions of allied heroes as well as enemy heroes. Allied illusions deal 50% damage.

Wall of Replica Aghanim Ability Code: A21Q

Doom Bringer
- Doom's duration decreased from 14 to 13 seconds (Aghanim's Doom is still 14)

Dragon Knight
- Breathe Fire damage rescaled from 75/150/225/300 to 90/170/240/300

Drow Ranger
- Previous sight range nerf reverted (from 6.68)

- Echo Slam initial damage reduced from 165/230/285 to 160/210/270

- Aghanim's Impetus range bonus increased from +150 extra to +165

Faceless Void
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Aghanim's upgraded Chronosphere cooldown decreased from 75 to 60
- Chronosphere now reveals Invisible units
- Chronosphere cast range improved from 500/550/600 to 600
- Time Walk slow affects all units along his path, instead of just at the destination

- Wrath of Nature bounce count improved from 12/14/16 (14/16/18 w/Scepter) to 16 (18/Scepter)

Guardian Wisp
- Base damage increased from 33-42 to 43-52
- Attack range increased from 525 to 575
- Tether movement speed bonus reduced from 15/20/25/30% to 20%
- Tether stun duration rebalanced from 1/1.25/1.5/1.75 to 0.75/1.25/1.75/2.25
- Spirits Oscillation subabilities no longer interrupt Wisp's movement
- Spirits now circle slightly faster when there are fewer alive
- Spirits no longer slow
- Spirits life duration increased by 3 seconds
- Spirits now spawn over 4 second interval instead of 6

Pull In: A24A
Pull Out: A24B

- Overcharge Reworked

Old Overcharge:
Grants bonus attack speed, drains 2.5% of his current HP and MP per second. If Io is tethered to an ally the bonus attack speed is also granted to that ally.

This is a toggle ability.

Attack Speed: 60/80/100/120

New Overcharge:
Grants bonus attack speed and damage reduction, drains 2.5% of his current HP and MP per second. If Io is tethered to an ally attack speed and damage reduction is also granted to that ally.

This is a toggle ability.

Attack Speed: 40/50/60/70
Damage Reduction: 5/10/15/20% [Reduces damage taken]

Overcharge Ability Code: A28Q (code change)

- Agility growth increased from 2.4 to 2.8
- Rocket Barrage cooldown rescaled from 6.5 to 7/6.5/6/5.5 seconds
- Added an Aghanim's Scepter upgrade (and visual effect)

Call Down now has a global cast range and the second rocket does 75 more damage.

Call Down Aghanim Ability Code: A235

- Burning Spears minimum HP requirement removed (it is still non-lethal)
- Life Break cast mechanism changed

It now has a 600 cast range and causes Huskar to quickly dash forward towards the target. You are magic immune while running forward. If you get interrupted, the dash stops.

- Icarus Dive cooldown decreased from 40 to 30
- Icarus Dive no longer makes Phoenix spell immune. If he is disabled during it, he stops
- Sun Ray no longer slows
- Sun Ray damage from 10/20/30/40 + 5% to 15/30/45/60 + 4%
- Sun Ray turn rate slightly improved
- Fire Spirits now trigger in the area around you and your target when you use Target Fire Spirits

The damage and heal from the two areas do not stack, you are only affected once

- No longer gets interrupted by casting orbs or invoke

Quas: A21W (code change)
Wex: A21X (code change)
Exort: A21V (code change)
Invoke: A21Y (code change)
Invoke Aghanim: A1GU (code change)

- Base damage reduced by 5
- Alacrity can now target mechanical units (1680)
- Alacrity manacost increased from 50 to 100
- Alacrity bonus damage & attack speed decreased from 30->90 to 20->80
- Cold Snap now requires a minimum of 10 damage before it triggers
- Ice Wall no longer affects magic immune units
- The Invoke combinations are now displayed in the ability tooltip
- Fixed some issues with how Invoke tracks your recently casted spells

It now always remembers the latest invoke spell even if it is one you already have. So if you have two and want to keep the oldest one, you can recast it and it will consider it the newest one.

- Macropyre AoE increased from 200 to 225

- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Blade Dance critical strike chance rescaled from 10/20/25/35% to 15/20/25/35%

- Ghost Ship stun increased from 1 to 1.2 seconds
- Tidebringer cooldown rescaled from 16/12/8/4 to 13/10/7/4

- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Witchcraft bonuses rescaled to be more straightforward

Old Witchcraft:
- Increases movement speed by 3/6/9/12%
- Decreases Carrion Swarm's mana cost by 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 and cooldown by 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 seconds.
- Decreases Silence's mana cost by 0 / 10 / 20 / 30 and cooldown by 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 seconds.
- Increases the number of level 1 Exorcism spirits by 1 / 2 / 3 / 4.
- Increases the number of level 2 Exorcism spirits by 1 / 3 / 4 / 6.
- Increases the number of level 3 Exorcism spirits by 0 / 2 / 4 / 7.

New Witchcraft:
- Increases movement speed by 3/6/9/12%
- Decreases Carrion Swarm and Silence cooldown by 1/2/3/4 seconds
- Decreases Carrion Swarm and Silence manacost by 10/15/20/25
- Creates 3/4/5/6 extra spirits

- Exorcism rebalanced from 5/10/16 to 4/10/18 spirits (from 9/16/23 to 10/16/24 with Witchcraft)

- Psi Blades width increased from 70 to 80

- Reincarnation now does a 700 AoE 3 second 30% slow around the area where he respawns
- Reincarnation delay decreased from 5/4.5/4 to 3 seconds

- Dark Ritual cooldown rescaled from 30/27/24/21 to 35/30/25/20

Lina Inverse
- Aghanim's Laguna Blade cast range increased from 600 to 900

Lone Druid
- Spirit Bear's Demolish decreased from 60% to 40% bonus damage versus buildings

Lord of Avernus
- Aphotic Shield cast range increased from 350 to 450

- Lunar Blessing rescaled from 8/16/24/32 to 14/20/26/32

- Wolves move speed increased from 400 to 400/420/440/460
- Wolves collision size reduced a bit

- Base attack time improved from 1.45 to 1.35

The hero's attack rate improves the lower the Base Attack Time is, this is a buff.

