Heroes/Mechanics

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Dota Heroes.png

Heroes are the essential main characters of Dota 2, controlled by the players. Heroes possess the three attributes, strength, agility and intelligence, from which one is their primary attribute. They are the only units capable of leveling up through the means of experience, gaining additional attribute points, and ability points which can be spend to level up abilities or gain even more attributes. Heroes are also able to spend gold to purchase items.

Spawning[edit]

All heroes spawn once at the beginning of the match after the picking phase, but only if the player locked in their pick. The player can also force their locked in hero to spawn during the picking phase by pressing ALT+Enter, although they still have to wait for the picking phase to finish in order to start taking any actions with the hero. An advantage of this forced spawning is that the hero gets loaded into the match earlier, instead of simultaneously with all other players' heroes, which reduces possible loading lags. A disadvantage to this is that after a hero has been spawned, its equipped cosmetic items cannot be changed.

The only heroes which spawn later on are hero clones, which can only be created by 3 heroes: Meepo minimap icon.png Meepo, who can gain up to 4 permanent clones of himself by leveling Divided We Stand icon.png Divided We Stand, which all die together when any of them dies (including the prime Meepo), Arc Warden minimap icon.png Arc Warden, who can create a temporary clone of himself by casting Tempest Double icon.png Tempest Double, which expires like a regular summon, and Monkey King minimap icon.png Monkey King, who can create an army of temporary clones, which are uncontrollable and only attack heroes. Like heroes, these clones do not disappear when dying (or expiring). Meepo's clones respawn like regular heroes, while Arc Warden's and Monkey King's clones respawn whenever Tempest Double or Wukong's Command is cast again. These hero clones are almost fully treated like regular heroes, with a few special interactions with some spells for fairness. However, since Meepo's clones and Arc Warden's clone work fundamentally differently (Meepo clones being permanents like heroes, and death to one means death to all, while Arc Warden's clone is rather similar to a summon or an illusion), each have different unique interactions. Monkey King's clones rather act like a spell effect and cannot be interacted with in any way. They stand at set locations and attack nearby enemy heroes automatically until the spell expires.

Illusions are also hero-type units, but unlike heroes, they do not respawn, but despawn completely after dying, like other units and summons. Each spell which creates illusions spawns completely new illusions on recast. Illusions are basically hero-based summons, copying the hero, but acting like a summon.

Killing and dying[edit]

File:Default killing streak banner.png
The killing streak banner as seen in-game.
File:Default multi-kill banner.png
The multi-kill banner as seen in-game.

Killing a hero grants players much bigger bonuses than killing almost any other unit. Heroes grant scaling gold based on their level and their current killing streak, and scaling experience based on their level. Heroes also gain killing streaks upon killing heroes. A killing streak increases the hero's bounty, increasing its value for the enemy. A killing streak starts with 3 hero kills without any deaths in-between, and is capped at 10 kills. A streak longer than 10 has the same worth as a 10 killing streak. A hero's current streak is globally announced whenever it makes a kill.

Streak length Streak name Streak value
0, 1, 2 N/A N/A 0 Gold symbol.png
3 Play Player is on a killing spree 60 Gold symbol.png
4 Play Player is dominating 120 Gold symbol.png
5 Play Player is on a mega Kill streak 180 Gold symbol.png
6 Play Player is unstoppable! 240 Gold symbol.png
7 Play Player is wicked sick 300 Gold symbol.png
8 Play Player is on a monster kill streak 360 Gold symbol.png
9 Play Player is GODLIKE 420 Gold symbol.png
10+ Play Player is beyond GODLIKE, someone kill them!! 480 Gold symbol.png
Announcer responses are customizable

The very first hero kill of the match, called the Play First Blood!, also grants an additional gold 150 to the killing hero. A hero's bounty uses the following formula:

100 + streak value + (hero level × 8) (+ first blood)

A hero is only granted this gold if it actually killed the enemy (i.e. did killing blow). Otherwise, the hero either only gets assist gold and experience, or no gold and experience at all, based on how much time passed since the last time it damaged the target, and how far away the hero is if too much time passed.

Killing a hero also grants experience based on the hero's level. Up to level 5 the experience bounty grows by 20 per level, starting at 100 on level 1 and reaching 180 on level 5. From level 6 and onward, each level increases the experience bounty by 100, starting with 280 on level 6, reaching 2180 on level 25.

