Role

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The heroes in Dota 2 are defined by the roles that they are suited to play as a combination of their attributes, abilities, and items, and the ways that these shape the game. Although the abilities of heroes may suit a variety of purposes and can be used in a variety of ways in different situations, roles nonetheless exist to define the playstyle a hero is expected to conform to, as well as the actions they are meant to perform within a game.

The attributes of heroes (their essential statistics and their basic combat ability) and the varying nature and effects of their abilities all serve to provide much distinction between heroes, giving them each tactical advantages and disadvantages at various locations, situations, and times within the game that have to be understood well for success. As strategic combat between two teams of five heroes with distinctly different abilities and strengths is the central conflict of Dota 2; players need to be well informed of their role within each team, as well as the roles of the enemy heroes. Even more importantly, players should keep in mind how their ability build and item build affects their heroes and fares against the ability and item builds of enemy heroes in the context of every single game so that they make sound decisions on the abilities and items that they choose to get.

Official roles

Roles are dictated by many factors, including: the physical stats of the hero, what they bring to the table with their abilities as well as the nature of their abilities, where they should be laned (or jungled), and the amount of gold and items they need to perform well.

Although the official classifications are fairly rigid, the reality is that multiple roles can be filled by every hero depending on the choices they make, although some choices are wiser than others.

Pip carry.png Carry

"Will become more useful later in the game if they gain a significant gold advantage."

Carries are the heroes that can obtain the greatest offensive power as the game progresses, the name so derived from the act being "carried" by a team into the late game; that is, to eventually bear the responsibility for ultimate victory. They tend to become extremely powerful later in the game relative to other heroes once they amass substantial levels and items. Once farmed, they are very good at killing opponents, though some carries such as Naga Siren tend to attain victory through their ability to destroy enemy structures rather than kill enemy heroes. Carries typically lack early game power, but must be powerful by the late game; thus, the items they carry are an essential part of their build. Most carries rely on right-clicking, using their inherent attack power (usually augmented by abilities) to overwhelm their enemies. Carries tend to have high base movement speed.

Although they are the powerhouses of the late game, they are relatively weak in the early game, as their abilities tend not to be very useful at low levels. Many "hard" carries, that is, carries that are extremely reliant on items to function (though benefit most from them) will need to farm almost incessantly prior to around 30-40 minutes into the game. They should not ever participate in early skirmishes unless they can assist without endangering themselves (for example, Spectre can use her Haunt ability to help her team's damage without ever actually being in danger). This can and often does mean that their team is forced to progress through much of the game without their help, during which time a team's semi-carry (usually the solo mid) will perform the role of carry, as the early to mid game is a semi-carries period of maximum relative power.

There are carries of all three primary attributes, although the hardest carries are almost entirely Agility. Strength carries (such as Alchemist, Dragon Knight, Wraith King, and Lifestealer) typically rely on sustained damage and their own durability to carry, as well as some decent disables. Their weakness tends to be low armor (though there are some notable exceptions) and because they are almost invariably melee, they can often be kited easily (kiting being a process of staying too far away from an enemy for them to attack you; as if the enemy is being strung along like a kite). Agility carries (such as Luna, Faceless Void, and Phantom Assassin) tend to inflict substantial damage in rapid successions, and have very high limits where damage infliction is concerned. Agility carries tend to be ranged but many are melee. Their weakness tends to be an inability to do anything effectively except inflict damage - they generally have minimal utility and are quite fragile, though there are exceptions to both. Intelligence carries (such as Storm Spirit, Nature's Prophet, and Outworld Devourer) usually rely on their abilities and active use of items to carry, but their physical damage is often respectable too. They are invariably ranged heroes owing to their frailty, but their powerful abilities mean that they are often difficult to kill. They tend to struggle against enemies with magic immunity.

Some carries with long-cooldown, teamfight-oriented ultimates, such as Naga Siren, Luna, and Outworld Devourer require constant team support all throughout the game, whereas other carries such as Phantom Assassin or Lifestealer are suited to tackling many enemies in succession and rely much less on their team (but suffer from a lack of AoE abilities). Essentially, while some carries are suited to solo encounters and ganks, others are most at home in a large clash.

Carries typically are relegated to a side lane early on with one or more Support/Babysit heroes to babysit them until they collect the necessary items to farm independently, while a select few carry heroes, most notably Shadow Fiend, can easily undertake a solo midlane role throughout the majority of the game. There are some cases where carries ended up in solo safe lane (Radiant Bottom, Dire Top) if the team opted to run an aggressive tri-lane at the suicide lane (Radiant Top, Dire Bottom).