- Cast point reduced
- Empower cast range increased from 500 to 800
- Skewer's number of enemy units dragged rescaled from 2 to 1/2/3/4

- Added an Aghanim's Scepter upgrade

Creates an extra clone once the item is acquired. Please note that the item is undroppable once the clone is created.

Divided We Stand Aghanim Ability Code: A27C

- Armor reduced by 2
- Replicate now has a visual time (player only) that counts down its duration
- Morph now has a visual effect

Shows one visual effect for transforming agility, and another one for strength. This effect can be seen by both teams.

- Reworked Infest

Old Infest:
Naix infests a target, hiding in it.

Regains health based on the HP the unit has when he gets out of it

Level 1 Targets: Allied and Neutral Units
Level 2/3 Targets: Enemy, Allied and Neutral Units

HP Healed: Current Target HP (for level 1/2), Max Target HP (for level 3)

Cooldown: 100/60/30
Casting Range: 150
Manacost: 50

Note: This kills the infested unit.

New Infest:
Naix infests a target, hiding in it. When he comes out of a unit, he deals damage to all nearby enemy units.

Damage: 150/275/400
AOE: 700

Targets: Allied Heroes, Allied Creeps, Enemy Creeps (including neutrals)

If the unit is an enemy creep, Naix will devour it first, gaining health equal to the unit's current HP.

Cooldown: 100
Casting Range: 150
Manacost: 50

Naga Siren
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Nearby Naga Siren illusions now play the Ensnare animation (98895)

Ensnare: A24D (code change)

- Critical Strike replaced with Rip Tide

Rip Tide:
Calls upon the power of the seas, creating an enchanted wave that deals damage and degrades enemy unit's armor for 8 seconds.

Damage: 130/160/190/220
Armor Reduction: 2/3/4/5
Duration: 8

AoE: 350
Distance: 600

Cooldown: 12
Manacost: 80/90/100/110

Rip Tide Ability Code: A23Y (replaces Critical Strike)

- Song of the Siren reworked

Old Song of the Siren:
Sleeps all enemy units in range. Slept units are invulnerable until the end of the spell.

Duration: 6/7/8
AoE: 1000/1500/2000

Cooldown: 120
Manacost: 200

Song of the Siren:
Releases a melody around you the puts enemy units to sleep while they are in your range. Units wake up if you leave the area or the duration of the melody runs out. Slithice can choose to end the melody at any point.

AoE: 750 (units have to be continuously under the song to be slept)

Duration: 6
Cooldown: 180/120/60
Manacost: 100

Note: Ends when duration ends, units go out of range or Naga Siren dies. Affects buildings.

End Song Sub-Ability Code: A24E

- Reaper's Scythe reworked slightly

The HP difference calculation is now processed after the stun duration is over, so any damage you do in between the start of the effect and the end is included in the final damage dealt. The stun duration is now reduced from 1.5 to 1 second.

Nerubian Weaver
- Armor reduced by 1
- The Swarm damage rescaled from 21/24/27/30 to 15/20/25/30

- Hunter in the Night movement bonus rescaled from 15/20/30/35 to 20/25/30/35%
- Hunter in the Night attack speed bonus rescaled from 20/35/55/75 to 30/45/60/75

Obsidian Destroyer
- Intelligence growth increased from 2.8 to 3.3

- Purification cast range increased from 400 to 400/500/600/700

Pandaren Brewmaster
- Drunken Haze duration increased from 7 to 8 seconds
- Primal Split Earth panda now carries the hero's auras around him

If you are carrying Radiance or Assault Cuirass, for example, the area around your panda is affected.

Pit Lord
- Model size slightly reduced
- Cast Point decreased from 0.75 to 0.60
- Dark Rift level 1 can now target units
- Expulsion reworked slightly

- Expulsion AoE now follows you around and is centered on your hero
- Expulsion no longer ministuns
- Expulsion Search AOE increased from 475 to 600
- Expulsion Damage/Heal increased AOE from 375 to 600
- Expulsion now heals allies in the area it damages in (for half the amount 10/20/30/40)

Expulsion Ability Code: A288 (code change)

- Pit of Malice duration decreased from 1.5/2/2.5/3 to 1/1.5/2/2.5
- Pit of Malice now deals 100 damage when it affects a unit
- Pit of Malice now creates 5 corpses in the cast area
- Firestorm reworked

Old Firestorm:
Calls down 6 waves of fire that damage enemy units in an area. Each wave deals initial damage and then burns enemies for 2 seconds.

Number of waves: 6
Damage per wave: 25/40/55/70
DPS: 5/10/15/20 for 2 seconds

Cast Range: 750
AoE: 400
Cooldown: 14
Manacost: 100/110/120/130

New Firestorm:

Calls down 3 waves of fire that damage enemy units and structures in an area.

Number of waves: 3
Damage per wave: 55/80/105/130
DPS: 15 for 3 seconds

Deals 30% damage to buildings

Cast Range: 775
AoE: 450
Cooldown: 16
Manacost: 100/110/120/130

Firestorm Ability Code: A26O (code change)

- Base damage increased by 4
- Waning Rift silence duration rebalanced from 0.1/1/2/3 to 0.75/1.5/2.25/3 seconds (41433)

- Rot damage increased from 25/50/75/100 to 35/60/85/110

Queen of Pain
- Sonic Wave damage rescaled from 290/430/600 to 350/475/600

Sonic Wave: A28R (code change)
Sonic Wave Aghanim: A28S (code change)

- Base damage increased by 5
- Ether Shock target count rescaled from 3/4/6/7 to 1/3/5/7
- Ether Shock damage rescaled from 80/160/240/320 to 140/200/260/320
- Mass Serpent Wards are now automatically added to your unit selection upon cast (411025)

Issuing a command to the wards will NOT cause your hero to be interrupted while you are channeling Shackles.

- Armor reduced by 1
- Nature's Guise now gives the unit a 10% movement speed bonus
- Nature's Guise keeps the target invisible for up to 1 second after leaving the proximity of a tree, except during the initial cast
- Nature's Guise cooldown increased from 3 seconds to 10/8/6/4 seconds
- Overgrowth rebalanced

Old Overgrowth
Summons an overgrowth of damaging vines and branches. Prevents all nearby enemies from moving or attacking and deals damage to each.

