Harassment

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Harassment is the process of damaging enemy heroes during the laning phase to keep them from farming, to gain lane dominance or to drop their health to prepare for a kill.

Strong harassment can force the enemy to play extremely defensive, spend a lot of gold on consumables, repeatedly return to their base, and miss out on experience and last hits.

Means of harassment[edit | edit source]

The most basic form of harassment is simply damaging the enemy hero with physical attacks. This is most easily accomplished if your hero is a ranged one (with a greater range allowing for a greater degree of harassment) while the enemy hero or heroes are melee or have low range. Directly attacking an enemy hero will draw creep aggro, which means that nearby enemy creeps will attack you. This can be partly prevented by right-clicking the ground to move into attack range, performing an attack and immediately retreating to avoid being damaged by creeps.

When manually used, castable attack modifiers like Viper's Poison Attack icon.png Poison Attack or Huskar's Burning Spear icon.png Burning Spear will not draw creep aggro at all, making them extremely powerful harassment tools.

Most damaging spells can be used for harassment purposes, and are especially effective because they do not draw creep aggro. Especially suited are slowing abilities like Crystal Maiden's Crystal Nova icon.png Crystal Nova because they allow the user to perform some additional physical attacks on a retreating enemy, as well as spammable abilities with a low mana cost such as Clockwerk's Rocket Flare icon.png Rocket Flare. Experienced players usually integrate this technique into their farming: A well-placed AoE ability can get a last hit on a creep while simultaneously damaging an opponent.


Items that provide some early mana regeneration (e.g. Soul Ring icon.png Soul Ring, Clarity icon.png Clarity Potions or Arcane Boots icon.png Arcane Boots) can greatly increase the harassment potential of a hero. Although ranged heroes are generally better suited for physical harassment, an Orb of Venom icon.png Orb of Venom can allow some melee heroes like Riki minimap icon.png Riki to harass effectively.

Countering harassment[edit | edit source]

Physical harassment should be countered with items that provide damage block, health regeneration or armor: A Poor Man's Shield icon.png Poor Man's Shield, combined with a Ring of Health icon.png Ring of Health can render a hero almost immune to regular harassment.

Harassment with Spells can be mitigated with a Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand, as they will constantly gain charges and provide the holder with a steady supply of mana and health.

Some abilities are excellent counter-harassment tools. If a player faces heavy harassment, he might consider adapting to a defensive skillbuild, (e.g. investing as many ability points as possible into Dragon Blood icon.png Dragon Blood or Blur icon.png Blur).

In some laning situations, it is better to force a small skirmish and attempt to kill an enemy hero instead of just passively allowing the enemy to gain lane dominance through constant harassment. For example, a Vengeful Spirit minimap icon.png Vengeful Spirit and Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge lane will quickly lose the lane against Drow Ranger minimap icon.png Drow Ranger and Ancient Apparition minimap icon.png Ancient Apparition in terms of harassment. However, they have a distinct advantage if they try to kill their opponents instead of just passively laning against them.

Healing Salve (110) Healing Salve (110) Tango (125) Tango (125) Ring of Protection (175) Ring of Protection (175) Magic Stick (200) Magic Stick (200)
Stout Shield (200) Stout Shield (200) Ring of Regen (325) Ring of Regen (325) Magic Wand (465) Magic Wand (465) Poor Man's Shield (500) Poor Man's Shield (500)
Bottle (660) Bottle (660) Ring of Health (850) Ring of Health (850) Helm of Iron Will (900) Helm of Iron Will (900) Tranquil Boots (975) Tranquil Boots (975)

See also[edit | edit source]