A rule of carries is that the more farm a carry requires to be effective, the more power they can attain relative to other carries. The term "out-carrying" refers to one hero's capability to carry harder than another - that is, to have more potential power to carry than another hero. Carries come in all shapes and sizes, and while some require little farm to begin carrying quite early in the game, they can (and usually will) be out-carried by a "harder" carry than themselves if that carry is given the chance to amass the gold and items they require.

Carry Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Abaddon icon.png
Abaddon
Alchemist icon.png
Alchemist
Brewmaster icon.png
Brewmaster
Bristleback icon.png
Bristleback
Chaos Knight icon.png
Chaos Knight
Doom icon.png
Doom
Dragon Knight icon.png
Dragon Knight
Huskar icon.png
Huskar
Kunkka icon.png
Kunkka
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
Lifestealer icon.png
Lifestealer
Lycan icon.png
Lycan
Night Stalker icon.png
Night Stalker
Slardar icon.png
Slardar
Spirit Breaker icon.png
Spirit Breaker
Sven icon.png
Sven
Tiny icon.png
Tiny
Wraith King icon.png
Wraith King
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Anti-Mage icon.png
Anti-Mage
Arc Warden icon.png
Arc Warden
Bloodseeker icon.png
Bloodseeker
Broodmother icon.png
Broodmother
Clinkz icon.png
Clinkz
Drow Ranger icon.png
Drow Ranger
Ember Spirit icon.png
Ember Spirit
Faceless Void icon.png
Faceless Void
Gyrocopter icon.png
Gyrocopter
Juggernaut icon.png
Juggernaut
Lone Druid icon.png
Lone Druid
Luna icon.png
Luna
Medusa icon.png
Medusa
Meepo icon.png
Meepo
Mirana icon.png
Mirana
Monkey King icon.png
Monkey King
Morphling icon.png
Morphling
Naga Siren icon.png
Naga Siren
Phantom Assassin icon.png
Phantom Assassin
Phantom Lancer icon.png
Phantom Lancer
Razor icon.png
Razor
Riki icon.png
Riki
Shadow Fiend icon.png
Shadow Fiend
Slark icon.png
Slark
Sniper icon.png
Sniper
Spectre icon.png
Spectre
Templar Assassin icon.png
Templar Assassin
Terrorblade icon.png
Terrorblade
Troll Warlord icon.png
Troll Warlord
Ursa icon.png
Ursa
Viper icon.png
Viper
Weaver icon.png
Weaver
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Death Prophet icon.png
Death Prophet
Invoker icon.png
Invoker
Leshrac icon.png
Leshrac
Lina icon.png
Lina
Nature's Prophet icon.png
Nature's Prophet
Necrophos icon.png
Necrophos
Outworld Devourer icon.png
Outworld Devourer
Queen of Pain icon.png
Queen of Pain
Silencer icon.png
Silencer
Storm Spirit icon.png
Storm Spirit
Tinker icon.png
Tinker
Windranger icon.png
Windranger

Pip disabler.png Disabler

"Has a guaranteed disable for one or more of their spells."

Heroes tagged as Disabler generally have abilities which are more focused to reliable crowd control, whether by single target or by area. Generally, supportive heroes (because their abilities are not improved by items) often lane with carry heroes to malign attempts on their life. Carry heroes generally have weak disabling power, although some, such as Faceless Void are exceptional. Heroes with powerful disables tend to have low base movement speed, giving enemies a chance to react, but this can be bypassed with mobility items.