Killing multiple heroes in quick succession also results in a multi-kill. However, unlike a killing streak, a multi-kill has no gameplay influence and merely serves for aesthetics. Multi-kills do not require the hero to stay alive in-between the kills, if the hero dies, the multi-kill can still continue. A multi-kill occurs when killing a second hero within 18 seconds of the first kill. The multi-kill can be extended by killing even more heroes, all within 18 seconds of the previous kill. Like a killing streak, a multi-kill has no limit, but is "soft-capped" at 5, repeating the same line for 5 and more kills. The multi-kill stages are:

Kills Announcement Announcement with killing streak
1 N/A N/A N/A
2 Play Player got a double kill! ... with a double kill!
3 Play Player has a TRIPLE kill! ... with a TRIPLE kill!
4 Play Player earned an ULTRA KILL! ... with an ULTRA KILL!
5+ Play RAMPAGE!!! ...RAMPAGE!!!
Announcer responses are customizable

A hero's death has a much bigger impact than the death of almost any other unit. When a hero dies, it stays dead for an amount of time based on its level and the player loses gold based on the hero's level, losing 30 gold per each level they have. There is no way to directly reduce or avoid this gold loss. However, only unreliable gold is lost, reliable gold is not lost on death, meaning if a hero has almost no unreliable gold but a lot of reliable gold, dying does not cost as much as it would with much unreliable gold and little reliable gold. Dying also results in the loss of any ongoing killing streak the hero has. As mentioned before, a death also grants gold and experience to nearby enemies and the killer. However, gold and experience is only granted to the enemy, and streaks are only lost when dying to an enemy. Dying to neutral creeps, or getting denied by an ally or oneself neither grants the enemy any bounty, nor ends the current killing streak. Heroes do not lose experience on death.

A table showing how much gold a hero grants and loses on death can be found here. A table showing how much experience a hero grants on death can be found here.

Respawning[edit]

After the first spawn, a hero does not spawn again. However, what heroes do instead is respawning. After a hero dies, it comes back to life after an amount of time based on its level. Upon respawning, the hero gets instantly moved to the fountain area, with its health and mana reset. Cooldowns are unaffected and buffs and debuffs are not cleared upon respawning.

Several abilities and items are able to affect the respawn timer and the respawn location.

When affected by respawn time changing effects, the Buyback penalty is applied first, followed by Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe's increment and Bloodstone icon.png Bloodstone's reduction. Reincarnation icon.png Reincarnation and the Aegis of the Immortal icon.png Aegis of the Immortal always set the respawn timer to their values, disregarding any reducing or increasing effect.

The respawn times can be seen in the following table.

Level Default respawn time With Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe level 1 With Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe level 2 With Reaper's Scythe icon.png Reaper's Scythe level 3
1 8 18 28 38
2 10 20 30 40
3 12 22 32 42
4 14 24 34 44
5 16 26 36 46
6 26 36 46 56
7 28 38 48 58
8 30 40 50 60
9 32 42 52 62
10 34 44 54 64
11 36 46 56 66
12 46 56 66 76
13 48 58 68 78
14 50 60 70 80
15 52 62 72 82
16 54 64 74 84
17 56 66 76 86
18 66 76 86 96
19 70 80 90 100
20 74 84 94 104
21 78 88 98 108
22 82 92 102 112
23 86 96 106 116
24 90 100 110 120
25 100 110 120 130

Buyback[edit]

Buyback icon, located below the hero icon after a buyback

While dead, the player has the option to use "buyback", spending money in order to instantly respawn at the fountain. However, the buyback ability has a long cooldown of 420 seconds and has a scaling gold cost. Buyback takes away from reliable gold first, which allows the player to ensure a buyback by accumulating enough reliable gold which is not lost on death. It has a base cost of 100 gold, a scaling extra cost based on the hero's level and a scaling extra cost based on the current game time, using the following formula:

100 + (hero level × hero level × 1.5) + (game time in seconds × 0.25)

This means, every 4 seconds the cost increases by 1 gold, which translates to 15 gold per minute. This does not count the preparing phase. It starts increases together with the first creep wave spawn.

The gold penalty status debuff
Gold penalty icon

Besides the potentially high gold cost, buyback comes with a couple of more penalties. Buying back has the following negative effects on the hero:

  • 25% of the remaining respawn time of that death is added up to the next death's respawn time, meaning the earlier buyback is used on this death, the longer the next death will be.
  • The hero receives a debuff which reduces all gold income by 60%. This debuff's duration is based on how long the hero would still have been dead if buyback was not used.

Due to the high cooldown, high gold cost and heavy penalties, using buyback should be a thoroughly thought through action, as it can backfire and cause more harm than good. Scenarios where a buyback may be a good idea is when a crucial team fight starts while one is dead, in order to join the fight. Another crucial moment is when the base needs defending, or when having died during a team fight which the team still won and is going for a final push. Buyback should generally not be used to skip death timing to farm, as the gold penalty is usually too big to make it ever worth it. Also, the death time gets partially added on the next death. Especially on high levels, an early buyback can easily to a 2 minutes or longer death time on the next death.

