Pudge the Butcher is a melee strength hero feared for his incredible gank prowess. Though he may not look like it, he is one of the strongest solo-killing gankers in the entire game, with one combo of his three active abilities proving more than sufficient to kill fragile enemy heroes in the early and midgame. His signature ability, Meat Hook, which requires intuition, precision, and good timing to land, is thrown out in a straight line a long distance away. If it snags a unit, it will drag it back to Pudge, dealing enormous damage to it if it was an enemy. It thus serves as a powerful ganking and initation tool, and also has the utility of being able to save an endangered ally. He can then follow up with his ultimate, Dismember, which deals further damage to the target over a few seconds, as well as disabling it. During this period, he can toggle on his Rot to damage his enemy further while hurting himself as well, and use it to slow and finish off the hero if he or she survived the initial assault. To supplement his killing power is Flesh Heap, which provides him some magic resistance to reduce the damage he takes from Rot as well as from other enemy spells. The scariest aspect of Flesh Heap though is that it provides him permanent Strength with every kill that he participates in, giving him the potential to permanently increase his vitality (and physical damage) to monolithic proportions, thereby becoming a formidable tank.
Pudge is a high health destructive tank that can finish off lone heroes easily and quickly. His first and trademark ability, Meat Hook, allows him to grab a solitary target, dragging it off to meet its doom in the ravenous form of the Butcher. One of the most iconic abilities of DotA, Meat Hook takes a vast amount of practice to perfect. It is also a hard ability to master due to its high versatility, like hooking for units hidden in the fog, hooking enemies with different movement speeds or pulling allied heroes out of potentially fatal situations. Pudge's second ability Rot is his primary source of damage over time, dishing out large amounts every second. Due to the first and second abilities, Pudge is a constant threat and distraction in the early levels, possessing one of the highest short term damage outputs in the game. Pudge's ultimate, Dismember, allows him to grasp a unit tightly and devour it, holding it within range of the noxious fumes of Rot. In mid to late game, Pudge's trademark combination includes hooking a foe away from its allies, Rotting and Dismembering. Pudge also has a passive Flesh Heap, which grants him both magic resistance to complement Rot and strength gain which is achieved passively upon enemy hero deaths in his vicinity. This hulking monstrosity is a force of gargantuan destruction in the hands of a competent player, and enemies may quickly find themselves unable to take on the behemoth with his enormously high health potential.
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- Meat Hook to Rot to Dismember is the standard combo.
- Meat Hook is hard to master but extremely versatile; it can be used to:
- Pull a fleeing enemy into a gank, or back into one if they blinked away.
- Pull a lone hero into your team to make any resulting teamfight 4v5.
- Pull an allied hero out of a dangerous situation.
- However, in case the enemy has some sort of AoE initiation ability (Echo Slam, Epicenter, Requiem of Souls, Sanity's Eclipse etc.), it's usually better to avoid hooking at all to start teamfight, lest you set up a perfect initiation for the other team. The reason is after you hook someone and your team converge on you to kill the target, you will act as a beacon for those abilities, especially if they have a Blink Dagger.
- An easy way to land a Meat Hook is to walk up to your enemy slow him with Rot and finish him off with a Meat hook, while they are slowed.
- Hiding spots and hooking positions: .
- Don't be afraid to use Rot to escape from a chasing melee hero. Toggle it quickly on and off to apply the speed debuff to them, with minimal damage to yourself.
- If you are Dismembering and have not used Meat Hook, make sure to not shift queue it because it can easily be dodged by running to the left or right.
- If you have Aghanim's Scepter and are low on health you can Dismember a creep to quickly restore a lot of HP.
- Blink Dagger can be bought on Pudge. If you hook a unit onto an unpathable ledge, the unit gains free pathing for 5 seconds.
- Pudge can use Rot to deny himself, committing suicide and preventing the other team from receiving gold and experience for his death; killing himself in this way does not, however, reset his killing spree, resulting in the other team receiving more gold for killing him if he continues his spree.
- Keep in mind that the range on Flesh Heap is relatively small. However, you will still gain a charge by killing a foe out of range if the final blow is delivered by Meat Hook (i.e. with Meat Hook damage). This is the only exception to the Flesh Heap range restriction, as you will not gain charges by killing enemies out of range with others methods, such as with Urn of Shadows or Dagon. Therefore, you should use these methods in last resort only, when impossible to last hit an escaping enemy with Meat Hook (because of mana or creeps blocking the path for example).
- Due to Pudge's gank-heavy playstyle, an Urn of Shadows is useful for providing health regeneration.
- A Black King Bar is also a frequent item choice, as it can prevent enemies from interrupting Dismember channeling, as well as preventing self-damage from Rot.
- Use Rot after casting Meat Hook if there is an enemy Rubick, as he can use the Hook against your team, who may not expect to be hooked at all.
- Cast your ulti while the enemy hero is being dragged to pudge with meat hook for a quick dismember.
- In DotA, if Pudge was invisible, Rot would not do any damage nor slow, and also would not affect paused units (such as those that were under the effects of Chronosphere).
- Pudge references Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series in two of his Meat Hook lines ("Get over here!").
- Pudge's line "Keep calm and carrion!" is a play on the World War 2 British Propaganda phrase "Keep calm and carry on".
- Pudge references The Butcher from the Diablo videogame on all Dismember lines ("Fresh Meat").
- Pudge occasionally will say "Slice o Life" referencing the boat in the television series Dexter which is called "Slice of Life" in which Dexter is known as the "Bay Harbor Butcher"
- Updated model.
- Fixed some ability Backswing timing issues ( Kunkka, Clockwerk, Timbersaw, Meepo, Pudge, Spirit Breaker, Sand King, Riki, Nyx Assassin, Lion, Pugna, Shadow Demon, Batrider).