Disabler Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Alchemist icon.png
Alchemist
Axe icon.png
Axe
Beastmaster icon.png
Beastmaster
Brewmaster icon.png
Brewmaster
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
Centaur Warrunner
Chaos Knight icon.png
Chaos Knight
Clockwerk icon.png
Clockwerk
Doom icon.png
Doom
Dragon Knight icon.png
Dragon Knight
Earthshaker icon.png
Earthshaker
Earth Spirit icon.png
Earth Spirit
Elder Titan icon.png
Elder Titan
Kunkka icon.png
Kunkka
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
Lifestealer icon.png
Lifestealer
Magnus icon.png
Magnus
Night Stalker icon.png
Night Stalker
Phoenix icon.png
Phoenix
Pudge icon.png
Pudge
Sand King icon.png
Sand King
Slardar icon.png
Slardar
Spirit Breaker icon.png
Spirit Breaker
Sven icon.png
Sven
Tidehunter icon.png
Tidehunter
Tiny icon.png
Tiny
Treant Protector icon.png
Treant Protector
Tusk icon.png
Tusk
Underlord icon.png
Underlord
Undying icon.png
Undying
Wraith King icon.png
Wraith King
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Bloodseeker icon.png
Bloodseeker
Drow Ranger icon.png
Drow Ranger
Ember Spirit icon.png
Ember Spirit
Faceless Void icon.png
Faceless Void
Gyrocopter icon.png
Gyrocopter
Medusa icon.png
Medusa
Meepo icon.png
Meepo
Mirana icon.png
Mirana
Monkey King icon.png
Monkey King
Morphling icon.png
Morphling
Naga Siren icon.png
Naga Siren
Nyx Assassin icon.png
Nyx Assassin
Riki icon.png
Riki
Slark icon.png
Slark
Troll Warlord icon.png
Troll Warlord
Ursa icon.png
Ursa
Vengeful Spirit icon.png
Vengeful Spirit
Venomancer icon.png
Venomancer
Viper icon.png
Viper
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Ancient Apparition icon.png
Ancient Apparition
Bane icon.png
Bane
Batrider icon.png
Batrider
Crystal Maiden icon.png
Crystal Maiden
Dark Seer icon.png
Dark Seer
Dazzle icon.png
Dazzle
Death Prophet icon.png
Death Prophet
Disruptor icon.png
Disruptor
Enchantress icon.png
Enchantress
Enigma icon.png
Enigma
Invoker icon.png
Invoker
Jakiro icon.png
Jakiro
Keeper of the Light icon.png
Keeper of the Light
Leshrac icon.png
Leshrac
Lina icon.png
Lina
Lion icon.png
Lion
Necrophos icon.png
Necrophos
Ogre Magi icon.png
Ogre Magi
Oracle icon.png
Oracle
Outworld Devourer icon.png
Outworld Devourer
Puck icon.png
Puck
Rubick icon.png
Rubick
Shadow Demon icon.png
Shadow Demon
Shadow Shaman icon.png
Shadow Shaman
Silencer icon.png
Silencer
Skywrath Mage icon.png
Skywrath Mage
Storm Spirit icon.png
Storm Spirit
Techies icon.png
Techies
Visage icon.png
Visage
Warlock icon.png
Warlock
Windranger icon.png
Windranger
Winter Wyvern icon.png
Winter Wyvern
Witch Doctor icon.png
Witch Doctor

Pip initiator.png Initiator

"Good at starting a teamfight."

Initiators are heroes who can safely and advantageously start a team fight. These heroes typically have strong area of effect damage or disable or some ability to affect the positioning of the enemy team. Many of these heroes rely completely on a positional item such as Blink Dagger or Force Staff to get the proper positioning to initiate a teamfight, while a select few, such as Elder Titan and Silencer, do not require this asset. Although it is common for an Initiator to be a Durable hero, this is not always the case; fragile heroes such as Enigma and Vengeful Spirit are adept at initiation. Late in the game, this role becomes very crucial, as an effective initiation can win a teamfight, and a poor one can lose it.

Initiator Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Alchemist icon.png
Alchemist
Axe icon.png
Axe
Beastmaster icon.png
Beastmaster
Brewmaster icon.png
Brewmaster
Bristleback icon.png
Bristleback
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
Centaur Warrunner
Chaos Knight icon.png
Chaos Knight
Clockwerk icon.png
Clockwerk
Doom icon.png
Doom
Dragon Knight icon.png
Dragon Knight
Earthshaker icon.png
Earthshaker
Earth Spirit icon.png
Earth Spirit
Elder Titan icon.png
Elder Titan
Huskar icon.png
Huskar
Kunkka icon.png
Kunkka
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
Magnus icon.png
Magnus
Night Stalker icon.png
Night Stalker
Phoenix icon.png
Phoenix
Pudge icon.png
Pudge
Sand King icon.png
Sand King
Slardar icon.png
Slardar
Spirit Breaker icon.png
Spirit Breaker
Sven icon.png
Sven
Tidehunter icon.png
Tidehunter
Tiny icon.png
Tiny
Treant Protector icon.png
Treant Protector
Tusk icon.png
Tusk
Wraith King icon.png
Wraith King
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Bloodseeker icon.png
Bloodseeker
Ember Spirit icon.png
Ember Spirit
Faceless Void icon.png
Faceless Void
Meepo icon.png
Meepo
Monkey King icon.png
Monkey King
Naga Siren icon.png
Naga Siren
Nyx Assassin icon.png
Nyx Assassin
Vengeful Spirit icon.png
Vengeful Spirit
Venomancer icon.png
Venomancer
Viper icon.png
Viper
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Batrider icon.png
Batrider
Dark Seer icon.png
Dark Seer
Disruptor icon.png
Disruptor
Enigma icon.png
Enigma
Lion icon.png
Lion
Ogre Magi icon.png
Ogre Magi
Puck icon.png
Puck
Shadow Demon icon.png
Shadow Demon
Shadow Shaman icon.png
Shadow Shaman
Silencer icon.png
Silencer
Storm Spirit icon.png
Storm Spirit
Warlock icon.png
Warlock

