Hero Difficulty

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This article is a guide mainly meant for new players to help choose heroes to learn. Note that a high rating on a hero does not means that you should not try to play and learn that hero. Every player has different strengths and weaknesses. A hero with an Advanced rating might come easy to you while some heroes rated as Beginner might be difficult to you.

This article rates a heroes difficulty in six different aspects of the game. Those individual ratings get then added up and form a final rating. While reading this article keep in mind, that the final ratings are not a measure of hero strength. Dota 2 is a very well balanced game with most heroes being of about equal strength regardless of their difficulty rating.

If you do not agree with some of the content of this guide please use this articles discusson page to discuss what should be changed.

Explanation

As mentioned before, the heroes difficulty gets measured in six specific areas of the game. The difficulty gets displayed as a number from 1 to 5 with 1 requiring the least skill and 5 the most. Whilst this list is supposed to be as accurate as possible, keep in mind, that this guide represents the opinions of the people who edited it and does not reflect set values.

Knowledge

The amount of knowledge about heroes, abilities, items, … that is required to play the hero effectively.

  1. Requires basic knowledge about the game and the own hero.
  2. Requires the player to know which heroes to jump.
  3. Requires knowledge about other players heroes, abilities and items.
  4. Requires advanced knowledge; adapting item builds to the game.
  5. Requires advanced knowledge about all heroes, abilities and items.

Awareness

  1. The hero requires basic awareness of the close surroundings of the hero.
  2. The hero requires basic awareness of the entire map.
  3. Needs to be aware of his surroundings to escape from ganks or to land long range skills.
  4. Needs to be aware of the state of the game, as well as the positions of enemies.
  5. Needs to be aware of what's happening around the map to land global skills or to gank enemies.

Positioning

  1. The hero has no special requirements in terms of positioning.
  2. The hero has abilities that rely on good positioning, but is useful even without them.
  3. The hero has abilities that rely on good positioning and are important to hit.
  4. The hero constantly has to be in the correct positions to save people/counter-gank
  5. The hero heavily relies on good positioning to stay alive (has no abilities to escape and is squishy)

Farming

  1. The hero needs no items to be relevant in the game
  2. The hero needs some farm in order to become relevant
  3. The hero needs a lot of farm; has an easy time getting it
  4. The hero needs a key item quickly
  5. The hero needs a lot of farm; has a hard time getting it

Mechanics

  1. Simple spells; no exact timing or quick reactions necessary
  2. Non-targeted spells; quick reactions necessary
  3. The hero relies on good item and ability usage to be effective.
  4. The hero needs to control multiple units.
  5. The hero needs to control multiple units with different abilities or relies on quick reflexes to stay alive.

Survival

  1. The hero can die without being heavily punished for it.
  2. The hero needs to stay alive long enough to get off a key spell.
  3. The hero needs to continually use abilities in fights to be useful.
  4. The hero gets punished heavily for dying
  5. The hero absolutely can't afford to die.

Final Rating

For the final rating these six numbers get added together. The final rating can range from 6 (the easiest) to 30 (the hardest).

Rating Difficuly Explanation
6–16 Beginner This hero is considered suitable for beginning players.
17–22 Intermediate This hero is considered suitable for intermediate players.
23–30 Advanced This hero is considered suitable for advanced players.