Cooldown and lack of gold are the only things able to prevent a buyback.

Displays

Buyback status is displayed in 3 different locations, on the HP bar while dead, in the gold tooltip at any time, and below the hero icon while dead

The buyback button is only accessible while dead. It is located on the right side of the death bar. The death bar replaces the HP bar while the hero is dead and shows the respawn time. On its right, the Buyback button is located. The button has 3 different statuses: Ready, not enough gold, and on cooldown. When ready, the button is grey and heightened. On the button, it reads "BUYBACK" in white, and it also displays the current buyback cost. When having not enough gold, the button is red and pushed back. The "BUYBACK" text turns red, and it still displays the current cost. When on cooldown, it looks like when having not enough gold, but the gold cost is replaced by a cooldown timer, showing the remaining cooldown.

The buyback status can also be seen by allies, below the hero icon at the top bar. If the flag has a golden border, that hero has buyback ready and can use it. If there is no golden border, the player has either not enough gold, or it is on cooldown. Like the death bar, this is only visible while dead.

Lastly, the buyback status is also displayed in the gold tooltip, which can be accessed by hovering the mouse over the gold. It displays the currently required amount of gold for the buyback, its cooldown status, and how much gold the player still needs for the buyback, or how much surplus gold they have.

When a hero buys back, a string sound plays (Play buyback sound) which is audible to everyone, and a gold symbol appears below the hero's top bar icon, which stays there for several seconds, visible to everyone. The hero also responds to the buyback. Unlike their responses on a regular respawn, which are only audible to the player, a buyback response is audible to everyone. This means no matter what setting a player uses, there is always a cue revealing that a hero bought back.

Level Game time 0:00 Game time 5:00 Game time 10:00 Game time 15:00 Game time 20:00 Game time 25:00 Game time 30:00 Game time 35:00 Game time 40:00 Game time 45:00 Game time 50:00 Game time 55:00 Game time 60:00 Game time 65:00 Game time 70:00 Game time 75:00 Game time 80:00 Game time 85:00 Game time 90:00 Game time 95:00 Game time 100:00
1 101.5 176.5 251.5 326.5 401.5 476.5 551.5 626.5 701.5 776.5 851.5 926.5 1001.5 1076.5 1151.5 1226.5 1301.5 1376.5 1451.5 1526.5 1601.5
2 106 181 256 331 406 481 556 631 706 781 856 931 1006 1081 1156 1231 1306 1381 1456 1531 1606
3 113.5 188.5 263.5 338.5 413.5 488.5 563.5 638.5 713.5 788.5 863.5 938.5 1013.5 1088.5 1163.5 1238.5 1313.5 1388.5 1463.5 1538.5 1613.5
4 124 199 274 349 424 499 574 649 724 799 874 949 1024 1099 1174 1249 1324 1399 1474 1549 1624
5 137.5 212.5 287.5 362.5 437.5 512.5 587.5 662.5 737.5 812.5 887.5 962.5 1037.5 1112.5 1187.5 1262.5 1337.5 1412.5 1487.5 1562.5 1637.5
6 154 229 304 379 454 529 604 679 754 829 904 979 1054 1129 1204 1279 1354 1429 1504 1579 1654
7 173.5 248.5 323.5 398.5 473.5 548.5 623.5 698.5 773.5 848.5 923.5 998.5 1073.5 1148.5 1223.5 1298.5 1373.5 1448.5 1523.5 1598.5 1673.5
8 196 271 346 421 496 571 646 721 796 871 946 1021 1096 1171 1246 1321 1396 1471 1546 1621 1696
9 221.5 296.5 371.5 446.5 521.5 596.5 671.5 746.5 821.5 896.5 971.5 1046.5 1121.5 1196.5 1271.5 1346.5 1421.5 1496.5 1571.5 1646.5 1721.5
10 250 325 400 475 550 625 700 775 850 925 1000 1075 1150 1225 1300 1375 1450 1525 1600 1675 1750
11 281.5 356.5 431.5 506.5 581.5 656.5 731.5 806.5 881.5 956.5 1031.5 1106.5 1181.5 1256.5 1331.5 1406.5 1481.5 1556.5 1631.5 1706.5 1781.5
12 316 391 466 541 616 691 766 841 916 991 1066 1141 1216 1291 1366 1441 1516 1591 1666 1741 1816
13 353.5 428.5 503.5 578.5 653.5 728.5 803.5 878.5 953.5 1028.5 1103.5 1178.5 1253.5 1328.5 1403.5 1478.5 1553.5 1628.5 1703.5 1778.5 1853.5
14 394 469 544 619 694 769 844 919 994 1069 1144 1219 1294 1369 1444 1519 1594 1669 1744 1819 1894
15 437.5 512.5 587.5 662.5 737.5 812.5 887.5 962.5 1037.5 1112.5 1187.5 1262.5 1337.5 1412.5 1487.5 1562.5 1637.5 1712.5 1787.5 1862.5 1937.5
16 484 559 634 709 784 859 934 1009 1084 1159 1234 1309 1384 1459 1534 1609 1684 1759 1834 1909 1984
17 533.5 608.5 683.5 758.5 833.5 908.5 983.5 1058.5 1133.5 1208.5 1283.5 1358.5 1433.5 1508.5 1583.5 1658.5 1733.5 1808.5 1883.5 1958.5 2033.5
18 586 661 736 811 886 961 1036 1111 1186 1261 1336 1411 1486 1561 1636 1711 1786 1861 1936 2011 2096
19 641.5 716.5 791.5 866.5 941.5 1016.5 1091.5 1166.5 1241.5 1316.5 1391.5 1466.5 1541.5 1616.5 1691.5 1766.5 1841.5 1916.5 1991.5 2066.5 2141.5
20 700 775 850 925 1000 1075 1150 1225 1300 1375 1450 1525 1600 1675 1750 1825 1900 1975 2050 2125 2200
21 761.5 836.5 911.5 986.5 1061.5 1136.5 1211.5 1286.5 1361.5 1436.5 1511.5 1586.5 1661.5 1736.5 1811.5 1886.5 1961.5 2036.5 2111.5 2186.5 2261.5
22 826 901 976 1051 1126 1201 1276 1351 1426 1501 1576 1651 1726 1801 1876 1951 2026 2101 2176 2251 2326
23 893.5 968.5 1043.5 1118.5 1193.5 1268.5 1343.5 1418.5 1493.5 1568.5 1643.5 1718.5 1793.5 1868.5 1943.5 2018.5 2093.5 2168.5 2243.5 2318.5 2393.5
24 964 1039 1114 1189 1264 1339 1414 1489 1564 1639 1714 1789 1864 1939 2014 2089 2164 2239 2314 2389 2464
25 1037.5 1112.5 1187.5 1262.5 1337.5 1412.5 1487.5 1562.5 1637.5 1712.5 1787.5 1862.5 1937.5 2012.5 2087.5 2162.5 2237.5 2312.5 2387.5 2462.5 2537.5