Pip jungler.png Jungler

"Can farm effectively from neutral creeps inside the jungle early in the game."

Junglers are heroes that can efficiently jungle neutrals at the start of the game, rather than lane. This allows for there to be two solo lanes, which in turn allows two allies to benefit from solo farm instead of one. Junglers typically have abilities that allow them to convert neutral creeps, summon minions, or sustain themselves through moderate damage from jungle creeps. The ability to jungle is found in heroes of all attribute classes and roles.

Although having two solo lanes and a Jungler produces a significant gold and experience advantage, it increases exposure to enemy ganks and can make side lanes weaker.

Jungler Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Axe icon.png
Axe
Lifestealer icon.png
Lifestealer
Lycan icon.png
Lycan
Sand King icon.png
Sand King
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Bloodseeker icon.png
Bloodseeker
Lone Druid icon.png
Lone Druid
Ursa icon.png
Ursa
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Batrider icon.png
Batrider
Chen icon.png
Chen
Crystal Maiden icon.png
Crystal Maiden
Dark Seer icon.png
Dark Seer
Enchantress icon.png
Enchantress
Enigma icon.png
Enigma
Keeper of the Light icon.png
Keeper of the Light
Nature's Prophet icon.png
Nature's Prophet

Pip roamer.png Support

"Can focus less on amassing gold and items, and more on using their abilities to gain an advantage for the team."

Supports are heroes whose purpose is to keep their allies alive and give them opportunities to earn more gold and experience. Supports usually come with helpful abilities for their team, such as healing spells or abilities that disable enemies; and generally are more centered around utility than damage (although they can often inflict huge amounts of damage in the right situation). Supports are not very dependent on items, and generally only purchase one or two items for their personal usage - the rest of their gold is to be spent on items for the benefit of the team such as Animal Courier, Observer Ward, Sentry Ward, and Smoke of Deceit.

Supports are typically paired with the team's carry at the start of a game. This is because the carry tends to be the weakest and most gold-hungry member of the team early on, whereas support heroes are at their strongest in the early game. Supports should always try to forfeit kills to any teammate who is more reliant on items than they are, only performing a kill if none of their allies is able to do it.

Support Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Abaddon icon.png
Abaddon
Alchemist icon.png
Alchemist
Earthshaker icon.png
Earthshaker
Io icon.png
Io
Omniknight icon.png
Omniknight
Phoenix icon.png
Phoenix
Treant Protector icon.png
Treant Protector
Underlord icon.png
Underlord
Undying icon.png
Undying
Wraith King icon.png
Wraith King
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Mirana icon.png
Mirana
Naga Siren icon.png
Naga Siren
Vengeful Spirit icon.png
Vengeful Spirit
Venomancer icon.png
Venomancer
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Ancient Apparition icon.png
Ancient Apparition
Bane icon.png
Bane
Chen icon.png
Chen
Crystal Maiden icon.png
Crystal Maiden
Dazzle icon.png
Dazzle
Disruptor icon.png
Disruptor
Enchantress icon.png
Enchantress
Jakiro icon.png
Jakiro
Keeper of the Light icon.png
Keeper of the Light
Leshrac icon.png
Leshrac
Lich icon.png
Lich
Lina icon.png
Lina
Lion icon.png
Lion
Ogre Magi icon.png
Ogre Magi
Oracle icon.png
Oracle
Rubick icon.png
Rubick
Shadow Demon icon.png
Shadow Demon
Shadow Shaman icon.png
Shadow Shaman
Silencer icon.png
Silencer
Skywrath Mage icon.png
Skywrath Mage
Visage icon.png
Visage
Warlock icon.png
Warlock
Windranger icon.png
Windranger
Winter Wyvern icon.png
Winter Wyvern
Witch Doctor icon.png
Witch Doctor

Pip tank.png Durable

"Has the ability to last longer in teamfights."

