Denying is the act of preventing enemy heroes from getting the last hit on a friendly unit by last hitting the unit oneself. Enemies earn reduced experience if the denied unit is not controlled by a player, and no experience if it is a player controlled unit. Enemies gain no gold from any denied unit. All allied units can be denied once they fall below a certain percentage of health: creeps, and non-hero units at 50%, heroes at 25%, and towers at 10%. However, heroes can only be denied under special circumstances. Illusions and couriers cannot be denied.
To deny a unit, anhas to be ordered on the unit. Unless the "Right-Click to Force Attack" option is enabled, right-clicking the unit does not work, since right-clicking allies gives a move order, not an attack order.
Besides couriers, every non-hero unit can be denied, including creep-heroes. They can be denied once their health falls below 50%. Denying an allied, non-player-controlled unit (lane creeps which are not taken over by players) grants 25% of its experience bounty to enemies within the 1300 experience range, instead of 100%. Denying a player-controlled unit grants 0% experience to the enemy.
Especially in the laning phase, denying allied lane creeps is important to create a gold and experience advantage. It can lead to having a level advantage over the enemy, opening up a chance to get a kill on them. Gold-wise, it cripples the enemy's farming, slowing them down significantly, if they depend on farming gold. Creeps should be denied whenever possible, although getting last hits should be prioritised. Denying creeps is also important to shift the creep equilibrium towards closer to the own tower and away from the enemy tower.
Player-controlled units can be denied as well, but unlike lane creeps, most summons expire after a while, so that their bounties can be "denied" in other ways than killing them manually with attacking. For many small summons, this does not make much of a difference, but can still be done when possible. Especially when having multiple units, they can be used to deny each other. Bigger summons, like Warlock's Golem and Spirit Bear, should always be attempted to deny, since they usually have significant gold and experience bounties. Denying these units is an excellent way to prevent giving the enemy free gold and experience when the unit is unlikely to survive.
Towers may only be denied once they drop to 10% health and below, and doing so significantly reduces the global gold reward the enemy team gains from the tower's destruction. The difference between the standard tower bounty and a denied tower's bounty is as follows:
|Tier||Standard Bounty||Denied Bounty|
Denying a tower also prevents an enemy player from receiving the 150-250 bonus gold for the last-hit.
Heroes can also be denied under specific circumstances. A denied hero prevents the enemy from gaining any experience or gold from the kill, but still loses gold upon death.
A hero under 25% health and under the effects of certain spells can be denied by an allied hero. The spells that allow denying allied heroes are:
It is possible to deny oneself (commit suicide) in a variety of ways:
- Bloodstone's Pocket Deny
- Techies' Blast Off!
- Pudge's Rot
- Alchemist's Unstable Concoction
- Abaddon's Mist Coil
- Pugna's Life Drain cast on an ally
It is also possible to deny allied heroes with some abilities:
- Centaur Warrunner's Return fully works against allied attacks, resulting in a deny when its damage kills an ally.
- Chen's Holy Persuasion, Enchantress' Enchant, Lifestealer's Control and Helm of the Dominator's Dominate can be used on an enemy ranged unit that has a projectile attack in flight, and results in the denial of an allied hero if the attack deals the finishing blow.
- Vengeful Spirit's Vengeance Aura's illusion can also attack and deny denyable friendly units.
Special cases and exceptions
- Though usually making the last hit on an allied unit counts as a deny, it does not count as one when that ally is under the effect of Winter's Curse or Reaper's Scythe. In this case, the kill is credited to the caster of said ability.
- When an ally is affected by Ice Blast, bringing the ally's health below the shatter threshold results in a deny. The shatter credits the kill to whoever brought the hero below the threshold, even when it was an ally. The exception to this is self-inflicted damage. If the affected hero brought their life below the threshold by themself, then the shatter credits Ancient Apparition the kill.
- Denied creeps now give less experience (50% experience, instead of a constant 36 XP per unit).
- Tower bounty gold for destroying Tier 1/2/3/4 reduced from 264/312/358/405 to 160/200/240/280 (denied is 50%).
- Ranged heroes now get the same denied experience as melee heroes (instead of less).
- Deny XP and Bonus XP/gold AoE is now the same as regular XP AoE (1000->1200).
- You have to be below 25% health for an ally to be able to start denying you (assuming you can be denied of course).
- Melee heroes get denied less XP than range heroes do.
- Lowered the recent XP deny change a little.
- Denied units now give off minor experience instead of none (planned for improved league play from a while back, unrelated to the recent forum postings for those wondering).