Leveling[edit]

Several heroes leveling up, indicated by the light beam on them
Play Level up sound
Main articles: Experience, Abilities

Every hero starts off at level 1 and can level up 24 times, up to level 25. Each new level grants the hero some attribute points (different values for each hero) and an ability point which they can use to level up abilities or a talent. Some abilities and abilities levels require the hero to be on certain levels. Most abilities have 4 abilities and can be leveled on level 1, 3, 5 and 7. Talents can be upgraded at levels 10, 15, 20, and 25. Ultimates usually have 3 levels and can usually be leveled up at level 6/12/18. The exceptions are Meepo, who requires different levels for his ultimate, and Invoker, who has unique different ability scheme.

Heroes level up through the means of experience, which is gained by killing enemy units, or by being within proximity of an enemy unit while an ally kills that enemy unit. The required distance to gain experience is 1300 if the kill is not done by the hero, or if the killed unit was not a hero. Killing other heroes always grants experience, regardless of distance. When multiple heroes are within range of an enemy unit which gets killed, the experience gets evenly split among the heroes. This includes every single clone of Meepo, but excludes Arc Warden's Tempest Double. If a hero is already on max level, it still gets its share of experience when within range, even though it has no use for it anymore, causing it to get wasted. A hero cannot gain and does not get its share of experience while dead.

A level up is indicated by a visual effect, an angled yellow light beam from the sky shining on the hero. This light beam is visible to everyone. A sound effect is also played, which is only audible to the player.

Ability interactions[edit]

Just like any other unit type, the hero unit type causes several different interactions with abilities. Some abilities cannot affect heroes at all, while others have altered effects or different values when used on heroes.

The following abilities cannot be cast on, or cannot affect heroes:

On the other side, these abilities can only target or affect heroes:

The following abilities interact differently with heroes:

Changelog[edit]

  • Slightly reworked Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge.
  • Slightly reworked Pudge minimap icon.png Pudge.

Gallery[edit]