Duration: 3/4/5
Cooldown: 160
Damage: 85 per second
AoE: 725

New Overgrowth
Summons an overgrowth of damaging vines and branches. Prevents all nearby enemies from moving or attacking and deals damage to each.

Duration: 3
Cooldown: 100/95/90
Damage: 70/100/130 per second
AoE: 725

- Living Armor Reworked

Living Armor:
Rooftrellen's presence infuses allied heroes and structures with a protective healing aura, increasing armor and regeneration. During the daytime, his power of nature is increased, causing the aura to extend globally.

AoE: 900 (Global during the day)
HP Regeneration: 2/3/4/5
Armor: 1/2/3/4

Living Armor: A26N (replaces old Living Armor)

- Forest Sentinel Replaced with Leech Seed

Leech Seed
Rooftrellen plants a life-sapping seed in his enemy, causing it to be slowed by 24% and have its life force drained over the next 3 seconds. Nearby allied units are healed by the same amount.

Slow: 24%
Damage: 30/45/60/75 per pulse (Magical damage type)
Allied Heal: 30/45/60/75 per pulse
Pulses: 4
AoE: 500

Manacost: 110/120/130/140
Cast Range: 350
Cooldown: 12

Leech Seed Ability Code: A24O (replaces Forest Sentinel)

Sand King
- Armor increased by 1

Shadow Priest
- Poison Touch damage increased from 7/14/21/28 to 8/16/24/32

Shadow Demon
- Disruption manacost increased from 75 to 120
- Disruption cooldown rescaled from 16 to 25/22/19/16
- Disruption illusion duration rescaled from 6 to 5/6/7/8
- Changed Shadow Demon's hero model

This was his original model during development. The previous model will be used for another hero instead.

- Movement speed increased from 290 to 300
- Curse of the Silent cast range decreased from 900 to 800
- Glaives of Wisdom cooldown from 2/0/0/0 to 0
- Last Word is now muted when Silencer is stunned (previously it was only when silenced)
- Last Word no longer triggers on Spell-Attacks (Frost Arrows, Burning Spears, etc)
- Last Word AoE decreased from 900 to 750
- Last Word now steals a point of intelligence if Silencer gets a killing blow on a hero

This is in addition if the hero died within the AoE. So if you kill a hero you will steal 2 intelligence points, otherwise you will steal 1.

- Amplify Damage armor reduction increased from 5/10/15 to 8/12/16

- Strength growth increased from 1.0 to 1.8
- Intelligence growth increased from 1.6 to 1.9
- Agility growth reduced from 2.0 to 1.5
- Essence Shift now reduces each stat by 1 on attacks (no longer reduces the primary by 2)
- Essence Shift agility bonus reduced from 4 to 3 per attack
- Essence Shift duration increased from 15/30/45/60 to 15/30/60/120
- Essence Shift permanently reduces each stat of a hero Slark kills by 1 and he gains 3 Agi permanently
- Pounce no longer hits non-hero units
- Pounce AoE increased from 85 to 95
- Pounce's speed fixed to be the same at all levels (426269)

Spirit Breaker
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Greater Bash now gives a 3 second 15% movement speed bonus whenever you land a bash
- Charge of Darkness Reworked

Old Charge of Darkness:
Takes up to a few seconds to charge up and then starts moving towards his target. Speed is based on how long it charged up for.

Charge time: Up to 4 seconds.
Charge speed: Up to 60%
Stun: 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6 seconds

1- Gains vision (and truesight) over his target while casting.
2- Becomes magic immunity only when fully charged.
3- Target has a debuff indicator when Barathrum is within 2500 distance.
4- Speed bonus is retained for 2 seconds after impact.
5- Becomes interrupted if the target dies, becomes decrepified or cycloned.

Cooldown: 40
Manacost: 75
Casting Range: Global

New Charge of Darkness:
Immediately charges towards the targeted enemy unit. Ignores pathing completely. Stuns the target when it reaches it.

If the target dies, charge will automatically resume on another nearby visible unit.

While you are charging, all secondary units within 250 AoE of you are hit by a greater bash equal to its level.

Primary Target Stun Duration: 1.4/1.8/2.2/2.6
Speed: 425/500/575/650

Cooldown: 40
Manacost: 75
Casting Range: Global

1- Gains vision in a small area around the target.
2- If target dies, the charge will transfer to the nearest visible enemy unit
3- Stops if you become stunned.
4- Target has a debuff indicator when Barathrum is within 2500 distance.

Stealth Assassin
- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75
- Blink Strike cooldown rescaled from 30/20/10/5 to 20/15/10/5
- Smoke Screen cast range increased from 350 to 425
- Smoke Screen cooldown decreased from 15 to 13 seconds

- Great Cleave AoE increased from 175 to 200

Tauren Chieftain
- Ancestral Spirit now has a secondary ability that returns the spirit (398706)

Ancestral Spirit Sub-Ability: A21J

- Ancestral Spirit cooldown decreased from 19 to 16
- Ancestral Spirit cast range increased from 1000 to 1200

- Aghanim's Remote Mine cast range decreased from 900 to 700
- Land Mine limit increased from 15 to 20
- Suicide Squad, Attack! now gives Techies XP for kills he gets with it
- Suicide Squad, Attack! cooldown from 75 to 180/170/160/150
- Suicide Squad, Attack! now causes Techies death time to be reduced by 50%
- Detonate All subability of Remote Mine removed

Based on Techie player feedback, it was much more commonly used accidentally than for it's intended purpose . The new focused detonation ability or the group selection detonate fill the role better.

- Movement speed increased from 300 to 310
- Sunder HP limit now applies to yourself

This is an improvement. It will no longer bring you down to the target's HP, it will follow the HP percentage restrictions. The main application of this is when it is used to heal an ally.

- Sunder cooldown rescaled from 200/120/60 to 160/110/60
- Metamorphosis reworked

Transforms to a powerful ranged Demon with illusions.

Attack Range: 550
Base Attack Time: 1.6 (melee is 1.5)
Movement Speed: 300 (melee is 310)
Attack Damage: 20/25/30/35 extra base damage [Illusions benefit from this damage]

Illusion Count: 0/1/1/2
Illusion Outgoing Damage: 0/10/15/20%
Illusion Incoming Damage: 250%

Duration: 30
Cooldown: 70
Manacost: 100

Note: When you transform, you gain selection of the illusions as well.