Durable heroes (or "Tanks") are heroes who have the potential to sustain large amount of incoming damage from the enemy. They tend to have large amounts of health, health regeneration, armor, or magic resistance. They often have abilities to mitigate damage, avoid damage completely, or disable assailants. Strength heroes almost invariably conform to this standard because their primary attribute, Strength, also grants health, although heroes of any attribute can meet the requirements. These heroes usually have one or more abilities which are improved by being difficult to kill.

Despite the fact that most Durable heroes in Dota 2 (besides Axe and Legion Commander) cannot literally force enemies to attack them, they can effectively play the role of absorbing most enemy damage output in a teamfight. Some tactics for accomplishing this are:

  1. Outputting an AoE effect which severely maligns the enemy, so that the enemy practically must kill the durable first; for example Undying's Flesh Golem which increases all damage to hostile units in its radius.
  2. Being the first one to engage the enemy in a teamfight. The enemy will respond by unloading abilities and items on the durable because a) the enemy cannot see the durable's allies and is tricked to believe the durable is alone for easy kill b) the enemy cannot reach the durable's allies because they are too far away c) the enemy is inexperienced and prematurely attacks the first hostile target in sight. The result is that the durable will probably survive because of his high durability; when the allies charge in, most of the enemy's abilities are on cooldown and the battle becomes much more favorable. This tactic will not always work against seasoned opponents, however.
  3. Using an ability to force enemies to attack the Durable rather than their allies. The only examples of this currently in-game are Axe and Legion Commander, although Winter Wyvern also possesses a similar ability.
  4. Being the only target that can be readily attacked; a strategy that works best when the Durable's allies are ranged heroes.

In summary, a durable in Dota 2 is a durable hero with high survivability who often initiates a team battle and ideally is able to manipulate the enemy's damage output.

Durable Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Abaddon icon.png
Abaddon
Alchemist icon.png
Alchemist
Axe icon.png
Axe
Beastmaster icon.png
Beastmaster
Brewmaster icon.png
Brewmaster
Bristleback icon.png
Bristleback
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
Centaur Warrunner
Chaos Knight icon.png
Chaos Knight
Clockwerk icon.png
Clockwerk
Doom icon.png
Doom
Dragon Knight icon.png
Dragon Knight
Earth Spirit icon.png
Earth Spirit
Elder Titan icon.png
Elder Titan
Huskar icon.png
Huskar
Kunkka icon.png
Kunkka
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
Lifestealer icon.png
Lifestealer
Lycan icon.png
Lycan
Night Stalker icon.png
Night Stalker
Omniknight icon.png
Omniknight
Pudge icon.png
Pudge
Slardar icon.png
Slardar
Spirit Breaker icon.png
Spirit Breaker
Sven icon.png
Sven
Tidehunter icon.png
Tidehunter
Timbersaw icon.png
Timbersaw
Tiny icon.png
Tiny
Treant Protector icon.png
Treant Protector
Underlord icon.png
Underlord
Undying icon.png
Undying
Wraith King icon.png
Wraith King
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Faceless Void icon.png
Faceless Void
Lone Druid icon.png
Lone Druid
Medusa icon.png
Medusa
Morphling icon.png
Morphling
Razor icon.png
Razor
Spectre icon.png
Spectre
Troll Warlord icon.png
Troll Warlord
Ursa icon.png
Ursa
Viper icon.png
Viper
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Bane icon.png
Bane
Enchantress icon.png
Enchantress
Necrophos icon.png
Necrophos
Ogre Magi icon.png
Ogre Magi
Visage icon.png
Visage

Pip ganker.png Nuker

See also: Category:Nukers

"Can quickly kill enemy heroes using high damage spells with low cooldowns."

Nukers are heroes with fast, strong, and/or sustainable spell or magical damage output, whether it be through single-target spells or area-of-effect ones. Because area of effect damage comes mainly from nukes, Nukers can provide a huge damage-per-second advantage in team fights when they can harm multiple enemy heroes all at once. Area of effect nukers also excel at pushing as they can dispatch enemy creeps efficiently. Burst damage nukers such as Lina can also be deadly, as one single fast combo of her spells can often kill or grievously wound an enemy hero immediately before any reaction, thereby making a teamfight one-sided from the start. The mana cost and cooldowns of nukes often dictate how they will be used, as ones with low mana cost and/or cooldown can be spammed in lanes or in ganks, while ones with higher mana cost and cooldown are often best saved for large confrontations.

