Ganking

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

The advantages of ganking[edit | edit source]

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

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

Means of ganking[edit | edit source]

Heroes[edit | edit source]

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

Gankers[edit | edit source]

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

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

Roamers[edit | edit source]

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

Ancient Apparition Ancient Apparition Bane Bane Clockwerk Clockwerk Crystal Maiden Crystal Maiden
Dark Seer Dark Seer Disruptor Disruptor Earthshaker Earthshaker Jakiro Jakiro
Leshrac Leshrac Lich Lich Lina Lina Lion Lion
Puck Puck Sand King Sand King Shadow Shaman Shadow Shaman Slardar Slardar
Sven Sven Tidehunter Tidehunter Vengeful Spirit Vengeful Spirit Venomancer Venomancer
Windranger Windranger Witch Doctor Witch Doctor Zeus Zeus

Items[edit | edit source]

Smoke of Deceit is a useful ganking tool.

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

Clarity (50) Clarity (50) Smoke of Deceit (50) Smoke of Deceit (50) Town Portal Scroll (50) Town Portal Scroll (50) Magic Wand (465) Magic Wand (465)
Ring of Basilius (500) Ring of Basilius (500) Bottle (660) Bottle (660) Soul Ring (800) Soul Ring (800) Urn of Shadows (875) Urn of Shadows (875)
Tranquil Boots (900) Tranquil Boots (900) Medallion of Courage (1175) Medallion of Courage (1175) Phase Boots (1240) Phase Boots (1240) Arcane Boots (1300) Arcane Boots (1300)
Blink Dagger (2250) Blink Dagger (2250) Force Staff (2225) Force Staff (2225) Boots of Travel (2400) Boots of Travel (2400) Eul's Scepter of Divinity (2750) Eul's Scepter of Divinity (2750)
Dagon (2720) Dagon (2720) Shadow Blade (2700) Shadow Blade (2700) Rod of Atos (3100) Rod of Atos (3100) Scythe of Vyse (5700) Scythe of Vyse (5700)

Preventing enemy ganks[edit | edit source]

Observer Wards allow your team to see incoming ganks.

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

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

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

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

Other heroes have abilities that help with map control through temporary vision, pseudo-wards, temporary summons, and illusions. Clockwerk icon.png Clockwerk​'s Rocket Flare icon.png Rocket Flare​, Vengeful Spirit icon.png Vengeful Spirit​'s Wave of Terror icon.png Wave of Terror​, and most of Zeus icon.png Zeus​' abilities are prime examples of abilities that reveal the map temporarily for an advantage. Venomancer icon.png Venomancer​'s Plague Ward icon.png Plague Ward​ is also a great anti-gank tool because the wards provide vision and can be spammed. The minions summoned by Lycan icon.png Lycan​'s Summon Wolves icon.png Summon Wolves​, Enchantress icon.png Enchantress​' Enchant icon.png Enchant​, and Nature's Prophet icon.png Nature's Prophet​'s Nature's Call icon.png Nature's Call​ provide vision as well. Night Stalker icon.png Night Stalker​ with an Aghanim's Scepter has protection against ganking – the Scepter gives him the ability to see through cliffs and trees at night. Slardar icon.png Slardar​'s Corrosive Haze icon.png Corrosive Haze​, Bounty Hunter icon.png Bounty Hunter​'s Track icon.png Track​, and Necronomicon have some anti-gank utility.