- Conjure Image replaced with Zeal

Passive. Grants bonus attack speed and HP regeneration.

Attack Speed: 20/30/40/50
HP Regeneration: 2/3/4/5

Note: Attack Speed bonus affects your Metamorphosis illusions

Zeal Ability Code: A275 (replaces Conjure Image)

- Soul Steal replaced with Reflection

Terrorblade brings forth a dark reflection of all enemy units in a small area. Affected units are slowed and attacked by their reflections for 5 seconds.

AoE: 350

Duration: 5 seconds
Slow: 20/25/30/35% (MS & AS)
Reflections Outgoing Damage: 35/45/55/65
Reflections Incoming Damage: 0%

Cast Range: 600
Manacost: 75
Cooldown: 20

Note: Reflections can only attack their source.
Note 2: Reflections are not normal illusions, they aren't clickable or selectable and take no damage. They are faded out visually to the enemy.

Reflection Ability Code: A27A (replaces Soul Steal)

- Anchor Smash reworked

New Anchor Smash:
Spins around, dealing damage and giving a debuff to nearby enemies.

AoE: 400
Damage: 75/125/175/225 (physical damage type)
Attack Damage Reduction: 40%
Duration: 6

Cooldown: 7/6/5/4
Manacost: 30/40/50/60

Anchor Smash Ability Code: A266 (replaces old Anchor Smash)

- Heat Seeking Missile now hits 2 units at all levels

- Tossed allied units no longer take damage (they used to take a portion of the damage)

Troll Warlord
- Cast point reduced by 0.3
- Berserker Rage transformation time removed (was 0.1 sec)
- Blind replaced with Whirling Axes

Inspired by (348120)

Whirling Axes:
Troll is a master of the axe, learning axe skills in all forms of combat. When in melee form, summons magical axes to whirl around him in a circle, damaging enemies and causing them to have a 60% chance to miss attacks. When in ranged form, Troll hurls a fistful of axes in cone formation. Enemy units hit by the axes are slowed by 30%.

Each have their own cooldowns and costs.

Ranged Form:
Slow: 30%
Duration: 3/3.75/4.5/5.25
Range: 900

Travels in a small cone

Cooldown: 20
Manacost: 50

Melee Form:
Miss Rate: 60%
Damage: 125/175/225/275
AoE: 450
Duration: 4/5/6/7 seconds

Cooldown: 12
Manacost: 50

Learn Whirling Axes Ability Code: A21L (replaces Blind)
Ranged Whirling Axes Ability Code: A21M
Melee Whirling Axes Ability Code: A21N

- Ice Shards now kills trees around the area it is created
- Snowball no longer moves faster based on the allies inside of it

It used to move at a rate of 1.5x your speed plus 50% of the speed of all allies. It now only moves at 1.5x your speed. The minimum speed for the snowball is 200.

Ursa Warrior
- Enrage no longer triggers an additional Fury Swipes hit
- Earthshock damage increased from 70/120/170/220 to 90/140/190/240
- Fury Swipes duration increased from 5 to 6 seconds
- Overpower cast time removed

Overpower: A1N4 (code change)

Vengeful Spirit
- Aghanim's Nether Swap can now target creeps (339914)

- Base HP regeneration increased from 0.25 to 0.75

- Corrosive Skin now stacks with Poison Attack

- Base Strength decreased from 25 to 22
- Strength growth increased from 2.2 to 2.4
- Soul Assumption manacost rescaled from 150 to 200/180/160/140
- Familiars HP improved from 300/400/500 to 300/450/600

- Fatal Bonds link count increased from 2/3/4/5 to 3/4/5/6
- Fatal Bonds casting range increased from 600 to 800
- Upheaval cooldown decreased from 65 to 50

- Shackleshot cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds

Witch Doctor
- Death Ward is automatically added to your unit selection upon cast (451843)

Issuing a command to the ward will NOT cause your hero to be interrupted

- Arc Lightning cooldown decreased from 2.25 to 2.0
- Arc Lightning manacost improved from 65/72/79/87 to 65/70/75/80

• Added a new hero (Rubick)


Ancient Janggo of Endurance
- Charges can now be refreshed by buying the recipe

Animal Courier and Flying Courier
- Added a short cooldown on Courier and Flying Courier recipe buying to prevent accidental double buys
- Minimap indicator is now shown at the location where a courier dies
- Resume Delivery ability added, upon use the courier will resume its previous deliver action (1680)

For example, if it was delivering an item to another player, and you interrupted it to do something, you could then resume it to deliver the items to its previous target.

Resume Delivery Ability Code: h0DE

Assault Cuirass
- Assault Cuirass recipe cost decreased from 1500 to 1300

- Now starts with 5 charges
- Can no longer be disassembled

This is primarily due to the charge change above and preventing abuse

Boots of Travel
- Double clicking now teleports you to fountain
- Towers no longer stop attacking when you teleport to them
- Creeps no longer stop moving when you teleport to them

The unit you are teleporting on still has lowest AI priority

Buriza Do Kyanon
- Critical strike chance increased from 20% to 25%

- Critical Strike chance increased from 15% to 20%

Diffusal Blade
- Purge cooldown decreased from 12 to 8
- Purge now removes Ghost Scepter's Ghost Form

Ethereal Blade
- Ether Blast's slow increased from 45% to 60%
- Can now be disassembled (404895)

Force Staff
- Can no longer push units out of Chronosphere

Gem of True Sight
- Stock cooldown increased from 6 to 8 minutes

Guinsoo's Scythe of Vyse
- Mana regeneration decreased from 200% to 150%

Hand of Midas
- Hand of Midas now gives a constant amount of gold

Some examples of what it previously it gave:
- Maximum of 208 gold if cast on the Hellcaller
- Minimum of 92 gold if cast on the Kobold Tunneler or Satyr Trickster
- 154 gold if cast on a ranged creep
- 164 gold if cast on a Polar Furbolg Ursa Warrior
- 174 gold if cast on a Centaur Khan

It now gives a constant 190 bonus gold on all targets

- Hand of Midas gold is now reliable
- Hand of Midas manacost removed (25->0)

Healing Salve
- Stock cooldown removed

Heart of Tarrasque
- Melee heroes now only have to wait 4 seconds after taking player damage for the regeneration to activate