Nuker Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Alchemist icon.png
Alchemist
Beastmaster icon.png
Beastmaster
Brewmaster icon.png
Brewmaster
Bristleback icon.png
Bristleback
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
Centaur Warrunner
Clockwerk icon.png
Clockwerk
Doom icon.png
Doom
Dragon Knight icon.png
Dragon Knight
Earthshaker icon.png
Earthshaker
Earth Spirit icon.png
Earth Spirit
Elder Titan icon.png
Elder Titan
Io icon.png
Io
Kunkka icon.png
Kunkka
Legion Commander icon.png
Legion Commander
Magnus icon.png
Magnus
Night Stalker icon.png
Night Stalker
Omniknight icon.png
Omniknight
Phoenix icon.png
Phoenix
Pudge icon.png
Pudge
Sand King icon.png
Sand King
Sven icon.png
Sven
Tidehunter icon.png
Tidehunter
Timbersaw icon.png
Timbersaw
Tiny icon.png
Tiny
Tusk icon.png
Tusk
Underlord icon.png
Underlord
Undying icon.png
Undying
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Anti-Mage icon.png
Anti-Mage
Arc Warden icon.png
Arc Warden
Bloodseeker icon.png
Bloodseeker
Bounty Hunter icon.png
Bounty Hunter
Broodmother icon.png
Broodmother
Ember Spirit icon.png
Ember Spirit
Gyrocopter icon.png
Gyrocopter
Luna icon.png
Luna
Meepo icon.png
Meepo
Mirana icon.png
Mirana
Morphling icon.png
Morphling
Nyx Assassin icon.png
Nyx Assassin
Phantom Lancer icon.png
Phantom Lancer
Razor icon.png
Razor
Shadow Fiend icon.png
Shadow Fiend
Slark icon.png
Slark
Sniper icon.png
Sniper
Terrorblade icon.png
Terrorblade
Vengeful Spirit icon.png
Vengeful Spirit
Venomancer icon.png
Venomancer
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Ancient Apparition icon.png
Ancient Apparition
Bane icon.png
Bane
Crystal Maiden icon.png
Crystal Maiden
Dazzle icon.png
Dazzle
Death Prophet icon.png
Death Prophet
Disruptor icon.png
Disruptor
Invoker icon.png
Invoker
Jakiro icon.png
Jakiro
Keeper of the Light icon.png
Keeper of the Light
Leshrac icon.png
Leshrac
Lich icon.png
Lich
Lina icon.png
Lina
Lion icon.png
Lion
Nature's Prophet icon.png
Nature's Prophet
Necrophos icon.png
Necrophos
Ogre Magi icon.png
Ogre Magi
Oracle icon.png
Oracle
Outworld Devourer icon.png
Outworld Devourer
Puck icon.png
Puck
Pugna icon.png
Pugna
Queen of Pain icon.png
Queen of Pain
Rubick icon.png
Rubick
Shadow Demon icon.png
Shadow Demon
Shadow Shaman icon.png
Shadow Shaman
Silencer icon.png
Silencer
Skywrath Mage icon.png
Skywrath Mage
Storm Spirit icon.png
Storm Spirit
Techies icon.png
Techies
Tinker icon.png
Tinker
Visage icon.png
Visage
Windranger icon.png
Windranger
Winter Wyvern icon.png
Winter Wyvern
Witch Doctor icon.png
Witch Doctor
Zeus icon.png
Zeus

Pip pusher.png Pusher

"Can quickly siege and destroy towers and barracks at all points of the game."

Pushers are heroes who focus on bringing down towers quickly, thereby acquiring map control. If they succeed, they often shut down the enemy carry by forcing them away from farming areas. They typically have abilities that fortify allied creep waves, harm multiple enemy creeps and/or heroes at once, summon minions, or deal massive amounts of damage to enemy towers.

