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Dota 2 Roles & Positions Guide | Mixed and New Roles

The roles and positions in any team game should come as a given. For instance, a hockey goalkeeper can not attack with the team mates, but when the situation is critical – it turns into one more field player to push the opposition defense. Same works for Dota2, where positions and roles play crucial point in early and mid-game while in late-game even a support can score the final goal to the enemy Throne. What are the standard Dota 2 positions? How patches can affect the emergence of new roles?

Dota 2 1-5 Positions

In a MOBA game, heroes take role & positions basing on core attributes, skills and item builds. In Dota 2, the positions are usually defined by farm priority at start – potentially the strongest hero gets the highest farming priority and sets at carry role while position five has the lowest priority and gets a role of support. Dota 2 positions and roles overview according to gosu.ai.

Position 1: The Hard Carry

As said above, Carry is the strongest hero in the team, at least at early and mid-game. The whole team needs Carry to farm and grow as fast as possible. Well-organized teamwork on getting Carry to freely farm neutral forest may lead to easy victory on minute 20. Position 1 player usually buys farming items like Hand of Midas, Battlefury or Maelstrom.

In public game, everyone wants to be a carry. However, this is probably the hardest position to play. A skillful carry may lead the team to a victory on his own, while failing to get early farm will lead to a total defeat. Carry is the most hated role not only in public, but in pro scene as well. Great Carry should have good communication skills and patience. Carry is the main asset of the team, so a player on this position should clearly distinguish when its time to fight and when it’s better to farm.

In summer 2020, the most common heroes for Carry role are: Slark, Phantom Assassin, Gyrocopter, Juggernaut and Spectre. The best Carries in Dota 2 pro stage: RAMZES666, ana, Miracle, Arteezy and Ace.

Position 2: Solo Mid or Ganker

Mid position player is the most aggressive in early-game. Solo Mid is usually a speedy hero that can make stuns and initiation tools. The player on the middle lane often fights with the enemy Ganker, so he requires the highest level of mechanical skill. A good Mid player should be always one or two steps ahead of the rival enemy.

Solo Mid is the most intense position, as Mid players often initiate team fights. They should make space for the team mates and choose the right moment to attack/set a trap. Ganker is called to keep the enemy team busy so that the Carry can farm as much as he needs.

A great Solo Mid or Ganker should be the team leader in APM (actions per minute) and be able to make right decisions fast. Middle lane is not for the players who like to go afk for a minute or relax fingers while playing.

Mid lane hero is chosen based on the primary target. For ganking – go with Shadow Fiend or Queen of Pain. For survivability – pick Storm Spirit, Dragon Knight or Ember Spirit. For farming – choose between Templar Assassin and Outworld Devourer. The best Solo Mid players at Dota 2 pro stage: SumaiL, Topson, Sumiya, Nisha, Ori.

Position 3: The Offlaner

Being Offlaner means being almost always on your own. Each Dota 2 team has an odd number of players – 5. Therefore, in most cases, the utility support follows Carry and hard support helps Ganker to win the middle lane. Meanwhile, the Offlaner should capture the Outposts, collect runes, gain experience and help team mates in the fights. One more task for an Offlaner is to cause chaos and detract enemy supports (kill them in ideal case). When playing the Offlaner role you should be mentally prepared to die again and again, but it’s ok as long as you are annoying enough for enemy team in early-game and tank the damage in late-game. Braveness and will to sacrifice your life for the Carry or Solo Mid makes and good Offlaner.

Playing on Offlane you need a durable and mobile hero right from the start. The ideal heroes for this role are: Legion Commander, Timbersaw, Dark Seer, Tidehunter, Lone Druid, Faceless Void, Phoniex or Bristleback. The best Offlaners at Dota 2 pro stage: MinD_ContRoL, iceiceice, UNiVeRsE, Yang, 9pasha.

Position 4: The “Utility” Support, Roamer

At the early-game, Roamer’s tasks are to search for weak points on enemy part of the map and catch enemies that are farming in neutral woods or attacking towers. Position 4 Support also has to create space for the cores: Carry and Solo Mid. Moreover, Roamer should protect the core players from being killed throughout the whole game. The “Utility” Support role is to control the runes and outposts. Position 4 Support often aims to become a semi-core in late-game.

The most common heroes for this position are: Elder Titan, Wind Ranger, Bane, Pudge, Undying, Earth Spirit, etc. The best Position 4 Roamers at pro Dota 2 stage are: GH, RodjER, YapzOr, fy, and Cr1t-.

Position 5: The Hard Support

The Hard Support is also often called a Babysitter. The players on this role have much more time to estimate the overall flow of things in the game and guide their team to the victory. In most cases, the Hard Support is the team captain as this role requires players to have great convincing skills, the ability to “read” the game and make successful strategies. The Babysitter should give the Carry as much solo experience as possible, while following him at the short-hand distance.

The perfect heroes to choose when you are playing on position 5 are: Rubick, Shadow Shaman, Dazzle, Witch Doctor, Io the Wisp, Lich King. The best Hard Supports at pro Dota 2 stage are: Puppey, Fly, ppd, KuroKy, Solo.

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How patches can affect the emergence of new roles

In 2020, Valve has changed the Dota 2 ranked role matchmaking one more time. The new update united the cores and support ranking back into one whole. It could be seen as going back to the roots, but there are also many other moments. Nowadays, each player position has a handicap which corelates with the hero strength. For instance, when you opt for the best roles like Carry or Solo Mid, the matchmaking system will use your full current MMR stats. However, if you would like to play at weaker role, the matchmaking will put you into lower MMR matches.

The badge’s level will also be adjusted depending on what role you will opt for. For example, if your specialization is support role, you might have an Ancient III badge. But when you would like to play at core roles, your badge will be lowered to Legend III. However, the main different is that there will be no more separate rankings: no matter what role you will play the MMR value will be the same.

The change should not lower the players MMR stats. The new ranking system will consider your previous rankings in both cores and supports as well as your results in 100 the most recent matches. The players and experts have different thoughts on these changes. Some say the rankings should be unified, the other that there should be 5 different rankings for each of the five positions.

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