Khadgar's Pipe of Insight
- Barrier's duration increased from 8 to 10 seconds

Lothar's Edge
- Wind Walk's bonus damage increased from 125 to 150

- Recipe cost decreased from 800 to 600 (417406)

- Recipe cost increased from 400 to 600
- IAS bonus increased from 70 to 80 to match it's components

- Warrior's Last Will damage rescaled from 200/400/600 to 400/500/600
- Archer's aura AoE increased to standard aura sizes (900)

Orb of Venom
- Orb of Venom price decreased from 500 to 450

Orchid Malevolence
- Soul Burn's damage recurrence increased from 20% to 25%

Quelling Blade
- Can now be sold

Refresher Orb
- Cooldown decreased from 210 to 160

Ring of Basilius
- No longer interrupts your hero when toggled

- Lesser Maim is no longer an Orb effect

Sange and Yasha
- Greater Maim is no longer an Orb effect

Smoke of Deceit
- Dispel AoE from heroes and towers increased from 850 to 950
- Stock cooldown increased from 10 to 12 minutes

Stygian Desolator
- Corruption effect now works on buildings

Urn of Shadows
- Double clicking will now self-cast Soul Release

• Added a new item to the Arcane Sanctum shop (Veil of Discord)

Veil of Discord:
- Helm of Iron Will (950)
- 2x Robe of the Magi (900)
- Recipe (1250)
- Total: 3100

+5 Armor
+5 HP Regeneration
+12 Intelligence

AoE Spell. Applies a debuff on all enemy units in an AoE, causing them to have reduced magic resistance for a duration.

Magic Amplification: 25%
AoE: 475
Cast Range: 800
Duration: 15

Manacost: 75
Cooldown: 30

Gameplay & Cosmetics

• Heroes now get XP if they get a kill outside of the standard XP range
• Increased the width of the sentinel ramp between Roshan and the Rune spawn
• Neutral spawn empty check no longer considers corpses in its spawn rules
• Improved courier deliver movement AI (Harreke)
• Added Buyback cost to Observer Scoreboard (430973)
• Added Nerubian Assassin to CM
• Added Shadow Demon to CM

• Rearranged group selection priority when selecting multiple shops (433891)
• Added new -stats (-st) command that replaces individual hero commands to show stats specific to the hero (replaces -gg, -aa, -int, -mines, -souls, -fs, -ha, -mc) (1680)
• Rebalanced all Melee heroes between 100 and 128 range to be 128 range

- These were 100 before: CK, Naix, Abaddon, Lycan, Balanar, Pit Lord, Slardar, Undying, Rexxar, Centaur, Omniknight, Panda, Tide, Magnus, Spiritbreaker, Bloodseeker, Phantom Assassin, Terrorblade, Spectre, Meepo, Ursa, Magina, Juggernaut, Naga Siren, Phantom Lancer, Bristletback, Ogre Magi
- These were 125 before: Axe, Sven, Riki, Clockwerk, Dragon Knight, Dark Seer

• Flying Courier has a new model (Frost Wyrm)
• Animal Courier has a new model (Grunt, It's not easy being green!)
• Satyr Hellcaller Shockwave damage increased from 100 to 125
• Enemy wards now have a visual effect around them to allow you to more easily distinguish allied wards from enemy wards
• Shops now have an animation (for the player only) when you select them (431929)

• Fortify Buildings glyph ability now prevents magic damage as well
• Added -disablehelp support for Snowball
• Added a new command -msa to display the speed of all your allies (443896)
• Added a new debug command -respawn
• Swapped the location of the Intelligence and Agility Taverns (410467)
• -ER (experimental runes) mode reworked, now enables runes spawn in both locations past 40 minutes
• Rearranged Observer Scoreboard to make it easier to see the creep stats for a hero
• Improved the ability display for Split Shot toggle (82888)
• Clockwerk Goblin now has a visual effect with Aghanim's Scepter
• Invoker now has a visual effect with Aghanim's Scepter
• Thrall's class renamed from Far Seer to Disruptor
• Tombstone now has a sound effect when cast
• Rikimaru's Blink Strike has a new special effect (4131913)
• Craggy Exterior now has a visual effect when it stuns someone (118263)
• Omnislash has a new initial cast animation (430613)
• Nature's Guise has a new icon (432222)
• Refraction now has two status icons to differentiate between attack and defense effects
• Shadowraze has a new visual effect
• Scream of Pain has a new visual effect
• Added a new icon for Fatal Bonds
• Improved Sonic Wave sound and visuals (215238)
• Lina's attack old attack projectile is now restored
• Lina's fire hands visual effect have been improved
• Added a new Epicenter visual effect (216828)
• Added a new hero icon for Phoenix (378880)
• Added a new icon for Overgrowth

• Added Greek language support

- English
- Simplified Chinese
- Traditional Chinese
- German
- Czech
- French
- Greek
- Korean
- Hungarian
- Portuguese
- Russian
- Spanish
- Turkish