Pusher Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Chaos Knight icon.png
Chaos Knight
Dragon Knight icon.png
Dragon Knight
Lycan icon.png
Lycan
Tiny icon.png
Tiny
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Broodmother icon.png
Broodmother
Clinkz icon.png
Clinkz
Drow Ranger icon.png
Drow Ranger
Juggernaut icon.png
Juggernaut
Lone Druid icon.png
Lone Druid
Luna icon.png
Luna
Meepo icon.png
Meepo
Naga Siren icon.png
Naga Siren
Phantom Lancer icon.png
Phantom Lancer
Razor icon.png
Razor
Terrorblade icon.png
Terrorblade
Troll Warlord icon.png
Troll Warlord
Venomancer icon.png
Venomancer
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Chen icon.png
Chen
Death Prophet icon.png
Death Prophet
Enchantress icon.png
Enchantress
Enigma icon.png
Enigma
Invoker icon.png
Invoker
Jakiro icon.png
Jakiro
Leshrac icon.png
Leshrac
Nature's Prophet icon.png
Nature's Prophet
Pugna icon.png
Pugna
Shadow Shaman icon.png
Shadow Shaman
Tinker icon.png
Tinker
Visage icon.png
Visage

Pip tank.png Escape

See also: Category:Escape

"Has the ability to quickly avoid death."

Escape heroes are heroes equipped with one or more escape mechanisms which allow them (or sometimes their allies) to avoid damage and abilities while retreating or repositioning themselves during a teamfight or gank. Escape heroes are particularly suited to soloing the "suicide lane" or short lane, as they can turn situations where death is inevitable into a temporary delay in farm. Escape mechanisms include movement speed buffs, invisibility, teleportation (such as Blinking), and evasion. Many carry heroes also have escape mechanisms to give them the survivability they need to continue farming and killing.

Escape Heroes
Strength attribute symbol.png Strength
Centaur Warrunner icon.png
Centaur Warrunner
Earth Spirit icon.png
Earth Spirit
Io icon.png
Io
Lifestealer icon.png
Lifestealer
Lycan icon.png
Lycan
Magnus icon.png
Magnus
Phoenix icon.png
Phoenix
Sand King icon.png
Sand King
Slardar icon.png
Slardar
Spirit Breaker icon.png
Spirit Breaker
Timbersaw icon.png
Timbersaw
Treant Protector icon.png
Treant Protector
Underlord icon.png
Underlord
Agility attribute symbol.png Agility
Anti-Mage icon.png
Anti-Mage
Arc Warden icon.png
Arc Warden
Bounty Hunter icon.png
Bounty Hunter
Broodmother icon.png
Broodmother
Clinkz icon.png
Clinkz
Ember Spirit icon.png
Ember Spirit
Faceless Void icon.png
Faceless Void
Juggernaut icon.png
Juggernaut
Meepo icon.png
Meepo
Mirana icon.png
Mirana
Monkey King icon.png
Monkey King
Morphling icon.png
Morphling
Naga Siren icon.png
Naga Siren
Nyx Assassin icon.png
Nyx Assassin
Phantom Assassin icon.png
Phantom Assassin
Phantom Lancer icon.png
Phantom Lancer
Riki icon.png
Riki
Slark icon.png
Slark
Spectre icon.png
Spectre
Templar Assassin icon.png
Templar Assassin
Vengeful Spirit icon.png
Vengeful Spirit
Weaver icon.png
Weaver
Intelligence attribute symbol.png Intelligence
Batrider icon.png
Batrider
Dark Seer icon.png
Dark Seer
Invoker icon.png
Invoker
Nature's Prophet icon.png
Nature's Prophet
Oracle icon.png
Oracle
Puck icon.png
Puck
Queen of Pain icon.png
Queen of Pain
Storm Spirit icon.png
Storm Spirit
Windranger icon.png
Windranger

Unofficial roles

Hard Carry

The term "hard carry" refers to a type of carry hero who is especially reliant on the acquisition of items to function effectively, as opposed to "softer" carries that gain substantial damage from abilities and as such do not require gold to be dangerous. Hard carries are generally equipped with abilities which scale very closely with their items, meaning that when they do not have farm their abilities are weak. Hard carries cannot have farm early in the game, so they are generally paired in lanes with disabling support heroes, whose powerful early game abilities counterbalance the horribly weak hard carry's. As a hard carry attains gold and levels, they will progressively become more dangerous, and generally reach their period of maximum relative effectiveness later in the game than other heroes - meaning that the hard carry will have a huge advantage if the game goes for long enough. As a rule, the more reliant a carry is on items to function directly correlates with how effective they are once they have them - for instance, Anti-Mage with three carry items in his inventory will be stronger than a Medusa with the same amount, but when six items are in play, Medusa will make much better use of them than Anti-Mage - this means that she is a harder carry than he.