- Fixed being able to get units stuck using Refresher.
- [Undocumented] Updated Enchantress' and Pudge's textures.
- [Undocumented] Updated Pudge's model and textures.
- [Undocumented] Updated Pudge's textures.
- [Undocumented] Added teleport start and end animations for Earthshaker, Pudge, Night Stalker, Shadow Demon, Tidehunter, Tinker.
- [Undocumented] Added Haste Rune Run animations for Night Stalker and Pudge.
- Fixed a bug that was sometimes causing Pudge's Dismember to do an extra tick of damage.
- Fixed a bug that allowed Pudge to deal damage without hurting himself by quickly toggling Rot.
- Fixed Meat Hook interrupting channeling spells if the target is magic immune.
- Added additional dialog for Earthshaker, Pudge, Storm Spirit, Shadow Fiend, and Doombringer.
- [Undocumented] Updated the hero selection portrait.
- Fixed bug with Pudge and Aghanim's.
- Fixed Nightmare dispelling on self damage (e.g. Rot).
- Fixed Dismember damage happening one second too late.
- Reduced the delay before being able to issue orders after Meat Hook.
- Fixed Pudge's Meat Hook and Mirana's Arrow not hitting Spirit Bear.
- Fixed some abilities having incorrect durations against creep heroes (like Dismember).
- Fixed being unable to hook Nightmared targets.
- Made Pudge's hook conform to terrain for more accurate visual read.
- [Undocumented] Pudge has a new animation upon getting a kill.
- Flesh Heap now has a overhead notification when strength is gained.
- Made Pudge's Rot way less subtle.
- Fixed Rot doing continuing to do damage after you die.
- Fixed Dismember lasting too long on Roshan.
- Fixed Meat Hook interrupting allied channel abilities.
- Fixed cases where Hook would drop the pulled target to a lower level if your target was near a ledge.
- Dismember channel will now correctly break if dispelled by Tidehunter's Kraken Shell.
- Fixed Force Staff (and other forced movements like Pudge's Meat Hook) not triggering rupture damage.
- Changed Pudge's hook to pull back units he kills with it.
- Meat Hook now properly gives 500/500 flying vision for 4 seconds at location where a unit is hooked.
- Fixed Meat Hook not working on magic immune units.
- Updated Pudge's Icons.
- Made radius of rot more static/representative of actual rot radius.
- Made rot debuff effect have a more distinct palette, with a hit effect and constant blood for recipients.
- Fixed Rot toggling to not proc Magic Stick/Wand charges.
- Fixed toggling Pudge's Rot (and item/ability toggles in general) not breaking invisibility.
- Disabled Blink Dagger for Vengeful Spirit and Pudge. Disabled Quelling Blade for Kunkka.
- Fixed Pudge's health not updating when upgrading Flesh Heap.
- Hooked up Pudge's new Rot animation.
- Fixed Pudge's hook animation getting stuck on if Pudge gets interrupted before his action phase ends.
- Fixed Mirana's Arrow and Pudge's Hook to not miss nearby targets.
- Can no longer hook ancients/roshan.
- Fixed bug with spamming Pudge's Rot, and adjusted its tick interval to 0.2 from 1.0.
- Fixed cases where creating a linear projectile directly on yourself would cause it to get stuck. This includes fixes to Fissure, Ghost Ship, Dragon Slave, Arrow, Impale, Waveform, Illusory Orb, Meat Hook, Burrowstrike, Wave of Terror, and Power Shot.
- Fixed incorrect manacost on Meat Hook.
- Pudge's hook now interrupts the hooked unit.
- Meat Hook range increased from 700/900/1100/1300 to 1000/1100/1200/1300
- Turn Rate improved from 0.5 to 0.7
- [Undocumented] Meat Hook damage now pierces Spell Immunity.
- Can now use Blink Dagger.
- If you hook a unit onto an unpathable ledge, the unit gains free pathing for 5 seconds.
- Flesh Heap magic resistance reduced from 4/8/12/16% to 6/8/10/12%.
- Dismember Scepter strength multiplier increased from 0.75 to 1.0.
- Flesh Heap strength bonus increased from 0.9/1.2/1.5/1.8 to 1/1.5/2/2.5.
- Undid melee hero collision change from 6.72c
- Melee hero collision size now reduced from 24 to 12.
- Rot's damage increased from 25/50/75/100 to 35/60/85/110.
- Flesh Heap is now retroactive.
- Reduced Flesh Heap aoe from 525 to 450.
- Meat Hook damage type changed from physical to pure.
- Meat Hook damage adjusted from 100/200/300/400 to 90/180/270/360.
- Flesh Heap death AoE increased from 400 to 525.
- Meat Hook scaling rebalanced. Cast range from 400/600/800/1000 to 550/700/850/1000, cd from 14 to 14/13/12/11 and manacost from 140 to 110/120/130/140.
- Flesh Heap reworked, it no longer gains strength from creeps. Instead he gains strength (same values as before, 0.9/1.2/1.5/1.8) for any nearby (400 AOE) dying enemy hero. You still get the bonus if the unit dies outside of the aoe if you are the killer.
- Added Butcher to Aghanim's Scepter. Deals damage based on his strength and absorbs that to heal himself. Damage from a constant 75/125/175 per second to 75/125/175 + 0.75 x Strength per second.
- Flesh Heap bonus strength gained from heroes is improved from 0.3/0.6/0.9/1.2 to 0.9/1.2/1.5/1.8.
- Flesh Heap now works with denies.
- Hook now properly interrupts channeling
- Minor armor buff (usually 1) to most melee heroes
- Pudge can no longer get first blood for rotting at start