• Fixed Courier stopping and standing still in the middle of its delivery path if the hero disappears (Astral Imprisonment, Disruption, etc)
• Fixed a bug with Phase Boots that could cause Smoke of Deceit invisibility to last a little bit extra after it should be revealed
• Fixed Scream of Pain not hitting fogged or invisible units
• Fixed item chest sometimes being hard to click when buying with full inventory at side shops (408678)
• Fixed courier command panel sometimes getting bugged if the courier is carrying certain items
• Fixed the Collect Items function causing an enemy gem to be teleported back to their base
• Fixed Flying Courier from being able to right click on a powerup to waste it
• Fixed Natural Order and Ice Vortex interaction with spell resistance items
• Fixed Buyback wasting gold and cooldown if used while reviving with Aegis
• Fixed creep spawn count increase timer starting from game load rather than creep spawn (421973)
• Fixed Impetus damage cap reverting it to zero instead of remaining at the cap at long distances
• Fixed Shackleshot not stunning the secondary target if it went into fog while the projectile was flying
• Fixed deaths during Primal Split from counting as suicides
• Fixed the selection type for Mass Serpent Wards, Death Ward and Plague Wards so they behave like normal units from UI
• Fixed a rare bug that sometimes caused level 1-3 of Necromastery to be a little higher than its max
• Fixed Blur triggering on heroes with an invisibility buff
• Fixed a bug with TB disappearing from map
• Fixed Sun Ray continuing while reincarnating with Aegis
• Fixed Plasma Field AoE damage not hitting invisible units
• Fixed Desolator against Swarm units
• Fixed Desolator against Seeking Missile
• Fixed Overcharge sometimes turning off by itself
• Fixed some rare bugs with Time Walk that could cause it to jump much further
• Fixed a bug with Phase Boots and Spectral Dagger
• Fixed a rare visual glitch possible with Dream Coil
• Fixed Pudge being unable to cast Meat Hook when Ethereal (443782)
• Fixed a bug with how Stone Gaze levels up
• Fixed a bug with how the slow on Demonic Purges levels up
• Fixed Charge of Darkness using up Linken's Sphere but continuing anyways
• Fixed Meat Hook from wasting Linken's Sphere
• Fixed Laser's blind effect not getting removed by Dark Pact
• Fixed Jinada charge getting wasted on structures
• Fixed Armlet sometimes draining extra HP when you interact with your inventory
• Fixed Smoke of Deceit from getting temporarily applied if enemies are already in range
• Fixed being able to buy smoke and gem at enemy base (404663)
• Fixed Lifestealer continuing to lose HP via Armlet while he is infesting a unit
• Fixed some rare bugs with Juggernaut becoming permanently magic immune and silenced
• Fixed a bug with RD that allowed you to make the heroes move
• Fixed some edges in the Roshan area where you could place a ward
• Fixed Gem allied visual effect sometimes not showing up
• Fixed Urn of Shadows ignoring Linken's Sphere
• Fixed Ethereal Blade ignoring Linken's Sphere
• Fixed Primal Roar not being blocked properly by Linken's Sphere
• Fixed Waveform sometimes moving a little further than it should
• Added safety code to Nether Strike preventing cases that teleported SB into the enemy fountain
• Time Lapse now starts remembering locations when Weaver is picked instead of when it is skilled
• Fixed lots of old tooltip inconsistencies

10 Major Mistakes in Hero Drafting

What affects winning and losing greatly is the choice of heroes.  Team play is a more important aspect but with poor hero picks, a lesser skilled team would probably beat your solid team.

Hero drafting controls the game.  It is where your laning, ganks, team fights and ending the game will depend.  It is where the entire strategy starts.

Majority of lost games come from getting out-picked and out-played.

Fact:  Fresh teams composed of 5 skilled players will be most likely be beaten up by average players with one skilled hero drafter.

Here are the major mistakes drafters are unconsciously doing:

1.  Picking more than 1 Hardcore Carry

A Hardcore Carry, stated in Dota Roles and Explanations, doesn't have that much use in early game.  For example a Spectre cannot inflict enough damage early game until mid game to be of use. 

In Dota, time is more expensive than gold.  You should have heroes that can kill fast to avoid getting in trouble.

If you would pick a 2 Hardcore Carries, like Spectre and Weaver, in one team, your team's killing ability early game is very weak.  The opponents will take advantage of initiating more battles, pushing towers and ending the game right before your carries farm their items.  Now, that's an easy win for them.

2.  Being distracted by "Imba Heroes"

Imba Heroes are the heroes your team would want to have and mostly banned.  They are strong heroes with painful or very useful skills.  However, you shouldn't be distracted by this in any way because every heroes have weaknesses.

If you would pick all 5 "imba heroes" but there are no chemistry among them, you still won't win.  Imba heroes should be picked wisely.

Doom, Morphling, Weaver, Ancient Apparition, Pugna are 5 imba heroes but pick them all in one game and you would lose against average heroes with proper chemistry.

3.  Not Countering

Countering is simply picking a strategy that will counter the opponent's play or picking heroes that counter the opponent's key heroes.

Why would you not counter your opponents when you have all the rights to do this in -cm mode.  Countering gives your team a relax mood.  They won't have to worry about a single hero pawning them helplessly.

A very fundamental example is picking Slardar against invisible heroes.  You don't want to let this invisible hero hit and run easily.  What you want your opponent's heroes to experience is a hard time all through out the game.

Gank him if he relies on farming.  Clash if they rely on ganking.  Push if they rely on late game.  That's how every sports should be played - Finding opponent's weak point and focusing attacks on that spot.

4.  Not having an insurance

If your plan A fails, there should be always be a plan B.  Most teams surrender after failing in their few attacks because of not having a back up plan.

What if your ganking plan fails?  Is it time for rage quit?  No, if you have a second plan like having a hero with great clash potential.  Initiate team fights so you'll have more advantage.

Most of the professional teams are using late game heroes as their insurance.  It is the safest way because you can have any strategy early game and if all of these fail, you still have a hidden ace. 

5.  Not weighing the trilane match up

Trilane is the most used laning today as explained in Dominating the Trilane.

Knowing if your trilane has the upper hand on the lane or not makes you decide correctly on playing aggressively or defensively.

You should always try to beat their trilane but in some games, you may get outpicked and have a weaker trilane.  The best way is to move your trilane in other lane and sacrificing a hero, preferably with escape mechanisms, to play very passively at the hard lane.  Doing this will waste the opponent's strength in the trilane.

6. Picking several heroes that depend on long-cool-down ultimates

Most ultimate skills are the deadliest skills of every heroes.  However with long cool downs, these heroes shouldn't be picked at the same time.  If you do, the opponents will grow aggressive and rush to your towers when your ultimates are in cool down.

Imagine having an Enigma and Leviathan in your team.  Ravage + Blackhole + other damage dealers means dead opponents right?  However, if both of these ultimates are on cool down and a clash happened, these 2 won't be of great use.

These heroes should be picked moderately because of the obvious counter against them.

7.  Not having a smooth single hero killing line up

In executing a combo on a hero, make sure that combo can be performed smoothly and can kill the target easily.

Example:  Killing a Nerubian Weaver.  A smooth line up would be:  Lion+Ogre+Puck.  Lion or Ogre can both initiate because Voodoo and Fireblast cannot be dodged by Succuchi.  Puck can have a follow up silence in case weaver survived the disables from the 2.

8.  Not having a stable mid hero

Middle lane is very important.  This is where most semi-carries are placed to do most works at mid game.  If your mid hero is beaten up badly, it is very difficult to win mid game.