The Rating Chart

Hero Knowledge Awareness Positioning Farm Mechanics Survival Final Rating
Abaddon icon.png Abaddon 4 2 1 2 2 3 14
Alchemist icon.png Alchemist 4 3 2 4 2 5 20
Ancient Apparition icon.png Ancient Apparition 4 5 5 1 3 2 20
Anti-Mage icon.png Anti-Mage 3 3 4 5 3 5 23
Arc Warden icon.png Arc Warden 5 2 4 5 5 5 26
Axe icon.png Axe 2 2 3 4 2 2 15
Bane icon.png Bane 2 3 2 1 1 2 11
Batrider icon.png Batrider 2 3 3 4 3 2 17
Beastmaster icon.png Beastmaster 4 4 4 2 5 2 21
Bloodseeker icon.png Bloodseeker 4 4 1 3 2 3 17
Bounty Hunter icon.png Bounty Hunter 1 3 1 3 2 3 13
Brewmaster icon.png Brewmaster 3 2 2 3 4 4 18
Bristleback icon.png Bristleback 1 2 2 3 2 3 13
Broodmother icon.png Broodmother 2 4 1 3 4 4 18
Centaur Warrunner icon.png Centaur Warrunner 1 2 2 4 1 1 11
Chaos Knight icon.png Chaos Knight 2 3 1 5 3 5 19
Chen icon.png Chen 3 5 5 2 5 4 24
Clinkz icon.png Clinkz 2 3 2 3 2 3 15
Clockwerk icon.png Clockwerk 3 5 4 2 2 1 17
Crystal Maiden icon.png Crystal Maiden 1 3 2 1 2 2 11
Dark Seer icon.png Dark Seer 3 1 4 1 2 2 13
Dazzle icon.png Dazzle 3 1 3 1 2 4 14
Death Prophet icon.png Death Prophet 1 4 2 5 2 4 18
Disruptor icon.png Disruptor 3 4 3 1 1 2 14
Doom icon.png Doom 5 3 1 2 2 2 15
Dragon Knight icon.png Dragon Knight 2 3 2 3 2 4 16
Drow Ranger icon.png Drow Ranger 2 2 2 5 2 5 18
Earthshaker icon.png Earthshaker 3 3 5 4 2 2 19
Earth Spirit icon.png Earth Spirit 4 4 5 3 4 3 23
Elder Titan icon.png Elder Titan 3 3 5 2 3 3 19
Ember Spirit icon.png Ember Spirit 3 4 4 5 3 5 24
Enchantress icon.png Enchantress 3 3 4 3 3 3 19
Enigma icon.png Enigma 4 4 5 4 3 2 22
Faceless Void icon.png Faceless Void 4 3 5 5 1 5 23
Techies icon.png Techies 3 5 4 2 4 4 22
Gyrocopter icon.png Gyrocopter 3 5 4 3 2 2 19
Huskar icon.png Huskar 2 3 2 3 2 3 15
Invoker icon.png Invoker 5 5 5 5 3 5 28
Io icon.png Io 5 5 4 2 3 4 23
Jakiro icon.png Jakiro 1 3 3 1 2 4 14
Juggernaut icon.png Juggernaut 1 2 3 3 1 3 13
Keeper of the Light icon.png Keeper of the Light 3 5 4 1 3 4 20
Kunkka icon.png Kunkka 3 3 5 2 2 2 17
Legion Commander icon.png Legion Commander 4 2 5 4 2 3 20
Leshrac icon.png Leshrac 3 3 4 3 3 4 20
Lich icon.png Lich 1 3 3 1 2 2 12
Lifestealer icon.png Lifestealer 3 3 3 3 2 3 17
Lina icon.png Lina 1 3 4 1 2 2 13
Lion icon.png Lion 1 3 3 1 2 2 12
Lone Druid icon.png Lone Druid 3 3 2 3 3 3 17
Luna icon.png Luna 2 3 4 5 3 5 22
Lycan icon.png Lycan 1 3 1 4 3 3 15
Magnus icon.png Magnus 4 3 5 4 3 2 21
Medusa icon.png Medusa 4 2 3 5 2 5 21
Meepo icon.png Meepo 5 5 4 5 5 5 29
Mirana icon.png Mirana 3 5 4 3 2 3 20
Monkey King icon.png Monkey King 3 4 4 3 1 3 18
Morphling icon.png Morphling 4 4 3 5 3 5 24
Naga Siren icon.png Naga Siren 2 3 2 5 3 2 17
Nature's Prophet icon.png Nature's Prophet 4 5 4 2 3 4 22