Semi-Carry

Semi-carries are heroes that, like hard carries, are skilled at killing enemy heroes. Unlike hard carries, however, they do not require very much farm to do so, and are generally most dependent on levels, so they usually lane in the middle lane to amass them as rapidly as possible. They tend to be most dominant in the midgame, before either their own or the enemy's true carry has amassed enough farm to supersede them. A successful game for a semi-carry involves asserting map control and impeding the enemy carry's farm, which in turn allows for their own carry to safely amass items. The "Semi-Carry", although long acknowledged in the community, is not a role recognized by Valve, likely because of the high ambiguity in defining the role.

If they are doing well, a semi-carry may have respectable attack damage depending on the hero being played - and all semi-carries will scale at least moderately well with items. However, by the end of the middle game period, semi-carries typically transition into a more supportive role. This is not to say that they play Support; this is simply the point where their damage and capabilities are outstripped by "hard" carries. To amend their damage "falling off" (as it is called), they often build items such as Heaven's Halberd icon.png Heaven's Halberd, Assault Cuirass icon.png Assault Cuirass, and Scythe of Vyse icon.png Scythe of Vyse to provide utility instead of their ailing damage.

Ganker

See also: Ganking

Gankers are heroes with abilities that deliver long duration crowd control and/or immense damage in the early and midgame. They tend to have good mobility and rely on a mixture of physical and magical damage as well as disables to bring down their enemies. Their goal is to give the team an early game advantage during the laning phase by killing enemy heroes in their proper lanes. The Ganker role is often synonymous with the semi-carry role, as most Gankers become semi-carries if they are successful in their efforts, owing to a large gold and level advantage. However, because their abilities do not scale as well, they will usually suffer more in the late game (hence the need for a hard carry). Nevertheless, if a Ganker performs extremely well, they might prove to be the overall bigger threat to the enemy team at the game's conclusion than an allied hard carry. The most important task for a Ganker is to restrict the farm and levels of the opposing carry.

Roamer

"Can focus on moving around the map instead of farming creeps early in the game."

Always support heroes, the main goal of Roamers is to gain as much map control as possible early in the game by warding, ganking and studying the location of missing heroes. They are also responsible for creep pulling, creep stacking (for the purpose of helping a fellow Jungler or to be the source of farm) and most crucially shutting down enemy Junglers. They often attempt to gank the enemy's mid hero, a difficult feat (albeit a very rewarding one) which usually requires a long-range disables and/or a Smoke of Deceit icon.png Smoke of Deceit.

Offlaner

Offlane heroes are those with abilities that allow them to solo the "suicide lane" (top lane for Radiant, bottom lane for Dire). Having an offlaner in a team's lineup allows the team to also have a Jungler or run a tri-lane with less risk of losing the suicide lane to the opposing lane. In many cases, the offlaner may have to forgo a great deal of farm in order to simply stay alive, and as such may be on the back foot much of the time. Heroes with the ability to escape from certain death are best suited to this role, as the offlaner's first priority should be to not die in lane. Against skilled opponents, the offlaner may be extremely under-leveled compared to other heroes on the field, and as such it is generally unwise to put a hard carry in the offlane because they may not get enough farm to obtain the items they need to snowball into the late-game.

Generally speaking, heroes that can excel in the offlane and still be effective throughout the game have at least one of these qualities:

  1. A skillset that allows them to escape from ganks safely. See Escape.
  2. They are able to secure a reasonable amount of farm despite the possibility of being forced out of lane.
  3. They have abilities that will keep them alive in the early-game as well as allowing them to be effective in the mid-game despite a lack of gold. Supports such as Tidehunter minimap icon.png Tidehunter and Windranger minimap icon.png Windranger are examples of this. This can include heroes whose abilities have a great deal of utility later on in the game. For instance, abilities like Mirana minimap icon.png Mirana's Moonlight Shadow icon.png Moonlight Shadow and Earth Spirit minimap icon.png Earth Spirit's Geomagnetic Grip icon.png Geomagnetic Grip can serve to benefit other teammates as well as the player in a variety of scenarios.
  4. They are able to disrupt the enemy carry's farm. Good use of summons like Lone Druid minimap icon.png Lone Druid's Lone Druid Spirit Bear icon.png Spirit Bear can position friendly creeps in a place where the carry may struggle to get last hits, such as under a friendly tower from where you can deny them safely.