Mid heroes should be able to be stable in terms of farming, surviving, harassing and fighting for runes.  They should get their core items and levels fast to really "carry" the team to victory.

There are a lot of decent mid lane heroes but be sure to pick the best hero suited on your team's combo and a good counter to opponent's line up.

9.  Picking too many softies

Softies are heroes that are easy to kill.  Picking too many low hp heroes is a gift for your opponents.  They love that because they only need proper timing to kill all of you.

Too many of this kind is very easy to counter.  The opponents only need to have Black King Bar and kill all of you while he's on avatar.

Soft heroes are painful but this will bring your team a lot of pressure.  The first is pressure of being very careful to avoid feeding.  2nd is the pressure of controlling your opponents farming phase because you don't want them to farm sick items, then kill all of you easily.

10.  Banning for the sake of banning

You are given the privilege to ban heroes that can counter your strategy.  You can also ban heroes that you find annoying and hard to counter.  You shouldn't just ban what others are banning.  Ban with reason.

If you see the opponents picking 3 carries at the first picking phase, ban good supports that will annoy your team.  You gave your team a great advantage and you gave your opponents great problem of not having good supports.

If you are planning to pick a hero along with your strategy, you can ban the greatest counter to that hero.  Ban wisely.

Avoid these 10 major mistakes and you can expect more wins on your Dota games.  Hero picking requires logic and analysis.  Don't rush it and it won't rush you.

Itsme Gaming League 2011

Itsme Gaming will be having its 3rd Anniversary on May 12, 2011.  Along with the celebration would be hosting a Dota Tournament for average teams on May 15, 2011.

Registration Fee:  
P650 per team (Free PC Usage and Minimum of 3 games per team)


1st Place:  P5,000 + a chance to fight itsme team A and team B.  

2nd Place: P3,000

3rd Place:  P1,000


Beat Team A and get extra P2,500.
Beat Team B and get extra P1,000.


General information

Date: May 15, 2011
Place:  JBK Station First Floor
Version: 6.71b
Patch: 1.24e
Game mode: -cm
Format: Have the best record on your bracket and be included in the semi-finals.  Semi-finals will have a round robin format.  2 teams with the best record will fight for the finals (Best of 3).
Server: Lan

Allowed sharing items

Sentry wards
Smoke of Deceit
Observer wards
Dust of Appearance
Clarity Potion
Flasks of Sapphire Water
Chickens (for usage)
Ring of Regeneration
Ring of Health
Sobi Mask
Void Stone
TP Scroll is allowed to be given to another player permanently
Ancient Tango of Essifation is allowed to be given to another player
Gem of Truesight is allowed to be given to another player
Bottle shouldn't be given totally but sharing is allowed

Item limitations

2 Necronomicons per team
2 Euls/Guinsoos in total per team (i.e. a team can have either 1 eul's and 1 guinsoo's, or 2 of one type)

How to Register:

Go to JBK Station at Peñafrancia Street and ask for Itsme Gaming League Form.  Sign up, pay the registration fee(650) and you're in.

Registered teams reply in this format: (24 Teams Max.)

Team Name: _____________________
Team Captain's Name: ______________
Contact No.:______________________

6 Best Ways to Start a Clash in Dota

Clash is one of the most critical part in Dota games.  A lost clash means a tower lost.  Sometimes a lost clash means a game lost.  Observing GGnet.Puppey's picks, it is clear that he is going mostly for early game 5v5 clash and push.  Ganking is less in his picks.  The reason here is that players have evolved now.  They aren't that easy to gank anymore unlike in the past years when MYM would usually go for massive ganks.  There are also a lot of surviving mechanisms in today's version.  Going for a gank-oriented line up isn't that secure anymore.

There are a lot of ways clash are started but I observed from best Dota teams before and now that there are 5 best way you can start a clash that would most likely make you win the clash.

#6 Ganking a hero and rushing to push towers

Average teams would most likely go for this strategy because of its safety.  Once you gank and killed a lone hero and you rush towards their tower, you are initiating a handicap match.  If they go impatient and fight 4v5 against your team, you would have a very high chance of winning the clash.

#5  Ganking a smaller group to start a fight

It's difficult to gank a lone hero, specially if they have good supports.  However, you can start sa fight by ganking group of heroes that are outnumbered. For example you see 3 heroes at the bottom lane.  Your team can all go for killing them right before the opponent come to team up with them.  If you successfully killed those 3 heroes or 2 of them, it's difficult for them to win the clash once the back ups arrive.

#4  Using Roshan

One way to start 5v5 matches is using roshan.  Just stay at Roshan's lair to make them come.  Once they are seen by your wards, you can initiate the fight by picking the best hero to kill first.  This is possible because of your vision advantage over them.  If you sense that they won't come, just kill Roshan and get the aegis which is another advantage in team fights.

#3 Dewarding and Hiding

One of the best way to start clashes is being unseen.  This is mostly effective on their neutral creeps camp.  Most of them would be going to farm a lane or go for neutrals, either way you can start the clash by having the advantage of making the move first.

#2  Making them impatient

Once they are going to push, you have the choice whether to charge towards them or to wait until they make a mistake.  Rushing towards them will make them have the advantage of picking the target and they'll have the chance to wipe you out.  If you choose to wait behind the tower, you have the tower as your team mate making the battle 6 against 5.  If they're impatient enough they would march to the higher ground making them so vulnerable.  This is the reason of most turning points in the game. 

#1  Baiting

You can effectively start a clash by baiting. Most of the Best dota teams are using this kind of initiator.  They bait for simple reasons.  One is vision.  Next is protecting the key heroes from being damaged.  When baiting, the opponent shouldn't know and they should focus fire on the bait landing some of their disables, then you come to save him killing their key heroes first(preferably disablers).  Bait should have high tanking ability or escape mechanisms.  If the opponents won't hit your bait, make him push a tower then they will hit him. 

You can't escape from having clashes that's why I share some of my knowledge from my experience and from watching how professional teams do it.  Choose wisely what to use because the type of clash initiator will depend on the situation and your line up.

Best Dota Teams: What are the Secret Ingredients?

Stop being fan boys/girls because your team can be just like these Pro Dota Teams you are watching.

After observing a lot of Dota teams, I discovered that the most successful teams have 6 things in common.  These are like the ingredients that complete a dish.  Without one of these, they won't be where they are now.