Necrophos icon.png Necrophos 3 3 3 3 2 4 18
Night Stalker icon.png Night Stalker 3 3 1 3 1 3 14
Nyx Assassin icon.png Nyx Assassin 4 5 5 5 2 2 23
Ogre Magi icon.png Ogre Magi 1 3 1 1 2 4 12
Omniknight icon.png Omniknight 3 1 3 1 2 4 14
Oracle icon.png Oracle 4 3 4 1 2 2 16
Outworld Devourer icon.png Outworld Devourer 4 3 4 5 3 3 22
Phantom Assassin icon.png Phantom Assassin 1 3 1 5 1 5 16
Phantom Lancer icon.png Phantom Lancer 2 3 1 5 3 4 18
Phoenix icon.png Phoenix 3 3 3 2 3 4 18
Puck icon.png Puck 4 4 5 1 2 3 19
Pudge icon.png Pudge 4 4 4 2 2 4 20
Pugna icon.png Pugna 4 2 4 2 2 4 18
Queen of Pain icon.png Queen of Pain 1 3 4 2 2 2 14
Razor icon.png Razor 3 3 3 3 2 3 17
Riki icon.png Riki 1 3 3 3 2 3 15
Rubick icon.png Rubick 5 3 5 2 2 4 21
Sand King icon.png Sand King 3 5 5 1 2 2 18
Shadow Demon icon.png Shadow Demon 1 3 3 2 3 4 16
Shadow Fiend icon.png Shadow Fiend 3 3 5 1 3 3 18
Shadow Shaman icon.png Shadow Shaman 1 3 4 2 3 2 15
Silencer icon.png Silencer 2 5 3 3 2 4 19
Skywrath Mage icon.png Skywrath Mage 3 4 4 3 2 3 19
Slardar icon.png Slardar 1 3 2 4 2 3 15
Slark icon.png Slark 3 3 3 3 2 3 17
Sniper icon.png Sniper 2 3 2 3 2 3 15
Spectre icon.png Spectre 4 5 4 5 1 5 24
Spirit Breaker icon.png Spirit Breaker 2 4 1 4 1 3 15
Storm Spirit icon.png Storm Spirit 3 4 4 5 2 5 23
Sven icon.png Sven 1 3 2 3 2 3 14
Templar Assassin icon.png Templar Assassin 3 5 4 5 4 3 24
Terrorblade icon.png Terrorblade 2 2 4 5 3 5 21
Tidehunter icon.png Tidehunter 1 3 5 4 3 2 18
Timbersaw icon.png Timbersaw 2 3 4 3 3 3 18
Tinker icon.png Tinker 4 5 4 4 4 4 25
Tiny icon.png Tiny 3 3 4 4 3 3 20
Treant Protector icon.png Treant Protector 1 3 5 1 1 1 12
Troll Warlord icon.png Troll Warlord 2 5 1 5 2 5 20
Tusk icon.png Tusk 1 4 4 3 3 2 17
Underlord icon.png Underlord 3 5 3 1 3 4 19
Undying icon.png Undying 1 1 3 3 2 4 14
Ursa icon.png Ursa 2 3 4 4 2 5 20
Vengeful Spirit icon.png Vengeful Spirit 1 4 4 1 2 1 13
Venomancer icon.png Venomancer 2 3 5 1 4 4 19
Viper icon.png Viper 2 3 2 3 3 5 18
Visage icon.png Visage 4 4 4 3 5 4 24
Warlock icon.png Warlock 1 1 3 2 3 2 12
Weaver icon.png Weaver 3 3 3 5 3 5 22
Windranger icon.png Windranger 3 4 4 3 2 4 20
Winter Wyvern icon.png Winter Wyvern 3 3 4 1 2 2 15
Witch Doctor icon.png Witch Doctor 1 3 4 2 2 4 16
Wraith King icon.png Wraith King 2 3 1 3 1 3 13
Zeus icon.png Zeus 1 5 2 1 3 3 15

Conclusion

As you can see, there are more heroes and aspects with yellow and red rating than green rating! Now you know why they say DotA has a steep learning curve!

Sources

This guide is based on the Newbie's Guide to Heroes Difficulty by R.B.Economy from 2011. It has since been heavily modified to accommodate for changed in the game.