Ingredient #1:  An Experienced and Creative Captain

Thinking outside the box is the reason for most success.  The simple logic that lies behind this is: if you are just a copy cat, how can you ever defeat the original ones?  One of the best Dota team as of now is GGnet.  Puppey would spend time analyzing and discussing heroes' potentials, strategies, counters, and line ups with his team mates, particularly Kuroky.  I am always surprised with their new strategies almost everytime I check their uploaded replays.  There are a lot of strategies in Dota and the best one is still to be discovered.  Creativity mostly comes from having a good imagination which I discussed in Hero Picking Dota Guide.

Ingredient #2:  Unselfish and Coordinated Supports

Best dota teams also have the best Dota support players.  Supporting is often the role underestimated but most of the games are won because of  them.  Observing pro teams, you'll discover that successful teams have great supports.  Ehome, the recent SMM Champions, have 820 and 357 as their supports.  DTS got NS and Dread.  GGnet have Puppey and Miracle.  They are the ones who would disrupt opponents early game.  Once they are successful, the game is almost over.  Unselfishness is required because supports shouldn't be thinking of itself farming, not saving, and not buying necessary items for the team.  Coordination is also important, both with the carries and the co-support because of the need of perfect timing for correct execution.

Ingredient #3:  Playing as a team and having same goals

"Talent wins games, Teamwork wins Championships" - Michael Jordan

Teamwork isn't only for basketball.  This is a skill that is useful in any field of interaction.  Dota is one of these team work oriented game because, in order to be an effective player, you have to consider not only how you play as a member but how you play for the team.  The 2 is different.  You may have a godlike streak but if you only stole kills and escape while your team mates die because you used your ravage to kill a venge, dagger out and teleport to base.  A team mate with 0-10 score but is joining the team fight, baiting, initiating and saving the team is way more useful than that godlike chicken sh*t team mate.  Most of the great teams I'm watching would respond so quickly in clash.  Once a small fire is created, the whole team would be around in no time having a great advantage over the opponents.

Ingredient #4:  Optimism and Flexibility

When you believe at something, your mind unconsciously become more focused at attaining a goal.  On the other hand, if you don't believe you can't make it, what happens is you are scared to exert effort thinking that it will all end up to nothing.  Kuroky, for example, appreciates Asian teams but he's not afraid to face them.  He even said in an interview that he can predict almost everything that LGD will do in case they face them.

Well, Puppey and I try to create new strats to surprise our opponents for a match. Mostly we think about different styles, patches and heroes etc. For example, against LGD, I watched their last 20 replays to predict their picks and style, and I actually had a 100% accurate prediction on their bans, and 80% on their picks, and I guessed their lanes again 100% right.

After puppey and I figured out the aura strat it became easier to "abuse" it against them, as we knew exactly how they played. We put the correct lanes, and it was just a matter of time till we won. It's just about analyzing, predicting and being decisive.
Ingredient #5:  Ability to think 3 steps ahead

How advance do you think while playing?  Do you know why you got killed?  It's because of not thinking 3 steps ahead.  May it be one player or all the players in the team, thinking 3 steps ahead is a must.  A player, for example, should have the ability to tell whether going for roshan would contribute to winning and cause the team to lose.  1st step, thinking about going to roshan.  2nd step, thinking if the opponents will know attack you while attacking roshan.  3rd step, knowing whether you can win the fight or not.  Limiting your team's ability to thinking 2 steps ahead is still not a Best Dota team material.

Ingredient #6:  Being Skilled and Comfortable in Assigned Roles

If you're given a role, the first thing you should know is how to be comfortable with it.  If you're already comfortable, be skilled at it.  Being skilled with your role isn't that hard anymore today as replays are all available.  For example, if you want to be a skilled farmer, watch how Burning find ways to farm effectively and safely.  Observe his actions and implement it in your game.  Chances are you'll be able to think on how to even improve the farming strategy you acquired.  It takes determination.

These are the most important ingredients in making a great dota team.  This recipe isn't an overnight dish, it takes patience.  Rome wasn't build in one day and so are these Best Dota Teams today.

Balancing Studies and DotA

The more you excel in DotA, the more you flunk at school. -not true.

Improving in Dota is not all about playing 10 or more games per day.  Players improve by how well they learn after winning or losing a game (most of the time in losing).  Players who are hard headed and don't believe that they lost because what they are doing is wrong, will never be a better player.

The best way to balance studies and DotA is having strategies for both.  These strategies are the things you're going to think of on how you're going to improve quickly.

1.  Pay attention at school.  Most players are spending all night playing Dota and still daydream about Dota when it's school time.  You have to focus on what you're doing at the moment.  If you are in the classroom, listen, take notes, do your seatworks.  Forget anything else unrelated to your studies.

2.  Play moderately.  Do not exhaust yourself too much to avoid getting dizzy at school in the morning or worst getting absent/late.  Also, you have to reserve energy to study for announced/unannounced quizzes.

3.  Pay attention at your game.  When it's playtime, play wisely.  Use your limited time to the fullest.  2 or 3 games every afternoon are enough to be a great player after 1 or 2 months.  You have to focus on your strengths and weaknesses.  Develop your strengths and convert your weaknesses to strengths.

4.  Observe the factors that affect your studies.  If you find it hard to study after playing, you should study first before playing.  In my case, I find it hard to study after losing therefore I used Dota as a reward after studying.

5.  Know when not to play.  Be the master of your own body.  If you have a report on the following day or an examination, chances are you need more time for that.  You have to sacrifice playing which is not and shouldn't be your priority.

6.  Don't mind the insults.  If you are insulted for being a weak player, don't be offended causing you to play more hours trying to prove to them that you are a great player.  Be offended if you're scolded by your teacher for not doing a simple homework because of playing all night.

7.  Cutting-class is a drug.  You try it once, you'll get addicted.  Never cut-class if you want to graduate on time. 

8.  Know when to quit.  Know when Dota cannot be included in your schedule anymore.  For example, in my case, I have to do advance reading and projects.  I gave up playing competitive Dota and just play whenever I'm free (twice or thrice a week).  Now that I am a lot busier, I'm going to update my blog twice per week instead of everyday.

Just like any sport, DotA shouldn't be treated as a priority.  Play it for fun and play it moderately.

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